Official Steak Cooking Thread

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mrdecoy1, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. mrdecoy1

    mrdecoy1

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    I'm having troubles with simply cooking a steak. I usually buy Sam's Club rib eyes that look well marbled, maybe I need to up it to "choice" or "prime" I usually take them out an hour ahead of time, salt well with kosher and fresh cracked pepper. I've grilled with oak lump, charcoal briquettes using a chimney starter, I've tried making on cast iron, all with mediocre results. Any ideas? thanks. 
     
  2. statscook

    statscook

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    This is a bit of a southern way of cooking it and not necessarily healthy but hey it's a steak... crack some pepper on it add a light amount of Worcestershire sauce put some butter in a pan and heat the pan to a medium heat. when the butter begins to melt  place the steak in there and just slowly cook it. I've found the key to a good steak is definitely in the temperature you don't want to cook it at too high a temperature that was a mistake I used to make all the time. 

    I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to cook it and some probably much better than mine so I'm really curious to see the more experienced chefs responses. Thanks for posting this topic 
     
  3. french fries

    french fries

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    So are we talking grilling exclusively, or are you interested in cooking them in a pan also? 

    How do you like them, medium-rare? 

    Can you describe what you find to be wrong with the steaks you've cooked so far? 

    What I would do for grilling is make sure:

    - the steak is perfectly dry before putting on the grill (use paper towels if necessary to dry it). 

    - the steak is at room temp (take it out of the fridge AND out of its packaging 1 hour before cooking. 

    - add salt the minute before you put the steaks on the grill: the salt will draw out the water of the steak, making it tougher, drier, and making its surface steam rather than sear or grill. 

    - the charcoals are very hot. Ideally they should be red. Placing your hand an inch or two above the grate, you shouldn't be able to count to three before you have to remove your hand. 

    - the grate is not too far from the coals. 

    - there are coals everywhere under and just around the steak. 

    - you rest the steak for 5 - 10mn under a lose piece of foil before serving. 

    - if you slice before plating, make sure you S&P again just before serving. 

    The rest comes down to the quality of the meat you purchase, and figuring out how long to let the steak cook depending on the strength of the fire and your desired doneness.

    Hope that helps!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  4. mrdecoy1

    mrdecoy1

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    Grilling or cast iron, just that they are lacking that top shelf steak house mouth watering flavor. French Fries I do most all of that so that tells me I need to try really nice piece of steak. Like a thick choice bone in rib eye. I just wish a chef in a steak house would tell me exactly how they do it. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Steak houses generally source excellent steaks, most often prime, which is a step better than choice. Having said that, you should be able to make a good choice steak sound reasonably close to what you'd get in a steak house. 

    Steak houses also use very very hot broilers - but again you should be able to get a very good result with your grill or a pan on the stovetop. 

    IMO cooking a really good steak is one of those very simple things that takes years to master. I'm really confident in my steak cooking abilities now but it took a few years of overcooked, undercooked, over seasoned, under seasoned steaks before I got where I am now. 

    BTW getting the seasoning (which for me is typically only S & P) to be just right also takes some getting used to. 

    FWIW I hate Kosher salt with a passion. I know every pro cook in the U.S. uses it but it just doesn't work for me. I exclusively use sea salt. I like to finish with fleur de sel. 

    So go ahead and try choice steaks and let us know? Also maybe try a different meat purveyor. In our neck of the wood we have Gelson's supermarket who sell prime steak. They are ridiculously expensive but on par with what you'd get in the best steakhouses in the country. 
     
  6. mrdecoy1

    mrdecoy1

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    Good points French Fries I need to get a great steak and do things the way I have been so I know if it's me or it's the meat quality. Don't get me wrong, it's not awful it just doesn't have that extra level of quality i'm looking for. Still tastes "home made." Yesterday I tried this method I read where you sear the sides first actually holding it with tongs on a cast iron skillet then add butter and minced garlic. I think this was Ducasse? method, still underwhelming. Thanks.
     
  7. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I add a touch of granulated garlic.  Those fancy steak rubs and seasonings just don't do it for me.

    mjb.
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    I've tried just about every rub including my own home made ones. I even tried brining steaks (which gives a very good result!!) - but finally went back to simply cooking a quality steak with S&P. The one exception is when pan frying the steak, I like to add a smashed clove of garlic and some sprigs of fresh thyme to the pan along with some butter when I flip the steak. Then I can speed baste that flavored butter while the 2nd side cooks. But I don't always bother. 

    One time I was at a party and I thought I'd get some prime top sirloin from Costco and really season it right and cook it right. I was really careful with adding just the right amount of salt and just the right amount of black pepper (I naturally tend to put too much of both). Then I really tried hard to cook it just right, resting etc... (when everybody at the party wants to eat the meat right off the grill). Then sliced it and offered it to the diners. Now just about all night long I heard people asking me "that steak was absolutely delicious! What kind of rub did you use" or "you absolutely have to share your recipe for that steak" etc... : people thought I had some kind of secret spice or secret recipe or something. I was quite proud. The only recipe was S&P, just using the exact right amount and cook it to just the right temperature. I've made many steaks with fancy spices, homemade rubs or store bought rubs and nobody ever noticed. But that simple good quality steak seasoned and cooked just right, everybody noticed! 

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
    foodlover42 likes this.
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    Oh I also sometimes sear the sides especially with thicker steaks (1"1/2 or more). Funny I usually do that a bit later though, not first. Butter and garlic? Funny I just mentioned that in my previous post which I posted before I read yours. Also thyme. Sometimes I like to make a little brush out of several sprigs of thyme and just baste the steak with it while it's cooking. Gives it a subtle thyme flavor without taking away from the taste of the steak in my opinion. Then again I am in love with thyme. 
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  10. thecytochromec

    thecytochromec

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    I personally feel, just as in all cooking, the quality of your ingredients make the dish. Fortunately, cows are in year-round in Texas. For choice and prime meat I use a seasoning which is made locally, it does not have kosher salt. If i don't use that then I'll use kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. I do not allow the steak to sit after salting as this abstracts moisture and I feel that I get crispier crust if i put it on the grill immediately after. I use cast iron grates (www.cast-iron-grate.com) when grilling or cast iron pan when doing a steak on a stove top. The only way to combat the heat capacity of a big hunk of meat is with ... well something with a considerable heat capacity itself. This gives you A broiler helps too but I don't have one. Know your heat, ensure its sufficient and somewhat uniform. Rotate ~ 90* once on each side and flip it once. Let it rest. After typing this, I saw FrenchFries said everything I did. Let the rules of "steaking" be reiterated as they are tried and true methods which will guide you down the path to bovine bliss.
     
  11. maryb

    maryb

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  12. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    One thing you might consider is the source of your beef. If you are buying from Sam's Club or Walmart, look carefully at the labeling on your package.

    You will notice that on ALL their meat packages a small print item that says something like: "enhanced with up to 10% flavoring solution."

    Basically what this means is that they inject about 10% saline (salt) solution into the meat. That means they increase the weight of the meat by 10% with salt water or brine.

    I've noticed this in all their packaged meat-beef, pork, chicken, turkey etc. 

    Some meats even contain more than 10% added saline.

    If you want a flavorful steak, buy choice beef from a reputable butcher shop and follow FF's advice.
     
  13. maryb

    maryb

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    I buy grass fed/finished 3 weeks on grain direct from the farm, $2.25 a pound to the farmer then I think it was 40 cents a pound for cutting/wrapping. Grower picks it up and delivers to my front door. The best beef I have ever had.
     
  14. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    You can't buy Prime and it wont make a difference anyway
     
  15. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Most of the chains buy from I.B.P  they are the biggest meat puveyor, then comes Cargyle.  IBP is owned by TYSON.. The key is how kot is your cooking source. Hotter the better
     
  16. ordo

    ordo

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    1. Besides a great meat, which of course is the main ingredient, a well seasoned grill or grill pan will help a lot. That means a carbon layer, the oldest the better. My grill pan looks dirty but the taste's pretty good. A steak on a wood grill is difficult to do properly. It needs a lot of knowledge about fires and temperatures.

    2. Once the grill is hot enough, very hot, I use the steak's same fat for seasoning. Not oil or butter. Lard is good too.

    3. I do the steak turning it 90°. It helps a better presentation and even cooking.

    4. Balsamic helps flavouring any "weak" steak. But, as FF said, S&P should be enough if the meat's good.

    5. Pan seared steaks, oven finished, are not acceptable in my amateur world. A flat pan will fry the meat.

    6. Never tried Sous -Vide grilled steak. Out of my reach.

    7. A steak can be thin, 3/4", and even so, taste glorious. This one, 250 grams T-Bone with baked potatoes was good enough:

     
  17. french fries

    french fries

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    I buy Prime (sometimes) and yes, it does make a pretty big difference. 

    Here in SoCal you can buy prime from Gelson's and from Costco. 
     
  18. french fries

    french fries

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    In my experience grass fed finished with grain, even if it's just 3 weeks, tastes pretty much like grain fed. Real grass fed though is a completely different story. 
     
  19. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Why not?
    And why will it not make a difference?

    Inquiring minds want to know....
     
  20. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Costco here is a grade above horsemeat