Americans have a stake in steaks. Americans bought 27.6 billion pounds of beef in 2020.
One reason why so many people love steak is its versatility. You can find many steak recipes online. Yet learning how to make the perfect steak can be a little difficult.
What are the grades of beef and cuts of steak? When do you know your steak is done? How can you create different flavors for your meat?
Answer these questions and you can satisfy your urge for beef in little time. Here is your quick guide.
Find the Perfect Grade of Beef
There are three grades of beef in the United States. Select meat is the lowest-quality meat you will find in stores. It may be barely edible, but the meat is cheap and easy to cook.
A piece of Choice meat can cost a few more dollars than a piece of Select meat. But it tastes far better, containing more fat and thicker fibers.
Prime meat is the most expensive meat you will find. It is very expensive, especially for steaks. Most steak recipes call for Prime selections.
Pick a Cut of Steak
Different parts of the cow produce different kinds of steak. Porterhouse steaks come from the short loin, which lies in the back of the cow.
The steaks have two separate pieces of meat, the strip steak and the tenderloin. The strip steak is beefy with marbled fat while the tenderloin is tender and round.
T-bone steaks are cut from the short loin. They are similar to porterhouse steaks in that they have a strip steak and a piece of the tenderloin. But the tenderloin portion is smaller, leaving the T-bone steak with more fat.
You can buy a strip steak separately from a tenderloin. A New York strip steak is lean, containing no bones and a small amount of fat. It is good if you are new to making steak.
You can also buy a tenderloin by itself. A filet mignon is cut from the tip of the tenderloin, producing an extremely tender and lean piece of meat.
Ribeye steaks come from the rib area. They contain a lot of marbled fat, which can make the meat melt inside your mouth. The steak is flat, so it is easy to cook evenly.
Butchers cut top sirloin steaks from the very back of the cow. The steaks are less expensive, though they can absorb marinades well.
Select the Right Doneness
Steak doneness refers to the internal temperature of the steak. The temperature affects the taste, juiciness, and texture of the meat. It also affects the pathogens inside the meat, though most steaks do not contain harmful bacteria.
A rare steak has a temperature of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The steak is soft to the touch and contains plenty of juices.
Medium-rare steaks are 130 degrees. They are a little crispy on the outside, but they contain a good amount of juice. Many guides with grilling tips recommend cooking a rare or medium-rare steak.
Medium steaks are 140 degrees. These steaks are firm and lack juices. Some people find medium steaks bland, so they put salt and seasonings on them.
Medium-well steaks are 150 degrees while well-done steaks are 160 degrees. They are firm and lack juices, making them essentially flavorless. You should only cook a well-done steak if you like burnt food.
Buy the Perfect Grill
You can cook a steak on a skillet inside your house. Yet cooking steak on a skillet can cause a grease fire or spread smoke throughout your kitchen.
You should try cooking steaks on an outdoor grill instead. Using a charcoal grill can make your steak taste a little smoky. A gas grill may be cheaper to buy and easier to use.
Make sure you examine a variety of products. You can consider TEC infrared grills alongside grills from other companies. Talk to people who like to make steak about their favorite grills.
Season Your Meat
When you have bought a steak and a grill, you can start your steak recipe. It is okay to cook a steak without extensive seasoning. Using salt and pepper will let you taste all of the natural flavors in your meat.
But you can cook your steak with different sauces. Many people like to make a sauce with melted butter, garlic, and other ingredients. You can baste the steak with this sauce before cooking it.
If you want to marinate your steak, you should create the sauce and let the steak sit in it overnight. The longer your steak marinates, the more the sauce will integrate into the meat.
Grill Your Steak
Before you turn your grill on, you should let your steak sit at room temperature. This will soften the fibers in the meat so they cook properly.
You should then heat your grill on high. Consider rubbing your steak with canola oil or melted butter so it won’t stick to the grill.
Cook the steak until it reaches the internal temperature you want. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature instead of cutting into the meat. Cutting into your steak will cause juices to spill out.
Master How to Make the Perfect Steak
You can learn how to make the perfect steak in a few steps. You should opt for Choice and Prime steaks whenever possible. You can choose any cut you want, though filet mignon steaks are extremely tender.
Try cooking your steaks rare or medium-rare. Well-done steaks will not give you the flavors you want.
Find an outdoor grill that your steaks can cook evenly on. Place whatever seasonings you want on your meat and then grill your steak.
Once you know the basics, you can experiment with steaks. Read more guides to steaks by following our coverage.