How And On What To Fry A Steak We Help Determine The Criteria
Grilling a steak is probably one of the most well-researched culinary topics. It is not surprising: properly frying a piece of meat is far from a super-difficult task, and the result (of course, if the raw materials were of decent quality) guarantees a richness of taste.
We suspect that it is precisely such stereotypes (along with the arguments about “real male food”, as well as that “meat should be cooked by a man”) that largely ensure the popularity of steak: even a person who is not fond of cooking can master a dish that is not embarrassing apply regardless of which company gathered at the table.
At the same time, the modern steak lover has an extensive selection of devices suitable for cooking. Let’s take a look at the entire range and see how they differ and how they are similar. Which of them will help us in frying meat, and which ones are unlikely.
Preliminary preparation for fry a steak
To be honest, we did not want to focus on well-known things, but we decided that this information would be useful for those readers who have never been interested in this topic before.
- Before cooking, take the steak out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly at room temperature (usually 30 minutes is enough). This is necessary so that during the frying process, the heat is distributed inside the piece of meat in the right way.
- It does not hurt to remove excess moisture with paper towels: the less moisture on the surface, the more pronounced the crust will be on the meat.
- If you plan to add butter, do so at the end of cooking (butter has a low burn point, and adding it all at once won’t do any good).
- Salt is better to take small – for more uniform salting.
- We strongly recommend (especially for beginners) using a probe thermometer to measure the temperature inside a piece of meat (besides, thanks to the thermometer, you do not have to cut the steak to check the degree of its doneness).
- After cooking is complete, the steak should be allowed to “rest” for 3-5 minutes (during this time, the juices will be distributed more evenly inside the piece of meat).
Degree of doneness for fry a steak
The degree of doneness of a steak is purely a matter of taste. A well-done steak is never “raw”, and “raw” steaks don’t actually contain blood – it’s just a common cliche that has managed to turn into a stable idiom.
Roasting depends on the temperature inside the piece of meat (this is where you need to measure the temperature with a probe thermometer).
If you fry a raw meat steak in a pan or grill, the outside of the steak will be cooked better than the inside. You need to stop frying the steak at the moment when the temperature inside the piece is 37 °F – 41 °F lower than the desired degree of roasting.
For clarity, here are illustrations:
Rare – 126 °F
Medium rare – 135 °F
Medium – 145 °F
Medium well – 150 °F
Well done – 159 °F
Let’s say a few words, especially for those who are afraid of the presence of all kinds of “bacteria” and “parasites” and urge not to cook “raw” meat at home. There are no miracles: if you heat a beef steak well above 158 °F, it will turn into a sole. The same can be said about any other meat – be it pork or chicken. Accordingly, if you order a steak in a restaurant, the chef will cook it in the same way as you would at home.
If there is any doubt about the quality of meat, then the best option is simply not to buy it. If you do not know how to choose meat and fry it and do not want to learn, it is obvious that you really should refrain from these activities.
Pan for fry a steak
The classic (aka – requiring special skill) way to fry a steak is to use a regular frying pan.
The advantages of this method are clear: as a rule, there is always a frying pan in the house. And therefore, this method is suitable for everyone who simply did not have another, more modern, or specialized device at hand.
The disadvantages are also obvious: you need to get used to the pan (as well as to the stove), and in the process, it’s good to imagine how we are going to cook the meat and what degree of roasting we want to get.
In addition, the pan must be suitable. What does this mean? It is advisable to use a heavy pan that holds heat well (for example, cast iron): we don’t need temperature drops during the frying of a steak.
Let’s dispel the conventional wisdom that the steak is best obtained in a special “ribbed” frying pan. The ribbed surface is mainly intended to obtain beautiful stripes on a piece of meat. They practically do not directly affect the cooking process, and if they do, it is far from for the better: after all, the presence of ribs will lead to less uniform heating.
So, we took the steak out of the refrigerator in advance and are ready to fry it in a pan. What is the correct sequence of actions?
- Pour vegetable oil into the frying pan and warm it up properly (on a gas stove, the heating time can be about 3 minutes, and on an electric stove – up to 8-10 minutes). It does not hurt to turn on the hood.
- We remove excess moisture from both sides of the steak with paper towels or napkins, add salt and pepper (however, you can add pepper at the end – then it will definitely not burn).
- Place the steak in the pan and press lightly to make sure it is in full contact with the pan.
- Cook until characteristic brown color appears on the underside (about 3 minutes).
- Turn the steak over and continue cooking.
- 10 degrees before the desired temperature (approximately 3 minutes before the end of cooking) reduce the heat to medium-low and add butter (garlic, thyme sprig, etc. can be added immediately).
- We collect the melted butter with a spoon, tilt the pan, and pour over our steak (about 1 minute).
- A few degrees before reaching the desired temperature (degree of doneness), transfer the steak to a plate (possibly preheated) and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
Electric grill for fry a steak
Almost any modern electric grill can automatically maintain different temperature levels and is also equipped with a timer. Thanks to this combination, you can significantly simplify the process of cooking a steak: it is enough to experimentally choose the most suitable combination of time and heat – and subsequently, over and over again, get the perfect result.
Contact electric grill De’Longhi
Of course, at first, you will have to cook “at random” or use a probe thermometer, but after several experiments, the process can be brought almost to automatism.
The main requirement for the device in our case will be sufficient power to maintain the temperature and, if possible, uniform heating of the panels (special attention should be paid to this: the fact is that for many budget grills, the uniformity of heating the panels can significantly “float”).
Modern “advanced” grills have learned to select the roasting mode automatically: for this, a special sensor is used that measures the thickness of a piece of meat. Thus, the user only needs to tell the appliance what kind of meat we are going to fry and what degree of roasting we want to get, and the grill will independently select the optimal temperature and cooking time.
Polaris Optimal Temp with technology for automatic detection of product thickness and cooking time
Surprisingly, this feature actually works! In testing all kinds of grills, we found that even those who are used to controlling cooking with the grill personally can like this kind of automation. Thanks to this automation, the chef can free up a few minutes for himself and work on other dishes, while the steak will be fried automatically.
When choosing a grill, in addition to its technical characteristics (power, availability of special programs, automatic selection of the degree of roasting, etc.), we pay special attention to the way the panels are attached. The best option is removable panels that can be washed in the dishwasher. Less preferred are removable panels that cannot be washed in a dishwasher. But we advise you to look very carefully at grills with non-removable panels: such devices will be much more difficult to maintain, and in general non-removable panels are the first sign of a budget device.
Sous vide steak
Household sous-vides, in our opinion, have already ceased to cause bewilderment and unnecessary questions. The vast majority of people interested in cooking have clarified for themselves all the nuances regarding the purpose and rules of operation of this device. And many of those who have not yet decided to purchase this certainly useful device is using an ordinary multicooker as a “budget sous-vide” with might and main.
Of course, such a replacement cannot be compared with submersible or stationary sous-view in terms of convenience and accuracy of temperature control, however, this state of affairs suggests that cooking at low temperatures is in demand not only among haute cuisine lovers but also at the most ordinary household level.
Sous vide Anova Nano
Steak and sous vide are literally made for each other! Thanks to precise temperature control, we can set the desired degree of heating with perfect accuracy (many sous-vides promise heating with an accuracy of 0.1 °C, which, in our opinion, is even excessive).
In addition to this, we are not tied to a specific time. Guests may be late, but nothing bad will happen if the steak spends an extra hour or two in hot water. It does not affect the taste and degree of “roasting”.
All that is required from the cook is to vacuum the steak along with spices, select the desired degree of roasting (set the desired temperature) and place the bags of meat in water.
At the end of sous vide cooking, the steak should be unwrapped, dried with paper towels, and lightly fried to develop its characteristic color, taste, and smell.
As easy as pie!
On the Internet you can find a lot of instructions and manuals that allow you to choose the best mode.
Let us pay special attention to the fact that when cooking in sous-vide, the steak is “done” more evenly. We don’t see much more doneness around the edge (as with raw meat).
It will not be superfluous to mention that some modern sous-vides allow you to consistently set several temperature settings. Thus, we can cook several steaks at once with different degrees of roasting – depending on the taste preferences of the eaters.
The process is extremely simple: first, all steaks are cooked at a minimum temperature, and as the temperature rises, the device will beep. The task of the cook, therefore, is to remove the steaks as they are ready – from the most “raw” to the most “done”.
Finally, let’s remember one more feature of sous-vide cooking. Thanks to a long heat treatment, we can get a result of acceptable (or even good) quality from mediocre raw materials. If several pieces of meat available can go on a steak but look a little harsh, the matter can be corrected with the help of sous vide. We vacuum the meat as usual and set it to cook for 12-24 hours. As a result, we get a much more tender steak than with “traditional” cooking.
Moving from home to outdoor devices. If you are going to grill meat outdoors (at the cottage or just at a picnic), you can not do without coal, gas, and maybe even an electric grill.
A lot of similar devices have been on tests, and all of them adequately coped with the tasks assigned to them. The choice of a particular model, therefore, is determined primarily by the price category of the grill, its dimensions, and its performance.
A small charcoal grill can be a compact and budget solution, which will always be at hand if you are traveling by car. You will also have to bring coal, ignition tools, and other necessary accessories with you.
Weber Go-Anywhere Portable Charcoal Grill
An example of a compact electric grill is the Weber Pulse 2000. With a weight of about 25 kg, it can be moved from home to the street if necessary, or even installed on the balcony of a city apartment (if there are no problems with the hood).
If there is enough space in the trunk, you can take a gas grill with you. Together with a 5-liter gas bottle, we get a good “steak factory” in any place where a car can drive. Well, if you put the grill on a special cart, then the last few hundred meters can be walked on foot.
Weber Q 2200 with branded trolley in the stowed position
Weber Q 2200 with branded trolley in working position
The quality of steaks in such devices (of course, in the presence of an electronic probe thermometer) is the highest.
Note that for fans of country cooking, a probe thermometer with data transfer to a smartphone can be a good purchase.
Weber iGrill 2
Such a universal device will not only control the temperature inside a piece of meat but will also send a signal to the owner’s smartphone in time that the dish is ready.
The chef is thus freed from having to sit next to the grill so as not to miss the right moment. Well, if there are several sensors, you can control the cooking of each piece of meat independently of the others.
If the site is equipped with a special place for the grill, it makes sense to pay attention to more serious models – stationary grills. This includes classic grills – “flying saucers”, and all kinds of electric and gas models.
Weber Master-Touch Premium
The choice of a particular model depends in most cases on the personal preferences of users. Charcoal grills heat up longer than gas grills, and they smoke a little more (after all, much more flavored combustion products are released when burning coal).
Weber Spirit Gas Grill
On the other hand, a gas cylinder is an accessory that will have to be specially monitored, while coal can be bought at almost any gas station.
Let’s mention one more type of devices – ceramic grills.
Such a device will allow you to cook not only steaks and baked vegetables, but also products that require long-term heat treatment (for example, large pieces of meat).
The device heats up for a long time and keeps the heat for a long time with both regular and, in particular, branded coal. It allows you to cook food in direct heat or can act as a large oven. In such a grill, you can cook dish after dish, or you can put large pieces at a low temperature for a long time – whatever you want.
If we return to steaks, then we cannot single out any of these devices and say that it will turn out to be better than the others: each cooking method has its nuances, so the choice of a specific model and method of heating (electricity/coal/gas) is determined by the available capabilities and personal preferences of users.
We can only say that with sufficient skill, the result will be consistently good in any case.
How And On What To Fry A Steak We Help Determine The Criteria
As we can see, there are a huge number of devices on the modern market that allow you to quickly and easily get the perfect steak. Of course, some of them may not be very affordable (especially for large outdoor grills), but if we talk about home users, they can easily find the right device for the right price.
At the same time, we do not recommend saving especially much when choosing a device for frying a steak. And even more so, you don’t need to look in the direction of the most budgetary low-power home electric grills: they can cause a lot of problems, and spoiled meat, literally after a couple of approaches, will negate potential savings.