Contributed by Ben Rhodes
Steak is many people’s top choice when eating in fancy restaurants and is often one of the most expensive items on the menu. While this is okay from time to time, making it a regular occurrence can put a strain on your bank account. Instead of getting your fix in a restaurant, why not learn how to cook delicious steaks at home? This will not only save you money but will also help you boost your culinary skills. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop it from being intimidating and confusing for beginners. So if you want to learn how to cook restaurant-quality steaks at home but don’t know how this guide is for you.
Choose a suitable cut
Your local butchers will have multiple cuts of meat for you to choose from. This can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure of what to buy. Each cut will be suitable for different styles and preparations and the most expensive won’t necessarily be the best option. Talk to your butcher about the varying cuts from rib eye to flat-iron steaks. They should be able to give you valuable information on which cut will work best for the meal you have in mind. They should also be able to suggest preparation techniques and cuts that are within your budget. It can also be beneficial to find out the name of the cut and where it has come from.
Cook for a few minutes each side
To begin with, heat up your pan with a few tablespoons of oil. Then, let your steak cook for between three and five minutes on both sides. This will sear the steak and help to lock in the flavor. It can be tempting to check repeatedly on your steak as it’s cooking but this will only disrupt your searing. Shake the pan gently to see if your steak moves. If it does, that means your steak is ready to be flipped and cooked on the other side. Remember that the less you move and prod your steak, the better results you will get.
Buy a steak thermometer
One of the most challenging aspects of cooking your own steak is getting the temperature spot on. If it’s too hot, the meat will overcook and dry out. Not hot enough can mean the steak takes longer to cook and could result in a steak which is too rare and chewy. The best way to ensure you get the right temperature is by investing in a steak thermometer. This can prevent you from over or under cooking your steak and give you more reliable results. The approximate temperature for a medium-rare steak should be around 54 degrees Celsius (about 129 degrees Fahrenheit). Knowing this will then help you work out the right temperatures for the kind of steak you like.
You might also want to invest in a knife sharpener for your steak knives too. A good rule of thumb is to always cut your steak against the grain for a professional finish.
With this guide to help you, cooking a steak doesn’t have to be such an intimidating task. Even though you’re a beginner, nothing is stopping you from cooking an incredible steak each and every time.
Top image: Flickr