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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

"Exploring the Art of Cooking the Perfect Steak 101: Tips, Techniques, and Recipes"

Updated: May 20

Dish name: Classic Steak

  • Cuisine: International

  • Preparation time: Varies depending on steak thickness, approximately 15 minutes for cooking, plus resting time.

  • Yield: Serves 1-2 (Depends on the size of the steak)

  • Expiration: Cooked steak is best consumed immediately, leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Ingredients:

  • 1 high-quality steak (such as ribeye, sirloin, or tenderloin), about 1 to 1.5 inches thick

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil with a high smoke point

  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Optional: garlic cloves, fresh thyme, and rosemary for aromatics


  1. Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before cooking.

  2. Preheat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until it's very hot.

  3. Season the steak generously on both sides with salt and pepper.

  4. Add oil to the skillet, and once hot, place the steak in the pan.

  5. Cook the steak for about 2-3 minutes on one side until it develops a golden-brown crust.

  6. Flip the steak and add butter, along with any aromatics if using.

  7. Tilt the pan slightly and spoon the melting butter over the steak repeatedly while it cooks for another 2-3 minutes for medium-rare, depending on thickness and desired doneness.

  8. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the desired internal temperature: 130°F for medium-rare.

  9. Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Tips and Tricks for Making a Perfect Steak:

  1. Room Temperature Meat: Starting with a steak that's at room temperature ensures even cooking.

  2. Dry Surface: Make sure the steak is dry before seasoning to get a better sear.

  3. Searing: A hot pan is critical for searing the steak and forming a flavorful crust.

  4. Oil with High Smoke Point: Use an oil that can withstand high temperatures, like canola, grapeseed, or light olive oil.

  5. Don't Overcrowd: If cooking multiple steaks, ensure they aren’t touching in the pan to prevent steaming.

  6. Basting: Spooning butter over the steak as it cooks adds flavor and can help with even cooking.

  7. Resting the Meat: Allowing the steak to rest ensures juicier, more flavorful meat by preventing the juices from running out when you cut into it.

  8. Use of Thermometer: A meat thermometer is the most reliable way to check for doneness.

Other Methods for Cooking Steak:

  1. Reverse Searing: For thicker cuts, cook the steak in a low oven until it reaches about 10-15°F below your target temperature, then sear it in a hot pan for a crust.

  2. Grilling: A charcoal or gas grill can provide a smoky flavor. The steak should be flipped only once during cooking to develop the desired char.

  3. Sous Vide: This method involves cooking the steak in a precisely controlled water bath to reach the desired doneness before finishing with a quick sear in a skillet.

  4. Broiling: You can broil steak in the oven, flipping it once, to get a crust similar to grilling.

Here are the recommended internal temperatures for steak at various levels of doneness:

  • Rare: Approximately 120-125°F (49-52°C) – The steak will be red and cool to warm in the center.

  • Medium Rare: Approximately 130-135°F (54-57°C) – The steak will have a warm red center.

  • Medium: Approximately 140-145°F (60-63°C) – The steak will be warm and have a pink center.

  • Medium Well: Approximately 150-155°F (65-68°C) – The steak will have a slightly pink center.

  • Well Done: Approximately 160°F (71°C) and up – The steak will be cooked through with no pinkness.

Remember that the temperature of the steak will continue to rise by a few degrees after you remove it from the heat, due to carryover cooking. Therefore, it's generally a good practice to pull the steak off the heat slightly before it reaches the target temperature. Always allow the steak to rest before cutting into it to ensure the juices redistribute and the steak finishes cooking to the perfect doneness.

Each method provides a different texture and flavor profile, so it's worth experimenting to see which you prefer for the perfect steak experience.

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