Introduction: Making the Perfect Steak
Hello! I lived the restaurant life for 15 years before finally going back to school and switching career paths. While learning new skills and obtaining knowledge, I'll never forget my cooking roots. So today I'm going to show y'all step-by-step how to cook the perfect steak! You don't need 15 years of experience to cook a steak. You just need an appetite and be able to follow these simple steps! You'll not only enjoy the taste, you'll also appreciate cooking the perfect steak by yourself and you'll even save a few dollars by cooking this at home!
DISCLAIMER - I hope you enjoy my project I'm doing for my Tech4310 class. I am not responsible for the outcome of your recipe. You may not achieve desired results due to variations in elements such as ingredients, cooking temperatures, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking ability. You should always use your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients, such as steak. You should always take care when using sharp knives or other cooking implements. To ensure the safety of yourself and others, be aware of heated cooking surfaces while cooking. Please review all ingredients prior to trying a recipe in order to be fully aware of the presence of substances which might cause an adverse reaction. There will be extreme temperatures involved! Between handling a cast-iron skillet and using a hot stove top and oven, please be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are extra cautious while cooking. Again, I hope you enjoy my work and thank you for your time.
Steak (I'm using a 12oz Strip)
2 tsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Pepper
1 Tbsp. Butter
Cast Iron Skillet
Step 1: Brush Olive Oil on Both Sides of the Steak
Remove you steak from the package and place it on a plate. Make sure you use a plate larger than the steak - it'll save us from a mess we have to clean up. Brush olive oil on both sides of the steak. Why? It allows the meat to relax, making it more tender.
Tip - Clean as you go! If you can de-clutter your counter top/work area or wipe up a quick mess, please do so. It makes your work space tidy and there will be less chance of cross-contamination, especially while using raw foods.
Step 2: Season the Steak
Season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. You can use any seasonings you would like, but salt and pepper are simplistic and will let the meat shine. Let the seasoned steak sit on the plate, outside the refrigerator for 15 minutes, this allows the seasoning to really sink into the meat. The seasoning will stick to the meat since it's already covered in oil.
Tip - Do not over season the meat. You want to taste the meat, not the seasoning.
Step 3: Preheat the Oven 400 Degrees
Preheat the oven 400 degrees. Since it’s snowy and cold out, we’re not using a grill, we are instead using a stove top and oven.
Tip - Be sure to turn on your exhaust fan and open a window for a short time- there will be smoke from the oil and cast-iron skillet.
Step 4: Preheat the Cast-iron Skillet
Preheating the cast-iron skillet is an important step. You can't cook a steak in a cool skillet. The skillet needs to be hot to the point it’s smoking. Make sure the skillet has nothing in it - oil, water, etc.
DISCLAIMER – The cast-iron skillet’s temperature will reach extreme heat and the handle will be VERY HOT, so PLEASE wear an over mitt while handling the skillet.
How to test if it is hot enough: Drop a very small amount of water into the skillet. If it jumps and sizzles away, the skillet is ready.
Be ready! Once extreme heat is reached, this is the ONLY item that you should focus on! If left alone, the streak will burn. We are ready to roll once the skillet is hot! This is a very quick process.
Step 5: Place Steak in Skillet
Place steak directly in the middle of the skillet. There should be a lot of sizzling going on. Leave steak on that side for 2 minutes before flipping with your tongs to the other side. Be patient! Let the steak cook, don't worry about flipping to check for burning. There will be smoke coming from the skillet that could fill your room. Feel free to open any windows or turn on hood vents if necessary.
Tip: If you can't use an oven to finish your steak, depending on steak temperature (we’re going for medium rare), you flip your steak every 2 minutes until temperature is reached (the higher the temp, the longer it will take to took, hence more flips).
Step 6: Place Butter on Steak and Place Skillet in the Oven
Place butter directly on middle of the steak and place the skillet in the oven.
Why put butter on the steak? The butter will melt on the steak, giving it an extra rich flavor. (Note: This is not a must, but the perfect steak has butter on it!)
Why put the steak in the oven? That's how we're going to reach our steak's temperature.
Note - If the temperature you're wanting your steak cooked at is blue rare or rare, the steak is done! Do not place in oven.
DISCLAIMER – WHILE TRANSFERRING THE SKILLET FROM STOVE-TOP TO THE OVEN, YOU MUST USE YOUR OVEN MITT AND BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS! The skillet will burn any skin that it touches, and be steady because melted butter can also burn your skin.
Step 7: Testing Temperature
Testing temperature. Since we are going for Medium-Rare, our steak will only be in the oven for 2-3 minutes. If you wanted a Rare temperature, the steak is already done and can be transferred to the plate. For higher temperatures (Medium and dare I say Medium Well or Well) leave in until desired temperature is reached.
I’ve personally been cooking steaks for almost 15 years, so I easily can tell if a steak is done or not. How can you check the temperature? You can slide a thermometer into the steak, making sure it’s directly in the middle of the meat. Here’s a chart for steak temperatures:
Blue Rare - <115 F
Rare – 120 F – 125 F
Medium Rare – 130 F-135 F
Medium – 140 F – 145 F
Medium Well – 150 F – 155 F
Well – 160 F and as nasty as you want it
You can use an oven-safe thermometer with the cord that allows the over door to stay shut, or you can use a meat thermometer that you'll have to manually check. If using a manual one, please be careful handling the skillet and oven door. I recommend an oven-safe digital thermometer if you haven't done this before.
REMEMBER: You want your steak to come out about 5 degrees short of your desired temperature. Why? Once you place your steak on the plate, it will still cook up a few degrees while sitting.
Step 8: Place Steak on Plate and Let Rest
Place the finished steak on the plate and let it rest. Why let the steak rest? The juice redistributes into the steak, allowing it to be tender. You can put a piece of foil over the plate to retain the heat while you let it rest.
Step 9: Serve and Enjoy!
Congratulations! You're ready to serve your perfect steak! Enjoy your meal! By cooking this meal at home, you’ve saved a lot of money and you can always cook it exactly how you want it to be cooked!
Tip: Make sure your side dish(es) are ready to go. You don’t want your most expensive part of the meal getting cold waiting on the least expensive part to cook. The best garnish for a meal is steam, so serve this meal hot!
Tip: When cutting your steak, cut directly in half. Why? You'll get to see exactly how your steak is cooked. You'll get to see the bracket of done steak, pink center, and done steak.
I'm sure you've done a phenomenal job cooking your steak! Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to check out my Instructable on How to Cook the Perfect Steak!