Steak can be a difficult thing to get right and an expensive thing to get wrong! But don’t worry, this guide will show you how to cook a tender steak with two fail-safe, tried and tested methods. It’s an easy and enjoyable process that will impress anybody you cook for. So get the charcoal burning, the steaks thawing and your friends on speed-dial. Read on how to cook a thick steak the way you want to.
How to Grill a Thick Steak Over Charcoal
- Firstly, ideally using charcoal as fuel, set up the grill to give off an indirect heat. Create a hot zone in the charcoal pile which should be as hot as possible. You’ll sear the meat here and transfer to the cooler zone for grilling. Wait until the charcoal has stopped smoking and is giving off red/white heat.
- Trim any excess fat to avoid flare-ups and let the steak reach room temperature (20-30 minutes out of the fridge should do).
- Chuck on the salt (sea salt is best), rubbing it into both sides of the meat roughly 20 mins before cooking. This will help seal the meat as it cooks. Sprinkle the steak liberally with freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Grill for 15 minutes in the indirect heat, turning every 5 minutes. This is for a well done tender steak. Try 10-11 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes for a rare-to-medium steak. Close the grill lid (if possible) at this stage, let the smoke infuse the meat.
- Check the core temperature of the steak, it should be between 105℉ (41℃) for medium-rare and 115℉ (46℃) and for medium.
- Chuck the steaks on to the hottest part of the grill, searing the meat for between 2 and 5 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on them to make sure the surface doesn’t burn. Try to resist the temptation to move them around, if you can leave them where they are. They’ll come out with those grill marks that look so impressive.
- When the steak is about 15℉ before its ideal temperature, sear quickly.
- Take off the grill, put on a plate to rest for 7-10 minutes.
- Slice and serve the thick, tender steak immediately.
- And, of course, enjoy your deliciously cooked steak!
So that was one way of cooking a thick steak but if you haven’t access to an outdoor grill or charcoal, this is how to cook a thick steak in an oven and get great results!
How to Cook a Thick Steak in an Oven
- Preheat the oven to 450℉ (232℃)
- Wipe the steak clean of any moisture, this lets the salt absorb properly.
- Salt, letting it stand for at least 45 minutes before cooking if you can. If you’re short of time, just salt immediately before cooking.
- Take the oven-safe skillet/pan and heat under the oven broiler at a high heat.
- Using a neutral oil like vegetable, canola or sunflower (you want to be able to taste the meat, not the oil!) oil the skillet/pan, wait until the oil is smoking and add the thick steak, cooking it for 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the steak and chuck back on for 1-2 minutes over a high heat.
- Add the skillet to the preheated oven and cook for a further 6-8 minutes for a medium steak, 4-6 minutes for Don’t press down on the steak, it will sear just fine in the pan on it’s own. Try not to move it.
- Use a thermometer to check the steak temperature, using the below guide. When the tender steak has reached the correct temperature (remembering that the steak will continue to cook after being removed from the oven, so take it off the heat 5℉ before it’s desired temperature), take off the heat and let rest for 7-10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy your perfectly cooked steak!
So, pan or charcoal cooking an impressively tender steak isn’t so hard is it? Just remember to pay them good attention, it’s good meat so it needs care. Have a timer on hand if you’re (like many chefs) forgetful. A digital infrared thermometer is an invaluable tool for gauging the temperature, it means you don’t have to touch the steak to check it’s cooked to perfection. They can be picked up fairly inexpensively in supermarkets.
Don’t forget your greens and condiments. If your steak is seasoned properly it won’t need anything at all, but just occasionally a bearnaise sauce or a dollop of barbeque sauce is just the thing to bring out all those juicy flavors. And then, of course, there are the fries. Steak and fries are one of life’s rare joys, so don’t leave them out. A little ketchup for the fries and some greens will set the deep flavors of your steak off beautifully. Try grilling your veg alongside the meat, basting them with some of the steak juices. You’ll never have tastier vegetables. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, you name it, they’ll all benefit from a good grilling.
Make sure the charcoal or oven is up to temperature before cooking the steak, too cold and the meat won’t sear properly and those delicious, complex flavors won’t come bubbling out. The meat should be at room temperature before cooking, if it’s at fridge temperature there’s a chance the outside will burn but leave the inside uncooked. This could lead to dangerous bacterial buildup and food poisoning, so use a food thermometer to check. Salting the meat early helps draw the moisture out of the meat to the surface, so it caramelizes and chars beautifully.
Keep a timer on hand! It’s easy to get distracted by guests or demanding family members and an extra minute on the grill or in the oven can tip a perfectly cooked steak into the realms of dryness, and there’s no going back. Set your timer, keep it with you!
As a general guide, these are the temperatures that will give you your desired doneness:
105℉ (41℃) = Medium/rare
115℉ (46℃) = Medium
140℉ (60℃) = Medium/well
150℉ (66℃) = Well done
Now you’re set to be cooking your thick steak to perfection! Bookmark this page and print it off so you have it at hand. You don’t want to be dashing indoors or getting your smartphone covered in meat juice to check the recipe!
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