Do you sit down in a restaurant all ready to order your steak with confidence? Then you look at the myriad options and realize in a panic, you are not sure which actual cut of meat you would prefer, and how you would like your steak to be cooked?
Two favourite types of steak are:
Since the beef’s tenderloin muscle doesn’t get much exercise, Tenderloin steak is extremely lean and—surprise, surprise—tender, with a smooth, buttery texture.
Ribeyes are all about fat. They have lots of ‘marbling’, and therefore a load of flavour, such that many people consider them one of the best-tasting types of steak.
How Do You Like The Chef To Prepare These Great Steaks For You?
How your steak is cooked will change the flavour and texture of the meat. The different levels of “doneness” are an issue of time, not temperature. It’s best to always cook steaks at high temperatures to sear the outside and trap the juices and flavor inside. Every steak worth its salt has to have a flavorful, crispy sear. The chef should then ‘rest’ your steak for five minutes under aluminum foil. This lets the juices within the meat be reabsorbed, leading to a tastier cut of beef.
Here are some tips for requesting how long the Chef should cook your steak to your satisfaction:
Rare steaks are cooked so that they are still ‘bloody’ on the inside. For a one-inch-thick steak, about three minutes on one side and two on the other, resting the steak for five minutes or so before serving.
The inner edges should be light brown, fading to pink with a deep red center. The middle of a rare steak is likely to be just barely warm or still cool.
(If you prefer your steak even rarer than Rare, tell the Chef you want it ‘Blue’. Blue steak is seared on the outside, usually for only a few seconds to a minute, and then served. The interior is almost completely red and raw, and unlikely to be warm at all. Blue steaks may be tough to chew, and won’t have the same amount of juice as other cooked steaks. But are quite safe to eat).
If you were to ask a professional chef how they would want their steak to be cooked, nine times out of ten they would tell you Medium-Rare. About four minutes on one side and then three on the other.
Medium-Rare steaks are red only in the very middle of the steak. The rest should be various shades of pink, with the outer edges browned.
A Medium steak is the best choice for people with different tastes who want to share a steak. Medium steaks will usually have a little bit of charring on the top and bottom, but not so much as to dominate the taste of the entire cut of beef. It should have no red or cool parts within it, with a small to medium-sized pink and warm center. Cooking a steak to Medium can be done on high heat with about five minutes on one side, four minutes on the other.
A Medium-Well done steak won’t have any red in it. There may be the slightest of a pink tinge at the very middle of your steak, but that should be it. Medium-Well steaks will have charring on either side, due to the longer cooking time, about six minutes on each side. Though the middle of the steak will be a little softer.
A Well-Done steak is a steak that is seared on the outside and then cooked so that the entirety of the steak is brown. This provides a crispy outside texture and a consistent cooked texture throughout, while still locking in the juices and flavor. Well-Done steaks are a little tougher to chew than steaks cooked to other levels.
Since Tenderloin Steaks are lean with less fat, you definitely don’t want to dry them out. Recommended cooking: Medium-Rare with a quick 3-4 minute sear on each side.
In comparison, Ribeye Steaks have enough fat to remain juicy when cooked for a little longer to get a good sear. So recommended: Medium-Well.
Of course, while steak doneness comes down to your personal preference, it can have a huge effect on the taste and texture of the final dish. As a general rule, the less fat and marbling a steak contains, the less you’ll want it cooked.
While most people will tell you their opinion, the fact is that there is no single correct type of steak cooking level. While the “industry-standard” would be Medium-Rare, when you’re ordering your meal you’re only ordering for yourself. Don’t worry about what other people would say or recommend and order what you know you’ll enjoy. When in doubt, ask the Chef—he’s the expert!