Compared to the steak you get at a steakhouse, the steak you make at home cannot be on par with one another. The quality level is rather distinct and can seem difficult to replicate. However, it isn’t impossible to do!
If you want to bring steakhouse quality, read on to see what goes into cooking one from your kitchen!
Getting the Right Cut
What kind of steak cut do you prefer? Depending on what part you like, you will need to adjust how you go about cooking your steak. The approach taken for flank steak compared to a filet mignon steak can be quite different since they have varying levels of tenderness.
Furthermore, there is one thing you should note regarding steak weight. Steaks can weigh the same, but you would be surprised that steakhouses cut them in different widths. You may be wondering: why is that necessary to do so? Well, when the steaks are cut at different widths, it is easier to accommodate different cooking temperatures.
In which case, be mindful of your steak width depending on how you like to enjoy your steak. For example, if you’re hoping to enjoy a medium steak, using a thicker steak cut is the easiest way to do so. Meanwhile, if you’re hoping for a faster way to get your steak well-done, you can bet that cutting your steak into thinner cuts will reach it quicker.
Prepping & Seasoning
Before you cook, you want to ensure you get that rich flavorful taste from a steakhouse. And where can you find that during the prepping process? From seasoning, of course! If you ever see a steakhouse cook at work, you would be astounded by how much salt goes into a steak. At first impression, you may assume you might be overdoing it with the seasoning. However, the more, the better! When it’s under seasoned, you will end up with a bland steak. When a steak is coated well with salt, it helps to bring out the steak’s flavours.
Ensure as you’re seasoning that you’re coating each side evenly. You don’t only need salt and can add pepper alongside it. Try to limit your seasoning to just three (i.e. salt, pepper, or other forms of seasoning), so you don’t create too many conflicting or overpowering flavours that will overwhelm the taste of the steak.
Turning Up the Heat
Things get hot inside a steakhouse. A steakhouse’s wood-fired grills can reach insane amounts of heat upwards of 700° F (371 °C), while those with infrared can get to 1,000° F (537 °C). That’s incredibly hot! Naturally, you don’t have the same equipment as there is in a steakhouse, but you can emulate it differently! All it takes is replicating it by cranking up the heat with what you got. If you have a charcoal grill, you can bet that’s the closest you can get to replicating the real thing. However, if you don’t have one, another good alternative is to use a pre-heated smoking-hot cast-iron skillet to get the job done!
Coat Steak in Butter Bath
Do you know what else steakhouse cooks do to get flavours out of a steak? The decadent taste you get from a steakhouse steak stems from butter! Using so much butter is great for flavour because it can absorb and retain moisture when seared. If you wish to add another layer of richness to your steak, you can create compound butter instead to douse your steak. Compound butter can elevate the flavour even more in a steak since it usually incorporates other ingredients like herbs and spice blends. When it comes to having steakhouse quality, a butter bath for your steak is a stapled necessity!
Getting the Right Temperature
You would think you would know when a steak is finished cooking by just looking at it. However, what’s going on the inside is what you need to pay attention to the most when replicating steakhouse quality steak. In which case, this means using a meat thermometer to find out its internal temperature. Depending on how you like your steak cooked, it’s important to mind the internal temperature. If it’s too low, like 120°F (48 °C), you can expect your steak to be more on the rare side. Too high, like 160°F (71 °C), you can be certain that your steak will be well-done. If you’re a medium-rare fan, you should ensure the internal temperature is at least 130-135 °F (54-57 °C). Once you take it off the grill or pan, let it rest until it reaches just five degrees below your internal temperature. Then, it’s all ready to serve and enjoy!
There is a reason why it takes a long for folks to finesse the art of cooking steaks. With what steakhouses do, they know how to deliver flavours easier than you have at home. It’s not impossible to make a steak that’s steakhouse level, but it certainly takes practice to try and achieve it!