For me, the perfect steak is elevated above a mere piece of grilled meat. It must have a nice crust on the outside without being dry on the inside. Hints of butter, salt, and that complex seared essence from the the Maillard reaction. It is often thought that grilling is the best method for cooking a steak, but both charcoal and gas grills can be inconsistent with heat and flare ups torch rather than sear. The kitchen is where the real flavor blossoms.
That’s right. If you want the perfect steak, you’re going to need a stove top. Preparing a great steak requires only a few steps, but each step matters. It’s a recipe in which the process matters as much as the ingredients. Let me break it down for you.
The Perfect Steak Starts with the Meat
Not every piece of beef can be turned into the perfect steak. There are a few things to look for when selecting the best cuts for pan searing. Look for a steak that is well marbled, such as ribeye or New York Strip, and 1 to 1.5 inches thick. This will ensure the meat stays tender and has plenty of flavor while not overcooking.
For the the best cuts, look no further than our partners at Snake River Farms sell award winning American Waygu beef. These steaks come from a cross between the famed Japanese Waygu (Kobe) cows and American cattle. American Wagyu beef is prized because of its intense marbling and flavor. Take a look at their selections.
The second important step is using the proper pan and seasonings. Choose a heavy cast iron skillet with tall sides to keep the heat directed into the steak for an excellent sear and even cooking. A generous sprinkle of flaked sea salt on each side and it’s time to cook.
Place the cast iron pan over high heat and let it sit until very hot, then add some oil to coat the pan. Add the steak and sear on one side for 3 to 5 minutes; depending on how well done you like. Flip the steak and sear the second side for 2-3 more minutes. Reduce heat o medium and add fresh herbs and baste with butter for remaining cook time.
Remove steak to a plate and let rest for a few minutes before serving or slicing perpendicular to the grain. Perfect with a baked potato or to top a salad.
Cooking time estimates for a thick steak
- For a rare steak, remove the steak from the heat at 125°F, about six minutes total cooking.
- For a medium-rare steak, aim to remove the steak from the heat at about 130°F, about eight minutes total cooking.
- For a medium steak, 140°F is the sweet spot at a total of nine to 10 minutes cooking.
Watch as James Beard award-winning Chef Hugh Acheson demonstrates the simplicity in preparing two Snake River Farms American Wagyu Ribeye using the traditional stove top method.