There’s nothing quite as indulgent as a perfectly cooked steak. Even though it is a firm favourite with many, it’s also a dish that many people get wrong when they try to cook it at home, which is why it’s such a popular choice in restaurants.
At Hepi & Co Meats, we believe that everyone should know how to cook the perfect steak at home. We’ve rounded up five of the most common mistakes people make.
1. They cook the steak straight from the fridge
We know fresh meat is best kept refrigerated, keeping it fresher for longer. Many people make the mistake of taking their steaks out of the fridge at the last possible moment before cooking.
When a cold steak is put straight on the grill or pan, the meat seizes up and toughens, making for a chewy end product. It’s also difficult to cook a cold steak evenly.
Let your steaks come up to room temperature before cooking. This can take anywhere between 30 mins - 1 hour depending on the size and thickness of the cut.
2. They don’t use enough seasoning
When you order a steak in a restaurant or steak house, it has already been well seasoned prior to cooking and then again once it is done. When cooking at home, people often use too little seasoning or none at all. As a society, we are much more health-conscious, and that includes consuming less salt in our diets. But steak is a dish that needs to be seasoned.
Salt and pepper is the most popular seasoning for steak, but some people prefer to use five-spice or similar.
3. They don’t get the pan hot enough
The grills in restaurants and steakhouses are industrial and reach amazingly high temperatures, perfect for cooking steak. Though you won’t be able to reach the same level of heat as these at home, you can still produce a good amount of heat that will let you quickly seal the outer surface of the steak, while keeping all those wonderful juices inside.
Turn the heat up high and leave the pan for long enough to get screaming hot. If you’re not sure if it’s hot enough, pour a drop of oil into it, it should sizzle on contact with the pan. If in doubt, leave it to heat up longer.
4. They don’t leave the steak alone to cook
You’ve seasoned your steak to perfection and have your pan screaming hot, all the right ingredients for a first-class steak, right? Only if you leave it alone. Constantly flipping, poking or pressing on it with a spatula is going to leave you with a sub-par steak.
Constant flipping of the steak is at best pointless and at worst, stopping you from getting that gorgeous caramelisation that seals in the flavour. Pressing down on the centre of the steak to try and get it to cook quicker will only push the juices out of it, leaving it dry and chewy.
Another cardinal sin is cutting into the steak while it’s still cooking to see if it’s done, you’re just letting all those flavourful juices run into the pan and evaporate away.
5. They don’t let the steak rest before serving
It’s tempting to get that mouthwatering steak out of the pan and onto your plate as quickly as possible. Ask any chef and they’ll tell you the difference between a steak that’s just been cooked and a steak that has been left to rest is enormous. Don’t be tempted to cut this important step.
If you cut into a just-cooked steak, all of the juices inside will flow out. By letting it rest on a warm plate for up to five minutes, you’re giving those juices time to be reabsorbed throughout the meat, making your last mouthful as juicy as the first.
So those are the five things that, in our experience, people often get wrong when cooking a steak. How many are you guilty of?
So now you know how to cook your steak perfectly, how do you know which is the best cut of steak?
There are so many cuts of steak available, how do you know which one to choose? Well, not all steaks are created equal. The perfect cut of steak for you depends on your own personal preference for taste and how you intend to cook it. Some of the most popular cuts include:
Filet mignon - also known as tenderloin or filet de boeuf is a quality cut of meat, often found on the menus of some of the most impressive restaurants. The part of the cow that fillet mignon comes from is particularly soft and contains barely any fat, making it very tender but not as juicy as other cuts. A filet mignon can be grilled or fried but is susceptible to overcooking due to the lack of fat.
Sirloin - another beautiful quality cut, this steak has less fat than a ribeye but is still tender. They can be cooked by whatever method you choose. Try and choose a cut with a little fat in it to get the juiciest result.
Ribeye - without doubt the juiciest of all the steaks. It is a heavily marbled cut that also has an impressive layer of fat around its outer edge which is perfect for crisping up on the grill. Cook on the grill, barbeque or broiler. If you like your meat well done, the fat in a ribeye will keep it moister than a lot of other steaks.
Porterhouse - also known as the t-bone, is an amazing cut but needs careful cooking to get the best. Porterhouses are best done under the grill as the meat tends to shrink as it is cooked, making it difficult to maintain contact with the pan and cook evenly.
Hanger - one of the best-kept secrets of steak. It’s more affordable than many other cuts but is very tasty. It comes from the front of the belly of the cow. Make sure that you are buying it already trimmed of sinew and skin.
It’s great for marinating but isn’t at it’s best when cooked rare, as it remains chewy.
Flank - another great value steak that takes just a little bit of extra care to make it a tasty meal. It’s excellent for slicing thinly to make fajitas of sandwiches. These thin steaks need to be cooked fast and hot to get the best out of them.
Help & Co - for your perfect steak
We are one of the leading online butchers in Brisbane. Our amazing range of fresh meat is of excellent value and is hand-selected by our specialist team. We offer easy and convenient meat delivery in Brisbane. Contact us today and you’ll be cooking yourself a perfect steak in no time.