by The Culinistas

If you liked our filet recipe this week, read on. We have all the tools you need to transform your countertop into a chophouse. Use these 4 techniques to help you cook up restaurant-quality meat. With a little practice & some well-deserved confidence, you might be applying to become a Culinista® chef before you know it. 

Slicing

Whether you’re cutting skirt steak (or any protein, for that matter), always always always slice against the grain. This cutting technique allows you to slice through the muscle fibers of the meat, making them more tender, which means easier to chew. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the flavors as they break down.

Reverse-searing

The goal? Cooking meat with better temperature control. First, place the steak in the oven at 275°F, monitoring it intermittently to ensure it attains the desired internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to assist with this. Then, remove the steak from the oven and sear it in a screaming hot pan with a neutral oil, like grapeseed or sunflower. You will achieve the perfect crust without altering the internal temperature.

While most classically trained chefs rely on their skill & muscle memory when cooking a steak, reverse-searing is a foolproof method for anyone cooking at home. It works best for thicker cuts, like a NY strip steak or a ribeye.

Salting

When it comes to steak, we’ve got two trusted techniques:

Method 1: One-to-two hours before serving, salt your meat with a heavy hand. The amount of salt added should depend on the thickness of the steak (more meat; more salt). This method helps to bring out the meat’s natural flavors. It also assists in the Maillard reaction, which is the caramelization of natural proteins & sugars to produce the brown crust we know & love.

Method 2: Salt your steak after cooking & slicing. This technique is typically used for a very high quality steak that has been cooked to perfection. The post method allows the natural flavors of the meat to shine. The salt’s role is simply to enhance the taste of the steak on your palette.

Resting

Fun fact: You should always let your steak rest before & after cooking. This sounds like advice we should be taking ourselves (maybe with a glass of wine in hand).

Before cooking: Allowing any protein to temper, or come to room temperature before cooking, promises an even cook throughout the cut. If a cold protein hits a hot pan before tempering, it can cause the muscle fibers of the meat to tense, resulting in a chewier bite.

After cooking: Resting the steak after it’s cooked allows all of the natural juices to reabsorb into the muscle fibers. If you’ve ever sliced a protein & found your cutting board was a puddle of “blood” or meat juice, it’s because the meat wasn’t fully rested. If it had rested, all of that flavorful liquid would be locked inside the steak versus wasted on your cutting board.

Maybe it’s just us, but we’re now fiending for a steak-inspired dinner party with vegetable sides galore. If you need some recipe inspiration, check out our Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon.