Last Updated on by SteakEat
Part 2 – Choosing the Best Steak & the Tools Needed to Sear it
In Part 1, we discussed preparation of a quality steak, and we will look at recipes and tips in Part 3 soon.
For now, let’s pick a quality cut of New York strip steak!
You cannot achieve an incredible steak dinner using any cut of strip steak.
When you purchase steak, the strip’s quality will generally be affected by the amount you spend. Therefore, spend wisely.
Consider a few things to help you choose quality NY strip steak, including:
Grass-fed Organic Beef. Cattle that is grass-fed would naturally be leaner than cows fed grains, which is beneficial for health. Given that grass has myriad of flavors, it will pass them on to the beef you buy, so you will also get to taste them.
Organic beef refers to cattle raised without growth hormones and antibiotics commonly used in the cattle raising industry. Not only does grass-fed, organic steak taste better–it is healthier for you too!
Dry aging. When protein molecules break down in steak as part of a natural process, it is known as dry aging. You will most likely find 14-day, 21-day, and 28-day choices for dry aged beef. While these can be more costly than other cuts of steak, there is quite a difference in flavor. My personal recommendation is NY strip steak matured for 21 days. Try it out and see how you like a more flavor-concentrated NY strip (you might actually like it less than the standard one…taste is very subjective).
Thickness and Weight. A cut no thicker than 1 inch (2.5cm) is recommended. This is ideal for the stovetop searing method using a cast iron skillet.
If your steak is thicker than the recommended guidelines, sear the NY steak on stovetop and finish cooking using the oven to result in a tender, juicy finished product.
The weight of the steak should be about 7 ounces for each individual you are serving, to yield a satisfying meal without overstuffing.
Choosing the Proper Equipment for the Best Steak
To attain the best possible steak, gather these tools:
Cast Iron Skillet
A skillet constructed of cast iron is known for being durable and having incredible volumetric heat abilities. Because they get hot and stay hot, cast iron skillets are preferred for searing steaks.
Cast iron skillets are also useful because they have heat-resistant handles, which are safe for oven use.
This is perfect if you have a thicker cut of NY strip than recommended.
You should also choose a skillet with grill marks. Built-in grill marks affect flavor, however, they will make your steak look as good as it tastes.
Searing requires maneuverability, especially if you choose to use a skillet with grill marks. High-quality tongs allow you to easily handle your steak while protecting you from burns.
A roll of paper towels is handy for any type of meat cooking. In this guide, we use paper towels to pat the steak dry before seasoning it.
Overcooking is one of the most critical mistakes you can make when cooking steak. When you overcook a steak, your finished product will be dry. It will also lack its natural aroma and flavor.
You should keep two thermometers on hand for steak cooking; an instant meat thermometer and an oven probe.
Because the searing process is completed at high heat, you should choose oil that is heat-stable.
I recommend coconut oil (non-virgin) or ghee. They both have the advantages of being heat-stable, having a high smoking point, and adding a wonderful aroma to your New York strip steak as it cooks.
Salt is a key component of flavorful steak, especially when you are searing it.
Protein, when combined with high heat, undergoes a chemical reaction called Maillard.
This reaction is responsible for the browning of your strip steak and salt becomes part it.
You should choose kosher salt to season the steak, because kosher salt is not as dense as table salt. This means you can improve the browning of your steak using more salt- without ruining the natural flavors of your NY strip steak.
Freshly ground whole black peppercorns are ideal for seared steak. These should be added minutes before you serve the steak, to produce a wonderful aroma.