Photo by Michael Stern licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Steaks are not inexpensive cuts of meat (unless you’re going the economical route; in which case, you get what you pay for). Excellent steaks are high-quality cuts that need to be handled and cooked with care so that you can enjoy the quality you paid for
Even if you think you know how to cook steak, prepare it, and serve it, you may not be 100 percent accurate. Cooking the perfect steaks requires more than just knowing your temperatures and how to get a good sear. These common mistakes are ones that even so-called experts may be doing wrong and they’re seriously ruining your steaks:
1. You’re Freezing It Wrong
When you order from Chicago Steak Company, you’ll get meats shipped to your door in quality packaging, already flash-frozen to maintain their juices and flavor. If you purchase from the store or butcher, you don’t have that convenience and you may end up freezing your steaks all wrong.
To keep steaks their freshest and avoid freezer burn, first wrap a freezer wrap or aluminum foil tightly around each piece. Then, place the cuts in a plastic freezer storage bag and remove all air before sealing.
2. You’re Thawing It Wrong
Defrosting your beef in the microwave or on the counter at room temperature for hours is definitely not the right way to thaw it. Using the microwave can dry out your meat and even make it unsafe to eat if you leave it in too long so that it starts to cook. If you didn’t skip out on food safety in health class, you already know why leaving most foods at room temperature for hours to thaw is extremely unsafe.
It may take longer but thawing your steaks in the fridge is the way to go. Keep them in their freezer packaging, place them on a plate, and leave them in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
3. You’re Cooking It Cold
There is a time when you’ll want to leave your steaks at room temperature, but only for about half an hour. Take your meat out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook it. Dry them off and then sear them in a hot pan. Taking them right from the fridge may make them cook unevenly and will make it difficult for you to get a good sear with a damp surface.
4. You’re Not Cooking It Enough
Although everyone has their idea of the perfect steak and what it looks like inside, most experts and steak-lovers agree that the perfect steak is medium-rare. Still, there are some outliers who love to see a whole lot of red – and maybe some tints of purple – in the middle of their steaks. There’s a reason that your beef should be cooked more, and it’s not for health reasons.
Cooking beef to medium-rare or medium gives it enough time for its fat to render down, making the meat more tender and flavorful. If you stop cooking at rare, you’re not giving the steaks their full flavor and texture.
5. You’re Eating It Immediately
Steaks need a little time to chill out after you cook them. We know it’s more enticing to eat them when they’re fresh out of the pan but letting them rest for about ten minutes makes their juices flow back through the meat to give them their full flavor and texture.
Stop cooking steaks when their internal temperature is about ten degrees lower than you want it to be because they’ll cook a little more as they sit.
Conclusion: Avoid These Common Mistakes When Cooking Steak
Avoid common mistakes by following these ways to cook steak and you’ll get the perfect finish every time. For more tips, tricks, and recipes, be sure to stop by Steak University, the ultimate resource for everything you need to know about quality beef.