Indeed, we all love a juicy, and well-cooked steak. Though it’s a common staple in most households, this sumptuous, hearty meal can sometimes fall short. From the fridge to plate, there are a few tricks steak chefs employ. When you have a quality piece of meat, therefore, you would want to make it as delicious as possible. You definitely do not want to screw it up with complex cooking procedures and extravagant spices. However, it’s challenging to make it perfect, but you can try to prepare this excellent cold-weather dish like a pro. Well, not to fear, for here are the common mistakes that prevent your home-made steaks from reaching their full flavor potential.
1. Cooking Your Steak Direct From the Fridge
One common mistake most people do is cooking the steak fresh from the fridge. This often makes its surface char, while the inside becomes a little bit thinner than it should be. It’s therefore advisable that you plan ahead. Take it out of the fridge in advance, and allow it some time to reach the room temperature. Otherwise, you’re risking an undercooked steak, unappealing, with a gray exterior and certainly not delicious.
2. Overcooking it
Unless you’re a pro, it is usually tough to tell whether or not your steak is ready just by looking at it. However, experts recommend that a medium-sized steak be cooked for five to seven minutes. But if you want some more appealing results, you can use a simple meat thermometer. Besides, it’s quick, easy, and always accurate. Cooking your steak to about 165°F will give you some incredible results.
3. Failing to Season Your Steak In Advance
According to experts, most people either do not season their steak enough, or they only season one side. It is, however, recommended that steak be seasoned on both sides, and for about 40 minutes before cooking. Adding a combination of kosher and sea salt with a fresh, ground pepper mix, therefore, can be ideal. If you like, you can even add some extra spices.
4. Using the Wrong Pan
Never cook your steak in a non-stick frying pan. It requires a heavy-duty pan to form a delicious outer crust. Griddle pans, for example, are ideal for the job. This is because they retain plenty of the heat helping your steak form a delicious outer crust as well as preventing the juice and blood from escaping. Nonetheless, be sure to preheat the pan before you begin preparing your meal.
5. Salting Your Steak Before Cooking
Before you begin preparing your steak, you might need to boil it first. On the process, however, some people end up adding salt instead of seasoning it, and which draws out the flavorsome juices. You can, therefore, rub it with some chopped garlic, thyme or even freshly ground black pepper to add flavor.
6. Not Blotting the Raw Steak
You might not know it already, but the wetter the surface of the steak, the more likely it is to steam when placed on the hot pan. As such, you will need a paper towel to blot it before cooking. This also helps get rid of any surplus moisture ensuring that the outside gets crunchy and caramelized.
7. You Didn’t Let the Pan Get Hot Enough
As mentioned earlier, the pan needs to retain plenty of heat besides getting hot. This is because it helps in the formation of the crisp, caramelized crust. Otherwise, it will steam instead of searing. Ensure to therefore cook it until the pan starts to smoke. This way, your steak will be moist, flavorful and not too tough or dry.
Finally, as you may have heard before, you should never serve your steak right away. It absolutely needs some time to rest, and let the juices redistribute. Obviously, you are anxious to enjoy your meal, but allowing it some time to cool can do it so much good. Besides, what’s better than making it the sweetest it can be? Take a break, therefore, and give it some time to sweeten.
Above all, never use a fork to turn your steak as piercing the meat might result in the loss of all those flavorsome juices. Instead, use tongs, but do not leave it on the open flame for long as it will overcook.