Cooked rare or well done, steak is one of the most popular food in the world. It is so difficult to resist to a well cooked meat, tender inside and with a crispy crust on the surface. Nutritious and tasty, a real energy bomb loved by many athletes.

Cooked rare or well done, steak is one of the most popular food in the world. It is so difficult to resist to a well cooked meat, tender inside and with a crispy crust on the surface. Nutritious and tasty, a real energy bomb loved by many athletes.

But how to prepare the perfect steak? For a good result it is important to know how to cook it, with some precautions and what are the mistakes to avoid. Very often the risk is to reduce a large slice of red meat to a dry and not so very tasty slice. So, if you feel like preparing a nice steak, here are some tips and tricks to cook it best, grilled or even in the oven.

How to choose steak

First of all it is important to know how to distinguish and choose the cut of meat. The steak can be on the bone, or without the bone. Regardless of the type of meat, in the second steak we are generally speaking of chop.

Both the rib and the steak are cuts obtained from the loin, but they are surely  not the same thing. From the front we obtain the classic ribs with the bone, instead from the rear we obtain the steaks with tenderloin or sirloin. The steak can also be called "T-bone steak", because the bone has the characteristic T shape.

Pay attention to fat. When buying them, prefer steaks that have a thick white vein that will accompanies the meat during cooking and will give it an exceptional taste.

If you are cooking a sirloin, remove the bone before cooking it to get a tasty sliced steak. Grill it whole, without letting out its liquid: it will be cut into strips only when serving.

How to cook steak

Before cooking, the dressing. Many say that if salted earlier meat tends to dehydrate during cooking. To ensure that all steak juice remains intact, it is best to add salt only at the end. But you can lightly grease it, to create a crunchy crust. Wet your hands with extra virgin olive oil and massage the meat before cooking.

1. Steak in the pan
That the steak is tastier when cooked on the grill is well known. But just because  we don’t have a barbecue at home, this doesn’t mean we can’t a good cut of well-cooked meat even in a pan. Contrary to popular belief, the best pans for cooking steaks are not the non-stick ones, but those in cast iron or metal.

Remember to heat the pan well before cooking the meat. Keep the heat high for the first part of the cooking, then continue over medium heat. In this way, you will give the meat time to form the crust on the surface, but to cook more slowly also inside.

2. Grilled steak

For a tasty grilled steak, it is important to flavor it first. In a bowl chop some rosemary, pound the black pepper and peel two cloves of garlic. Massage the meat with the extra virgin olive oil, then add the aromas to let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

Avoid putting the meat in the refrigerator: at the time of cooking the meat steak must be around 30 degrees C. Heat the plate or turn on the grill, it must be very hot. In the absence of a real barbecue, just prefer cast iron or stone plates.

Cook the steak 3 or 4 minutes per side, always on a high flame, to darken it on the surface. Don't be in a hurry and, above all, don't put the meat on the plate if it is just warm, you wouldn't get the same result.

3. Baked steak

Some are against it, but there are also some meat experts who consider baking in the oven a good method that can give excellent results. In fact also with this method, with some precautions, we can get a steak crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

First, you have to cook the inside of the cut. For this, cook your meat in the oven for about 1 hour (times change according to weight and thickness), at 45 degrees C. Dry the meat with paper towels, massage it with extra virgin olive oil and place it on a hot grill for the final browning. It only takes a couple of minutes per side.

How to tell if a steak is cooked

Understanding whether a cut of meat is well cooked is not so simple and above all it depends on how we want to achieve it. Rare, medium or well done. Cooking times are fundamental for this thing. As a general rule, for an average rib about 4 cm high, 3-5 minutes per side are enough.

According to meat experts, a trick to well cook the inside of the cut, is to put it first for a few minutes vertically, standing, holding it with pliers. In this way the cooking will be uniform and the juices well distributed. Then, let’s move on to cooking on both sides.

If you want to get a perfect result, the most valid method is that of the food thermometer. Measure the temperature of the steak while it cooks. If you want it rare don't exceed 50 degrees C, for a medium cooking it must be around 60 degreees C, while for a well done steak you can go up to 70 degrees C.