Posted in: Lifestyle
How to Cook the Perfect SteakWhether your chosen cut is a decadently soft fillet or a flavoursome Rib-eye, you really can’t beat a perfectly cooked steak. From choosing the best cut to nailing the cooking times, with so little room for error between perfectly pink and tough as old boots though, cooking steak at home can be a bit of a daunting prospect. Worry not though as at Tower HQ, we’re big steak fans and we’re here to bring you our ultimate guide to cooking the perfect cut. Whether you’re treating yourself or sharing the meaty marvel with your significant other, we’ve got all the hints and tips you need to create a bovine bonanza without having to set foot in a steak house.
A Cut AboveAs any dedicated steak fan will tell you, cooking the perfect steak starts with choosing the cut but with so many variations in both price and quality to choose from, where do you even begin? Rib-eye is thought to be the rising star of the steak world, with its high fat content and marbled texture, it’s one of the most flavoursome of the beef family which has made it a popular choice with beef connoisseurs the world over. For the best flavour go for a steak that’s been aged between 21 and 30 days. Next, the Sirloin. Perfect for the more health conscious steak fan, the main fatty areas sit on top of the cut allowing you to easily trim them off for a healthier option. A popular cut, the Sirloin is often more affordable, offering all of the delicious flavour but without the damage to your wallet! The Fillet is a prime cut renowned for its lean, soft texture and lack of fat. It’s definitely one to go for if you’re splashing out as it’s more expensive than other cuts and you’ll get a much smaller steak, but with bags of flavour and a soft buttery texture, it’s a great one if you’re looking to impress. Finally, the Rump. A big favourite with steak fans and butchers alike, the Rump steak offers much more flavour than a Fillet and at a price that won’t make your eyes water! A great every day steak, the Rump is a little tougher than other cuts but with marbled fat all the way through offers big, punchy flavours.
Pick Your PanOnce you’ve decided on your cut, it’s time to select your apparatus, and when it comes to steak, you really can’t go wrong with a heavy based griddle pan or skillet with a non-stick coating. To achieve that caramelised charred outer, you need a pan that will reach very high temperatures so something like the Tower 24cm Grill Pan would be perfect. An important tip to bear in mind is not to be tempted to try and squeeze too many steaks into one pan. For the best result, cook in batches, leaving the cooked steaks to rest while you get on with the next one.
Hot, Hot, Hot!One of the most important steps is to make sure you allow the steaks to reach room temperature before letting them anywhere near the frying pan. This will stop them from becoming tough during cooking and give you a perfectly cooked result. As for oil, there’s some debate between adding oil to the steak or to the pan, both methods work well, but adding a little oil to the pan does give you a better idea of when to add the steaks as the oil will separate when the pan is hot enough. A hot pan is the key to getting that perfect char so don’t be tempted to add the steaks too early.
As You Like ItEveryone enjoys their steak differently and whether you like it rare or a well done, it can be tricky to perfect cooking and resting times. There’s a few rules of thumb to follow though that will ensure great results every time. If you like your steak Blue, the texture should be spongy with no resistance when pressed. Sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side and then rest for 6 minutes. For a Rare steak, it should feel soft and spongy but with slight resistance when pressed. 2 1/2 minutes on each side will do the job with 5 minutes to rest. For Medium Rare, you want to aim for a fairly spongy texture that is slightly springy to the touch. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes each side and rest for 4 minutes. Medium should feel firm and springy when pressed which will take around 4 minutes on each side with 3 minutes resting time. Medium well should feel firm and should spring back when touched, sear for 5 minutes on each side and leave to rest for 2 minutes. For a Well Done steak, which will feel firm to the touch, sear for 6 minutes on each side and rest for 1 minute. Obviously, these guide cooking times will depend upon the size and thickness of your steak, but are a good starting point if you aren’t sure where to begin!
Bit on the SideSteak purists will tell you that if the meat is good enough, you don’t need anything to go with it, but at Tower, we firmly believe that a little of what you like does you good. Sauces like Peppercorn, Diane and Béarnaise are a popular choice, working particularly well with Sirloin and a few homemade chips for dipping. A meaty Rump works better with roasted vegetables and a tangy salsa verde while the high fat content of the Rib-eye lends itself to a fresh salad rather than heavier sides like chips or potatoes. So that’s our ultimate guide to cooking the perfect steak, if you’ve given any of these a go or have any of your own tried and tested tips we’d love to hear them! Share them with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages or share your steak photos with us on Instagram.