Steak is arguably one of the most delicious things we can cook in a relatively straightforward manner. After all, you only need a frying pan, some oil, and seasoning, right?
Well, yes and no. You see, there are multiple ways you can cook steak depending on several factors, most notably what cut of steak you are using.
In this post, I will go over some alternative methods you can use to cook a delicious steak, including the pros and cons of each way.
So this is the most traditional way to cook a steak, i.e., over hot coals and fire! If grilled correctly, this process creates a fantastic, slightly charred flavor. A nice crust on the outside and slightly pink on the inside is what you aim for when cooking this way.
- Frying pan/ BBQ grate
- BBQ or fire pit
- Decent olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Any other herbs and spices that you may want to add
- The most “pure” method of cooking a steak
- It creates a nice mixture of juicy and smokey
- Nothing beats a BBQ steak
- Imprecise when compared to other methods
- You need fire and coals to cook this way
The scariest sounding method of cooking steak, but it need not be. This is the most precise, “scientific” way of cooking a flavorsome and juicy steak.
You can get sous vide cookers in most places these days, and they need not cost a fortune. However, you will need some more machinery to execute this cooking style.
The process involves vacuum sealing your piece of steak inside a specific plastic bag and then dropping it into precisely temperature-controlled water for a long time, often over an hour.
Once it has been sous vide, you need to create a sear outside to keep in the flavors and create a nice crust on the outside. The searing process is for both aesthetic and taste reasons.
- Sous vide cooker
- Special cooking bags
- Vacuum sealing device
- Herbs and seasonings
- Precisely cooked meat
- If you follow the timings and temperatures correctly, it will be perfect every time
- MAchines are simple to use
- It takes a long time
- You need to buy specialized equipment
Sear roasting combination
This is the method used if you have a large amount of steak that searing in a pan alone will not be sufficient to cook it all the way through.
You will need a metal-handed frying pan because you will be putting it into a piping hot even once the searing process has finished.
This method is ideal for thick cuts of steak and creates certain flavors that come from cooking it over a bed of herbs. Oven cooking helps the meat to absorb lots of flavors, but you must always remember to allow the meat to rest once you have taken it from the oven.
- Metal handled frying pan
- Butter, herbs, seasonings
- Wonderful flavors if put on a bed of herbs
- Simple to attempt
- Not as healthy as other methods because of the large amounts of butter used
- Not as precise as the other methods because you cannot see it once in the oven
Flying in a pan
The last option here is the one that most will attempt and know about. This is because frying a steak is the go-to method that we all try to get a nice juicy steak for cooking.
It is straightforward, and the equipment needed is minimal. The main drawback is that you need a certain skill level to determine when the steak has been cooked to your liking, e.g., rare, medium, and so on.
That skill also extends to understanding the level of heat needed and what herbs to add.
- Frying pan
- The simplest method once you understand the basics
- Not many tools needed compared to other options
- Not as precise as other methods
- It needs more skill than you might think
- It needs a lot of butter and oil
Broiling is the process of using heated elements, often located at the very top of your oven, to grill the steak.
It is a tried and tested method used by many steakhouses worldwide, but the downside is that they use professional broiling equipment.
While you may have a broiler inside your home oven, it might be incapable of coming up to a sufficient temperature.
- Oven with broiler
- Broiling pan with handle
- If done correctly, you get a wonderful crust on the outside and a juicy center
- Often not possible to broil correctly using a home oven
- Difficult to judge when the center is cooked
In the world of cooking meat and steak, there are several options you can decide to use.
They all have their advantages and disadvantages but once mastered, they all create delicious streaks.