Learning how to cook a steak to perfection is a long road. It takes a few tools that are, kind of, essential. It also demands prime ingredients. There’s no getting around this. And, as always, a perfect dish takes patience and practice. A great steak lives and dies by temperatures: Room temp, searing temp, pan temp, internal temp, etc. It’s … a lot. But, it’s in that matrix of temperatures that you’ll either soar to succulent heights or crash and burn into the leathery depths.
So, here’s what you need to know to cook a perfect steak. One, get the right tools. You need a cast iron skillet. Grilling a steak is fine and all but the sear you get from the skillet and the safe haven it provides for the fats to mingle is crucial to flavor and texture. Next, season generously. Take this as a litmus: Most folks who’ve worked a long time in pro kitchens will always tell you that the average layperson would be shook if they knew who much salt we actually use in the back of the house. So salt it a lot. Use a lot of pepper too.
Lastly, cooking the steak comes down to a little technique. You need to sear it at an amazingly high heat, lower that heat, and, then, cook the steak while basting it in butter. Then it has to rest. If you don’t rest it, forget it. From there, the way you sauce or not is totally up to you. I’ve included an au Poivre here because that’s what I was in the mood for but, really, it’s up to you.
Let’s dive in and cook the perfect ribeye.