How Long To Cook Steak (And Why?)

Exact Answer: 2 to 10 mins

Steak is a staple delicacy in many countries all around the world. Countries that consume beef have Steak as one of their favorites and are served grilled, baked, or pan-fried with asparagus, salad, or mashed potatoes. Also, this might vary from region to region. Cooking Steak is considered a work of art. The temperature, the time, and perfect seasoning will result in a beautiful mouth-watering platter.

The meat is generally sliced across the muscle tissues of the animal and probably includes a bone. Steak can also be cooked in sauce, such as pan-fried garlic-butter mushroom steak, or minced and formed into patties for hamburgers. Besides cattle, steaks are sliced out of other animals as well, like camel, goat, horse, sheep, pigs, and various types of fish, especially salmon or swordfish.

How Long To Cook Steak?

Type Of Steak Duration to cook
Rare (Dark red color meat, very moist, red juices)2 minutes on each side, flip just once
Medium (Pinkish-red color meat, moist, from clear to pink juices)4 to 6 minutes on each side, flip just once
Medium rare (Light red color meat, moist, pink juices)3 to 4 minutes on each side, flip once only before the pink droplets of moisture appear on top of the surface on each side.
Well done (Greyish color meat, dry, clear, and no pink juices)2 to 4 minutes on each side, then reduce heat and cook for 4 to 6 minutes more.

The best choice of steak is always from the grass-fed and grass-finished animals. A great dinner is often a meal where the quality of the meat and then on the quality of the cut is most focused on. While purchasing the meat from the grocery store or the butcher and if you get a chance to see check on how looks like before purchasing it, there are a few details to look into to get the best steak possible. It should look dry and firm to the touch.

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A steak that looks wet apparently did not age perfectly and will be less tender and juicy while cooking. Also, choose a rich red, nearly purplish, color, and clear white fat marbling. A steak is usually graded by the amount of fat marbling it has. The more marbling it’s, the costlier it’ll be. The buyer must note that a grain-fed animal is fed a low diet and gets fat. This fat will be high in omega-6, deprived of fat-soluble nutrients, and usually full of toxins.

All the prime cuts of steak are also a detail to check. The best prime cuts come from the rib or short loin areas of the steer, mainly because these are the areas of the animal that get the smallest amount of exercise and will therefore be the most tender. Keep in mind that other cuts of steak exist, but those five cuts are the ones that stand out when cooking a wonderful steak because they’re the foremost tender and flavorful cuts. Those are:

  • The rib eye
  • The T-bone
  • The Porterhouse
  • The Strip loin
  • The Tenderloin

Why Would It Take That Long To Cook Steak?

There are a few essential steps to consider before cooking the steaks. First and foremost, one must let the steaks come to room temperature before cooking them. This ensures a stable cooking experience and lets the steak spend less time in the pan, which will lead to a juicier steak. Simply place the steaks on a grid or a plate and let them come to room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours before cooking them.

When the time involves cooking the steaks, pat them dry, and season them with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Most prime cuts of steak only need the essential salt and pepper seasoning. the flowery use of spices would only hide their delicious flavor. Use fancy spice mixes and rubs when cooking tougher and fewer flavorful cuts of steak. Some people wish to season their steak long before they’re going to cook it, but seasoning it just before is probably the foremost popular option.

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It’s all about the beautiful sizzle. Pre-heat a wide frying pan or BBQ to a high temperature. If using a frying pan, the more massive the base, the better it holds heat longer and cooks the meat uniformly. It is important not to fill the pan, or the meat will braise rather than sear. Cook the steak in batches or use more pans if needed. You should hear a loud sizzle when the steak is laid on the pan. If no to less sizzle means the pan is not hot enough.

The timing is very crucial. As the law of thumb, for a steak that is approximately 22mm thick, cook 2 minutes on each side for a rare, 3 to 4 minutes each side for a medium-rare, and 4 to 6 minutes each side for medium. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.

Conclusion

Hence, to determine the doneness, one can always choose to be very precise with the method of cooking and use a thermometer to determine the heat and exact doneness, but nothing can beat experience. After cooking some steaks successfully, one gets better. Cutting the steaks to check the meat is probably not a preferable idea because it will lead to all the delicious juices run out of them.

To test for doneness, use the tip of your clean index finger to gently palpate the steak. If the steak is soft and squishy, it is rare. If it is soft but a little bit springy, that’s medium-rare. If it is springy, then it is medium. Any firmer than those mentioned prior, it is well-done. Therefore, we can determine for how long the steak needs to cook.

Reference

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0309174016300432
  2. https://academic.oup.com/jas/article-abstract/71/9/2412/4632430
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