Looking for tips on cooking steak huh?
I don’t blame you, I mean what’s not to love about the sizzle of the grill, the smell of smoky charcoal and wood, the occasional flame-up of fat dropping down into the hot embers, the taste of that moist tender meat melting in your mouth. . . Makes me hungry just thinking about it!
Cooking steak is one of the most basic of ways of cooking food. It takes us back to our days of being a hunter-gather society and of cooking anything and everything over open flames. Nowadays we don’t have to stalk, chase, kill, clean and portion out our steaks, but we do still have to “hunt” out the best product in some ways.
Here are some tips to help you in picking and cooking steak.
<!-1 – What grade of meat you choose will have a huge impact on your final cooking steak product. The basic grading order from top to bottom goes,
· Prime (what high end steak houses like Ruth’s Chris carry, very expensive)
· Choice (what most restaurants, hotels and foodservice serve, moderately priced)
· Select (what most grocery stores carry, cheaper and lower quality)
Look for “Choice” grade meat or higher. Most grocery stores will generally carry mostly “select” grade meat, so you may have to go somewhere like a specialty market, a butcher or Costco to get a choice cut of meat (prime is now available at Costco but has in the past usually only available to professional establishments because it is so expensive).
<!-2 – Begin with the end in mind when cooking steak. Know what temperature or doneness you would like your steak cooked to, this will help you when cooking steak appropriately and not over or under do it. (for more detail, check out Cooking Steak Temperatures )
· Rare 120 degrees to 130 degrees
· Medium Rare 130 degrees to 140 degrees
· Medium 140 degrees to 145 degrees
· Medium Well 145 degrees to 155 degrees
· Well done Over 155 degrees
<!-3 – Use an oven to take control into your hands, not your grills. Cooking steak is tricky because your grill tends to have hot spots in it, which means that some steaks may get more done than others. Also, you may have perfect grill marks and color on the outside, yet the inside could still be underdone.
Ever wonder how restaurants and hotels have cooking steak down? Or how they can get 150 or 250 or even 500 or 1000 steak dinners done and out to the guests at the same time? The secret is that they will use the grill to put those distinctive marks on the steaks, but then they will put the cooking steak on pans and then finish cooking steak in the oven so that they all get done at the same time and to the same desired temperature or doneness.
So there you have it, there is a simple first timer’s guide to cooking steak. Try this out and see, but be careful, because after your friends, family and guests try your cooking, they will probably ask you to be the chef every time.