Is there anything more satisfying than a perfectly cooked steak? We’re not talking about a well-done steak that’s lost all its flavor and tenderness. We’re talking about a steak that’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside – a medium-rare steak that melts in your mouth and leaves you wanting more.
But achieving that perfect medium-rare doneness can be a daunting task. Luckily, as a former restaurant chef, I’m here to share my secrets on how to cook the best medium-rare steak.
What Exactly is Medium-Rare Steak?
A medium-rare steak is a culinary masterpiece with a warm, red center that bursts with beefy, juicy flavor. It’s that sweet spot of doneness where the proteins within the meat start to denature without fully finishing. The result is a steak that’s tender and slightly chewy, just the way it should be.
At these low temperatures, the moisture inside the steak is locked in, making it as juicy as possible.
How to Determine When Steak is Medium-Rare
To be absolutely certain that your steak is in the medium-rare range, there’s a fool-proof method – using an instant-read thermometer. While you could follow a time-and-temperature chart or rely on the touch-test method, an instant-read thermometer takes out the guesswork and ensures perfection.
Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, making sure to avoid touching the bone if it’s a bone-in steak. Slowly move the probe back and forth to find the coolest pocket within the steak. Once it reaches 130°F, it’s done. Keep in mind that the temperature will rise an additional 5 degrees as the steak rests.
And don’t worry about the myth that using a thermometer will cause the juices to escape. Your steak isn’t a water balloon, so there’s no risk of all the juices gushing out from a single poke!
The Best Way to Cook a Medium-Rare Steak
My personal favorite method for cooking a medium-rare steak is using a smoking-hot cast-iron skillet. The intense heat helps create a crust while keeping the inside perfectly juicy. If you prefer the char-grilled flavor or have a bone-in steak, try cooking it on a preheated gas or charcoal grill. For a 1-inch steak, it should take around 4 to 5 minutes per side. If you have a thicker steak, our secret is to use the foolproof indirect heat method for a flawless result.
For the ultimate medium-rare experience, you can also try sous vide cooking. Simply vacuum seal your steak, set the temperature to 130°F, and let it cook for about 90 minutes. Once done, remove it from the bag, pat it dry, season it with salt and pepper, and sear it on all sides in a hot cast-iron pan. The result is a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak that you’ll savor.
So, grab your apron and get ready to impress your friends and family with a mouthwatering medium-rare steak. And if you want to try it at the renowned Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, visit their website here. Enjoy!