Steak cooking tips
Trim off any excess fat, and cut through any remaining fat or gristle on the edge to prevent curling.
Brush the meat with the merest touch of oil to prevent it sticking to the pan. This may not be necessary if your pan is well seasoned or non-stick. Add a little ground black pepper if desired, some say to season the meat first with salt, whereas others say not to season until after the meat is cooked as it will draw the juices from the meat.
Heat a heavy-based grill pan or barbecue to very hot. Do not add oil or fat to the pan. Place the steak onto the hot surface and turn it about half way through the cooking time to seal the other side and complete the cooking.
Check for readiness by pressing meat with tongs or your fingertips. Rare beef feels spongy, medium is slightly firmer and well done feels firm.
Let the steak rest for 2-4 minutes before serving.
The New Zealand Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau recommend these cooking times for a steak 1.5-2cm thick:
- Rare: 3-4 minutes each side
- Medium: 4-6 minutes each side
- Well done: 6 minutes each side then reduce the heat to finish cooking
Other interesting stuff:
- Lean grilling beef is low in fat and rich in protein, iron and zinc, as well as being an excellent source of the B vitamins, B6 and B12, riboflavin and niacin. These are essential for growth and energy, and the reason why puréed beef is recommended for babies over 6 months, whose high iron needs in particular can be difficult to meet.
- Most beef grilling cuts have a little fat running through the meat, which is necessary for tenderness and flavour. Look for the leanest grilling cuts and ask us to trim off any remaining fat, or do this yourself at home.
- Refrigerate steak as soon as possible after you buy it.
- Cooking time depends on the cut and thickness of the meat, the cooking method you use and how you like your steak: rare, medium or well done. Because of this, all cooking times are approximate.
- It is essential to 'rest' (allow to stand) steak immediately it is cooked and before eating. Put the cooked meat on a serving plate, cover loosely with a light cloth, foil or baking paper and let it sit on the bench or in a warm oven for about 2- 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. This allows the fibres to settle and the meat will be even more tender.