It is notoriously difficult to get steaks right – sometimes it’s too hard and chewy, other times it’s bland and far from juicy. How can we best cook steaks? Here are a few tips from renowned chefs and experts.
Sit the meat outside of refrigerator
Take your steak out of the refrigerator and place it in room temperature approximately one hour before cooking. “Frying or grilling it from cold will stop the heat from penetrating to the middle as efficiently,” said Jamie Oliver.
Pick the best pan and heat it up
“A heavy-duty, thick-based frying pan, ideally with a non-stick coating, will achieve good results, as will a heavy griddle pan or skillet,” said Natalie Hardwick of BBC GoodFood. Heat the pan (or griddle or barbecue) up before putting the meat in to get a juicy, caramelised taste from the meat.
Cook the steak
Take a look at the BBC GoodFood’s guide; cook a 3.5cm thick fillet steak:
- Blue: About 1½ mins each side
- Rare: About 2¼ mins each side
- Medium-rare: About 3¼ mins each side
- Medium: About 4½ mins each side
For a 2cm thick sirloin steak, cook:
- Blue: About 1 min each side
- Rare: About 1½ mins per side
- Medium rare: About 2 mins per side
- Medium: About 2¼ mins per side
Feel the meat (or take the temperature)
To make sure your steak is cooked to your liking, feel it with your fingers, Hardwick said. “When rare it will feel soft, medium-rare will be lightly bouncy, and well-done will be much firmer.”
However, others said feeling up the steak could be a little difficult, especially for untrained cooks. “Just take the steak’s temperature and know for sure,” said Dawn Perry of Bon Appetit. For a medium rare steak, remove from the pan at 60°C or 140°F; for medium, 68°C or 155°F; for well-done, 75°C or 165°F.