How to Cook a Perfect Steak Every Time

Learning how to prepare the perfect steak doesn’t have to be complicated. A few easy steps will give you a delicious result every time. Follow this simple recipe and you’ll become an instant expert at cooking steak!

Grades of Beef

Three grades of beef steak are available at your local grocery store: Select, Choice, and Prime. Usually, if you see steak advertised on sale it’s the Select Grade.

Select Grade is the lowest quality of the three options. If you choose to cook Select Grade steak, don’t be surprised if it’s tougher, less juicy and less flavorful since it’s leaner than Prime and Choice with very little marbling. If you’re trying to make a good impression on your dinner guests, we don’t suggest cooking Select Grade. Spend the few extra dollars and buy the Choice grade.

Choice Grade is a quality steak, especially if it’s cut from the loin and rib areas of the beef such as a tenderloin filet or rib steak. Choice is more juicy and tender than Select Grade, but it’s less tender, juicy and flavorful than Prime. If it is the choice grade, it will always be advertised as such on the label or packaging.

Prime Grade is the best grade with amazing tenderness, juiciness, flavor and fine texture. This is the grade that is commonly served at fine steakhouse restaurants. It has the highest degree of fat marbling and it comes from the younger beef. Unfortunately, it’s not available at every supermarket.

Perfect Steak Temperature

A professional chef’s go-to level of steak temperature is usually medium-rare. But the doneness of steak can greatly affect the flavor of the beef. Depending on the thickness and cut of the steak, cooking times will vary. However, the following information provides a general guide for achieving the perfect steak temperature. (Note: Do not cook steak according to time. Focus on temperature using an instant-read meat thermometer).

What is the Best Steak Cut?

There are five different cuts of steak. Each one offers the eater something different in terms of texture and tenderness. Try each one cooked at different levels of doneness to determine how you best like your steak prepared.

PORTERHOUSE AND T-BONE STEAKS

Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks are similar cuts of beef that come from the short loin. Both have a T-shaped bone in the middle and contain two different pieces of meat: tenderloin and strip steak.

Porterhouse steaks are cut from the rear end of the short loin and contain a larger portion of the tenderloin, while T-Bone steaks are cut from the front end and contain a smaller portion of the tenderloin.

RIBEYE STEAK

Ribeye is a beef steak cut from the rib area. You can buy both bone-in and boneless ribeye steak.

NEW YORK STRIP STEAK

New York Strip steak is a lean cut of beef from the short loin area. It is one side of the porterhouse or T-bone steak and is always served boneless.

TOP SIRLOIN STEAK

Top Sirloin is cut from the back area continuing off the short loin area. Top sirloin has bones and the bottom round muscles removed.

FILET MIGNON

Filet mignon is cut from the small tip portion of the tenderloin.

Steak Marinade

The best steak marinades have a good amount of salt for tenderizing the beef and a good amount of seasoning to accent the flavor of the meat. Whether you prefer your steak tangy, dense, or a little spicy, we always recommend marinating your steak for 2-4 hours prior to cooking. Remember, the longer you marinate your steak, the more flavorful it will be!

What Ingredients go into Steak Marinade?

Steak Marinade Recipe

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, diced garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper in a sealable freezer bag. Close bag and shake aggressively to blend. Add steaks to bag and massage marinade until the steaks are fully covered. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Cook meat as desired.

How to Cook Steak

Instructions

  • Remove steaks from refrigerator and let sit in the marinade at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Do not begin cooking until meat is room temperature.
  • Combine the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season all sides of each steak generously with the mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Preheat a heavy, oven-safe skillet over high heat until it is smoking hot. Sear steaks in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes per side. If the steak has a side of fat, turn the steak onto its side and render the fat by searing it for 2-3 minutes also.
  • Place the steaks in skillet into the oven to finish cooking. Remove the steaks from the oven when they are 5 degrees before the desired level of doneness or 130 degrees F for medium-rare.
  • Mix butter with garlic in a small bowl with a fork.
  • When the steaks are removed from the grill, immediately top with 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture and allow the steaks to rest 10 minutes. The temperature of the steak will continue to rise as it rests by approximately 5 degrees.

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