So many videos exist on youtube that we could argue all day just how to cook a steak. Some key pointers that here at Cuisitive we always follow:
- Meat should be at room temperature when the steak hits the heat. This gives a piece of meat the chance to evenly cook.
- Season it really well before. If you like a lot of salt and pepper go for it.
- The cooking pan should be very hot in order for the meat to receive maillard reaction temperatures. This gives the delicious brown colour that looks and tastes great.
- Resist turning the steak for the first minute or so in order to ensure the browning reactions actually can get started.
- Leave the meat to rest for a few minutes after (covered) so that the juices can settle and this will limit the amount of water loss. As the meat cooks water and proteins are continually released so its impossible to retain all of those juices 100%.
The Maillard reaction is crucial to any success when cooking a piece of meat. Learn about it with our infographic.
Flavour generation is maximised only when a piece of meat reaches over 140°c and Maillard Reactions occur. As temperatures reach 160°c the meat begins to caramelise and subsequently at 200°c it starts to burn.
Skill is involved to manage to fully develop the potential flavours of the meat without reaching pyrolysis. Some charring is desired and popular but can easily lead to a burnt unappetising steak.
A chemical process between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its desirable flavour.
1. The carbonyl group on a sugar reacts with a protein or amino acid’s group – produces glycosylamine.
2. The glycosylamine isomeries to give a ketosamine.
3. The ketosamine reacts to produce a range of different products.
Flavour generation is maximised only when a piece of meat reaches over 140°c and Maillard Reactions occur. As…
In simplistic terms: Heat + Sugars + Proteins = Best flavour
To achieve the development of complex flavours that we all find delicious, the steak should be able to reach the optimal temperature during cooking. In the case of steaks they need to be cooked on a very high heat for a short time in order to allow the surface to go above 140°c and start to brown. Without this the end result can be bland and largely tasteless.