We a have an opinion on the best way to cook a steak. The topic is often a lead conversation amongst the blokes as they gather around the BBQ. How many times you turn it – once only or regularly? Should you rest the steak before serving? Here’s some tips from three sources to help you regardless of whether you prefer your steak rare or well done.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat before adding the steak (this seals the surface, trapping in juices).
- Rather than oiling the pan, brush the steak with oil to prevent it sticking.
- Cook a 2cm-thick piece of steak for 2-3 minutes each side for rare, 4 minutes each side for medium, and 5-6 minutes each side for well-done.
- Turn the steak only once, otherwise it will dry out. Always use tongs to handle steak as they won’t pierce the meat, allowing the juices to escape.
- To test if your steak is done, press the centre with the back of the tongs. The steak will feel soft if it’s rare, slightly firmer and springy when it’s medium and very firm when it’s well-done.
- Transfer steak to a plate, cover with foil and set aside for 3-5 minutes to rest. This allows the juices to settle and the muscle fibres to relax, which ensures the steak is tender.
Before hitting the barbecue:
- Only buy steaks of even thickness, not ‘wedge shaped’.
- Beef steaks should be at least 21mm thick.
- Pat dry with kitchen paper before cooking.
remove steaks from the fridge 10 minutes before you cook them.
- This takes the chill out and allows it to cook evenly, stopping the meat tightening and becoming tough.
- If using a pan, it should be heavy-based.
- Season the steaks lightly with salt and pepper.
- Oil the steak not the barbecue. This stops your steaks sticking and the oil burning on the hotplate.
- Heat the pan, barbecue or grill to moderately hot before you add the steaks. This ensures maximum flavour and tenderness. The steak should sizzle as it makes contact with the heat. Don’t crowd the barbecue as this reduces the heat and the meat will then release juices and begin to stew.
- Turn the steaks once only. The more you flip the steak, the tougher it gets. Let the steak cook on one side until moisture appears on top, then turn it.
- Learn to test when your steaks are done. Knowing when your steak is ready to be removed from the heat is the key to a perfectly cooked steak. Use either the back of your tongs or fingertip (make sure your hands are clean) and press the centre of the steak. Rare is soft when pressed, medium is springy and well done is very firm.
Always rest the steaks after they come off the heat. This keeps the steaks juicy and tender. Just loosely cover with foil for 2 to 4 minutes before serving.
- Let it sizzle
The steak should sizzle when it hits the heat. If it doesn’t, the surface isn’t hot enough and the meat won’t get that wonderful colour it needs. If you’re cooking a thick steak (or you like your steak well done) , move it to a cooler part of the barbecue, or lower the heat, to prevent it from overcooking on the outside.
- Turn it once
Only turn the steak once as the more you flip it, the tougher it gets.
- Shorter on the other side
Regardless of how you like your steak, a simple rule of thumb is to give it two minutes less on the second side than you gave the first to make sure it’s evenly cooked through.
- Let it rest
To seal in the juices and keep the meat tender, always let the steak rest for a few minutes. This step is just as important as how you cook the meat to ensuring a perfect outcome.