Is there anything more perfect than a perfectly cooked steak? Cooking steak is an art, and just like art there is no single right way to do it, but a looootttttttt of ways to screw it up. Here are six sure-fire ways to ruin your next steak dinner.
1. Pick cuts like an amateur
Don’t buy steak from anywhere but a steak store. Hey, maybe you have a nice supermarket, but if you’re buying your meat and shampoo from the same establishment, it’s your own fault you’re not getting primo results. Or, skip the extra stop at the butcher by ordering amazing cuts of beef online. Omaha Steaks has always been way ahead of the meal delivery box craze, and can deliver a week’s worth of a steakhouse menu, including sides, dessert and wine right to your door. Plus, dads who love The Dad are able to get 45% OFF and free shipping for a limited time, just saying.
2. Go straight from fridge to pan
Some of the most important steps in cooking a steak come before you actually cook the thing. You may have heard that a steak needs to be at room temperature to ensure even cooking, and sure that sorta helps. However, the real reason to take a steak out of the fridge early is the seasoning and crust. Big Kosher salt crystals use science to tenderize meat, but to do that they need time to seep into the cut. So, first up: generously season your steak and let it sit out for about 30 minutes. You’ll notice the meat start to “sweat” as it absorbs the savory goodness. For a great charred crust you want the outside of the steak to be dry, so wait until the moisture is reabsorbed, then pat dry the whole thing before tossing it onto direct heat.
3. Truck with marinades
There’s this weird notion that putting sauce on a steak is treason, but marinading one like it’s a BBQ rib is totally fine. What is that? First of all, there’s nothing wrong with dressing your finished steak in a delicious sauce like chimichurri. Does it need it? No. But if you only eat steak one way, then you’re missing out on lots of delicious steaks. However. Marinades. No. Come on. We just went over this. Steak needs to be dry when it cooks. Throw that bottle of prepackaged garlic herb butter juice in the trash. You can add real butter, garlic and rosemary as you cook. Trust yourself and your steak.
4. Burn it like an idiot
You want a nice sear to get that perfect crust, which means using high heat and an oil with a high smoking point, like peanut oil. If you must use olive oil, go for the extra light kind, as it can reach a higher temperature without burning. Now, once you get your sear on, you gotta move to a gentle heat to cook the steak through without tensing up the meat. Also, some people will tell you not to flip a steak more than once. Ignore them. Unless you have Predator-vision, flipping a steak regularly helps keep the heat evenly dispersed.
5. Be weird about doneness
Okay. Before we even get into this, let’s all just take a breath.
Yes, everyone has their opinion about the “correct” doneness of a steak, but the fact is, a medium steak cooked well tastes better than a medium-rare steak cooked poorly. There isn’t one true ideal, so don’t freak out about it. Recently, blue-rare steaks have gained popularity and enjoying practically raw meat basically makes you some sort of carnivorous bird. So let’s not be judgy. In reality, steak doneness is “a thing” and “things” are more about proving a point than what’s actually good. So feel free to enjoy your steak however you like, from blue-rare to medium. Even if you like medium-well, *deep breath* that’s honestly okay too. But you might consider just being a vegetarian.
All that said, if you like yours well-done, you are actually a sociopath.
6. Immediately eat it
Last, but extremely not least: LET YOUR STEAK REST. Meat will continue to cook for a bit after being removed from heat. So, using a good meat thermometer, track your steak’s internal temperature to about 5-8 degrees shy of the doneness you prefer. Then toss it on a warm plate, loosely cover with foil, and let it sit for about ten minutes. This will let your steak really absorb all the juicy goodness. Patience truly is a virtue.
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