The Secret To A Perfect Steak

Everyone loves a good beef dish – whether it be oriental teriyaki beef, warming stew or a sizzling steak. Steak is one of those dishes that many of us are afraid to tackle. It’s hard to distinguish which is the best cut of meat, how long to cook it for and what sauce to serve it with.

A steak is like any plain meat, it is what you make it. If you want to drizzle it in pepper sauce, that’s great, or perhaps you want a herby butter on top instead. There are a few great tips which will enable you to cook your steak to perfection, just like the professionals at smokehouses such as

Cooking the perfect steak can be broken down into a few simple steps:

  1. Select your best pan
  2. Choose your steak cut
  3. Pick your oil
  4. Dress your steak
  5. Cook your steak to the desired time
  6. Check it’s done
  7. Leave to rest

Best pan for steak

For a steak, ideally you want to pick the best pan you own in order to give an even cook all the way through. A skillet or griddle pan would be great options for getting that signature char on the steak as you cook. Always make sure not to overload your pan with steaks- if you need to cook them one a at a time; do it. It will allow for a more even heat all the way through your meat.

Cuts of steak

This is down to you. You might enjoy a thick sirloin, rump or maybe you prefer another cut of meat. You can learn more about cuts of beef here:

Choose Your Oil

Again, this totally depends on the taste you want to achieve. Some chefs like to oil the steak before placing it in the pan, others like to splash the oil directly onto it. Using olive oil will give you that creamy taste, while groundnut oil will add a nice flavour to the meat. You must also bear in mind the smoking points of oils, and you want one which can withstand high temperatures.

If you do decide to add the oil to the pan before your meat, make sure it is smoking before you add the steak into the pan. It will allow for a faster cooking time and even heat throughout.

And if you want to skip the oil, butter offers a rich and creamy flavour to steaks.

Steak dressing recipes

You don’t have to add dressing; you could opt for just salt and pepper for seasoning. But if you do want to dress up your steak- then there are a few great recipes you can use:

  •         Garlic Butter with a sprig of Rosemary
  •         Balsamic Vinegar for a sweet glaze
  •         Teriyaki Sauce for An Oriental Feel
  •         Classic Diane Sauce

Cooking Your Steak

Here is a rough guideline on what each type of cooking will look like:

  • Blue: Dark red, almost purple. Just warm.
  • Rare: Dark Red with juices flowing. Soft in texture.
  • Medium-rare: Pink in colour with pinkish juices. Slightly soft in texture.
  • Medium: Pale Pink with juices. Firmish texture.
  • Well-done: Cooked through for those who don’t like any pink.

Cooking time depends on the size of the steak but here is a general gist for a 3.5cm thick fillet steak:

  • Blue: About 1½ mins each side
  • Rare: About 2¼ mins each side
  • Medium-rare: About 3¼ mins each side
  • Medium: About 4½ mins each side
  • Well-Done: About 5½-6 mins each side


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