For those on the Paleo diet, nothing beats the perfectly-cooked steak when it comes to flavor and protein count. Our cavemen ancestors would’ve been salivating if they saw the beauty of today’s perfect steak. It’s no wonder why the steak is one of the most popular Paleolithic diet recipes.
Cooking the perfect steak may not call for all that many ingredients and steps, but it can still be a very intimidating task. Its simplicity can be very deceptive, even for aspiring cooks who boast of having substantial cooking experience. In fact, even steakhouses themselves make fundamental mistakes when preparing their steaks.
With a handful of basic techniques however, cooking the perfect steak each and every time can be as simple as boiling water or putting together your favorite bowl of cereal. With the tips below, say goodbye to spending hundreds of dollars just to enjoy your favorite slab of meat at your local steakhouse.
Here are some tips on cooking the perfect steak.
Picking your Steaks
Picking the right steak is crucial when cooking it to perfection. The selection process is where half the battle happens. Keeping in line with Paleo tradition, it’s always best to choose a steak from grass-fed beef instead of grain-fed beef. Not only is grass-fed beef in line with the Paleo diet’s strict avoidance of grains, it’s also often of better quality, as grain-fed cows have poorer diets than grass-fed cows.
When picking a steak, check for dryness and firmness. A good steak is dry because it has been aged properly. Though dry, it will be juicier when cooked. Saggy steaks are of poor quality, so check for firmness. Look for steaks that are a shade between vivid red and a sight purple. Marbling is a good sign to watch out for.
Preparing your Steaks
If you’ve just taken your steaks out of the fridge, be sure to let them come down to room temperature before cooking. Pat your steaks dry (as dry as you saw them at the butcher shop) and season them with salt (sea salt is best) and black pepper that has been just ground. Keep things simple here, as you want the flavor of the steak to come out and not be hidden by spices.
Next, apply your cooking fat on the steaks. You can use coconut oil, tallow, lard or clarified butter, but be sure to avoid olive oil, which causes smoking in high heat.
Cooking your Steaks
There are two ways to cook a steak: grilling and pan frying.
For grilling, place your steak on the hottest part of the grill and sear on each side for a few minutes. Do this only once on each side to get grill marks and finish grilling the steaks on the grill’s cooler portion. Continue until reaching desired doneness.
For pan frying, heat your pan to a very high heat. You can either flip your steaks once, or flip often. Continue until you reach desired doneness.
For both techniques, be sure to use tongs to preserve the juices.
After cooking your steaks, be sure to let them cool for at least 5 minutes. Wrap them in a sheet of foil with a hole at the top where steam will come out. This process allows the steak to keep its delicious juices.