The most traditional way to enjoy a steak is with fries. But that’s not the only way you can eat your meal. You also don’t need to opt for a boring side salad if you want to cut out the carbs and stick to healthy food.
It’s time to get a little more creative with your steak meals. Create something exciting and delicious. After all, steak can be good for you. Get the right cut and you keep the saturated fats down, add more protein to your diet, and can also boost other nutrients found in red meat. The great news is you don’t have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen to improve your steak meals.
Here are nine tips that will help improve your meals. You’ll add more nutrients and improve the flavor considerably!
Keep the Bones In
There is a lot of focus on removing the bones. After all, you want as much meat as possible right? Well, it’s time to make a few changes to the way you cut your steak. Opt for those cuts with some of the bones still in. You’ll gain far more nutrients this way.
When you have the bone still in the meat, you keep many of the muscle fibers stretched. This adds a little more protein to your dish.
You’ll also improve the flavor and texture. When cooking, the fibers will shrink. By cooking with the bone in, the fibers don’t have the ability to shrink as much. Your meat remains tender and easier to chew.
This works with all cuts of beef. When buying from the butches, ask for those that still have some of the bones. You don’t need a large bone at the end, but make sure the bone is large enough to keep the muscle fibers connected and pulled.
Make Sure the Beef Is Aged
A good steak is at least 30 days old. This isn’t something you’re going to find in your local grocery store. Their aim is to sell as much as possible, regardless of the taste. It’s time to spend a little more money and time searching out the best meats.
Regardless of the cut, you can get an amazing steak with some extra time. Talk to your local butcher about how they cut and sell their meat. You want someone who will wait at least 30 days with the steaks to ensure the best taste.
Over the 30 days, the meat has a chance to marble. This will help to lock in more of the juices. Whether you’re going to marinade or eat the steak without extra flavors, this extra time is going to be beneficial.
Turn Up the Heat on Your Grill
Most people will cook their meat at a low temperature. You don’t want to burn your meat, right? Well, there are high chances that you’re cooking your steaks in a heat that is way too low. You want to get that seared and smoky taste, which means increasing the heat. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to grill, fry or even BBQ! Nor does it matter if you’re using gas, electric, or even charcoal.
Charcoal and gas will give you better tastes, but electric can work well. Preheat your grill for at least 20 minutes to get the temperature high enough. Then put your meat on the grates.
If you’re going to use a charcoal cooking method, consider using a chimney starter. You want to avoid the use of lighter fluid, as this will end up mixing in with the taste of the steak while cooking.
Grilling is certainly the best way to cook, especially if you want the steak to be tender. Frying just ends up collecting extra fat.
However, you don’t want a consistently high heat across the whole grill. Work on getting a heated topside and a lower heat on the bottom. This is much easier with charcoal since you can move the coals to one side of the grill. When you keep the heat consistently high, your steak will become tough to eat. Sear your meat on the hot side and then turn over for the low side to finish.
Give the Meat Time to Sit
You’ll be tempted to jump straight into eating your steak, but that’s something you want to avoid at first. Once cooked, your meat needs time to sit and relax. Allow it just 4-6 minutes without disturbing it. That means just leave it on the grill that you’ve cooked it on.
When you leave the steak, the juices have a chance to distribute. It’s easier to spread them across the whole steak, so every element is as juicy and tender as each other.
It doesn’t matter how you’ve cooked or the marinades you’ve used. Use the time to prepare your sides and get the table ready. You’ll appreciate your food a lot more.
And it’s not just after the cooking that you want to let the meat rest. Before you start cooking it, allow the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes. This gives the steak time to reach room temperature and it’s an essential part of the cooking process. Cold meat doesn’t cook evenly. You’ll be left with areas that are tough and others that are almost just right. When you cook at room temperature, you give the juices time to distribute, making even cooking much easier.
Do this even if you’re marinating. You can place in the fridge overnight to marinate fully, but then you’ll want to allow the steak to reach room temperature before cooking.
Be Generous with the Seasoning
Whatever you decide to do for seasoning, make sure you’re generous. It’s tempting to put a little flavor on to avoid overwhelming the steak, but it’s not possible to lose the taste of a well-cooked steak.
The juices will run off and distribute while cooking. If you want to get the full flavor all the way through, you will want to season well. Rub as much as possible into the meat and don’t forget to sear the meat first to help the flavors to get into the middle of the meat.
When marinating, allow a few hours to get the flavors deeper into the cuts of meat. You can even leave it overnight to fully combine the flavors and seasoning.
Do all the seasoning before allowing the steak to rest. It’s during the resting period that the steak has time to fully envelope all the flavors.
Don’t be afraid to try some different flavorings each time you cook a steak. Salt is one of the more important seasonings to get in, but you can get some smoky and interesting tastes with the likes of cinnamon, paprika, and turmeric.
Don’t Forget the Butter
While you want to avoid too many saturated fats, every now and then you can still enjoy them. You just must time the use of them right. Butter is one of the most important toppings for your steak. It will mix with the steak flavors and create a delicious, own-made sauce.
Make sure you add the butter when the steak is still hot. Use it as soon as the steak is cooked before you rest it for a few minutes. This will help to melt the butter into the meat and work with the distributing juices. Everything works together evenly, creating the softest, most luxurious steak you have ever tried.
And butter isn’t the only topping to consider. Don’t forget about fried mushrooms, some fresh pesto, and even some vegetable slaws. Add them while the steak is still hot, giving their flavors time to distribute into the steak juices better.
Have fun testing out different toppings each time you make a new steak dish. Get creative to avoid your steak meals from getting boring!
Don’t Be Afraid to Use the Freezer
Try freezing your steak for 45 minutes before you cook it. This is something to do right before cooking.
Yes, this goes against the previous suggestion of allowing your steak to warm to room temperature first, but it’s an interesting cooking option for something a little different. While you don’t get the even cooking, you can get a juice and tender steak in the middle.
This is good when you want to fry rather than grill your steak. You’ll evaporate the moisture on the surface, to get a charred crust. You can get a little more of the smoky flavor, creating a steak from the South.
You don’t want to fully freeze the steak. The idea is to dry out the surface of the steak to help quickly create the smoky and charred effect when cooking.
Get the Perfect Texture with a Meat Thermometer
Many people will cook with a timer method to get the right texture, but this isn’t a foolproof option. After all, steaks of different sizes will take different lengths of time to cook. What you really want is a thermometer to tell you when your steak is done.
Everyone has their own preferences on the way they like their steak cooked. You may prefer it to be as blue as possible, or you may want it crispy to almost burnt! There’s nothing wrong with any of the “doneness” as you’re the one that’s enjoying it.
A digital thermometer will tell you when your meat is just right for your needs. You’ll want to stop cooking five degrees before reaching the desired temperature, as the meat will continue to cook when you remove it from the heat. This is where the “resting” time is extremely useful.
The best-desired temperatures for your doneness are:
Very rare: 120F
Medium rare: 130F
Medium well: 150F
Make Sure the Plate Is Hot
Finally, make sure you serve your steaks on hot plates. Restaurants warm their plates before plating the food because it helps to offer the best experience for customers. The meat can lose its heat very quickly, so serving on hot plates is the best way to keep hold of that. You’ll also make sure the rest of the food is at the right temperature.
If you put the food on plates at room temperature, you will lose some of the heat from the food quicker. The cooler plates will draw in the heat from the food. By heating the plates, you create a balance between dish and food!
You’ll need to make sure your plates are oven-safe. Heat than for a few minutes at 350F at the end of the cooking. It’s great to do this while you’re allowing your meat to rest. You can also heat in the microwave if you want. It really will depend on the way you’ve cooked your steak.
If you’re serving with salad, make sure the salad is placed in a separate bowl. All your guests to serve the salad themselves directly from the bowl to avoid their greens heating up too quickly.
Cook the Perfect Steak
Are you ready to get the perfect steak? This is more than just thinking about the sides you serve. Cooking the perfect steak starts from before you even buy the meat. Make sure you get the right cuts. It’s more than just looking at the right type of cut and looking at where the meat has come from. You want to make sure the meat has been cured for the right length of time to get the perfect taste.
From there, you can start the process of seasoning your meat and giving it time to stand. Decide on how you want your meat cooked and use a thermometer to make sure it’s just right. Don’t forget to ask your guests how they like to have their meat cooked to ensure the tenderness and juices are just to their liking.
Steaks can be delicious. You can get the restaurant taste in your own home. It’s all about patience, timing, and the right toppings and seasonings.