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Best-value steak cuts


from solarsavior's quick guide to cooking a steak

Your basic great steak.

  1. Pick out a great steak. Great marbling is far more important than picking a steak labeled prime over a steak labeled choice. Methinks they don't know how to score steaks. If it doesn't have great marbling, SKIP THE STEAK as a waste of money. Don't be cheap here. Look around to find good steak deals, but make sure the steak is good quality. My favorite steak is the ribeye. When I can find well-marbled steaks for a good price, I usually load up on them and freeze them. I'll buy a dozen at a time. Great marbling is far more important than any damage caused by freezing.
  2. The steak should be at room temp before starting. (as much as practical) Cooking a steak should be a very fast process.
  3. Prepare steak with crushed black pepper (use a grinder), Kosher salt (not iodized salt - it has a bitter taste), and a nice coat of olive oil all over (not dripping, just covered). The olive oil will make the awesome black stripes on the steak.
  4. Prepare grill. Charcoal/Wood is best. Gas will work okay too, but you won't be able to add any good smoke flavor. It will be easier for you to learn on gas first though. The grill should be set on high, hotter than the blazes of hell. You must burninate the steak on the outside some. You need to get some carmelization that will seal in juices and the carmelization is yummy too.
  5. Clean grill off.
  6. Throw steak on grill. It better make a nice sizzling sound for a while. If not, the fire is too low. Let it sit there. Don't fuss with it.
  7. Turn as needed, but at a minimum. You don't want to fuss with it too much. You lose those yummy juices when you do. You need to let all of those chemical reactions happen.
  8. How do you know when it is done? Got me there. I sometime struggle with that. Do not overcook it. NEVER put it in a microwave to finish it. To me, the microwave imparts an artificial taste to the steak. Thawing steaks in the microwave is okay, but never cook steaks in the microwave. You'll figure it out in time. If the steak is undercooked, put it back on the grill. Go for medium-rare. It is NOT blood. It is sarcoplasm, otherwise known as meat juice. The blood has been drained from the animal. Ground beef has been churned up and should be cooked well done. For a steak though, all of the bad things should be on the outside and a nice round of burnination should take care of that. A medium-rare steak is safe to eat.
  9. Remove steak and place it on a dish. The steak is tired and needs to rest. All of those yummy juicy reactions are still happening. I usually use two plates; one on the bottom and one upside down on the top to seal in the moisture and let the magic happen. It needs about 10 minutes or so.
  10. Eat steak. Cut across the grain when you can. Let that knife chew the steak for you.