Steak is a favorite at restaurants, but you might find it difficult to get it right when you’re cooking at home. Don’t worry about it, we’ve got you covered. Here are the basic methods of cooking steak and some tricks to help you know if it’s cooked to perfection.
Checking for Doneness
Before we get into cooking technique, let’s go over how to tell if your steak is done. The most common method is the finger test. Meat thermometers aren’t recommended for steak because poking a hole in your steak lets precious juices escape.
Before you cook the steak notice how the raw steak and the fleshy part at the base of your thumb on your relaxed hand feel the same. Now, if you want the steak to be well-done cook it until it feels like that same part of your hand when you have your thumb pressed against your pinkie. Keep feeling that spot next to your thumb and move your thumb over one finger for each stage of doneness until you get to your pointer finger which would be what a rare steak would feel like.
You’ll notice that with each finger you move over from your pinkie to your pointer that part of your hand next to your thumb feels softer. The less done a steak is, the softer it is. It will feel about the way your hand does at each stage.
Rubs and Marinades
Your steak needs a little care before you toss it on the stove or grill. Even if you forgot to buy a premade rub or marinade you almost certainly have something to put on your steak before you cook it. If nothing else, pepper will work. If you choose to marinate your steak, do not marinate it more than the recommended time or the acid in the marinade could damage the meat.
- Apply a rub or marinate steaks.
- Sear your steaks over direct heat for about 3 minutes on each side.
- Move steaks to indirect heat until done.
Tip: Don’t turn the steak more than you have to. Turning dries out the steak.
Stove to Oven Steak
This method is what you’ll get in a restaurant. A pan sear and finished off in the oven. Don’t forget your oven mitts.
- Heat oven to 500°
- Heat cast iron skillet on stove.
- Sear steak in cast iron skillet for 2 minutes on each side.
- Move steak in cast iron skillet to oven until done. No more than 5 minutes.
Let It Rest
Your steak needs a few minutes to rest after cooking. What if, at this point, you realize you’ve under seasoned or you would like to add a sauce? One of the easiest things you can do is make a quick butter sauce.
- Melt enough butter to cover your steaks in a thin layer, about a tablespoon per steak.
- Stir in a teaspoon of seasoning per tablespoon of butter. The seasoning could be garlic salt for savory or brown sugar for sweet.
- Spoon the warm butter sauce over the steak right before serving.
Now you’re all done. Enjoy your steak!