I learned a lot from my father who is a master chef and baker, but we never had a father-son “Now, my boy, come here and let me show you how to cook a steak” moment so this is one thing I’ve figured out on my own . . . with a little help from my friends.
How to Cook a Steak
Step 1: wrap in paper towels
You want to sop up all the blood. Yes, you want it juicy, but there’s plenty of moisture in there. You’ve heard restaurants tout “dry-aged” steaks, this is what they are talking about.
Step 2: place in the fridge
If you’re leaving it in there overnight, put it in a ziplock bag or cover with plastic wrap.
The *best* way to do it is in a breathable situation, but you probably can’t afford to let the rest of your fridge get “fresh” from an aging steak, and I bet you don’t have a mini fridge dedicated to aging meats, nor ventilation to run that funk outside instead of through your basement … so just cover it with plastic.
Step 3: wait
How long (how many days) you wait depends on your schedule. You can unwrap/rewrap in fresh paper towels multiple times. The thicker the cut, the more drying cycles/time you’re gonna want.
Step 4: admire the beauty
Mother nature. On my plate. Gorgeous.
Step 5: salt & pepper
That’s all you need to cook a steak. Keep it simple. Keep it classy.
Step 6: rub it in
Push the salt and pepper in there.
I like to smush my cuts down a bit. Helps especially with the thicker cuts.
You can also do the salt earlier in the drying/aging process.
Step 7: put it on a hot piece of metal
As hot as you can get it.
(Reasonably. At home.)
I’m a fan of a hot pan and oil (vegetable oil; coconut oil smokes, butter burns [but comes into play later]), and lots of times the George Foreman is handy.
If you have a strong argument for why this is a bad thing, I’m open to hearing it. But seriously, I’ve cooked a lot of delicious meats on this simple thing.
For thin cuts (3/4″ or less), a minute on each side will do the trick and keep it nice and medium rare. If you want browner than medium rare, get outta town.
For thick cuts, give reverse searing a try (bake at low temps for a bit first, then sear).
This was a pretty thin cut of bison, it cooked super fast.
Step 8: rest with a square of butter (on a fresh plate)
Even once you take it off the heat, the cut retains heat and continues to cook. Let it for 3-5 minutes, or until that square of butter starts to run all over. This stage is called resting.
Butter alternative: Mexican crema, ohh baby that’s good
Step 9: enjoy
Don’t use a table knife. Use a knife knife.
Step 10: that’s it
Hope you enjoy my version of How to Cook a Steak. If you gram your food, use #RedMeatThursday (only, of course, if you cook it on Thursday) and I’ll look for your excellent creations.
I won’t post all my #RedMeatThursdays, but here’s where that comes from:
- intense workouts on Thursday
- red meat for dinner Thursday to rebuild
- recovery-effort training and lighter eating Friday to prepare for . . .
- high-volume + intensity training on Saturday