How to Make the Perfect Steak Every Time


Steak night. You know the potential for a fantastic meal is there, but sometimes the results fall short. Mastering a perfect steak is both an art and a science. With the proper techniques and a little patience, you’ll hack it.

Here are all the tips and tricks to becoming a steak sensei!

Choose the Right Cut

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Get fresh, bright red meat with even marbling that’s at least 1-inch thick. For the proper cut, ribeye delivers rich marbling and bold flavor, and filet mignon offers the ultimate tenderness, while the New York strip provides a balance. Flank steak is lean, flavorful, and ideal for marinating and grilling.

Temperature Matters


Take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes ahead of cooking to ensure even cooking.

Pat Your Steak Dry

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Moisture is a good scorch’s greatest enemy, so use paper towels to soak up any surface water. This promotes a better char and crispy crust.

Season Generously

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Remember to season your steak liberally with pepper and salt at least 40 minutes before cooking. This lets the seasoning penetrate the meat properly for maximum flavor. Consider options like garlic, rosemary, thyme, or a simple blend of salt and pepper to complement the natural richness of the meat.

Use the Right Cooking Method

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Choose a cooking method that suits the thickness and cut of your steak. For thicker cuts, consider reverse-searing – slowly cooking meat before quickly searing, or sous vide cooking – vacuum-sealing and precisely cooking food in a water bath for tender, toothsome results.

Preheat Your Pan or Grill

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Whether grilling, pan-searing, or broiling, ensure the cooking surface is scorching hot prior to adding the steak. A hot surface ensures a beautiful scorch and locks in juices.

Oil the Steak, Not the Pan

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Brush the steak lightly with oil rather than oiling the pan to prevent excess oil from smoking and causing flare-ups. Coating the steak with oil prevents sticking and aids in caramelization. Use a high smoke point oil like canola or grapeseed for best results.

Don’t Overcrowd the Pan or Grill

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If you’re preparing lots of steaks, prepare them in batches to maintain proper heat. Overcrowding lowers the temperature and steams the meat instead of flaming it.

Char to Perfection

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Gently place the steak on the hot top and resist moving it around. Allow it to develop a golden crust for 2-3 minutes per side for the ultimate scorch.

Flip Only Once

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Flipping the steak too often can disrupt the sear, resulting in uneven cooking or dryness from juices escaping if pierced. Aim for just one flip halfway through the cooking process.

Use a Meat Thermometer

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For precision cooking, invest in a meat thermometer. For a rare steak, aim for 120-125°F, medium-rare 130-135°F, medium 140-145°F, medium-well 150-155°F, and well-done 160°F+.

Basting Is a Bonus

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Baste the steak with melted butter, herbs, or garlic during cooking for extra flavor and moisture. Avoid basting constantly, as it can cool down the pan and hinder the char.

Let It Rest


Once ready, remove the steak from the pan and tenderize it with foil. Leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices can redistribute, achieving a more soft and delectable steak.

Slice Against the Grain

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Always use a sharp knife and slice the steak against the grain for optimal softness. Doing so breaks up tough muscle fibers, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.

Pair With the Best Side

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Complement the steak with delicious sides like roasted vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, or a crunchy salad bowl for a well-rounded meal.


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