Rare, medium or well-done? Steak to order is not a problem with these helpful tips.
One of the most important steak cooking tips is to start out with a good steak in the first place!
A poorly cooked steak of prime grade will still likely taste better than a low-grade steak cooked well. Look for a steak with marbling throughout. This will ensure that it is flavourful and remains juicy.
Step 1 - Prepare the steaks
- Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature (for about 20 minutes).
Step 2 - Preheat your pan
- Heat the frying pan over a high heat until hot, but not smoking. Adding the steak to a high heat will seal the surface and lock in the juices. If the pan is too hot, the outside will burn before the inside is done, too cold, and your steaks will be tough.
- Brush the steaks with oil, or pour a little oil into the pan.
- When you place the steaks in the pan, a loud 'sizzle' will tell you if it's hot enough.
Step 3 - Cook to your liking
- For a medium steak: Cook on a hot pan or BBQ on one side or 3 minutes.
- Gently turn the steak over with a pair of tongs (don't pierce it, or the juices will escape), and cook for a further 3 minutes. (You can vary the times here if you prefer a rare or well-done steak.)
- To test for doneness, press the steak gently with the tip of your finger. Rare should be soft and supple, well done firm, and medium in between.
Step 4 - Rest your steaks
- Resting is just as important as cooking, as it allows the meat to become warm, moist and tender all the way through.
- Remove from the pan, place on a plate or rack, cover with foil and set aside for 3-5 minutes to rest. Resting helps allow the juices to settle and the muscle fibres to relax, which ensures the steak is tender.
Step 5 - Serve your steaks
If you have a large and thick cut of meat, it will continue to cook, even after you have removed it from the oven. Therefore, take it off a little early or serve immediately.
Guide to steak cooking times
The times given here are a guide only and refer to a steak that is approximately 2.5cm or 1" thick. Thicker steaks may require a longer cooking time, and vice versa for thinner steaks.
Rare: 1-2 minutes per side
- rest for 6-8 minutes
Medium rare: 2-2.5 minutes per side
- rest for 5 minutes
Medium: 3 minutes per side
- rest for 4 minutes
Well done: 4.5 minutes per side
- rest for 1 minute
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