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Culinary Central

How to Make Perfect Steak, a Texas Chef Favorite

September 25, 2009 Le Cordon Bleu Dallas 0 Comments

Making the perfect steak is no easy task. Because there are so many varieties of steak, each with their own flavor and texture, and because everyone’s tastes are a so different, you must look at making the perfect steak as an evolving art form.

It will take practice. Reputable Texas chefs take years perfecting their dish and many of the finest Dallas colleges even devote classes to making great steaks.

Step 1 – Decide on Your Favorite Cut of Beef

There are eight cuts of beef each offering varying degrees of tenderness and flavor. The most popular cuts for a grilled steak include: short loin cut for porterhouse, t-bone, and tenderloin steaks; sirloin cut for sirloin steaks; and, the flank cut for flank steak, which is very lean and full of flavor.

Step 2 – Understand Meat Grades and How to Choose a Nice Piece of Meat

Texas chefs will normally choose prime grade beef because it is the best quality of meat available. Choice and select grade beefs are also available at the grocer or butcher, but if it is in your budget, always go with the choice grade.

Also, do your best to assess the meat’s marbling or fat content. Large pieces of fat mean the meat is flavorful but tough, while a cut of meat with no marbling will be tender and have little flavor. The goal is to find a cut of meat with thin layers of fat for the perfect balance.

Step 3 – Determine Which Style of Steak You Prefer

Do you prefer a steak with many toppings or a simple steak dish with a little salt and steak sauce? Chances are you enjoy a full variety of steak dishes. Test out recipes along with cooking methods to find what you like best. Here are just a few examples of different steak dishes:

  • Swiss steak
  • Beef pepper steak
  • Country fried beef steak
  • Beef Philly steak
  • Island spiced beef steak
  • Beef tenderloin steak
  • BBQ beef steak
  • Salisbury steak

Step 4 – It’s All About Marinating

A marinade will not only add flavor, but it will make your steak juicy too. There are a variety of marinade recipes that you should try to see what you like best, but the two most important elements of proper marinating include lemon juice and at least four hours for your meat to rest.

Step 5 – Keep an Eye on the Grill and the Clock

A good steak will only be prepared one way—on the grill. And most all cuts of meat will take no longer than 30 minutes on the grill. A thermometer is the best method for deciding when a cut of meat is ready. The core temperature of the meat should be between 120 degrees (rare) to 165 degrees (well done).

Once you have prepared the same steak meal a few times you will learn how to improve on your cooking method and on the items you choose to complement the meat. Just like in all types of cooking, don’t be afraid to take advice from the experts. If you visit a popular restaurant and enjoy the steak you order, most Texas chefs would enjoy hearing your compliments and be willing to offer a piece of advice for preparing similar dishes at home.

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