Cooking the perfect steak is all about paying respect to the meat and cooking it to perfection. This article guides you in choosing your equipment, cut of meat and oil; all of which contribute to a perfectly cooked steak. Always respecting the produce is the key for a juicy, tender steak.
What is a Griddle?
Cooking on a griddle is an excellent option when you are looking to cook healthy steaks with less oil or butter. As a matter of fact, you can cook all kinds of food on a griddle with very less oil or no oil. Unlike a barbeque, you have fewer chances of burning your meat.
Choosing your griddle
Choosing a griddle is as important as choosing the cut of meat which is discussed further below. Depending on your requirements you can go for a traditional griddle or an electric griddle.
- A traditional griddle is a single plate of cast iron which you can put on your gas stove. Smaller models use one burner and larger griddles use two burners. The size of the griddle usually depends on your requirements. Larger griddles are perfect to cook meat and fish that doesn’t fit in any other pan like a salmon or a skirt steak or a feather steak.
- An electric griddle is cast iron or cast aluminum plates which are heated by an electrical source from under the griddle. You have the option to remove the griddle for easy cleaning. Electric griddles also come with adjustable thermostats.
- The materials your traditional griddle is made of is very important when it comes to cooking a steak. An ideal choice would be cast iron or stainless steel since they allow for even heat distribution and are corrosion resistant. If you opt for enameled versions, you get the added advantage of being easy maintenance.
Choosing your cut
Now that you have chosen your griddle, you need to choose the perfect cut that is tender and flavourful. There are dozens of different cuts which are used for cooking a steak. The flavor profile depends on different factors like grass-fed or farmed beef and if the muscle is well used or rarely used.
The famous steak cuts are sirloin, ribeye, t-bone, tenderloin and New York strip. The cuts chosen for steak depends on the marbling in the beef. Marbling is the presence of intramuscular fat present in the meat.
Butter or olive oil or groundnut oil
While butter or olive oil seems to the famous options among chefs to cook the steak in, groundnut oil has also entered the race recently. Chefs like Gordon Ramsay highly recommend groundnut oil due to its tendency to withstand high temperature. But some more traditional chefs like Jamie Oliver still go for butter. You can replace butter with olive oil and you can enjoy the best of the healthy fats present in olive oil.
How to Cook Steak on a Griddle?
Things you need to Cook steak:
- Marinade or dry seasoning
- Olive oil
- Meat Thermometer
- Aluminum Foil
Before you start:
- If your steak is refrigerated, you need to bring it to room temperature. Set it on the counter for a minimum of 20 minutes. The meat should be brought down approximately 70-degree Fahrenheit.
- Heat a griddle pan on medium-high until it is evenly hot and smoking. Don’t apply oil on the griddle.
Steps to Cook Steak:
1. Dry the steak with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Lightly apply olive oil on both the sides of the steak and rub the marinade on the steak.
A. The marinade can be a dry seasoning mix.
B. If you are not a fan of marinades, you can use freshly ground pepper and salt on the steak.
2. Carefully place the steak on the griddle and cook it for 2 – 3 minutes on one side. Resist the temptation to lift and check the steak.
3. Once the steak lifts off the griddle, use tongs to flip it over. If desired, brush the steak with more olive oil.
4. The timings depend on the cut of the meat and also thickness. Standard timings for each side are as below:
A. Rare – 90 minutes each side and 140°F
B. Medium Rare – 2 minutes each side and 150°F
C. Medium – 2 ½ minutes each side and 160°F
D. Well done – 3 minutes each side
5. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak.
6. Once the desired level of doneness is achieved, remove the steak from the griddle pan with tongs. Your steak should be tender with grill marks seared on both sides.
7. Wrap the steak lightly with aluminum foil and set it aside to rest for 10 minutes. The juices settle down in the steak making it juicy and tender. The temperature rises a few degrees when resting.
8. After the resting time, pull out the steak and season it.
9. Your steak is ready to be served.
Tips for Perfect Steak Cooking:
Here are a few pro-tips to achieve the perfect juicy steak which just melts in your mouth.
- The steak should be brought to room temperature or cold meat will contract and get tough during the cooking process.
- You can check if the griddle is hot enough by placing a drop of water on the pan. If the water sizzles and rolls away, your griddle is ready.
- If you are using just ground pepper, add garlic silvers and apply oil with a herb brush for a depth of flavor.
- If you are using a sugar-based marinade don’t forget to wipe off the excess marinade before cooking.
- Try to plan ahead of time and marinate the steak overnight in your refrigerator.
- Always apply oil on the meat and not on the griddle. If your griddle has raised grids, the oil stays in the grooves just smoking and not contributing to the cooking process.
- Don’t cook more than two steaks at a time. This reduces the temperature of the griddle considerably which is not ideal for a perfect steak.
- Always use tongs to turn the meat not your fork.
- Always set the meat to rest before slicing the meat.