Anyone who knows me already knows that I am not a steak person. But, I do know how to cook a great steak — even I enjoy one once in a while! The two most important elements to achieving a gorgeous, flavorful, perfectly cooked, mouth-watering steak are great ingredients and PATIENCE. You will need to plan ahead for the best result.
how to cook a perfect steak
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt (this is my salt of choice)
- patience (plan AHEAD)
- fat (butter, olive oil, peanut oil, etc.), for cooking
Remove steaks from packaging and place on a sheet pan or large plate on a wire rack. Pat the steaks dry on both sides. Lightly salt both sides of the steak, and then place in refrigerator, UNCOVERED, for 24 to 48 hours.
The steaks will begin to turn a deeper red, and look as if a skin is forming on the outer layer. This is normal. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking, to allow to come to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat the steaks dry. Heat skillet with an oven-proof handle over high heat. I prefer NOT to use a non-stick skillet here, as browning occurs better and faster in a cast iron or stainless steel pan. Add enough fat of choice to cover the bottom of the skillet, or rub fat on both sides of the steaks before adding them to the hot pan. Place steaks into the skillet, taking care to allow air space between each piece of meat.
Sear for 2 minutes, or until a nice browning has occurred. If the steaks are stuck to the pan, just WAIT! They will release on their own. Turn the steaks, and brown on the second side. If you prefer darker browning, you may brown one more time on each side.
Transfer the steaks in the skillet to the preheated oven, to finish cooking to desired doneness (SEE CHART BELOW), allowing for 3-5 degrees of carry-over cooking temperature rise. When the interior temperature of the steak is 3 to 5 degrees below your desired doneness, remove from the oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving. This allows the juices in the meat to redistribute, and will produce a moister steak in the end. Serve with desired sauce.
- RARE 120-130°F remove from oven at 116-125°F
- MEDIUM-RARE 130-140°F remove from oven at 126-135°F
- MEDIUM 140-150°F remove from oven at 136-145°F
- MEDIUM-WELL 150-160°F remove from oven at 146-155°F
- WELL-DONE 160-165°F remove from oven at 156-160°F