Ever since man discovered fire, he’s been using it to cook meat. Embrace your primal side the next time hunger strikes. Your date may only nibble on the salad when you go out to dinner, but everyone knows nothing can satisfy a craving like a thick, juicy steak. Make sure you know how to cook one the next time you bring a date home, have friends over, or just want to treat yourself to a great meal.
Choosing A Cut
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the cut of the steak. Look for rib, short loin, and sirloin steaks as these are the most tender. You’ll pay a little more for these nicer cuts. But hey, it’s worth it. Rib steaks come with either the bone in, or if it’s a rib-eye steak, the bone is taken out. Look for a piece with nice strips of fat on the outside. This will keep the steak flavorful and juicy.
Short loin steak without the bone is the ever-popular strip steak. Buy it with the bone and it’s called a shell steak. These cuts are a little less fatty but also less tender.
One of the most tender cuts of steak, the tenderloin, also comes from the short loin. Behind the tenderloin is the filet mignon. It is also super tender and has a nice, mild flavor.
Also from the short loin is the t-bone, which features a side of top loin and a side of tenderloin. A porterhouse is simply a t-bone steak with a larger portion of tenderloin.
Sirloin steak is a good value and comes in boneless varieties like top sirloin and tri-tip steak. Underneath the sirloin is flank steak. This boneless cut is sliced thin and has a chewy texture but is rich in flavor.
1. Look for beef rated US Prime or US Choice by the USDA.
2. The meat should be firm and appear moist with a fresh red color. Avoid dry looking, too soft, and gray meat.
3. Pick a cut that is marbled with fat. Steak with too little fat content will cook up dry, chewy, and flavorless.
4. Look for cuts that are at least one inch thick.
Get Fired Up
Once you’ve selected the type of meat you want, it’s time to get cooking. Let the steak come to room temperature and season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper.
To cook steak without a grill, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with an oven-safe pan inside. When the oven is at temperature, carefully remove the pan and drizzle with oil, placing the steak in the pan on the stove at high heat for three minutes. Then, flip the steak and put it in the oven. Let it bake, periodically checking the temperature for doneness.
For cooking with a gas grill, heat it up and put on the steak. Then, close the lid and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping it halfway through and periodically checking for doneness.
For a charcoal grill, your choice of charcoal matters. Opt for hardwood charcoal. It burns hotter but has a rich flavor without any chemical additives. Light the charcoals without the help of lighter fluid and let them turn ash white.
Make sure the coals are spread out and the grill is adequately hot. Then, add the steak and let it cook on one side for three minutes and then flip it and cook the other side for three minutes. At this point, close the lid and let the steak continue cooking for another three to five minutes until it has reached the desired level of doneness.
Is It Done?
A thermometer is the best way to check your steak’s level of doneness. And remember, steak will keep cooking after you take it off the grill or out of the oven. So, you may want to pull it out a little early.
1. Rare 125 Degrees
2. Medium Rare 125 to 130 Degrees
3. Medium 130 to 135 Degrees
4. Medium Well 135 to 140 Degrees
5. Well Done 140 Degrees or Over
Finally, let the meat rest for about 10 minutes either loosely covered or uncovered. Pair with your favorite sides and enjoy!Google+