How to Cook a Steak Like a Chef (No Grill Necessary)

a beautifully seized steak that reveals a tender heartMarian Weyo / Shutterstock

It's hard to beat a prime restaurant steak, but it can be an expensive venture. Learn how to cook a steak at home with all the flavor at half the price, without a grill.

When was the last time you had the experience of a quality steak house? You know what we mean, the kind with linen tablecloths, a sweet candle, horribly too expensive a la carte sides, and a server that is both professional and slightly condescending. Harsh service personnel aside, steakhouses tend to be a treat and a dear one.

There is no reason you can not have the same amazing steak at home and less than half of what this steak house charges. In addition, the server will not make you lose your mind when you ask if you can bring the bread home in a box. Winning winner, in our opinion. Interested in how to get there? Let's start at the beginning.

Choose the right cut

Cooking a steak starts with selecting the right cut of beef. Since we probably add only salt, pepper and maybe some other herbs or spices, the cut used determines a lot. When we talk about steak, there are three main areas to consider: filet, sirloin and steaks.

The net sits on the back of the cow; it's very skinny and very tender. It's also quite expensive. You may recognize him better as Filet Mignon or Chateaubriand. Although it is popular with many customers, it is perceived as tasteless, boring and overpriced. Rule number one when cooking: fat is equal to taste. It is therefore logical that this lean cut, although quite appropriate for cooking like a steak, is not the chef's choice.

That said, you can easily add some fat to a bacon (or bacon fat) fillet or just a nice amount of butter before you finish it.

Sirloin, however, is renowned in the culinary world. This is what you will see in most steakhouses. It is a little fatter and therefore a little more tasty than the net. You'll find cuts from this area listed under NY Strip, Kansas City Steak and Top Away.

Finally, we have the steaks. These tend to pack a lot of flavor. They also tend to lack tenderness. Steaks in this category include t-bone, rib eye, and shepherd's steak. Other areas, such as lathe, roast chuck and front or hind hocks are more rigorous, rubbery and it is often better to leave cooking methods different from those described here.

How to prepare a steak

What you do to prepare your steak before cooking is a matter of opinion. We will discuss certain proven practices here, but know that there are always other options. First of all, many restaurant chefs and home cooks know that a steak should not be kept in plastic. He needs to breathe! If you buy it under shrink film on a foam tray, remove the plastic as soon as possible and wrap the steak in butcher paper or place it on a plate in the refrigerator and cover it loosely with paper towels .

Secondly, it is important to season your steak at the right time. There are two schools of thought on this subject. Some believe it is better to season directly before placing the steak on the grill; others season their steak up to 24 hours in advance. We found that one or the other method works. Seasoning well in advance gives the best outdoor crust to the steak, probably because salt enters the muscle fibers by diffusion, causing a liquid and creating a dry surface. However, seasoning just before cooking always gives excellent results.

What you season with your steak depends on you, but with a cut of choice, we recommend sticking to salt and pepper. The steak itself will have a ton of flavor, and all you need is sprinkled with salt and pepper.

How to cook steak

Grab a steak on a hot cast iron pan is the secret to a quality steak at homeBartosz Luczak / Shutterstock

Your cut is chosen. You have seasoned and stored it appropriately. Now, let's cook a steak!

This part is pretty simple. Preheat your oven to 450 F. Place a cast iron pan in the oven while it is preheating. Once cooked, remove the pan, put it on the fire, light the burner over high heat and add a little clarified butter or oil (about a tablespoon).

Once the butter or oil is swirling gently in the pan, add the steaks being careful not to overload the pan. Cook for four to five minutes without stirring, until a crust develops. Turn the steaks over and leave them on the stove for another two or three minutes, then put the whole pan, steaks included, in the preheated oven.

The cooking time of the steaks in the oven depends on their thickness. We suggest using an instant-read thermometer, stuck on the side of the thickest part of the steak, to determine its cooking. We also recommend removing steaks from the pan at a cooking level five to ten degrees below the desired level. The steaks will continue to warm up while they are resting.

On this note, be sure to let them sit for at least ten minutes before serving. And, if you feel a little extra, you can garnish each steak with a knob of butter during the rest time. Restaurants have been using this tip for a while and we do not think you will be disappointed.

That's how you prepare a steak, but you may still have questions. Let's see a little deeper if we can answer it.

Why cast?

The use of cast iron is essential because of its impressive ability to maintain a high temperature at a reasonable cost. A good cast stove will not cost you much, but it will give you a beautiful light every time. In the method described above, a cast iron skillet is essential to the creation of this deep mahogany crust. Our stove moves smoothly from oven to oven and vice versa, which at these temperatures would cause damage to an ordinary pan.

Many fear maintenance behind a cast iron pan, but fear nothing. Cast iron is virtually indestructible. Although you may need to restore them after a major disaster in the kitchen, you will have a hard time doing them real damage. And, they are not only good for steaks. All high-calorie dishes, such as fajitas or pan-fried chicken, go well with cast iron.

Why bake?

We know that a steak baked does not seem very attractive. However, cooking baked steaks has been made for decades in the world of catering. Even steakhouses that claim that their steaks are grilled on the flame, probably only a few minutes before switching to an oven.

An oven offers a softer, more even and more even cooking than a naked flame. While the grill, or a hot cast iron skillet on the stove, is excellent for getting a good cooking, it will quickly burn the outside of your net while leaving the uncooked inside. Most of us prefer a dark brown, crispy (not blackened) exterior with a perfectly cooked center. To achieve this, the oven oven or oven grill method works best.

Steak does not have to be an expensive business. It is not necessary to book it for the summer months. It's easy to make, easy to print and does not require a grid. So, take your cast iron stove, choose the perfect cut and go tonight to the steak. You have deserved it.

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