When it comes to cooking the perfect steak, you can keep things simple or go complex. One of few foods that has so many different variations on how you can tackle it, knowing how to cook steak starts and ends with your taste buds.
Knowing the best way to cook steak all starts with identifying your favourite cut of beef. Rump sits at the lower end, followed by ribeye, sirloin and finally fillet at the top as one of the more exclusive cuts. But just because these different cuts are of varying degrees of tenderness (and price), that doesn't necessarily mean that any are more or less superior to one another. It all comes down to personal preference.
Seasoning your steak will come down to preference and cut. Some cuts are flavoursome enough on their own, while others can benefit from a helping hand of a few spices, but this is up to you. A simple bit of salt and pepper keeps things simple, while garlic powder, paprika or cayenne can be added for an extra kick.
This is where your steak will take its real shape. From simply searing the outside while keeping the steak cool in the middle (bleu) through to cooking it the entire way through (well-done) – there’s a massive difference in texture, taste and even temperature at both ends of the scale, which is why getting it right for your taste buds is essential.
How To Cook Beef Steak
Take your steak out of the fridge and let it settle for around 15 minutes to get it up to room temperature. This will ensure that your cut is more evenly cooked all the way through, right from the edge to the middle.
Get your frying pan super-hot. If you have a really good non-stick pan then you can throw it straight in. If it’s not so reliable, add a little oil to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
Add your steak to the pan, seal on the one side and flip. Once flipped the first time, add your seasoning if desired, then flip around once more to do the same to the other side. Seasoning your steak before adding it to the pan can result in the spices simply burning, which won’t give you any flavour. Doneness will always depend on the thickness of the cut. Use the following guidelines for a standard 3/4” cut:
- Bleu: 2 mins each side
- Rare: 4 mins, turn, 2 mins
- Medium rare: 4.5 mins, turn, 2.5 mins
- Medium: 5 mins, turn, 3 mins
- Medium well: 6 mins, turn, 4 mins
- Well done: 7 mins, turn, 5 mins
Let your steak cook for as long, or as little, as required. If desired, add a knob of butter for extra flavour, and spoon over the steak once melted. Once done, remove from the frying pan.
Finally, let it rest. Allowing your steak to rest for five minutes will lock in the juices and give you a much nicer flavour.
Serving Up the Perfect Steak
So you know how to cook the perfect steak, but something’s still missing? Some prefer to go it alone, just the steak and the side. But for others, it’s nothing without an accompaniment. Chimichurri, peppercorn, béarnaise and teriyaki are just some of the more popular choices. Try them all and find your favourite.
Looking for more great food ideas? Discover what other High Protein Foods you can try for a wholesome diet.
Find everything you need for your perfect steak at your local grocery store.