Steak: The Guide
07.11.2023 Beef, Tips & Tricks
Although low-and-slow is a common cooking method for meat, quickly cooking meat using a high heat temperature has its benefits – one of which is developing fantastic flavor. High heat causes browning, which is the process of partially cooking the surface of meat to remove excess fat, give the meat an appetizing brown color, and most importantly, to create a tremendous amount of flavor.
During this key step in the cooking process, the heat causes hundreds of different flavor compounds in the meat to form and break down – resulting in the exceptional flavor. When browning meat, your goal is to develop a deep brown sear and a distinguished thick crust on all sides.
Three simple tips to use every time
1. Ensure the meat is dry
To properly brown the meat, make sure the meat is dry before placing it in a pan. Pat the meat thoroughly with paper towels. This step is essential for meat that was previously frozen as it often releases a large amount of water.
2. Use a hot pan
Make sure the pan you’re using to brown the meat is hot. An excellent way to do so is by preheating the pan over high heat until the fat added to the pan is shimmering or nearly smoking.
3. Do not overcrowd
Don’t let the pieces of meat to touch one another in the pan. There should be at least 1/4 inch of space between each piece to ensure the meat browns instead of steams. If the pieces of meat are too big for the pan you’re using, cook the meat in two or three batches.
Tips for Cooking Steak in a Skillet
We love to cook steaks the good ole fashioned way, a cast iron skillet. It only takes minutes to get that crispy brown edge and medium cooked inside. But you can also grill. It is perfect for both. It is going to give your steaks the very best flavor!
- Cast Iron: The best skillet to use is a cast-iron skillet. It distributes the heat evenly and gets really hot which browns steak beautifully.
- Heat it up: Use the largest burner on your stove and heat up the cast iron before placing the steaks in. This will ensure I good crusty sear. The oil in the pan should be shimmering almost to the smoking point.
- Dab the Steak: With a paper towel, gently dab the steaks dry. Do not worry you will not take off marinade that is already saturated into the meat. When the meat is dry it will make sure there is a good sear, creating that incredible flavorful crust. When they are moist, they tend to steam instead of sear, which will cause them to be soft.
- Add The Butter Last: Place the butter in the pan right before you are ready to take them out. You do not want your butter to burn, which it can easily with the high heat.
- Let it rest: However you cook your steak be sure to let it rest 5-15 minutes for the juices to redistribute throughout the steak. This way you won’t end up with all the good flavor on your plate instead of inside the meat.
Temperatures for steak
Rare: 120° F to 125° F
Medium rare: 125° F to 130° F
Medium: 135° F to 140° F
Medium well: 145° F to 150° F
Well done: 160° F and above
- Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F. Pat the steaks very dry with paper towels; season both sides with salt and pepper. Allow steaks to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Heat a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium-high heat for about one minute. Add oil to the pan and swirl to evenly distribute the oil. Place the steaks in the pan, allowing room between steaks. Cook without moving steaks for 2 minutes. Using tongs, lift the steaks and flip them over. If properly seared the steaks should release easily, without sticking to the pan. Immediately place the cast iron pan into the hot oven.
- Cook steaks until firm. For rare, bake for 4 minutes. Medium rare, 5-6 minutes. Medium, 6-7 minutes. Medium well, 8-9 minutes.
Remember, depending on the size of the steak, the more or less time it will take. This recipe is ideal for a 8-10 ounce portion, roughly 2-3 inches thick. Remove filets from the skillet and set on a plate, lightly cover with tin foil and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature. Top with a slice of butter and serve!
- Season both sides of the filet generously with salt and pepper and fresh rosemary. Rub with a little olive oil and let rest for 30 minutes before cooking, this is to bring the steak to room temperature and ensure your cooking times are more accurate.
- Preheat the grill to high heat. Keep the lid closed and let the internal temp get up to around 500° F.
- Place the filets face down and sear undisturbed for 5 minutes. Flip the filets and sear for an additional 5 minutes. This is ideal for medium-rare.
- For rare, sear for 4 minutes a side. Medium rare, 5 minutes. Medium, 6-7 minutes. Medium well, 8+ minutes. Remember, depending on the size of the steak, the more or less time it will take. This recipe is ideal for a 8-10 ounce portion, roughly 2 inches thick.
- Remove filets from the grill and set on a plate. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature. Top with a slice of butter and serve!
- Bring the steaks to room temperature. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel, then place them on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 225F.
- Season the steaks. Sprinkle each steak liberally on all sides with Kosher salt, including the sides of the steak. About 2-3 tsp per filet. It looks like a lot, but meat can handle a good amount of salt. Season on all sides with (a smaller amount of) freshly ground black pepper, as much as you like.
- Cook the steaks. Place the filets into a preheated oven and cook according to desired doneness. We recommend 25 minutes for medium rare, with an internal temperature of 115F. If you prefer rare, check after 20 minutes. If you prefer steak more cooked, check it after 30 minutes.
- Heat a cast iron skillet. Allow the filets to rest while you heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. When it begins to smoke, about 5 minutes later, add a tablespoon of neutral oil.
- Sear the steaks. Place steaks in the hot skillet, then cook for about 2 minutes total, flipping the steaks every 15-20 seconds until a crust has formed.
- Allow the meat to rest. Let the steaks sit for 5-10 minutes to rest, then serve immediately. We recommend having flaky sea salt on standby for serving.
**Could you instead finish the steak on a grill (gas or charcoal grill) instead of on a stovetop? Yes, absolutely! It’s the same method — cook for a few minutes over high heat, flipping often. Just make sure the grill is nice and hot before adding the steak.