How to Cook the Perfect Steak: Tips and Tricks

Steak is a classic dish that always makes an impression. Whether you're cooking for a special occasion or just want to treat yourself, a perfectly cooked steak can be a real game-changer. But cooking steak can be intimidating, especially if you're not sure where to start. In this article, we'll guide you through the process step by step, so you can cook the perfect steak every time.
Cooking Steak On A Grill

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

The first step to cooking the perfect steak is choosing the right cut. While there are many different cuts of steak to choose from, some are better suited to certain cooking methods than others. Here are some of the most popular cuts of steak:


Ribeye is a flavorful and tender cut of steak that comes from the rib section of the cow. It has a high fat content, which makes it ideal for grilling or broiling.


Sirloin is a leaner cut of steak that comes from the loin section of the cow. It has a slightly firmer texture than ribeye, but is still tender and flavorful. Sirloin is a good choice for grilling, broiling, or pan-searing.


Fillet, also known as filet mignon, is a very tender and lean cut of steak that comes from the tenderloin section of the cow. It has a mild flavor and is best cooked quickly over high heat, such as on a grill or in a broiler.

New York Strip

New York strip, also known as top sirloin or Kansas City strip, is a flavorful and tender cut of steak that comes from the loin section of the cow. It has a moderate fat content and is suitable for grilling, broiling, or pan-searing.

Preparing Your Steak

Once you've chosen your cut of steak, it's time to prepare it for cooking. Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Take the Steak Out of the Fridge

Remove the steak from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will help it cook more evenly.

2. Season the Steak

Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend. Be generous with the seasoning, as it will help enhance the flavor of the steak.

3. Preheat Your Grill or Pan

If you're grilling your steak, preheat your grill to high heat. If you're pan-searing your steak, heat a heavy skillet over high heat until it's very hot.

4. Brush the Steak with Oil

Brush both sides of the steak with a high-heat oil such as vegetable oil or avocado oil. This will help prevent sticking and give the steak a nice crust.

5. Cook the Steak

Place the steak on the grill or in the pan and cook for the desired length of time, flipping once halfway through. Here are some guidelines for cooking times:

  • Rare: 2-3 minutes per side
  • Medium rare: 3-4 minutes per side
  • Medium: 4-5 minutes per side
  • Medium well: 5-6 minutes per side
  • Well done: 6-7 minutes per side

6. Let the Steak Rest

Once the steak is cooked to your desired doneness, remove it from the grill or pan and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the steak more tender and flavorful.

The Pros and Cons of Different Cooking Methods

There are several different cooking methods you can use to cook steak, each with its own pros and cons. Here's a quick overview:


Pros: Grilling gives steak a delicious smoky flavor and a nice crust. It's also a great way to cook steak for a crowd.

Cons: Grilling can be tricky to get right, especially if you're using a charcoal grill. It can also be difficult to control the temperature.


Pros: Broiling is a quick and easy way to cook steak. It's also a good option if you don't have access to a grill.

Cons: Broiling can dry out the steak if you're not careful. It can also be difficult to control the heat.


Pros: Pan-searing gives steak a nice crust and allows you to control the heat more easily.

Cons: Pan-searing can be messy, and it can be difficult to get a nice crust without overcooking the steak.


Q: How do I know when my steak is done?

A: The best way to tell when your steak is done is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak and look for a temperature of:

  • Rare: 120-130°F
  • Medium rare: 130-135°F
  • Medium: 135-145°F
  • Medium well: 145-155°F
  • Well done: 155°F+

Q: Do I need to marinate my steak?

A: It's not necessary to marinate your steak, but it can help add flavor and tenderize the meat. If you do decide to marinate your steak, be sure to do so for at least a few hours before cooking.

Q: How should I slice my steak?

A: For the most tender and flavorful slices, it's best to slice your steak against the grain. This will help break up the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender.

Q: Can I cook steak in the oven?

A: Yes, you can cook steak in the oven by broiling or roasting it. For best results, use a meat thermometer to ensure the steak reaches your desired level of doneness.


Cooking the perfect steak may seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, anyone can do it. By choosing the right cut of steak, seasoning it properly, and cooking it to the right temperature, you can create a delicious and impressive meal that will wow your guests. Whether you're grilling, broiling, or pan-searing your steak, just remember to let it rest before slicing and enjoy!