A Carnivore’s Guide To Steak

Purchasing a Steak
Going by the grades of beef, look for a steak within your budget. Try to find a steak with fine texture and firm to the touch. The color should be a light cherry red (not deep red). Steaks with a substantial amount of evenly distributed marbling have the most flavor and tenderness.
*If you [...]

Purchasing a Steak

Going by the grades of beef, look for a steak within your budget. Try to find a steak with fine texture and firm to the touch. The color should be a light cherry red (not deep red). Steaks with a substantial amount of evenly distributed marbling have the most flavor and tenderness.

*If you are looking to avoid fat, you should avoid steak all together.

Next, select the thickness of the cut. The best steaks are 1 – 1 ½ inches thick. The thickness of the steak is more important than the weight.

Preparing a Steak

The steak should be at room temperature (approx. 70 degrees F) before cooking. Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 30-60 minutes beforehand. Pat the steak dry (never cook a wet steak).

When seasoning your steak, make sure you DO NOT salt it. Salt brings moisture to the surface of the steak.

Cooking a Steak

Grilling
Using a napkin, apply some olive oil to the grill. The grill should be around 450 degree F. You should only flip the steak once or possibly twice, keeping the grill lid closed. Each side should cook for about 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare.

Using a meat thermometer is the best means of determining doneness.

Rare – 120 degrees F
Medium Rare – 125 degrees F
Medium – 130 degrees F

Once the steak is charred to your liking, remove it and wrap it loosely in aluminum foil for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. During this time, the meat continues to cook and juices are redistributed.

Pan-Searing
In a heavy frying pan (preferably cast-iron), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Using tongs, make sure the steak is not sticking to the pan. Cook each side for 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare.  

Using a meat thermometer is the best means of determining doneness.

Rare – 120 degrees F
Medium Rare – 125 degrees F
Medium – 130 degrees F

Once the steak is charred to your liking, remove it and wrap it loosely in aluminum foil for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. During this time, the meat continues to cook and juices are redistributed.

Sear-Roasting
Place ovenproof pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Using oven mitts, remove the pan and place on high heat over a burner. Immediately place steak(s) on the pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove the heat and put the pan with steaks back into the oven and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.  

Using a meat thermometer is the best means of determining doneness.

Rare – 120 degrees F
Medium Rare – 125 degrees F
Medium – 130 degrees F

Once the steak is charred to your liking, remove it and wrap it loosely in aluminum foil for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. During this time, the meat continues to cook and juices are redistributed.

Types of Steaks


Filet Mignon - How to cook a steak
Filet Mignon

A stylish cut from the heart of the beef tenderloin.
Outstanding taste and texture, though sometimes not the most flavorful.

NY Strip Steak - How to cook a steak

New York Strip Steak
Great taste, texture and flavor. Many consider it the perfect grilling steak.

Ribeye Steak - How to cook a steak
Ribeye Steak

Has marbling through the cut, making it one of the juiciest and most tender.

Porterhouse Steak - How to cook a steak

Porterhouse Steak
A combination of 2 cuts: the New York Strip and tender filet.
Many believe it to be the best for this reason.

T-Bone Steak - How to cook a steak
T-Bone Steak

Very similar to the Porterhouse (although it doesn’t have as much tenderloin muscle).

Top Sirloin Steak - How to cook a steak

Top Sirloin Steak
This cut is near the rump, which makes it a bit tougher than the other cuts.

Grading Cuts of Beef

Cuts of Beef (Image Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

For the perfect steak, you must start with a good-quality cut of beef. The USDA makes this a bit easier and is a great way to assess quality. The grading designations are largely determined by the amount of marbling (visible fat within muscle tissue) of the steak. Beef that is richly marbled is more tender, juicy and flavorful. Look for evenly distributed fat rather than large clusters.

Prime Beef
The highest grade in U.S. meat. Prime has the most marbling and is seen in fine restaurants and specialty meat markets.

Choice Beef
Slightly less marbling than Prime. Choice is typically found in local grocery stores.

Select Beef
The Least amount of marbling. It’s leaner but possibly less tender and flavorful. Select is not recommended if you’re looking for a good steak.

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