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Many people wish they could prepare a steak at home that tastes just as good as the one they get at their favorite steakhouse. Often their attempts to cook steak result in fiascoes ranging from a steak burnt on the outside and utterly uncooked on the inside to a steak that takes on a close resemblance to a black wingtip shoe. A careful look at the kind of steak to be cooked and the method of preparation will go a long way to ensure a satisfying dining experience.
Not all steaks are equal. There are different cooking rules for different steaks. Cooking a fillet Mignon can be problematical because of its thickness, while trying to pan fry a thin cut of steak can be an exercise in frustration for those who do not care for their steak well done. The thickness of a steak should always be considered when deciding what cooking method is to be used.
Before any cooking is begun, it is essential that any steak about to be cooked be allowed to reach room temperature. Depending on the size of the steak and the ambient room temperature, this should usually take between a half hour and one hour. The reason for this is fairly obvious. Placing a cold steak on whatever cooking medium is being used distorts the cooking time and usually results in uneven cooking.
Prior to cooking, the use of a rub can be satisfying to those looking to enhance the natural flavor of the beef. It can be as simple as a salt and pepper mixture massaged into the meat before cooking. Some people like to add dry garlic or other herbs and seasonings to the rub for a more striking taste. Remember though that a great cut of steak already has a great natural flavor.
Less is more when cooking steak. Too many cooks fiddle with a steak while it is cooking. Steaks need to be left alone while it reaches its browning stage. Too many turns and flips will interrupt this process. Worse yet, is any kind of poking of the steak while it cooks as this will negatively affect its texture and prematurely release its juices.
Determining when a steak is done is often a bugaboo for many people. In addition to the eyeball test, a good rule of thumb is to gently press your finger against the middle of the steak. If it doesn’t bounce back at all, it isn’t done at all. A slight spring back usually means that it is medium rare. After the steaks have been pulled from the heat, it is important to let them rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to lock in.
To get a great steak, steak lovers don’t always have to make a reservation. With a great cut of beef and the knowledge of how to cook it, a successful eating experience is as close as your favorite butcher.
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write by lewis