What makes a great steak vs terrible one, really is no more than understanding the few simple cooking techniques, and getting the practice to execute them perfectly.  In this cooking class, we’ll go over the basics that will make sure you next steak comes out great.  Now of course,  there are many other tips and tricks that you can use to make the steak even better, but what I want to cover here are both the most important, and unfortunately, the most common missed.   I’d also point out that different cuts of steaks, may best be handled a bit differently, but the nuances between cooking say flank steak vs filet mignon, go beyond the scope of this class.  So sit back, relax, take a gander, and hopefully you’ll find some tips worth repeating!

Cooking Class: How to Cook Steak

  • The best steaks (that are commonly available) are “Prime” grade from the USDA, which means they have a certain amount of marbling, or fat.  Fat is flavor!
  • Steaks that are dry aged, are also typically the better, as they tend to be more tender and flavorful – buy them if you can (FYI – I won’t not try to dry age them yourself)
  • Steaks generally need a lot of seasoning (salt and pepper).  Add whatever other spices you’d like, but make sure to hit it generously with salt and pepper at a minimum, just a couple minutes before cooking
  • You also want to bring your steak up to room temperature before cooking.  It will cook more predictably (you’re less likely to under/over cook) and a cold steak can cool off the pan, hurting the sear you’re trying to get
  • Grills are wonderful to use, but you can also use heavy guage pans (cast iron is great), just make sure whatever you use, it’s very very hot
  • As your pan or grill pre-heats season the steak and coat with oil – I like olive oil, but many prefer something with a higher smoke point, like grapeseed oil
  • Lay the seasoned steak down on the grill or pan, and allow it to sear without moving, poking of flipping it
  • The steak needs to stay in contact with heat to form that flavorful crusty layer
  • After 3 – 4 minutes, flip the steak to sear the other side, and repeat
  • Now depending on the thickness of the steak, and your preferred doneness, you can either take the steak off the heat, or move it into a 400 degree oven/close the grill lid (which creates a type of oven)
  • The steak will continue to cook, and move through the stages of raw to well done
  • It’s best to use a meat thermometer and temperature chart, and pull the steak out about 5 degrees before it reaches your desired temp
  • Importantly, it’s now time to let the steak rest for about 5 minutes, to allow the juices to settle and re-distribute throughout the meat
  • Slice that baby up and enjoy!