Are you one of the thousands of people who love steak? If you are, it’s probably a staple for you whenever you go out for dinners. Perhaps it’s even one of those dishes that you’ve always wanted to make yourself, but you’re a bit intimidated thinking it’s too fancy a dish for a home cook to master. The basics of cooking steak at home may be easier than you think.
But as any personal chef in Asheville will tell you, there are just a few rules that you need to remember when cooking steak, and once you’ve nailed these rules, you could confidently invite family and friends to your home and surprise them with a restaurant-quality but home-cooked steak.
1. Put the Oil on the Steak, Not the Pan
A common mistake people make is that they put their oil straight into the pan. However, if you want to achieve that perfect exterior texture of a cooked steak, you should oil the steak itself and not the pan! Simply drizzle the steak with oil on both sides, then give it a little massage to ensure that the oil is spread evenly. Also, make sure that the pan is hot enough before you put the meat in there.
2. Season It Right
Seasoning is one of the most important parts of cooking if you want a truly flavorful steak. So before you start cooking, sprinkle the steak with high-quality salt on both sides. Do this just right before you put the steak on the pan. You don’t want the salt to draw out the moisture from the steak and leave you with a tough piece of meat.
3. Take the Steak Out of the Fridge at least 20 Minutes Before Cooking
When you cook your steak straight from the fridge, it’s going to take a while before the meat gets to its optimal cooking temperature. You don’t want to waste that much time when you can easily take the steak from the fridge about 20 to 30 minutes prior to cooking. This will make it easier for you to cook the meat to perfection.
4. Make Sure to Cook the Meat on Both Sides
Some think that it’s enough to cook the steak on one side, but that’s really not right. The trick is to cook both sides of your steak for the same amount of time, and you’ll get a juicy and truly mouth-watering piece of meat.
5. Always Get the Right Cut of Meat
When you’re doing a pan-fried steak, it’s best to go with the most tender beef cuts you can get your hands on. Your best options are rib-eye steak, T-bone, fillet, sirloin, and tenderloin. Also, try to find cuts with a good marbling of fat throughout the meat. It should also be red and without any brown discoloration.
6. Be Familiar with Each Cooking Stage
You probably already have a preference when it comes to your steak, but it wouldn’t hurt to know what to look for at every cooking stage.
For rare, the meat should still be dark red in color and have some red juice. The texture should be soft and spongy with a resistance to it. For medium-rare it should be reddish pink with some juice, still. Like rare, it should be soft and spongy but it should be springier. For medium, you’re looking for pale pink in the middle of the steak with the tiniest amount of juice. It should be firm and springy. Well-done steak has the slightest trace of pink on the meat but it shouldn’t be dry. It’s spongy, soft, and just a bit springy.
When you get these basics down, you can enjoy a good home-cooked steak. Of course, if you wish to take it up another level, you might want to get a private cooking class to get that in-home chef experience, while sharpening your kitchen skills, too!
Of course, for special occasions, it’s still best to get a personal chef in Asheville so you’ll know for sure that you’re getting the perfect steak that everyone will enjoy! Find one which among the best chefs in Asheville are available for your event at Food Fire + Knives! Do you have more basics of cooking steak at home? Let us know in the comments.