Everyone’s got a say on how to cook steak perfectly. Do you make sure it’s room temperature before cooking it? Do you sear then finish in the oven - or the opposite? How hot does the pan have to be? You’d be surprised at how much opinions can divide when it comes to the perfect steak recipe, even among chefs.
First choose your cut of meat - sirloin, filet mignon, rib eye, grass fed, skirt steak or NY strip steak. Forget coconut oil, for real flavour, use butter and choose grass fed beef when you can. Do you want pan fried or grilled steak? Well done or rare steak?
There’s definitely more than one way to get tender, succulent, perfectly caramelised steak. Break out from routine and try one of these other ways of cooking steak, you’ll find that it’s more than high heat, frying pan or a cast iron skillet.
Find out all the different ways to cook steak.
Top Tips and Methods on how to Cook Steak
1. For Perfect Doneness: Sous Vide Steak
The sous vide method cooks steak nice and slow at a constant temperature which means that you have total control over the doneness, while all the flavour also remains sealed. Choose your level of medium-rare, set it up on the app (we often talk about this sous vide machine and its fantastic app), and walk away for 45 minutes.
At this point, you have a few options to finish off the steak - sear it on the pan with butter, throw it on the grill, or on the griddle, just enough to create the caramelisation for extra steak flavour. If you like precision, this is the steak recipe that will speak to you. Here’s ChefSteps’ very helpful video guide on how to cook steak sous vide:
2. On the Grill: the Basque Country Way
Got an outdoor grill? Try cooking steak like they do in the Basque Country. Perfect steak here starts with quality local meat - the famous Oxen steak that is found in the town of Tolosa. The steak is then aged for between 20-40 days, and cooked in either of two ways: on a narrow grill with a high heat, or a larger grill with more moderate heat. A few of the Basque Country's top grill chefs have extra advice, find out here:
3. Top Tip: Let it Rest
Anthony Bourdain has a few ideas on how to get the perfect steak, and what not to do. Whichever way you cook your meat, the crucial moment according to Bourdain is once the steak comes off the heat, called ’the magical moment’. Let your cooked steak rest for 5-7 minutes, do not touch it, poke it, slice it, and allow the juices to spread out evenly across the meat. Let the ‘magic’ happen. Here’s the video of Bourdain and his best tip for perfect steak:
4. Frozen, Not Thawed
If you ever find yourself with a frozen piece of steak, don’t worry about thawing it. According to the experts at Cook’s Illustrated, cooking frozen meat yields a better tasting steak than one that’s been thawed before cooking. Seal on a very high heat to keep in all the steak juices.
Here’s the video tutorial:
5. Alternative Fats: Use Mayonnaise
Food personality Alton Brown shook the internet last year when he posted a photo of his mayonnaise smeared steak on Instagram. The idea may sound absurd, but the logic makes sense: mayonnaise is largely made up of oil, and the rest of the ingredients such as egg, lemon and vinegar act as extra seasoning. Using the same logic, you can also try herb infused oils if the idea of mayonnaise on steak doesn’t sit well with you.
A post shared by Alton Brown (@altonbrown) on Sep 18, 2018 at 6:16pm PDT
6. Wacky: How to Cook Steak in the Dishwasher
Sounds absurd, but cooking steak in the dishwasher works a little like the sous vide method: seal the steak in a vacuum-pack pouch, place in the dishwasher, set it at 50°C/122°F, turn it on and let it go for 90 minutes. Finish off the steak in a hot pan to sear and caramelise.
7. Alternative: How to Cook Steak in a Log of Butter
Here’s an unconventional steak recipe: dip the whole steak in a log of butter to age it. Let us know if you try this one at home.
8. The Real Science: Heston Blumenthal’s Perfect Steak Tips
Last but not least, here are Blumenthal's tips on cooking the perfect steak. Take note.
COOKING STEAK: 8 TIPS
- Choose the right cut
- Dry-age in the fridge
- Bring to room temperature
- Smoking hot pan
- Season with salt, but no pepper before cooking
- Constantly flip the steak
- Use a meat thermometer
- Let it rest