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Food Tips: How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Food Tips: How to Cook the Perfect Steak

No matter the cut of meat you prefer, you must always pay close attention when cooking your beef. Timing is key when cooking steak and a few minutes is what makes the difference between rare and well done. This is one of the reasons I have put together this summary of tips to help you from beginning to end when cooking steak.

There are a lot of different ways to cook steak so you do not have to limit yourself.[1] And while you can enjoy your steak in a variety of delicious ways, these tips are going to be guiding you through properly frying your steak.

    Marinate The Steak

    When it comes to marinating steaks, you should keep in mind the most basic rule to follow, which is that you should always include an acidic liquid (such as vinegar or wine, so it can break down the muscle fibers in the meat cut), oil, and flavorings of your choice (herbs, spices, or sweeteners). You can buy pre-made marinade mixes in the store, but it’s better and healthier to make your own.

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    Here are tips on how to properly marinate your steak:

    1. Place olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, basil, garlic powder, pepper, and parsley in a blender. You can add garlic and hot pepper sauce if desired.
    2. Blend on high speed until thoroughly mixed for 30 seconds.
    3. Once you have properly mixed your marinade, it is ready to be used on your meat. Pour marinade over meat and make sure the marinade covers the entire meat.
    4. You can massage the meat to assist the penetration of the mixture, then cover, and refrigerate from 2 to 24 hours.

    There are lots of marinade recipes you can try depending on your preference, but the one above is a great one to have on hand.

    Selecting the Best Frying Pan

    If you are reading this, it is very likely that you are trying to find tips on how best to cook your steak. I recommend frying, although you can grill it if you prefer or even cook on a stove or oven.

    One of the commonly made mistakes when cooking steak is cooking it in the wrong choice of pan.

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    To fry your steak, you will need high temperatures so your pan of choice should be a thick-based, heavy-duty frying pan, ideally with a non-stick coating, which must be able to withstand the heat needed to fry the steak properly.[2] Cast iron griddles or skillets are the top choice and be sure to use the appropriate pan with enough room. However, if your pan isn’t big enough for all your steaks, don’t crowd the pan, cook them one or two at a time or in batches. This will let them rest as you cook the other batches, ensuring that they are all cooked properly.

    Choosing the Oil

    You should use groundnut oil to cook the steak. Groundnut oil has a mild flavor, which would make your steak more enjoyable. Some people like to use butter and you can use that if you prefer.

    When the pan heats up, add a splash of oil directly to the pan. Once the oil starts separating on the pan, it’s hot enough to add the steak. Make sure to add the steak when the oil is hot – if the oil is too cool when the steak is added, your steak could turn out under-browned and greasy.

    Dressing the Steak

    Moments before placing the steak into the pan, sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper onto a plate, then press the steak into the seasoning. However, if you are satisfied with just marinating, you can skip this step and go on to fry the steak.

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    How do you like it?

      • Blue-rare
      • Rare
      • Medium-rare
      • Medium
      • Medium-well
      • Well-done

      For a well-done steak, depending on the thickness of the steak, you should cook it for about 4-5 minutes on each side.

      Leave it to rest

      This is an important step. After cooking the steak, it should be left to rest at room temperature for at least five minutes.

      Serve

      Now you can serve up the steak. It can be accompanied with anything, including salads.

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      Bon appétit!

      Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Kyra Taylor

      Writer and Lawyer

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      Last Updated on October 20, 2020

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

      More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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