Achieve your perfect steak by avoiding these common mistakes.
1. Going from fridge to grill
You may be concerned about leaving the meat out, but don’t worry: the heat will deal with the germs. You just need to get the meat to room temperature. This takes about 15 to 30 minutes – tops. If you use cold meat that’s fresh out of the fridge, it’s likely that it won’t cook evenly.
2. Using too low heat
The key to making superb steak (read: juicy on the inside and browned or caramelised on the outside) is managing the fire. First sear your steak on high heat, then dial down the temperature as needed. If you’re pan-frying, opt for a cast iron skillet – it retains heat better.
3. Flipping and poking… and flipping and poking
You’re not making a stir-fry – stop moving that steak! This will cause the juices to escape (and evaporate). Cook one side then flip it gently with a pair of tongs. Do not impale it with a fork. Again, you want to keep the moisture in.
If you spent big bucks on a quality cut, don’t ruin it by leaving it too long on the grill or stove. When steak is overcooked, it becomes dry and loses its flavour. For a rare to medium rare steak (about 2.5cm thick), grill each side for three minutes. Add one or two minutes on each side if you prefer it more done.
There are five levels of doneness, as depicted in the picture: (from top) Rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well and well-done. Consider investing in a cooking thermometer. The target internal temperature should be 50 deg C, 54 deg C, 60 deg C, 66 deg C and 72 deg C at the corresponding doneness, according to Huber’s Butchery, a European-style premium specialty store in Singapore.
5. Not letting it rest
So you’re eager to taste your work. Be patient. Don’t go poking at your steak right after removing it from the grill. Let the meat sit for a few minutes. You’re basically allowing the meat to reabsorb the juices, and your steak will be more succulent when you eventually sink your teeth into it.
Okay – now that you know how to cook the perfect steak, you can go buy that super marbled wagyu ribeye and get grillin’. (PS. We really like the Toriyama Wagyu at Huber’s Butchery) Learn more about beef cuts here.