Most people have a preference of whether or not they like their steaks rare, medium, well done, or anywhere in between. Yet, somehow, it seems that cooking a steak to fit these preferences is oftentimes difficult. But with some simple training and a bit of skill, it most certainly can be done. Cooking a steak does not have to be difficult, especially if you follow these few rules:
· Take into consideration the thickness of a steak. You must realize that cooking a steak is not an issue of just time. Whereas cooking one steak for 4 minutes might make it medium, cooking a steak that is slightly thicker may turn out rare or medium rare when cooked for the same amount of time.
· Also consider the pan temperature.
· The cook time is also very important.
· You must find a good balance between the three abovementioned things to get the results you desire.
· Other things to consider when cooking a steak is the tenderness and size of the cut. The presence of a bone can also change the cooking time as can the method of cooking (barbecuing, sautéing, etc.).
· If you have a sirloin or rump steak of 1.5 cm thick, then here are a few guidelines to follow when cooking it:
1. Well done, cook it for up to 6 minutes
2. Medium, cook it for about 4 minutes
3. Rare, cook it for just a couple of minutes.
Hold up for a minute… are you still confused as to what exactly “rare” is versus “well done?” Here is a guide on cooking a steak based off of what the steak should look like (of course, never cut open a steak to see if it is done! It looks tacky, and it causes the steak to dry out).
· Well done – the steak will be hot, and it will have very little moisture. The color will be a dark grayish. The steak will be firm when touched. There will be no hint of pink left.
· Medium well – the steak will also be hot, gray, and it will have a juicy center.
· Medium – a medium steak is light gray, warm, and it will have a juicy center. When touched the steak will offer some resistance. Pink juices will bead up on the surface of the seared side when the steak is turned.
· Medium rare – the steak will be light pink in color, warm, with a juicy center.
· Rare – the color will be pink, the temperature will be warm, and the center will be bloody and red! The steak will still feel soft when touched.
Know about the two different types of heat used when cooking a steak:
· Dry heat – this type of heat does not use liquid and it is used to cook some of the most tender cuts. Examples of cooking with dry heat are broiling, roasting, sautéing, pan-broiling, and rotisserie cooking.
· Moist heat – moist heat, on the other hand, uses steam or liquid. Moist heat cooking methods are soup-making, stewing, braising, and pressure cooking.
You must determine whether or not your steak is cooked based on touch, sight, and the clock. The firmer the meat, the more cooked it is. The lighter the color (from dark purple-red to pink), the more cooked the steak is.
Cooking a steak does not have to be hard, but it can take practice. If you do not get it right the first time, try it again! Be sure to have fun when cooking a steak!