Let The Steak Come To Room Temperature
Next, let the steak come to room temperature for about 30 minutes or so. While this step might seem unnecessary, it can mean the difference between a good steak and a great steak. Thats because if the steak comes straight from the fridge, it wont cook evenly the inside will stay raw even after the outside sears.
Cooking As A Method Of Tenderizing
Cooking is the original way to tenderize meat. Heat naturally breaks down some of the bonds between muscles and helps convert the connective tissue to delicious gelatin. Your steak will become tender as it cooks, up to a point.
This is the reason folks slowly smoke or braise big, tough cuts like beef brisket or BBQ pork shoulder. The low-and-slow approach gives the connective tissue and muscle fibers enough time to break down without overcooking them.
Grilling a steak is a different matter, however. Typically, steaks are seared directly over the flames and finished quickly on a hot grill. Even a steak cooked from frozen isnt on the grill long enough to convert over all of the connective tissue.
Collagen turns to gelatin between 160°F and 190°F, while steak is considered well done at 180°F. Youd really have to overcook your steak to convert all the connective tissue over, and the results would not be very tasty.
So how do you quickly turn a cheap, tough steak into a tender mouthful?
Why Is My Steak Tough And Chewy
Steak can be chewy if it is overcooked, or the cut was too lean and lacked the appropriate amount of fat. But its also important to choose the right cut of beef for the cooking method as certain steaks such as flank will be more tender if slow-cooked.
The cut of beef, how fresh it is, the marbling on it, how it was prepared, and whether it was cut with or against the grain are all factors that could account for why steak is tough and chewy.
Some parts of the cow are often tougher than the others and are often not as expensive as the more tender parts.
The tender parts are rich in fat and marbling. These two are what make steak tender and succulent. Conversely, lean steak cuts with little to no fat or marbling are tough and chewy.
So theres a need to prep them before cooking or roasting to bring out their flavor and tenderness.
The tough part is usually the part thats been exercised a lot as it walks around, for example. It follows that steak from older cows would be tougher than that from younger ones.
The parts that have not been affected much by the exercises and which are highly marbled are the ones that are tender and flavorful.
Say youve got tough steak, what can you do about it? No worries. There are tons of tenderizers. Lets meet them in the next section.
Your rib eye steak. Seasoned with garlic, paprika, black pepper and lemon juice. Delicious and tender. Thank you.
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Dont Forget The Thermometereven If Youre A Pro
Chef Christian Ragano thinks this is one of the most important things to remember. Temping a steak by hand can be tricky, he says. It takes a ton of practice and a ton of experience. Thomas Keller once said, You have to cook a steak a thousand times just to suck at it.’
Dont have a meat thermometer on hand? Ted Hopson, chef and co-owner of L.A.s The Bellwether, recommends using metal cake testers. People always are looking for secrets on how to get the perfect steak doneness, he says. We use metal cake testers. the best tool you can use for this. Insert the metal tester into the steak, leave it for five seconds, then pull it out and touch it to your lips or inner wrist. The internal temp of the steak will tell you how done it is. If it is cold, your steak is rare, if it is just warm, medium rare, slightly hot, medium, etc… No more pushing on it to test itwhat happens when you hit a muscle knot? now it is even easier. Plus, cake testers are less than a dollar and you can get them in baking sections or on Amazon.
Chef Prentiss offered these numbers to aim for:
How To Rest A Steak
A cooked steak should rest at room temperature for at least five minutes and ideally around half the cooking time it will stay warm for anything up to 10 minutes. Here, pure science comes into play the fibres of the meat will reabsorb the free-running juices, resulting in a moist and tender steak. Any resting juices should be poured over the steak before serving.
Also Check: Seasoning For Ribeye
Helpful Tips For Grilling To Keep In Mind
Once you have a good grill sear over high heat, you can move your steaks to a lower temperature to make sure they dont dry out quickly. This is known as indirect grilling. To do this, sear both sides over high heat for a couple of minutes on each side, and then move to low heat. Only turn your steaks once the full time for one side has been reached. Flipping too often on the grill can ruin the cooking process and dry out your steaks faster.
Also, always allow your steaks to rest. You should plan to rest your steak for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the juices to move back through the meat for ultimate flavor and tenderness.
If you do use a digital meat thermometer to better gauge your time for steaks on the grill, make sure you remove your steaks when its internal temperature reaches about five degrees below your desired temperature, since it will continue to cook a bit after you remove it from the grill. If you want your steak to cook to 135 degrees, then remove it when it hits about 130 degrees.
How Do You Prepare The Steak
Once you have selected your preferred steak, preparation is the next step.
First, if your steak was stored in a fridge, let it attain room temperature. Then use a paper towel to dry excess moisture on the steaks.
Suppose your steaks have an excess fat layer you should trim it. You should also evenly add salt to the steak. You can also marinate the steak with your favorite marinades if you need them.
Leave the steak to rest for about an hour or two as it absorbs the marinades and salt. It will also make the meat tender. However, some people do leave the steak to rest for a day or two. It all depends on what you want to achieve.
How To Cook Steak
How To Cook The Perfect Steak
Season the steak one hour before cooking, using extra virginolive oil, fresh ground black pepper, and kosher or sea salt. Leave it at room temperature until cooking.
Open a window or start a ventilation fan, cooking in this method can produce a fair amount of smoke.
Put the pan over high heat, and leave it until it is extremely hot. Add 1T butter and 2T olive or canola oil to the pan and watch for the butter starting to brown.
Place the steak into the pan and reduce the heat to medium, cooking the first side for 4-6 minutes. Turn the steak gently with tongs, then tilt the pan and baste the cooked side with pan juices.
Cook the second side until it develops an even crust on both sides. Picking the steak up with tongs, quickly sear the edges.
Very Rare: 115-120 °F Medium: 138-145 °F
Rare: 125 °F Medium Well: 150 °F
Medium Rare: 128-135 °F Well Done: 160+ °F
Remove to a cutting board, and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes, underneath an aluminum foil tent to retain heat. Serve on a warm plate
To make Au Jus, while steak is resting skim the fat off the pan drippings, then boil to reduce to ½ of the original. Pour over cooked steak before serving.
On The Grill
Season the steak one hour before cooking, using extra virgin olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, and kosher or sea salt. Leave it at room temperature until cooking.
Brush each side with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil.
Very Rare: 115-120 °F Medium: 138-145 °F
Rare: 125 °F Medium Well: 150 °F
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The Best Cuts For Grilling
First, let’s talk beef: rib-eye, strip and tenderloin are all great cuts for the grill. If you choose bone-in steaks, keep in mind that they take longer to cook. Look for good marbling to guarantee a juicy and tender cut. And ideally, steaks should be at 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick to form a nice charred crust without overcooking.
Flank, skirt and hanger steaks are also great on the grill. These thinner cuts are best marinated, grilled quickly over high heat and sliced against the grain to serve.
Taking Off The Chill Speeds Up Cooking
The goal of grilling a steak is to brown and lightly char the surface while also cooking the interior to a perfectly juicy doneness, right? If the steak is too cold, the interior might require so much cooking time to reach that perfect doneness that the steak overcooks deep below the surface, turning gray and dry.
Let your steaks stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. They will cook faster all the way to the center and stay juicer.
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How To Grill Steak Perfectly:
First you are going to want to pick your cut of meat. Now, everyone loves a good filet mignon, I am not exception. The other go-to is a New York Strip classic. But, my absolute favorite is a ribeye. There is just enough fat marbled through it that it marinates itself as it cooks and stays incredibly moist and tender. The flavor is amazing. It is my go-to. Go grab a 1 inch ribeye for you and whoever else you are having over..
But Filet Mignon is hard to beat!
Next, after you go out and grab your cut of meat, you are going to want to let it come to room temp before you season your meat. Just salt and pepper people. You dont need to reinvent the wheel. But first, take a fork and pierce the meat all over fat and everything. Then sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper on both sides enough that it will be nicely seasoned, but not over-powered with either.
You can also if you want always fun to mix things up!
After you have cleaned your grill thoroughly with your brush, spray it with a grill-worthy non-stick spray and then turn it up to 450-500.
Place steak over direct heat to sear let it stay over direct heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip and sear an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side. If you are cooking a fattier meat, like a ribeye, you will probably want to move the steak over to indirect heat at this time. Leaner meats, like a New York Strip or Filet should be left over direct heat the entire time.
Is It Important To Let The Steaks Rest
Yes. The steak actually continues to cook during those few minutes. This continuation of cooking is great because it doesnt dry out the steak, as it would by simply leaving it on the grill longer. Cutting into the steak interrupts that last little period of cooking by releasing the heat inside the steak. Trust me, let it rest a few minutes and your steak will turn out perfect.
If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in these other delicious grilling recipes:
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Perfectly Tender Skirt Steak Recipe
This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Sponsored posts, along with affiliate links, are what enable bloggers like me to maintain and operate sites that are free to the public. That said, I only work with products and brands that I personally use and would feel proud to give as a gift.
Skirt steak has become one of my favorite cuts of beef, right next to ribeye and strip steak. Ive been eating skirt steak for years its very budget friendly and full of flavor. The knock on skirt steak however, is that it can be a tough cut of meat, which is why its one of the more budget friendly cuts. Its also why this cut is generally sliced very thin and often used for tacos and quesadillas, but I digress. Following my method, I promise the most tender skirt steak youve ever eaten.
First things first, there are actually two different types of skirt steak, the inside and the outside skirt. I detail both here, if youre interested. The outside skirt is the more desirable of the two cuts, but its also harder to find because of limited supply and high demand from restaurants, etc.
It took a pretty extensive amount of testing to develop this method but trust me when I say, its SO worth it. The meat will melt in your mouth.
Choose The Right Piece Of Steak The Quality Of Your Final Product Depends On Your Starting Ingredients
Finding the best product you can get your hands on is always the hardest part of cooking a great steak, says Ryan Prentiss. Hes executive chef at Prime + Proper steakhouse in Detroit, Michigan. There’s really only three things in my opinion that make for a good grilled steak: Beef, salt and fire.
He goes on to explain: We only work with USDA Prime beef, which is the highest grade of beef available, and accounts for only 1.5% of the beef in the nation. Fat is flavor, so look for beef that looks plump, bright red and has the most marbling. Marbling is the intramuscular fat present in high quality beef that gives it a marbled appearance. Grain-fed or grain finished beef will have more marbling than a grass-fed beef.
On aged steak:
If you’re lucky enough to be able to find a butcher that has dry-aged beef,” Prentiss says. “I highly recommend trying anything aged from 15 to 30 days until you become acquainted with the flavor.
Chef Joe Cervantez agrees, specifying that steaks eat best at 23 to 28 days. Hes executive chef at Brennans of Houston. Most steaks from the grocery store are aged 14 days, he says. If youre up for trying your hand at aging and are lucky enough to have access to a cryovac, he recommends packing the meat in an airtight seal until it hits at least 23 days.
On cuts and thickness:
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Grilled Marinated Steak Tips
I usually throw my steaks in a resealable bag, with this incredible steak spice marinade, just before I head out the door to work. Leaving the steak in the marinade for a good chunk of the day helps to tenderize the meat and adds intense flavour. I toss the to-be grilled marinated steaks back in the fridge while Im gone and remove it as soon as I get home rule number 1 for cooking steak is to always let it sit at room temperature for a while before grilling.
I have found that some people complain that barbecued steak can be very tough. I would hazard a guess to say that the reason people are eating tough steak is because they are cooking the living daylights out of it.
A good grilled marinated steak, or any steak for that matter, really only requires a few minutes of grilling on each side and then an 8-10 minute rest. I am 100 percent in the camp of cooks who believe that all meats should have a resting period. I know that others believe this might be a myth , but resting meat allows juices to re-absorb so you have a juicy, tender piece of beef.
We enjoy our steak pretty simple, with a side salad or some grilled asparagus. And the steak marinade leaves such a wonderful flavour that barbecue sauce is never necessary on these delicious grilled marinated steaks!
I can promise you, that if youre a steak lover, this recipe is definitely for you!
Do Add Salt Before Cooking It Removes Moisture
Salted meat, as you know, tastes better than unsalted meat.
Why? When meat is salted, the salt changes the molecular structure of the protein. In this state, the steak can absorb more water. So, it softens and becomes juicier and tastier than an unsalted one.
This is why Chefs often salt steak before cooking. The salt draws out the moisture, making the flavor more concentrated.
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Grilling The Perfect Steak
Grilling is just the ticket when the summer temperatures are blazing. It’s also a great way to feed a hungry crowd.
Since we are cattle ranchers, we typically raise our own beef, but on occasion we the freezer runs dry. That’s really a sad day for me.
Depending on the availability of our cattle and the time of the year, we sometimes fill in with ground beef and steaks from the local meat market or grocery store.
On more than one occasion, I have paid a big price for what I expected would be tender and delicious steak, only to be disappointed that it was tough as a boot. Don’t you just hate that?
Plus you may not always have the budget for that top dollar steak. This tried and true method for grilling a tender and juicy steak is great for all cuts.