How Do You Like Your Steak Cooked? Cooking in general may be quite complex and difficult to learn due to its overpowering nature.
Unfortunately, for some, steak is no exception. It is by far one of the finest meals, but there is so much that goes into every steak in terms of preparation and cooking.
How do you want your steak cooked?
It’s a question you get everytime you have someone cook for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a friend’s house or a restaurant; if you order a steak, the inquiry is unavoidable.
How Do You Like Your Steak Cooked
There are many stages of doneness, which we shall examine shortly. On the interior, they range from well-cooked to slightly undercooked.
All are tasty in their own unique manner, therefore it is up to you to determine which approach is best for you.
Doneness of the Steak
The simplest way to grasp the different stages of cooking for a steak is to relate it to a compass. You have four primary points, which are North, East, South, and West. However, there are alternative positions such as North West and South East.
The same can be true about steak, which comes in Well-done, Medium, Rare, and Blue, as well as Medium-well and Medium-rare.
The exterior of the steak will be grilled even if you choose the blue steak. Only the inside of the body changes in look, flavor, and texture.
A blue steak has charred edges and a bleeding core that melts in your tongue. A well-done steak has been uniformly cooked throughout and is more tough and chewy.
A steak may be eaten at any stage of doneness. However, understanding all of the many degrees might be difficult, so if you want to learn more, read our post on the different stages of doneness.
How to tell whether your steak is properly done
After you’ve decided how you want to cook your steak, it’s time to figure out how to get it to the proper temperature. There are two basic strategies that will assist you in obtaining the ideal steak.
Before you let your steak rest and cook, sear all of the edges and sides first. Set the heat as high as possible since you want to hear an audible sizzle when the steak meets the pan.
The Steak Timing
This is by far the simplest method. Simply place your pan on the stove, or any other heat source, evenly so that it is the same temperature all around, and cook for the time stated.
After scorching the steak all over, just let it to cook on one side for the same length of time before flipping it over to cook on the other side for the same amount of time.
A well-done steak will take around 5-6 minutes each side, but a rare steak would take approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
The timing method works, but it is unreliable since steaks come in diverse shapes and sizes, and your heat may not be the same as the person who advises these timings.
The Finger Exam
The finger test is quite simple, and if you have a hand, you can perform it! It’s just measuring the tension of the muscle under your thumb while your thumb is in various postures.
If you turn your hand upwards but keep your thumb relaxed, that muscle is how a blue steak should feel when touched.
If your thumb and index finger are touching, the muscle has the same texture and feel of a medium-rare steak.
If you want the feeling of a well-done steak, touch your thumb to your little finger, and the muscle will be as rigid and tense as a well-done steak.
If you apply both of these ways simultaneously, your steak will be flawless.
How to Season a Steak
One of the simplest methods to season a steak is to salt it. Many people claim that combining salt, pepper, and olive oil produces one of the greatest tastes possible, and I must say that I agree. It’s something I do every time I eat a steak at home.
How Salt Enhances Flavor
While it is not true that salt brings out the flavor in most dishes, there is some science to explain why people believe such.
Salting any dish will decrease the bitterness that you detect, enabling your taste receptors to perceive all of the other tastes that the food has to offer.
Furthermore, salt removes the flavorless moistures that foods naturally contain. As a result, the scent of the meal becomes less diluted and more powerful.
Not only does the flavor of salt aid, but so does the texture! Salt functions as a natural tenderizer, improving the texture and mouthfeel of the meal. When it comes to creating gourmet dishes at home, salt is your greatest friend!
How Salt Softens Steak
When you apply salt to a steak, you’re doing a type of ‘dry brining.’ The salt will then suck all liquids and moisture out of the steak, be dissolved by these liquids, and reabsorbed into the meat via osmosis.
While the salt-infused liquids are within the steak, the salt causes all of the protein cells to break down, which tenderizes and enhances the texture.
What is the Maillard Reaction?
While the term may be intimidating, the Maillard reaction is fairly simple to grasp.
In essence, the Maillard reaction is a chemical interaction between amino acids and a reducing sugar that, more often than not, requires heat to occur. It is most similar to caramelization in that it modifies the color and flavor of the food.
Before the reaction to take occur, it must be heated to a high temperature. If you cook a chicken breast at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it will appear somewhat done despite being fully cooked. If you cook the same piece of meat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken will be brown and appear like a cooked chicken breast. This is a wonderful example of the Maillard reaction.
Things do not experience the Maillard reaction when cooked at lower temperatures for a longer period of time. Higher heat over a shorter amount of time, on the other hand, is perfect for the reaction to occur.
The Maillard reaction is responsible for more than simply flavorful meat; it is also to blame for:
- Milk and sugar are used to make caramel.
- Beer, coffee, maple syrup, and chocolate all have different colors.
- Condensed milk’s color
- The process of turning bread into toast.
- Products for self-tanning
- The aroma and smell of roasted meat
When and How to Salt a Steak
If you want to know how to salt a steak perfectly, you must first ensure that your timing is correct.
There are millions of various ideas on when to salt your steak when reading any cookbook or internet tidbit, but there is one approach that is scientifically established!
So, first and foremost, allow your steaks to rest until they reach room temperature. After that, sprinkle them with any salt you have on hand. Some people use regular table salt, but if you want to go fancy, you could always get some Himalayan salt and enhance your steak game.
How to Cook a Steak Correctly
While there is no definitive technique to cook a steak that is considered the sole ‘correct’ approach, there are a few things you can do to ensure the steak is as nice as possible.
Allow your steak to rest before cooking – If you place your steak on the pan right out of the fridge, the muscle fibers will all be stiff, resulting in uneven cooking. Allowing it to rest for just under an hour will bring your steak to room temperature and guarantee that it cooks much more evenly.
Salt and oil — While it may not be for everyone, it is worth a go. While the steak is coming to room temperature, or even after it has, rub it with your choice oil and salt. If you want to enjoy the gastronomic equivalent of bliss, add some pepper as well.
Sear all of the edges — When you get into the pan, turn the heat all the way up. When the steak lands, you should be able to hear it sizzle nearly instantly. Flip the steak when a beautiful crust forms on one side. Don’t forget to sear the edges as well.
Baste with butter – Toss (or gently place) a generous quantity of butter into the pan with your meat. This enhances the flavor and also aids in the cooking process. Even better, if you scoop up the melted butter with a spoon and then pour it over the steak, you’ll be well on your way to preparing the ultimate steak.
Cursh up some garlic and add a sprig of thyme or your favorite herbs. This will intensify and enhance the flavor of the steak without harming the natural steak flavor, as some other methods appear to do.
How to Tell if Your Steak Is Cooked Properly
When preparing a steak, or, more significantly, when looking at steak recipes, everyone tends to rely on timings for how long you need to cook the steak to get a specific level of doneness.
While this may be helpful, each cut of steak is unique, as are everyone’s pans and oven hobs. There are far too many variables for the timing to be exact and universal. Fortunately, you can use the finger test to determine whether your steak is done.
The finger test is about as easy as it sounds. It consists of touching the steak and comparing how it feels to the fleshy portion under your thumb.
To accomplish this correctly, make sure you know where to place your thumb for each level of doneness. When you place your hand palm up and relax your fingers, the fleshy area under your thumb will feel like a blue steak.
When you put your thumb to your ring finger, the fleshy area will feel like a rare steak. You can feel the solidity of a medium-rare steak by moving one finger up and touching your thumb to your middle finger.
Moving one finger up once more. A medium steak will feel like touching the tip of your thumb to your index finger. Finally, pressing your thumb to your little finger will tell you how hard a well-done steak is.
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