I guess the reason why you’re here is because you love a medium rare steak! Well, who doesn’t? It’s juicy, flavorful and has everything you would ever love in a steak.
Sadly, the process of how to cook steak medium rare is a carefully thought and designed, process that not everyone can master. Because of this, you would usually end up being disappointed with your steak when ordering in restaurants or when you make one at home.
Are you already tired of being disappointed with your steak? Do you wish to know the secrets to cooking the perfect medium rare steak?
Just like you, I am a medium rare steak lover too, and I feel your frustration because I have been in the same situation as you. That’s why I have decided to share with you some of the secrets that I have learned over the years about how to perfectly cook a steak medium rare.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Why Cook Your Steaks Medium Rare?
Steaks that are cooked medium rare will give you the best of both worlds as it will give you the maximum amount of juiciness and tenderness and at the same time, you are assured that the center of the steak is actually cooked and warm.
Plus, a pink color in the center is much more appetizing than a red and bloody center, wouldn’t you agree?
How to Cook Steak Medium Rare? The Things You Need to Know!
Now, let’s get to the fun and most important part—the cooking tips! Here are some things you need to know on how to cook steak medium rare:
Selecting the perfect cut.
The thickness and cut of the meat matters.. a lot! When it comes to choosing the perfect cut of a medium rare steak, opt for the one with these qualities—tenderness, not more than one and a half inch thickness, and the presence of thin veins of fat throughout the cut as it indicates a good amount of marbling.
With these in mind, Enjoy How to Cook claims that the following cuts are best cooked medium rare– tenderloin, rib-eye, porterhouse, skirt steak and T-bone.
Seasoning your meat.
There are two ways on how you can season your meat—marinade or spices. Marinating a steak means soaking it in your chosen marinade for 30 minutes to overnight. Your other option is to rub the steak with a mix of cracked pepper, coarse salt and crushed herbs (thyme or rosemary, coriander or fennel).
Marinating a steak is recommended when the steak needs a boost in flavor or tenderness. The use of marinade is recommended for tougher steak cuts like sirloin, chuck steaks, flank steaks, and round steaks.
For steaks cuts that are already tender enough, marinating them is not an option, so your next best bet is to flavor them with spices. These cuts are porterhouse, T-bone, and filet mignon. When seasoning these types of steak, do not forget to rub oil in it first before the spice mix.
Preparing the Steak.
Many people claim that you should allow the meat to rest at room temperature before cooking it but Serious Eats claim that it will take thick cut steaks a long time for its temperature to rise so waiting for an hour or half an hour before cooking them will not make much of a difference.
But if the steak will come from the freezer or fridge, it is recommended that you take it out 45 minutes before you plan to cook it so it will be properly thawed.
Pan Frying the Steak.
Pan-frying is a great cooking method for steaks as it is the most convenient and hassle-free method of all since all the required cooking equipment is already in your home.
The Type of Skillet to Use
First things first, let us talk about your skillet. Experts recommend using cast iron skillet as it can be able to hold on to heat for a long time allowing it to properly sear a steak. This is a must if you want that classic brown crust on your steak.
Butter or Oil?
The next order of business is whether you should use either oil or butter in searing your steak. Many would vote butter, but it has a low smoke point, so it will easily and quickly turn black even at low temperatures, so it is not ideal for searing steaks. Because of this, it is best that you use only cooking oil—lots of it so you can cook the steak evenly.
The Act of Basting
The biggest secret to achieving the perfect pan-fried medium rare steak is basting or the process of spooning the hot melted fat on top the other side of your steak. Doing this will allow you to cook both sides of the steak at the same time.
In addition to achieving an even cook, another benefit of basting is that it allows you to carry out touch ups to the crust of your steak. Lastly, it also helps distribute the flavor from the herbs.
The Cooking Process
Place your cast iron skillet over high heat. Pour about a quarter of a cup of oil into the skillet. Once the oil is already smoking hot, add your marinated or spiced steak. Sear one side for 3 minutes. Avoid moving it so you can achieve the perfect crust.
Flip. One minute after flipping, add butter on top of the steak and allow it to melt. Once melted, add more of your spice mix (if you seasoned the steak with spices) and start basting the steak. Cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes.
Let the steak rest on the cutting board for a few minutes before slicing and serving them.
Testing for DonenessHow would you know if your steak is already cooked medium rare? There are many ways to do that—using a thermometer, cutting the steak and by touching it. The first two methods are common but not recommended.
When you stick a knife, fork or thermometer to your steak, you will create a hole where the juices will drain through. This will leave the steak dry and less juicy than you would want it to be.
Because of this, the touch test is your best option. This is done by pressing the center of the steak using your finger.
If the texture is mushy and your finger sunk in, the steak needs more cooking time. If the steak gives in slightly but springs right back after pressing, it is already medium rare.
Medium rare is the best type of steak because it provides you with the right amount of juiciness, tenderness, and flavor! But how do you cook a steak medium rare? The secret lies in choosing the right cut, seasoning the steak properly, using the right type of skillet, basting, and cooking the steak at the right time and temperature.
We have provided all the information you need to achieve the perfect medium rare steak. Now, it is up to you to apply these tips! If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section! I will accommodate all your questions there!