How to Cook Steak: Ultimate Guide to Cooking, Seasoning, and Savoring Perfect Steaks Every Time

How to Cook Steak: Detailed guide
15 min reading time

There’s something magical about the smell of a perfectly cooked steak. Whether you’re an experienced chef or just starting out in the kitchen, knowing how to cook steak is one of those essential skills that any home cook needs to master. Cooking steak might sound intimidating at first, but it can actually be quite simple if you have the right technique and tools!

In this blog post, we’ll cover all the basics you need to know on how to cook steak – from choosing the right cut of meat to dialing in your doneness preferences. So grab your favorite pan and let’s get started on our journey towards perfect steaks!

What are the Different Types of Steak?

Steak is one of the most popularly cooked meats and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Here are some types of steak you can choose from, all listed with their respective cuts:

  • Chuck Eye Steak: Also known as the “poor man’s ribeye,” this cut comes from the shoulder area and has good flavor but a tough texture.
  • Flank Steak: Cut from near the rear legs, this marinated cut is leaner than other steaks and best served thinly sliced across the grain.
  • Ribeye Steak (or Delmonico): This fatty cut comes from ribs 6-12 on either side of the steer’s spine, making it especially tender with full flavor.
  • Skirt Steak: A long and thin cut that gains flavor when marinated; often used for fajitas or stir fry dishes.
  • Tenderloin (or Filet Mignon): The most tender steak available, it’s lean but expensive due to its popularity – and small size!
  • Top Sirloin: Leaner than prime sirloin but still juicy enough for grilling; generally more affordable than Prime cuts.
  • Prime Sirloin/New York Strip/Kansas City Strip/Club Steak/Delmonico: These tend to be around 10-15 dollars per pound due to their premium quality; they come from short loins which are well-marbled meat near hindquarters that provides juiciness when grilled or broiled.

No matter how you cook your steak – whether pan-seared, grilled, or broiled – there’s sure to be something perfect for every occasion!

How Long To Cook Steak?

Cooking times for different types of steak depend on the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness. Here is a table you can refer to for cooking various cuts of steak to achieve rare, medium-rare, medium, and well-done levels:

Steak TypeRare (125°F)Medium-Rare (135°F)Medium (145°F)Medium-Well (150°F)Well-Done (160°F)
Chuck eye3-4 min4-5 min5-7 min7-8 min9-10 min
Flank2-3 min3-4 min4-5 min5-6 min6-7 min
Ribeye4-5 min5-6 min6-8 min8-9 min10-11 min
Skirt2-3 min3-4 min4-5 min5-6 min6-7 min
Steak (general)3-4 min4-5 min5-7 min7-8 min9-10 min
Tenderloin (Filet Mignon)3-4 min4-5 min5-6 min6-7 min8-9 min
Top Sirloin4-5 min5-6 min6-7 min7-8 min9-10 min
Prime Sirloin/NY Strip/KC Strip/etc.4-5 min5-6 min6-8 min8-9 min10-11 min
Types Of Steak and Their Respective Cooking Time

Remember that the actual cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the steak, the heat source, and individual preferences. It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature for doneness.

How to Cook Steak?

There’s something special about sinking your teeth into a perfectly cooked steak, isn’t there? Cooking the perfect steak might seem like an intimidating task, but with a few simple tips and tricks, you can get the perfect sear and tender interior every time. Let’s learn how to cook steak using different methods.

How to Cook Steak on a Stovetop?

how to cook steak in a griller

Cooking steak on the stovetop can be a simple and delicious affair. Here is a step-by-step guide for achieving a perfect, juicy steak every time:

  • Begin with room temperature steak – This means taking your steak out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to cooking to bring it to room temperature. If you skip this step, the internal temperature of the meat will rise more slowly than its surface during cooking, resulting in an unevenly cooked piece of meat.
  • Prep your pan – Heat up a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high heat for several minutes until it’s extremely hot; cold steaks won’t sear properly on cold metal pans! You can also add some oil or butter depending on your preference and if you need additional fat in order to get that crispy edge (just don’t add too much as it will create smoke).
  • Place Steak in Pan – Once seasoned place the steak onto the heated pan ensuring there is enough space between them so they are not overcrowded; cook one side at a time avoiding turning them multiple times while they are cooking – this process helps keep all those flavorful juices inside each cutlet!
  • Cook Until Desired Doneness – Monitor closely while cooking as times may vary from one stovetop/pan type combination to another: use a thermometer if possible (usually 1 minute per side); once done remove immediately from a heat source and let rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into them in order for all those juices to remain within each cutlet rather than spilling out everywhere once sliced open! Enjoy!

How to Cook Steak in a Microwave?

Cooking steak in the microwave is actually easier, and less time-consuming than you might think! Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you get a juicy, delicious steak right out of your microwave:

  • Start by patting your steak dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  • Place your steak on a microwave-safe plate or dish that has been lightly coated with cooking oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  • Using a fork, poke several holes in the top of the steak about 1/2 inch apart and an inch deep – this will allow steam to escape so it cooks evenly all around without becoming dry or rubbery.
  • Sprinkle generous amounts of salt and pepper onto both sides of the meat (adjust seasonings based on personal preference).
  • Cover your meat with either plastic wrap customized for microwaves, or use wax paper held down securely by overlapping strips of aluminum foil across the top – this prevents splattering and helps to retain its natural flavors during the cooking process.
  • Cook in your microwave at 50% power for about 4 minutes per side depending on thickness– if smaller cuts need less time whereas larger thicker pieces may take longer (note: always refer to manufacturers’ recommendations for best results). Note that each additional minute adds more tenderness and flavor while drying out the interior texture slightly more so bear this in mind when adjusting cook times accordingly.
  • When finished cooking, let stand 3 minutes before serving—this allows juices from within the center portion to absorb back into outer layers ensuring maximum flavor!

How to Cook Steak in an Oven?

steak being prepared in a grill oven to be eaten

Cooking steak in an oven is really quite easy, but you’ll need to start off with a few key steps to ensure the perfect juicy steak every time. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook steak in an oven:

  • Preheat your oven – You’ll want your oven set between 375 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. This will also depend on the thickness of your cut of meat; thinner cuts will require lower temperatures while thicker cuts should be cooked at a higher temperature.
  • Preparing the steak – Make sure that your steaks are brought up to room temperature before cooking them by taking them out of the fridge around 30 minutes before cooking. Pat dry all sides of each piece with paper towels and season generously with salt (and pepper, if desired). Using oil or butter, quickly sear each side of each piece in an oven-safe pan over high heat for about 45 seconds per side until the outside has browned slightly (be sure not to burn it!).
  • Baking – Place the prepared steaks onto a baking sheet lined with foil and transfer into a preheated oven for around 9-12 minutes depending on size/thickness, flipping once halfway through cooking so as not to burn anything since it cooks quickly at these temperatures! After this allotted time has passed pull from the heat and let rest for 3-5 minutes allowing juices to settle back into the middle then serve!

How to Cook Steak in an Air Fryer?

Cooking a delicious steak in an air fryer couldn’t be easier! This method yields a mouthwatering steak with a perfect, crisp exterior and juicy interior. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by patting your steak dry and seasoning it generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Make sure to use high-quality sea salt or Kosher salt for best results.
  • Preheat your air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually between 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit (175-200 Celsius).
  • Place the steak in the preheated air fryer basket and close the lid securely. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius) for 8 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness or 10 minutes per side for medium doneness, flipping halfway through cooking time. (If you prefer, you can also cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius) but increase your cooking time slightly – try 9 minutes per side for medium-rare or 11 minutes per side for medium. Be sure not to overcook!)
  • When done cooking, remove from heat immediately using tongs or oven mitts so as not to burn yourself! Let rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving hot with vegetables of choice on the side such as grilled onions & mushrooms or steamed green beans & carrots, if desired.

How to Cook Grilled Steak?

cooked grilled steak

Grilling a steak is one of the simplest, yet most rewarding tasks in cooking and requires no special equipment – just a good steak, fresh vegetables, and some seasonings.

  • Choose Your Steak Wisely: Look for steaks that are well-marbled with fat throughout; select cuts with at least 1/4 inch of fat around the edges for good flavor and tenderness. Ribeye is often considered the go-to choice for grilling as it has a great flavor when grilled to perfection but if you’re looking to save money try sirloin instead which can be had at a lower cost.
  • Prepare the Steak & Heat Up your Grill: Take your steak out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan on grilling them so they won’t shock when placed over heat; pat it dry with a paper towel then liberally salt both sides (avoid adding pepper or other seasonings until after it’s been cooked). With your gas grill turn all burners up to high or light charcoal briquettes about 15 minutes before beginning then spread them evenly over two-thirds of the grate leaving one-third empty (this will give you space if flare-ups occur). Place the grate back in place and let heat for 5-10 more minutes before adding steak
  • Create Grill Marks: Place your steaks onto the hot side of the grill no more than 4 inches apart from each other – use tongs rather than a fork so juices don’t escape! Cook for 4 minutes per side depending on thickness – time may vary – creating those beautiful cross hatch marks using tongs; flip only once then move to the cool side if the crispy crust is desired add butter while still cooking. After 8 total minutes check the internal temperature using a digital thermometer (125° F = rare) While resting cover loosely with foil tenting make sure not to cover completely as steam could collect making it soggy, otherwise serve the right way.

What is Basting a Steak?

Basting a steak is a cooking technique that involves spooning or brushing melted fat or sauce over the surface of the steak as it cooks. This technique is often used when grilling or roasting a steak, and it helps to add moisture and flavor to the meat. Basting can also help to prevent the steak from drying out during the cooking process. While some chefs believe that basting is unnecessary, others swear by it as a way to achieve a juicy, flavorful steak that is sure to impress. Whether you are a seasoned chef or a beginner cook, basting can be a useful tool in your culinary repertoire that will help you create delicious meals that your family and friends will love.

How to Season Steak?

Different cuts require different cooking times and flavor combinations. For example, a lean cut like sirloin is best seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic before grilling, while a fatty cut like ribeye benefits from a blend of salt, pepper, and herbs to balance the richness. No matter the cut, it’s important to let your steak come to room temperature before seasoning to ensure even cooking. And remember, less is more when it comes to seasoning, so use a light hand and let the natural flavors of the meat shine through. With a little know-how, you’ll be grilling up perfectly seasoned steaks in no time!

There are a variety of mouthwatering seasonings that can be used on steak, depending on personal preference. Some popular choices include garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and rosemary. For a spicy twist, chili powder or cayenne pepper can also be added to the mix.

How to Buy Steak?

There are some simple tips that can help you choose the right cut of meat, based on your personal tastes and budget. To start, you’ll want to pay attention to the marbling – the veins of fat that run through the meat. More marbling generally means more flavor and tenderness, but also a higher price. The color of the meat is also important, as it can indicate the age of the animal and how it was raised. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the butcher for advice, as they are often more than happy to share their expertise and recommend the best cut for your needs. With these tips in mind, you can confidently head to the meat counter and select the perfect steak for your next meal.

How to Store Cooked Steak?

To keep your steak fresh and appetizing, it is best to let it cool down at room temperature for about an hour before refrigerating it. Wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to three days. When it’s time to reheat your steak, avoid using the microwave as this can overcook it and cause it to become tough. Instead, consider reheating it in a skillet with some butter for an added flavor boost. With these simple tips, you can enjoy tender and juicy steak every time.

How to Store Uncooked Steak?

Storing uncooked steak is crucial, especially if you don’t plan to cook it immediately. It is necessary to store it in a way that ensures it remains fresh, free from bacteria and retains its taste. One way to do this is by keeping it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, typically the bottom shelf. It’s also vital to wrap the steak in either aluminum foil or plastic before refrigeration to ensure no air gets to it. Make sure the steak is not in contact with any fruits or vegetables, as they tend to release ethylene gas, which can accelerate the steak’s spoilage process. Properly storing your uncooked steak could make a significant difference in the taste, appearance, and aroma of your cooked steak.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the “reverse sear” method, and how can it improve my steak?

Reverse searing involves cooking the steak at a low temperature in the oven until it reaches the desired internal temperature, and then searing it on high heat to create a crust. This method ensures even cooking and a tender, juicy steak.

How do I know when to flip my steak without cutting it?

To avoid losing juices by cutting into the steak, use the “touch test.” Press the surface of the steak gently with your finger or tongs. A rare steak will feel soft and squishy, medium-rare will have some resistance but still be tender, medium will be firmer, and well-done will feel very firm.

Why should I let my steak rest before serving?

Resting your steak for about 5-10 minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

Can I cook a frozen steak without thawing it first?

Yes, you can cook a frozen steak, but it will take longer to cook and may not cook as evenly. To achieve the best results, it’s recommended to thaw your steak before cooking.

What’s the difference between dry-aged and wet-aged steak, and how does it affect the cooking process?

Dry-aged steaks have been aged in a controlled environment to allow moisture to evaporate and natural enzymes to break down the muscle tissue, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak. Steaks that are wet-aged undergo a vacuum-sealing process and mature while marinating in their natural juices. Dry-aged steaks may cook faster and develop a richer crust, while wet-aged steaks may require slightly longer cooking times.

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