Recipes

James Privett: How to Cook the Perfect Steak

1:

Ingredients

The Best Steak Cuts:

  • The best cuts of beef to use are fillet, scotch fillet, porterhouse, T-bone, rump, round and blade.
  • Steak with a little fat marbling through the meat helps to keep it moist.

Method

James Privett's Top 3 Tips for Cooking the Perfect Steak:

  • Preheat a BBQ or frying pan. Always start cooking your meat on a hot pan or grill to sear both sides of the steak to seal in the juices. Then reduce temperature to medium heat. Too low a temperature allows the meat to drop liquid as it cooks, drying the meat out. There is no way you can cook a steak to medium on a high heat without burning the fat or part of the meat.

  • Leave the meat alone. There is no need to constantly turn the steak or press in onto the heat. Although this makes you look like you're doing something it doesn't give a better product. Allow the heat in the pan to do its job of cooking the steak. So, turn the steak only once to prevent the juices escaping, which can make the meat dry and tough.

  • Rest the steak by placing it on a plate, covered with foil if preferred, and set aside for 3-5 minutes. Resting the steak ensures it is tender by allowing the meat juices to distribute evenly throughout the steak and the muscle fibres to relax, making the meat succulent and tender. This gives you time to clean the BBQ while it's still warm!

Extra Tips for Cooking the Perfect Steak:

  • Bring steak to room temperature just before cooking. The meat can become tough if it goes straight from the fridge to the barbecue and chilled meat makes the BBQ temperature drop.

  • Drain any marinade from the steak before placing it on the BBQ. Excess liquid around steak on a flat plate can cause the meat to "stew", making it tough and on an open grill excess liquid can cause flames to flare-up.

  • Lightly oil both sides of the steak, not the BBQ or pan, to prevent the steak from sticking to the pan and to prevent excess oil from burning.

  • Season steak with salt and pepper just before cooking, as the salt draws out the meat juices, making it tough. Season one side and cook seasoned side down. Season the other side just before turning the steak.

Cooking Times:

  • Cooking times vary depending on the steak thickness. Cook a 2cm-thick piece of steak for 2-3 minutes each side for rare, 4 minutes each side for medium, and 5-6 minutes each side for well-done.

  • Alternatively, look for blood rising to the top of your steak once it has been sealed to give an idea of how well cooked it is. A small amount of blood breaking through the surface of the steak should indicate that the steak is close to medium rare. If the top of the steak is wet with moisture breaking through the surface of the steak then it is closer to medium. If the top of the steak is flooded it will indicate a medium well done and if there is little blood coming out of the steak any more, it's well done.

To Test if Your Steak is Done:

  • Gently press the middle of the steak with the back of the tongs - soft is rare, slightly firmer and springy is medium and very firm with no spring is well-done.

  • Don't be tempted to cut into a steak to see if it's done. This allows the precious juices to escape, making the meat tough.

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