How Do You Not Overcook Steak?
Whether you’re a seasoned griller or a novice, there are some common steak-grilling mistakes that can make your steak go from delicious to ruined. The good news is that it’s actually pretty easy to avoid them, as long as you know what you’re doing!
1. Use a meat thermometer
One of the biggest reasons steak becomes dry and chewy is that it cooks at a lower temperature than other cuts of beef. Leaner cuts of meat increase in temperature more quickly than beef with a lot of fat, so it’s important to use an accurate thermometer when cooking them.
2. Don’t test the steak by poking it with a fork
Another mistake people often make when cooking steak is that they poke it with a fork to check its doneness. This can be a bad idea because it releases a significant amount of juice, which makes it harder to judge the correct internal temperature.
3. Cook it on low heat for longer
When you cook steak over a lower heat, the collagen and protein break down and become tender instead of chewy. This can also help to keep your steak from overcooking, as it will take longer to reach the same temperature.
4. Let it rest for a few minutes
The best way to get your steak juiciest is by letting it sit on the grill for a few minutes between cutting it and serving it. This “resting” period helps the juices in the steak to return to their original state.
5. Add moisture
Adding a small amount of liquid to your steak before putting it back on the grill can help to ensure that the meat stays juicy and doesn’t turn out dry or rubbery. This is especially true if you have a piece of steak with a lot of fat.
6. Salt the steak
Steak is an excellent source of potassium and sodium, so it’s important to season it well before cooking it. The right combination of salt and other seasonings can have a profound effect on the flavor, texture, and overall look of the meat.
7. Don’t slice against the grain
The way you cut your steak can have a huge impact on how tender or chewy it will be. Typically, a thin steak is more tender and chewy when cut against the grain of the muscle fibers. This is because it allows more of the meat’s natural juices to come out when you cut it.
8. Use a high-quality cut of beef
If you aren’t careful, you can end up with a steak that’s overcooked or undercooked. This can happen if you’re using a cut that doesn’t have the right consistency or size, or if you’re using a steak that has been marinated too long and isn’t as tender as it should be.
9. Bring it to room temperature before you cook it
The same rule applies to any other animal product that you might be using for dinner. When you take something out of the fridge, it’s best to allow it to thaw in the sun or at room temperature first.