Resepi RR Recipe : For those who loves cooking...
Meat knows only one thing, that is temperature.
Get a good instant read digital thermometer, and read up on "resting" and "carry over heat".
Good temperature control is the key in making good steak.
Don't be confused by "high heat first, low heat later" v.s. "Low heat first, high heat later", both work fine.
After you are able to make good steak, then worry about recipes, seasonings, etc. to make great steak.
You can use a thermometer, but it's not necessary. Maybe most of you are not old enough to remember when there were no instant-read thermomenters, and yet good steaks were cooked then. With practice you can press the meat and tell from how it feels. I do that now, and before i got the hang of it, i cooked till it felt a little less than completely soft, and then made a small slit with a thin knife. If it looked too red, i cooked some more. Yeah, it requires you to make a hole in the meat. So does inserting a thermometer. But once you can identify the right redness and connect it to the right feel to the touch, you're set! and have saved the money for the thermometer and can buy yourself another nice steak instead!
Feel the steak raw, then press it during cooking every minute or so. If it feels hard to the touch, you can be sure it will be hard when you chew it, so make sure it still feels soft, and then try to identify the right feel associated with the best eating quality.
"----You can use a thermometer, but it's not necessary. ---and have saved the money for the thermometer and can buy yourself another nice steak instead!---------"
You are going to need a thermometer anyway, for chicken, turkey, pork ------. A good thermometer can cost about $100, or a workable one (digital probe) for $5.00. Messing up a good steak can be $15.00, each time.
The touch test is great for very experienced chefs on TV shows. Highly unreliable for the general home cook who makes steak once a month. It also depends on what cut and how thick the steak is.
I bought one, tried using it, was ALWAYS disappointed, and returned to the old way for roasts - thin sharp knife goes in a moment, then you test the temperature on your upper lip.
For steak, which i could rarely afford for many years, i used to check with the knife and looking inside. When i read about the touch test (on cheftalk actually) i tried it. It took a little practice but it works fine. I may have a steak once or twice a month (rarely because it's over 20 euro a kilo at the supermarket, and more for the good stuff i really like - the chianina) but i got enough experience by testing with my finger and checking it with the knife that i now can rely on my finger. I did try for a brief time with the thermometer, but i had no luck. I don't much like gadgets. I like to see and touch things to understand them, and don;t like measuring.
Anyway, how did people get good steaks before what was it, 1980 when instant reads became available? for all those years, do you think people couldn;t cook meat at home without making it into leather?
"----Anyway, how did people get good steaks before what was it, 1980 when instant reads became available? for all those years, do you think people couldn;t cook meat at home without making it into leather? "
Actually most people make steak without a thermometer, or use the touch method. They just cook, look, smell and time, and the steaks will come out great.
However, if someone asks "How do I make a good beef steak", IMHO, the advice is to get a thermometer and read about "resting" and "carry over heat".
The touch method would be a good alternative perhaps 20 steaks later.
I see your point, dcarch - i was just thinking that with the culture of cooking shows and all that, there is a tendency for ordinary home cooks or people with little experience to think that they can't cook without all the fancy stuff. I know it's probably frowned on and terribly taboo to cut into a steak (even a tiny cut) while it's cooking to check it out, but why the heck not? I wouldn;t want a restaurant to do it, but at home? Yeah, a little juice will run out, but also piercing with even a thin thermometer will also release some juice. But i just think telling people they should get a thermometer is more likely to discourage people from trying until they have the thermometer. And that means going to find the store that has it, etc. And seeing the color of the meat you actually see if it's the way you like it to be in your dish. Then you explain that it wll be a tiny bit more cooked even after removing from the heat because of residual heat. Rest it, etc. but it's something someone can do without any equipment they don;t already have at home.