Whether you are cooking on a griddle, broiler, or grill knowing when your steak(s) is (are) done is an important part of enjoying your meal. Using the internal temperature is a great way to having your steaks cooked the way you like them without guessing. This is the scientific approach, and probably the most accurate.
Doneness of steak
And keeping the guess work out of it:
Whether you are cooking on a griddle, broiler, or grill knowing when your steak(s) is (are) done is an important part of enjoying your meal. Using the internal temperature is a great way to having your steaks cooked the way you like them without guessing. This is the scientific approach, and probably the most accurate. Taking an instant read digital thermometer, poke it into the center of the steak and allow it to continuously take a reading. I like to use a heat resistant wired thermometer probe that is left in the meat during the cooking process so the delicious juices don’t have a chance to leak out. Based on the internal temperature you can tell when the steak is done to your liking.
Checking the doneness of steak using digital technology…
- Very Rare Steak – 120°
- Rare Steak – 125°
- Medium-Rare Steak – 130° – 135°
- Medium Steak – 140° – 145°
- Medium-Well Steak – 150° – 155°
- Well-Done Steak – 160°
The probe should be the ONLY thing that is used to pierce the steak meat while cooking. Use only tongs. Do not use forks or anything else to piece the meat when dry-cooking your steaks to hold in those flavorful juices. Not even to cheat and slice off a piece to test or taste while cooking. You want those juices to remain inside until you serve your meal. This is why you sear the steaks on each side first. When using a temperature probe, you need one that is heat resistant insert the probe in a location that will not interfere with flipping and cooking. That’s why I suggest inserting the probe through the side of the meat at the between the thickest and thinnest part of the steak. Remove your steaks from the heat JUST BEFORE the meat reaches your preferred temperature as the meat continues to cook for a short time.
Choose The Proper Steak For Your Needs
You don’t need to go broke having restaurant style steak quality. Get steaks when they are on special and store in the fridge. Buying food in bulk can be a great way to save money, however, there are those times when you pull out the food and find that it’s dry, discolored, and smelling strange because of freezer burn.
Proper Storage is important
DO NOT freeze any meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc.) in it’s original packaging unless you purchased it in a vacuum package but further wrap with a heavy-duty foil to help insulate the meat from changes of temperature from each time you open and close the freezer door.
When you need to re-wrap, use plastic wrap and tightly seal the meat, making sure you don’t trap in any air pockets. It’s those pockets where ice crystals form quickening freezer burn. Use a combination of the plastic wrap first and followed up with heavy-duty but first take the time to press the air out when you seal them.
You can also do like I do and use a zipper “freezer” bag in addition to the plastic wrap. But you will also need to remove the air in the bag before zipping it up. But I don’t store meat that long but if you are intending to freeze for more than a few weeks then using plastic wrap, followed by foil and placing inside a large enough zipper bag will help to protect your valued meat you bought on sale.
With improper wrapping, if one spot on the food is colder than the other, the water molecules will transform, migrate and form ice crystals on the coldest spot, leaving the other parts dehydrated. With meat fat in the food the dry spots may get oxidized, which changes the flavor and form an odor.
Another important thing to is to keep the temperature in your freezer below 0° F (-18 degrees C). Remember that freezer burn happens when there is temperatures fluctuate above 0°F. Don’t rely on your freezer’s temperature gauge. Use a freezer thermometer to make sure the freezer is cold enough.
NOTE: While freezer burned food is safe to eat, it can be difficult to tell the difference between freezer burn and microbial contamination, so you’re probably better off getting rid of it.
So what are the better steaks for broiling, pan or grilling?
First, choose the right cut of beef. You want to select a cut of meat that’s tender and has plenty of marbling. In general, the best cuts of beef for steak come from the rib, short loin or tenderloin prime cuts.
Choices I would pic from are the New York strip, which is from the short loin; the Porterhouse and T-Bone steaks, which are comprised of meat from both the short loin and the tenderloin; the rib-eye steak, which is from the rib prime cuts; and filet mignon, which is a steak from the pointy end of the tenderloin (not to be confused with “tenderloin” steak). A word on the filet mignon is that even though it is a tender steak it is not a flavorful one.
So, why these cuts?
These steaks are cut from muscles that don’t get much exercise, and thus are very tender. This makes them excellent for dry-heat cooking methods such as grilling, pan fry and broiling. Some cuts of meat (top or bottom round, London broil, many sirloin steaks, etc.) are perfectly delicious when cooked using moist heat, but would be extremely tough and chewy if cooked using dry heat. If we were talking about a pot roast or a stew, this would be a whole different conversation.
This way of quick cooking is very much like the best restaurants cook your best tasting steaks. Not all restaurants have a flamed grill in their kitchens. But the best thing about these steaks, they cook up the same perfect way whether you broil, griddle or best yet, BBQ grill them.
The temperature probe method of cooking to your and your guests desired doneness will make your dinner a big hit!
The MAIN reason for picking these cuts of beef is that, in many cooks’ and chiefs’ opinion (and my unprofessional one) is that these steaks need very little prep, very little seasoning and cooked quickly. To note, cooking these steaks slow and low actually will make them less tender. All you need is just a little salt and pepper on a hot surface and you’re ready to go. Quick, easy and ready for the plate in less time it takes to cook corn.
One thing to keep in mind is that just because you take a steak off of the grill doesn’t mean it’s through cooking. The heat built up in the steak will continue to cook the meat until it begins to cool off, adding up to an additional 5 or 10 degrees of doneness. This means you have to undershoot your steaks, removing them from the grill just before they reach the desired temperature. Undershooting is a good strategy anyhow, since you can always throw it back on the grill (in shame) if its not properly cooked, but you certainly can’t “uncook” a steak