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Cooking steak is pretty hard to mess up. However, here are some steak tips for how to cook that great piece of steak for your friends and family.

1) What steak cuts are you planning to cook? Knowing what cuts of steak you have is extremely important. Cooking that half pound Top sirloin you have will be a lot different that cooking a half pound Filet Mignon. Each different steak cut has different traits that you’ll need to be aware of to cook that perfect steak. The one consistent attribute to look for in your cut of steak is the marbling. The marbling of the steak should be evenly distributed throughout the piece of steak. Different cuts of steak will have more marbling then other cuts.

2) What method of cooking are you going to use? Knowing how to grill a steak is quite different from knowing how to broil a steak. A good steak can be prepared in a variety of ways, but there is usually an optimal method for each steak cut. For example, a delicious filet mignon first requires you to pan sear the meat and then cook it in the oven. Pan searing the filet mignon gives it that tasty crust on the outside of the meat and the even heat of the oven will cook it through without burning it.

3) Before cooking the steak, allow your piece of meat to reach room temperature before cooking. If you try to cook your steak while it’s cold, it will take quite a bit longer to reach its optimal internal temperature. Therefore, you should take out your steak from the fridge about a half and hour to and hour before you plan to cook it.

4) Use steak seasoning to complement your steak cut’s natural flavor. Sometimes, the best steak seasoning is just some salt and pepper. There’s nothing bad about using other ingredients as well, but make sure it enhances instead of masks the flavor of your steak. If you add salt to your steak, make sure to salt it after your first turn as the salt will suck up some of the moisture from the steak.

5) When cooking steaks, never needlessly touch the steak unless you are planning on turning it. If you a lot of the cooking time prodding and poking your steak, you’ll ruin its texture and even its flavor. An optimally cooked steak needs to be browned and that cannot happen if you keep touching the meat. You need to let the steak sit still for a good amount of time for the browning to happen. When you need to turn your steak, use a pair of tongs or a spatula. People often wonder how long it takes to cook a steak. Of course, the answer depends on your cut of steak. One handy tip is to touch the middle of the steak with your finger. If there is no bounce back, then the steak is still not cooked. If there’s a tiny bounce back, then your steak is medium raw. The more give in the steak, the more well cooked the steak is.

6) Before serving, always let your steak sit for at least 10 minutes. If you cut your steak while it’s still hot, it will lose some of its internal moisture and juice. If you let it rest, then it gives the juices a chance to redistribute themselves throughout the meat.