Cooking beef steaks

Cooking beef steaks

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  1. Expert or candidate for rehab

    The thing with cooking steaks is that it takes practice. If you really want to learn how to cook steaks, I suggest finding a job at a steak house. That way you will be cooking several dozens of steaks each shift without having to pay for a single one. In fact, you’ll be paid for practicing the craft, and after three or four months, you’ll be certifiable as an expert steak broiler or as a prime candidate for some rehab program for former broiler cooks.

    Carnal levitation

    Steaks are generally broiled, which means the heat is directly applied to the meat. In an ideal broiling situation, the steak would levitate out over the fire coming into contact with nothing but five or six hundred degrees of flesh-searing heat. The meat would become crisp and brown on the outside while retaining the juicy flavor on the inside, no matter how well done the steak becomes. You’re creating a shell that will protect the tender insides of the steak. In our less than ideal world where carnal levitation is not possible, we set the steak on a grate over a fire or on a broiler pan beneath the fire.

    Step back before catching fire

    To make the shell you must have a hot fire. It should make you uncomfortable when you stand next to it, and if your shirt begins to emit a slight wisp of smoke from the radiating heat, well then you know your fire has reached an adequate temperature. Not all fires will be hot enough to set your clothes on fire, and I am exaggerating, but you get the idea. Hot fire is key. And for safety’s sake, if you feel like you might catch fire, step back.

    Digging ribeyes

    As for the steak itself: You have to develop an eye for good steaks. You have to develop a personal preference, too. I am a sirloin guy. Many folks like New York strip steaks. Others dig ribeyes, and some must have tenderloins. Try them all. Take note of some you liked and the ones you disliked.

    Salt and pepper

    Seasoning a steak can be as simple as shaking on salt and pepper. You can use cracked black pepper and make the meat spicy. Put on some soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Montreal Seasoning will give a good result. Simple is better, especially to start with.

    Put meat on fire

    Cooking the steak is a straight forward operation. Put the steak on the grill or under the broiler. You will have to develop a sense for the correct amount of time before flipping the steak, but one good way to do it is to flip the steak at the very first instant that you see liquid gathering on top of the meat in the case of a grill or just make your best guess in the case of a broiler. To achieve the desired doneness there does exist one guideline, but practice is the only way to get the right doneness every time.

    Doneness approximator

    The doneness guide is the meaty part of your thumb on the palm of your hand. To execute the guide, hold your hand palm up and relax your thumb and fingers. Press on the meaty part of your thumb. It should be soft, and, believe it or not, it approximates the feel of a rare steak. Touch your thumb and first finger together lightly, and you have medium rare. Middle finger is medium. Ring finger, medium well. Pinky, well done. The meat gets firmer as it cooks. Again, let experience be your ultimate guide, but until you have some experience, the thumb trick will serve you.

    No playing

     Resist playing with the steak. Put it on the fire and leave it until it’s ready to flip. Then leave it until it’s done. That’s it.

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