It must be very inspiring to cook steak for dinner or even for lunch. You know that everybody will like it. Be it just a regular day, or a special occasion, steak will always be a star. It sure brings joy and excitement to the dinner table. But are you sure you are cooking it the right way? You have to remember that the way you cook your steak can make or break your main course. Therefore, you have to be extra careful and know what you are doing. With a perfectly cooked steak, you can share a delightful meal with your loved ones.
Here are some of the things that you should always take into consideration when cooking steak:
Know the Different Grades of Beef
When in the supermarket, you will be up for three choices when buying beef for your steak: Select, Choice, and Prime. Select grade is slightly above what the USDA deems fit for human consumption. This means that it may not be the best choice for a quality steak. It may be better to add some dollars to buy a choice grade beef than settle with a select grade. Prime grade has the best quality. Your family is absolutely lucky if you are cooking this beef for them for dinner.
Doneness Is Very Important
What does your family like the most? Is it rare, medium-rare, medium, medium well, or well done? If each one has preferred doneness, you can cook them without much challenge.
To come up with the right doneness, you have to know the right temperature. For rare, it is already set when the internal temperature hits 120 degrees using a meat thermometer. With medium-rare at 130 degrees, medium at 135 degrees, medium well at 140 degrees, and well at 150 degrees.
Cooking time varies because of the different cuts. You should also take note of the appearance with rare as the reddest and softest to touch and well as having any pink color and firmest of them all. You have to consider all of these things so you can ensure best results.
The Type of Cut Matters
There are five popular cuts of steaks. Know the difference because they can spell out your desired texture and tenderness.
• Ribeye Steak – This steak is cut from the sixth to the 12th ribs. It is very flavorful and can be very tender when cooked hot and fast. You can buy it in bone-in or boneless form.
• Top Sirloin Steak –This cut of steak is for the budget-conscious. It is from the back area with bones and the bottom round lean meat is removed. You should marinate this steak before cooking for tender and flavorful results. It may not be that expensive, but as long as it is cooked right, you can have a very good main course.
• Porterhouse and T-bone steak – Both cuts have T-shaped bone at the center with tenderloin on one side and strip steak on one part. Porterhouse has a larger portion of tenderloin. Cooking this steak is like cooking two different steaks as one part is tender and the other is meatier.
• New York Steak – This is half of the porterhouse and T-bone steak which only has the tenderloin part. It is mostly lean meat or with very little fat. It is served boneless.
• Filet Mignon – This can be the priciest of all steaks. It is the best. It comes from the tip portion of the tenderloin which ensures that this steak is tender. Sure, you may have to spend a little bit more on this, but it’s definitely worth it.
Decide Whether Bone-in or Boneless
For some cooks, bone-in steaks are better as they can be more flavorful because of the juices that come from the bones. While it may take more time to cook a bone-in steak because of the insulating effect of the bone, the bone actually promotes even cooking of your steak.
If you are one who likes to cook your meat to medium doneness, the part closest to the bone will definitely end up juicier and more tender. But if you want rare or medium-rare, this particular section tends to get a little more chewy and raw, making it of lesser quality. So in short, how this section of the steak turns out highly depends on the level of doneness you prefer as well as on how you cook it.
Indeed, cooking the perfect steak cannot be achieved in one cooking. You may have to cook a couple of times before getting your desired result. After cooking, go back and take note of the things that affected your cooking. You will get better the next time, that’s for sure.