Chances are, you love a steak that’s juicy, tender & simply delicious …
If you watched my two previous videos, then you know that a proper cooking skillet and right meat choice have a tremendous effect on the end result.
Just to quickly recap…
If your skillet is low quality, it might not be able to heat up and sustain the right temperature for the steak to cook perfectly on the stove.
Also, if you choose a lower end steak and cook it like a higher end steak, it will most likely end up being dry and flavorless.
Right now you might be wondering:
Okay, Artem, that’s cool, but…how exactly do I cook a steak that’s juicy, tender & simply delicious?
Well, today I am going to make it very easy for you.
All you need is to understand that proper doneness level is essential for your steak to come out amazing!
What is Steak Doneness Level?
Time to look at the graph…steak graph!
Okay, I understand that my previous statement might have raised some questions, so, please, let me clarify what exactly is steak doneness level.
Whenever you start cooking steak, the heat that touches the meat surface gradually enters the cut itself.
It’s very important to understand that the heat can only get inside the steak at a certain rate.
As it happens, the steak goes through the stages of readiness, which, as you already guessed, are exactly the same as degrees of doneness.
These stages most commonly include the following:
#1: BLUE RARE
At the stage, the steak has been only seared for 15-30 seconds on each side.
Basically it is a rare piece of beef with a thin layer of cooked surface.
This amount of time is almost always not enough to develop any type of meaningful surface browning.
Lack of surface browning makes these steaks look grey and unappetizing.
However, with a proper technique, some level of surface browning is possible.
I use it every once in a while, when I feel particularly carnivorous to go eat an almost raw steak.
As the steak is cooked for a little longer (usually 1 minute per side), the heat from the surface gradually enters inside the beef, cooking it a little further, while making its way towards the very middle of the cut.
When steak is said to be ‘rare’, all it means is that it’s predominantly undercooked.
In other words, more than 50% of the steak is still rare.
Typically, I would order a rare steak in a restaurant (which actually rarely happens, because I am almost always disappointed with steaks in restaurant), simply because they almost always overcook it, turning the thing into medium-rare…to which we arrive now.
The most popular stage of readiness is…medium-rare.
After about 2 minutes of cooking steak on stove top, steak reaches that state, when it’s half cooked.
Basically that’s what medium-rare stands for – 50% cooked and 50% rare.
I have a love and hate relationship with this doneness level, because I do prefer having a more rare steak, but it really depends on my mood.
Medium-rare is the last level of doneness, where the amount of rare beef is at 50% or more.
As you leave your steak on stove cooking for longer, the heat from the surface would penetrate the cut even further.
As that happens, you will notice that the surface becomes noticeable more brown (you would also notice that with rare and medium-rare doneness levels), whereas the inside of the steak becomes more and more cooked.
As your steak gets more ‘done’, the amount of raw flesh inside decreases.
In fact, medium doneness has utmost a tiny thin line of what used to be a rare middle – it is now pink throughout.
Cook the steak a bit further, and you will see how it gets even more done, turning into medium-well.
This steak is mostly brown on the inside with a pink center.
The surface can start burning already.
This is the final degree of doneness, where steak is mostly brown.
The surface of the steak would be quite dark, if not burnt.
Okay, now you know that there are 6 doneness levels…
How would it help you to cook a perfect steak?
Now is the time for real secret.
The Secret Behind a Steak That’s Juicy, Tender & Simply Delicious
Never cook a steak beyond medium-rare.
I just gave it away.
I will repeat it though.
If you are looking to cook a steak that’s juicy, tender & simply delicious, you should never cook it beyond medium-rare doneness level.
Okay, Artem, but…WHY?
Here is why…
(There are actually 3 main reasons right below)
Reason #1: JUISINESS
Here is how it all works with steaks.
Steak juices leaving the steak get the board wet.
Did you know that cooking steak on stove top, leads to approximately 20% loss of its weight.
Where does it come from?
Well, it’s all those juices that are seared out by high heat and, very often, improper treatment of steak after its done.
The idea goes like this…
The more you sear your steak on stove, the less moisture stays inside, meaning that it becomes less juicy.
And if there is less juiciness, there is less flavor, which we would come to in a moment.
Reason #2: TENDERNESS
Remember the previous video? There really are only two types of steaks – higher-end and lower-end.
If you watched my previous video, then you would know that there are really only two types of steaks: higher-end steaks and lower-end steaks.
Higher-end steaks are especially good for stove top cooking, whereas lower-end steaks…you need to be more careful with them (so that you can still chew them).
Now, tenderness of any steak is directly affected by the level of doneness this steak is cooked to.
If you mess up the doneness level, it would be quite hard to chew and, obviously, it’s not that great.
Reason #3: FLAVOR
A steak cooked correctly bursts with flavor!
Here we are talking about flavor, which is extremely sophisticated subject, but…
Let’s see what a flavorful steak looks like and what is consists of.
First thing is the browned surface.
A properly browned surface gives an immense amount of flavor and that’s why it is so important, but…that’s not everything.
Then comes the already mentioned juiciness.
Should I say that it adds this delicious something to the steak?
There is also a combination of rare and cooked beef that, by combining together, releases a very spectacular taste.
It so happens that medium-rare doneness level combines all of the above reasons that result in a great steak.
Having said this, I know that there are a lot of objections regarding rare parts of steak and medium-rare is not an exception.
This is why I would like to deal with them…one by one!
Here I am answering those questions on medium-rare steak!
Is Medium-Rare Steak Undercooked?
No, it’s not undercooked.
Medium-rare steak is cooked to medium-rare doneness level, which has a rare part in it.
This is similar to cooking fried eggs and leaving the yolks slightly rare.
Is Medium-Rare Steak Unhealthy?
Actually, it’s considered to be healthier than medium-well beef that’s been cooking for a while.
The reason is that prolonged high heat is never good, because it does create some unhealthy compounds.
Is Medium-Rare Steak Safe to Eat?
This is the most common objection I hear.
It gets to the stage where I almost have to sit with people, holding their hands, so to make them unscared of eating a steak that’s cooked to medium-rare doneness.
So, medium-rare steaks are totally safe to eat.
The only problem which could possibly arise is foodborne illnesses, which appear from bad things that can get onto the steak’s surface.
Any kind of dangerous foodborne bacteria is killed almost immediately, when your steak touches the pan’s surface.
Searing for 1-2 minutes leaves no chance for anything dangerous to survive on the steak’s surface.
And these bacteria can’t go inside the steak either, which is also a reason why medium-rare steak is totally safe!
Oh yeah, and to answer the ‘blood from steak’ scare.
It’s not blood!
It’s a protein called myoglobin mixed with water, so, no, no blood there.
How to Cook Your Steak to Medium-Rare Doneness Level?
Now that you are convinced that medium-rare steak is a great thing, which is not only tender, juicy and delicious, but also is completely safe, you might wonder…how to actually cook your steak that way?
I am honest with you – this process is rather tricky and includes A LOT of different details, which are so very crucial for the end result.
I know that there are so many people out there that stopped even trying to cook a steak, because it never worked out for them in the past…
Now, if you have my knowledge, passion and skills that help make steaks juicy, tender and delicious, imagine how amazing every single steak of yours would be!
And this is what my upcoming SteakEat Stove Top Method eBook is all about.
The method is a combination of 8 carefully chosen illustrated steps that guide you through the entire stove top cooking process.
SteakEat Stove Top Method eBook.
Here is a glimpse into the upcoming SteakEat Stove Top Method release…exciting!
The eBook would also contain some bonus material, which also includes the SteakEat Method of calculating steak cooking times, even if you don’t have meat thermometer.
The eBook will go live tomorrow evening (I will of course send another email to let you know about that).
As for now, please ask any questions or leave the comments right below!
I will be happy to get back to you with all the answers right away.
I look forward to hearing from you!