The perfect steak is what everyone wants. The path to getting there is not straightforward, so we’ll lay them all out for you.
A good cut from a butcher you trust, nice and thick, seasoned at least 45 minutes before cooking, should be the start of this guide. For best results, use thick meat with some marbling, and ask your butcher for advice on what cut to use. Make sure the meat is rested before serving. Below are the different ways to cook steak:
Barbecue (or Grill)
A beautiful piece of meat is probably the most obvious way to prepare a steak in Manchester. Observing that piece of steel slowly boiling in the park before suddenly catching fire is not what we’re talking about here. This is not dad’s distracted-by-beer-and-footy flame-grilled cooking.
If you plan to grill a steak, make sure the barbecue is preheated to a medium-high temperature (spark a drop of water to check it sizzles). Grill seasoned steaks – rib-eye is probably the king, but porterhouse, sirloin, and T-bone are also excellent choices, as are hanger and skirt – and turn as many times as you desire until the desired temperature is reached. Most steak myths aren’t true. There are different barbecue techniques that you can use, but we’ll discuss those later.
Even though barbecuing might be the most popular method of cooking a steak, the best is this. At least, according to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who has spent the better part of his career researching and testing the best ways to cook. You get even cooking with a reverse sear approach, a juicy centre, a rich brown outer coating, and a flavour that lasts for days. It does, however, take more time.
Steak juices do not need to be sealed in by searing as long as you do it right at the beginning. It would be best to bake your steak on low heat (although most ovens will not sit comfortably below 100°C). Cook the steak in the oven to about 41°C (medium-rare) before removing it and placing it in a hot skillet with some butter and oil. The steak’s exterior will already be dry from the oven, so you will get a better, more delicious crust. To understand how a drier steak creates a juicier steak, check out this explanation from Kenji Lopez-Alt or this one from Dean Bradley, a member of the Nobull BBQ Competition Barbecue Team.
Your steak will taste and feel different after smoking. This is due to two factors.
Firstly, the smoke itself can impart flavour to the meat. Due to their moderately strong flavours, oak and hickory are classic options for steak, although fruit woods are often used with lighter meats.
Second, slow cooking makes the meat extremely tender. You probably have your method for smoking if you have a dedicated smoker, but a regular hooded barbecue can also be use. Set up one burner on the barbecue and place the meat on the opposite side. Keep the temperature between 80 and 100 degrees.
Within about two hours, your steak should reach 55-60°C (for medium-rare). Grill it at high heat for a minute or two on each side for a harder crust and those sweet grill marks if you want them.
There are two advantages to this method: speed and simplicity. Pre-season a steak well in advance, and use a heavy-bottomed griddle pan preheated to medium-high heat.
You can use a spatula to make the cooking surface even if you like, then cook and turn the steak until you reach the desired cooking temperature. If you want a different flavour profile, add butter and herbs. Here, you’ll have a much more difficult time getting a piece of meat cooked evenly through while still getting that delicious crust.
Adding bone-in rib-eye to this classic is a great way to enjoy a delicious meal. The steak should be seared in a hot pan before being put into the oven for a nice, even finish. With this recipe, you’ll get a delicious brown crust with a slightly pink centre that’s evenly cook. It takes longer and does not yield a reliably delicious outer layer like reverse-searing.
This method is great if you enjoy cracking open a tasty piece of ready-to-eat meat like an egg. Additionally, the meat will be tender, evenly cooked, and ready to slice. What matters is that the method remains largely the same regardless of what cut you choose. Using egg whites, you make a salt crust around a decent-sized cut of beef after sealing the meat on a grill. Let it rest for half the cooking time before cracking open your salt shell and carving it. Then bake it for roughly 20 minutes per kilogram at 180 degrees. If you can nail this method, you’ll impress a dinner party.