The perfect steak! It’s a crowd-pleaser when you get it bang-on, but it’s pretty easy to turn out boot leather too. Here are a few tips from us for fantastic steaks every time.
- Take the meat out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before cooking. This allows it to come to room temperature and ensures even cooking.
- Dry the steaks and leave the fat on. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels for that perfect outer crust. If you want to cut the fat off the steak, do it once it’s cooked as fat adds flavour and moisture to the meat while it’s cooking.
- Don’t add oil to the pan. Instead, brush the steaks with oil and season all over with a little salt and pepper.
- It’s all about the sizzle. Preheat a large frying pan (or BBQ) to high heat. If using a frying pan, the heavier the base, the better – heavy-based pans hold heat longer and cook the meat evenly. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan or BBQ, or the meat will stew rather than sear. Cook the steak in batches or use two pans if need be. You should hear a big sizzle when the steak hits the pan – no sizzle means the pan isn’t hot enough.
- The timing. As a rule of thumb (for a steak 22mm thick) – cook 2 minutes each side for rare, 3-4 mins each side for medium-rare and 4-6 mins each side for medium. For well done, cook for 2-4 minutes on each side, then turn the heat down and cook for another 4-6 minutes.
- To test for doneness, use the tip of your clean index finger (or tongs) to gently prod the steak. If the steak is soft and squishy, it’s rare. If it’s soft but a bit springy, that’s medium-rare. If it’s springy, that’s medium. Any firmer than that and it’s on its way to well done.
- Allow the steaks to rest. Place the steaks onto a wooden board or plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for about 6-7 minutes before slicing across the grain or serving. Resting will allow the meat to relax, and the juices will return to the meat fibres. This means the juices won’t run out onto the plate when you cut the steak – and results in a more tender steak.