14 Aug Low-Carb Tip – Be Better at cooking steak, for lots of people
Be Better at cooking steak for lots of people
Have you ever been in charge of grilling the steak for your mates? Or even worse, have you ever avoided cooking steak altogether because you’re terrified of getting it wrong?
This lesson will solve that problem for you.
With these two quick tricks, you could be grilling steak like a pro.
It should be no surprise that grilling meat is believed by most to be the oldest cooking technique known to mankind. That is why it is so sad to see people with grills behaving badly.
The basics of grilling steaks are easy. The more complex stuff like rare, medium rare and medium will come with practice. People do the thumb test and the baby’s bum test or even the young woman’s breast test but all of these test depend on the size of the piece of meat, the cut and of course the type of meat you are cooking.
There are only two things you are trying to accomplish when you grill and these are:
Delicious grilled flavour
Perfect juicy texture
The same rules apply for most grilling cuts:
- Make sure you pan is hot – the oil should be smoking a bit and the thing you drop into the pan needs to sizzle aggressively when it hits the pan. If it doesn’t, the meat will release its juices into the pan (see image) and that will ruin everything.
- Make sure your meat is well seasoned – salt and pepper or an invincible rub of spices that can withstand high heat without burning and going bitter. Only enough to bring out the flavour in the meat. If you taste more rub and less meat, you went in too hard.
- Two minute rule – a little trick we learnt in restaurants, to make sure everyone’s meat came out perfectly, and at the same time, was to seal the meat off in a pan, then finish cooking it in the oven. Every piece of meat got two minutes in a very hot pan to get colour all over it, then it was placed in the oven (usually at 300 celcius) until it was about 2 minutes from being done (obviously that takes one or two failures to get right). As each steak in the tray reached its ‘two-minutes-from-done mark, they’d be put on a separate tray next to the oven to cool and wait for that table’s mains to be called by the waitron.
So you end up with one tray with, say, 10 steaks that are all 2 minutes away from perfect.
That tray could sit there for an hour and be fine. And when the waitron called for that table’s mains, we’d simply pop the tray back in the oven for two minutes and VOILA, all of the steaks came out perfectly. Another benefit of this is that finishing in the oven creates a ton less smoke that cooking everything in a hot smoking pan.
- Baby steps – if you really have no clue how to cook steak do this. Preheat your oven to as hot as it can get on the thermofan or convection setting. Cook the steak in a stinking hot pan for two minutes on each side and place it on a tray. Poke it with your finger, and slice a piece off to see what it looks like inside. Then put it in the oven for two minutes and take it out quickly again. After one minute, poke it with your finger again, and slice another piece off to see what it looks like. Repeat this until you either run out of steak or hit well done (dry, grey and awful). Take note of how many minutes it took you, in your oven, to get what you need. Repeat this technique with each different grilling cut you cook and you will soon be an expert.
- Courage is being afraid of something but doing it anyways – Be brave.
These pictures show you the difference a hot pan can make.
In the first image you can see what happens when you drop an unseasoned steak into a cold pan (or a hot thin based pan for that matter). The juices are not sealed inside and as such they leak out into the pan. The meat is grey and dry and you have a bad meal.
In the next image, you can see I’m grilling the fat first so that it is crispy when we get to eating it. Remember, when your cooking the actual steak, you often don’t cook the fat long enough for it to get crispy and tasty, so giving it some love in the beginning can really up your steak game. Please also note the seasoning.
Once the fat has rendered, you can drop the steak on its side and let it sizzle. Notice the smoke coming out of the pan. That is essential, and if absent, worrying.
Finally, once you’ve giving colour to the one side, flip it and do the other side. Note the heat stays the same the whole time. There is never any moisture in the pan. And it looks grilled even though it is in a pan.
Now that you know what to do with a steak, don’t you need some sauces and sides? And what about the shopping? And, do you know whether or not that’s going to help you lose weight? We’ve got all that covered in our online program. Automated shopping lists. Meal tracking tools. 700 low carb recipes. You can find out more here.
And if you’re keen to test drive it for us for a while, download the Low-Carb Real Food Lists and stick them on your fridge. We’ll be here when you’re ready.