Tips For Cooking Your Steak

 

  • For indoor cooking we recommend frying your steak, although you can grill it if you prefer. Take the meat from the fridge and let it reach room temperature while uncovered. This should take at least ten minutes. Frying or grilling it from cold will stop the heat from penetrating to the middle as efficiently.

  • If the steak is very thick, cut small slits across the line of fat on the side to stop it buckling as it cooks. Pat the surface of the steak with a paper towel. By drying the outside, you’ll give the meat a thicker, more flavourful crust once it hits the heat.
     

  • A heavy-duty, thick-based frying pan will achieve the best results, as will a heavy griddle pan or cast iron skillet. These types of pans get really hot and retain their heat – ideal for getting that charred smoky finish to the outside of your meat. If the pan isn’t big enough for all your steaks, cook them one or two at a time then leave them to rest as you cook the remainder. Don’t griddle more than two steaks at a time, and keep them spaced well apart. If you add more than two steaks to the pan at once, the temperature will drop and the steaks will stew, rather than fry.
     

  • Seasoning your steak with salt ahead of time shouldn't draw out the moisture but actually gives the steak time to absorb the salt and become more evenly seasoned throughout. Salt your steak up to 2 hours before for every 1cm of thickness. For a classic Steak Au Poivre (Peppered Steak), sprinkle lots of cracked black pepper and sea salt on to a plate, then press the meat into the seasoning moments before placing it into the pan. Add whole garlic cloves and robust herbs like thyme and rosemary to the hot fat while the steak is cooking to subtly add background flavour to the steak without overpowering it. 
     

  • Flavourless oils like sunflower, vegetable or groundnut work best, and once the steak is searing you can add butter to the pan for flavour. 
     

  • If you’re cooking a steak with a strip of fat on the side, try searing the fat first by holding the steak with a pair of tongs, then cooking the beef in the rendered beef fat. You’ll need to use your judgement when you heat the pan – you want the oil to split in the pan but not smoke. Searing a steak until it gets a caramelised brown crust will give it lots of flavour. For this to happen, the pan and the fat need to be hot enough. The conventional way is to sear it on one side, then cook it for the same amount on the other side. This gives good results but the second side is never as nicely caramelised as the first. To build up an even crust on both sides, cook the steak for the total time stated in the recipe, but turn the steak every minute.
     

  • Leave to rest on a board or warm plate for at least 5 minutes to help the meat retain its moisture, leaving you with a juicier steak. Serve the steak whole or carved into slices with the resting juices poured over. 
     

  • Temperature Guide
    Blue: 54C
    Rare: 57C
    Medium rare: 63C
    Medium: 71C
    Well done: 75C
     

  • The Hand/Finger Test
    Hold out your non-dominant hand, palm up and relaxed. With the index finger of the other, gently prod the fleshy area between your thumb and the base of your palm. There is very little resistance. This is what raw meat feels like.  
    Now make a circle with that thumb and its index finger. The muscle at the base of the thumb tenses up slightly. This is what rare meat feels like.As you repeat this process with the middle, ring and little finger, the muscle below the thumb tenses further each time. The feel of that muscle corresponds to the feel of a steak at its further stages of cooking: medium/rare, medium and well done.
     

  • The Face Test
    Press the steak lightly with your fingertip and compare the way it feels to your cheek, chin, and forehead. A rare steak is soft and fleshy like your cheek; fleshy with some resistance, like your chin, is medium; firmer to the touch with more resistance, like your forehead, means it is well done.

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