Best Way to Cook a Steak

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So you’ve got your first, third or maybe even tenth, shipment of high quality, gourmet Chicago Steak Company steaks sitting in front of you.  Maybe you have guests coming over for dinner or you are just looking to impress your husband/wife/friend/partner with a meal fit for a king.  With a superior cut and grade of beef, we would like to tell you there is no way to go wrong when it comes to how to cook a perfect steak.  But if we fed you that line it wouldn’t be long before Steak University was dubbed #fakenews and, well, you know how well that hashtag is trending recently…

In the spirit of education and full disclosure, we have to admit, there are definitely routes that you shouldn’t take when it comes to how to perfectly cook a steak.  Overcooking, not allowing steak to come to room temperature before cooking or not allowing it to rest for at least five minutes after cooking, are some of the basics of how to cook steaks that will leave your guests begging for more.  While these general hints may be well-known to regular Steak University readers, its time to get into the nitty gritty details and give some tips and tricks on the best ways to cook steaks like a pro.  Grab your pen and take notes, we’re about to lay down some serious steak-u-cation.

How to Cook a Perfect Steak: The Prep

We’ve talked about seasonings, marinades and a host of other preparation tools at Steak University.  While each of these articles provides an in-depth review of how to cook steaks, a need-to-know list can be incredibly helpful when you’re on the go, or juggling steaks, sides and more in the kitchen.  So without further ado, we bring you your prep checklist that will help you cook a perfect steak every time.

  • Bring Steak to Room Temperature – While there is a growing trend for the reverse sear and similar methods of cooking partially frozen or cold steak, the tried and true best way to cook steak is to allow it to come to room temperature prior to cooking.
  • Seasonings – For every steak lover there is a different “secret recipe” to be passed along for how to perfectly cook and season a steak. We prefer the basics to allow the flavor of the meat to reign supreme.  Salt, pepper and a little bit of optional garlic should do you just fine.  Or just use the bottle of Chicago Steak Company Steak Seasoning that came included with your last order.
  • Grill Equipment – The exact tools you will need to cook a perfect steak will vary depending on your method of choice, but we tend to think the best ways to cook steaks are the simplest and rely on little more than a heavy skillet, tongs for flipping and a hot flame. Cast iron pans are ideal for the way they retain heat and you can throw them in the oven to pre-heat along with the side of your choice for perfect meal timing. Also, don’t forget your meat thermometer to ensure your steaks internal temperature reaches the desired doneness.

How to Cook a Perfect Steak: The Execution

Now that you’ve prepped your steaks and assembled your equipment, it’s time to stop wandering how to cook steaks and start executing steak perfection.  Need more guidance for the best ways to cook your steaks?  Follow this step by step how to for perfectly cooked steaks each and every time.

  1. Pre-Heat your pan – Pre-heating allows for even cooking and that perfect sear. If you are cooking a perfect steak, a crusty seared outside is a must.  Don’t forget to oil the pan.  We prefer avocado or olive oil.  Leave the butter for finishing since it has a higher smoke point and tends to burn at the temperatures needed for cooking a perfect steak.
  2. Sear Steak on Both Sides – Ensure your pan is plenty hot by dripping a small drop of water onto the surface. If it instantly sizzles, you are ready for action.  The best way to cook a steak is to sear for no more than 2-3 minutes per side.  You don’t want to cook the steak all the way through as this will lead to well or overdone steak.
  3. Finish in Oven – After searing, place your steaks in a 425 pre-heated oven for 4-7 more minutes, depending on thickness and desired level of doneness. A meat thermometer should read 135 degrees.
  4. Rest, and Plenty of It – Once your steak has reached medium rare perfection, allow to rest for at least five minutes. This will allow the juices to coagulate, keeping all that flavorful goodness inside, where it belongs.

There you have it.  All the tips and tricks you need to cook a perfect steak, every time.  Remember to start with high quality cuts of beef, such as those offered by the Chicago Steak Company and you’ll be the one showing off your newfound knowledge of how to perfectly cook a steak at your next dinner gathering.