Omaha Steaks — the world-famous distributor of steak and other gourmet cuts of meat — is celebrating its 100th anniversary. What better way to recognize a century of delivering upscale cuts of meat to discerning customers than with a lesson on cooking the perfect steak? Preparing steak may seem like a daunting task: Do you use the grill or stovetop? To crust or not to crust? How do you keep the juices from seeping out of the meat? We spoke with Todd Simon, vice president of Omaha Steaks, for some expert advice.
The Daily Meal: We know a great steak starts out with perfect source material. What makes for a quality steak?
Todd Simon: We have six points we always follow: maximum tenderness, perfectly aged for at least 21 days to the peak of tenderness and flavor, intense flavor (we always use grain-fed beef selected for quality and marbling), flash frozen and vacuum sealed to preserve flavor and texture, perfectly hand cut, and paying attention to food safety. My personal favorite cut is a New York strip.
What are the most common mistakes people make when they cook a steak?
One of the most common mistakes people make is cutting into their steak while grilling or using a fork instead of tongs, which can damage the meat and make it dry.
Can you give me your step-by-step guide to cooking a perfect steak?
[This is specifically for grilling]. Here’s my ten-step guide:
— Clean and pre-heat your grill on high.
— Lightly oil everything before you put it on the grill. This helps the searing process and prevents
— Season your food before grilling.
— Sear the outside of steaks when grilling. This helps with the flavor and juiciness.
— Use tongs or a spatula to turn your meat on the grill. Never use a fork as it can damage the meat and make it dry. And don’t press the steak with a spatula. Just leave it alone.
— Cover your grill as much as possible during the grilling process. This helps to lock in the grilled flavor and will help prevent flare-ups.
— Keep a spray bottle with water handy to douse any un-expected flare-ups.
— Use the 60/40 grilling method. Grill 60 percent of the time on the first side, then grill 40 percent of the time after you turn over the food. This will give you an evenly cooked product.
— Place your cooked product on a clean plate. Never place cooked product on the plate you used to transport the raw product to the grill without thoroughly washing it first.
— Allow your steaks to “rest” for 5 minutes. This will help them retain moisture when you cut into them.