Even though steak is a relatively simple dish, when cooked at home, it is rarely as good as it is served in a decent restaurant. It is either too tough or just not quite right. Here is our guide on how to cook the perfect steak at home. We have done a lot of research and tried and tested different methods. Here are the best ways we recommend for you to cook the perfect steak at home.
Before you cook the perfect steak at home, you need to select the right piece of meat. Check out the tabs below for an overview of the different types of steak you should be looking in to.
- Also known as: Filet mignon, Châteaubriand, fillet, filet
- How it’s sold: Boneless; the most expensive cut of steak
- Which part of the Cow is it from? : Short loin and sirloin, under the ribs. A whole tenderloin starts out wide and then tapers at the other end (the “tail”). Filet mignon is from the smaller end; Châteaubriand the thicker end.
- Characteristics: When trimmed of silver skin, gristle, and fat, tenderloin is small and compact. The meat is lean and very fine-grained in texture. Because of its smaller shape, tenderloin steaks are cut thicker than most steaks. A tenderloin is tender, lean buttery and mild in flavour.
New York Strip
- Also known as: Strip, Manhattan, Kansas City strip, top sirloin, top loin, contre-filet
- How it’s sold: Usually boneless
- What part of the cow is it from?: Behind the ribs
- Characteristics Fat on one edge of the steak. While there is some fat marbling throughout, there are no large pockets of fat. The meat is fine-grained in texture. With medium fat content, New York strips are tender, but not as tender as tenderloins or ribeyes, and have good, beefy flavor.
- Also known as: Entrecôte, Delmonico, Scotch fillet, Spencer, market, beauty
- How it’s sold: Bone in or boneless
- What part of the cow is it from?: Upper ribcage, . Ribeyes are basically a prime rib or standing rib roast cut down into individual steaks
- Characteristics: Lots of fat marbling the meat and large pockets of fat interspersed throughout. The middle (central eye) has a finer grain while the outer section is looser and fattier. Super beefy, juicy, and full of flavour.
- Also known as: Porterhouse
- How it’s sold: Bone in. According to USDA regulations, the tenderloin portion must be 1.25″ wide to be classified as a porterhouse and only .5″ wide to be classified as a T-bone.
- What part of the cow is it from?: A cross section of the unfilleted short loin
- Characteristics:T-shaped bone with meat on both sides of the longer portion of the bone. On one side is a piece of the tenderloin, and the other side is New York strip. Generous fat marbling throughout. You get the best of both worlds with this cut: super-tender, buttery tenderloin, and beefy, juicy strip steak.
You can also check out this video from Gentleman’s Gazette for an in-depth look in to the best steak cuts.
How to cook the perfect steak at home - In a frying pan
Top tips to cook the perfect steak at home
To cook the perfect steak in a frying pan, we believe that Jamie Oliver’s method is pretty spot on. He gives us a few guidelines to follow before you whack your meat in the pan.
- Get your steak out of the fridge about an hour before you are to cook it. This is to allow it to come up to room temperature. This is because the cold will stop the heat from penetrating to the middle efficiently. Your pan needs to be super hot before you begin – this will help to caramelise the meat, essential for a delicious crust.
- Aim to cook your steak medium-rare to medium. If you cook it any more, you’ll be left with a tough piece of meat. Also, while it is cooking, flip it over every minute or so, to make sure it cooks evenly.
- Once you have cooked your steak, leave it to rest and rub with a little extra virgin olive oil or butter for an incredible, juicy steak.
Rub the steak all over with olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Add the steak to a hot pan. For a medium rare steak, cook for 6 minutes, flipping it over every minute
For more flavour, try one or a combination of the following…
Halve a garlic clove and rub it over the steak every time you turn it.
Rub the steak with a knob of butter – the sweetness from the butter will give it amazing flavour
Or create a herb brush by tying woody herbs like thyme or rosemary to the handle of a wooden spoon and brush it over the steak every minute or so
Once your steak is cooked to your liking, rest the steak on a plate so it can collect all those lovely juices for 2 minutes. Then, carve with a nice sharp knife and serve it with the juices poured over the top.
We like dauphinoise potatoes with a steak this good.
How to cook the perfect steak at home on the grill
A steak that is browned and lightly charred on the outside, while still juicy and tender inside is perfection on a plate. But it is easy to get wrong. This step by step method will let you cook the perfect steak at home on the grill. This method, adds flavour at every step of the cooking process.
- Season your steak with a dry blend of garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Simply mix up the ingredients and rub all over the steak before you start cooking.
- As Jamie suggested in the method above, you can brush the steak with a bunch of woody herbs while it is cooking. Once the herbs touch the hot meat, the oils from the herbs release, giving the meat more flavour.
- While the meat is on the grill flip the steak every minute, to make sure it cooks evenly. Additionally, coat it in butter each time you flip it. You should cook it for about 6 minutes for medium rare.
- Don’t forget to let the steak rest for two minutes. You can cover it in foil to keep the heat in.
- Once your steak is cooked to perfection, you can add one final layer of flavour by making a quick dressing with the meat juices, minced herbs from the herb brush, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil. This will ensure you get the maximum flavour and your steak is perfectly seasoned.
How to cook the perfect steak at home in the oven
One of the easiest way to cook the perfect steak at home is in the oven. We found a super easy method at thekitchn.com that gives you a juicy steak with a peppery crust in 15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven on high, make sure you are using the grill or broiler element. This is because searing the steak is the most important part of cooking the perfect steak at home
- Pat your steak dry with some kitchen roll and let it get up to room temperature
- Put a metal handled skillet in the oven for about 20 mins to get up to temperature
- Evenly coat your steak with olive oil, salt and pepper (remember to do both sides)
- Remove your skillet from the oven and place your steak in to it
- Sear each side for about 30 seconds
- Put in the oven for 2 minutes before flipping the steak over for a further 2 minutes. Baste both sides in butter for extra flavour
- Remove form the oven and let is rest for a few minutes loosely covered in foil
Do you like a good steak? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.