How do you cook the perfect steak?
Choose the right cut of beef
Picking the ultimate steak begins with choosing the right beef cuts. Look for dry aged beef that has a good, deep red colour and some marbling of fat within the meat. Ask your butcher to advise you on which cuts suit your particular needs; some great cuts for grilling and pan frying are ribeye, sirloin, rump, T-Bone and fillet.
Season before you fry
Always season steak before frying it. Seasoning after cooking can draw out more juices, drying out your steak.
Don’t prod and poke
When frying a steak, don’t prod and poke it with a fork or any sharp utensil. Allow it to cook for a good 2 minutes on each side before turning it with a pair of tongs. If you want those dark char-grilled lines, get yourself a griddle pan.
Did you know you don’t ‘seal in juices’ when browning meat? In fact some juices are lost during the cooking process, however, it does add an appetising and caramelised colour and flavour to the meat.
When grilling steak on a braai, brush the steak with oil and seasoning before placing on a well-heated grill, this will prevent sticking.
Remove excess moisture
Pat steak with paper towel before cooking, this will remove excess moisture and aid the browning process.
Get the cooking time right
These times apply to a 2cm thick cut steak:
Rare: 2-3 minutes per side
Medium: 4-5 minutes per side
Well done: 5-6 minutes per side
There are many different methods to help tell if your steak is cooked to your liking: the touch test, for rare steak it should be soft to the touch, medium should yield a little to the touch and well done will feel tough and hard to the touch. A more precise way to tell how well done your steak is, is to use a meat thermometer. Once inserted into the thickest part of the steak, you can use the displayed temperature to tell exactly how well cooked your steak is. However, this method requires you to pierce the meat, so use an extra steak as a tester if you can.
Let it rest
After cooking steak, remove it from the heat, cover in foil and set it aside to ‘rest’ for a couple of minutes, this allows the juices and muscle fibres in the meat to settle and soften, ensuring the steak is tender.
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And you might like to try this winning recipe for steak with crispy potato wedges and mushroom sauce.