Due to the contributions of the occasional meat snob and food critic, there’s a lot of secrecy and conflicting information surrounding how to cook the perfect steak. While high-quality steaks are indeed expensive, cooking delicious food isn’t as difficult, inaccessible, and mysterious as some would lead you to believe. Don’t fall victim to the idea that only culinary artists can prepare a good steak! If you want to cook delicious steak, start by learning about some of the most common steak myths you should definitely ignore.
Season Your Steak When It’s Done Cooking
The idea that you should only season your steak when you finish cooking it comes from the belief that salt will dry out the steak, causing it to become tough. You might be shocked to hear this, but that idea is partially true! However, it will only take out moisture from the surface of the meat, which is actually a good thing. But why would you want to take moisture from the surface? The answer is simple —taking away this moisture allows you to achieve a nice sear faster, meaning you’ll lose less moisture during the rest of the cooking process.
Adding salt to the outside of your steak and letting it sit uncovered in the fridge will aid this process. Depending on thickness, you’ll keep the steak like this anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours.
Bring Your Steak Down to Room Temperature
Some people believe that if you lower the internal temperature of the meat by placing it in the fridge, it will cook faster and more evenly. The problem with this theory is that it takes hours for the inside of a frozen steak to reach room temperature. While this tip will help you cook lean meat without drying it out, such as chicken, it doesn’t make sense for beef. Chicken loses its moisture content much faster when cooking, so save this method for your poultry.
If you leave beef on the counter for the amount of time necessary for it to warm up, it won’t be safe to eat anymore. If you really want to cook your steak evenly, you can use the sous vide method to cook it entirely and then put it in a hot pan to give it a good sear. An easier method is to pat the excess moisture with a towel, salt the outside, and let the steak rest in the fridge overnight. This way, the steak will cook more efficiently.
You Have To Let Your Steak Rest
Unfortunately, the idea that you have to let your steak rest before cutting is one of the most common steak myths out there, and it’s arguably the worst one. If you let your meat rest, the residual heat will continue to cook the inside, changing the wellness level. Wait too long, and your now-overcooked meat will become cold, with the excess moisture softening its once-seared crust. Instead, when you finish cooking your meat, slice it as you normally would, reheat the lost liquid, and pour it back over the steak while it’s nice and hot. This way, you can have a fresh, hot, succulent steak with a beautiful sear every time.