So, how do you cook your steak? I have about a 1lb KC Strip & an 8 oz fillet to cook in 2 hours and I'll tell you how I do it:
1. Dry the steak for at least 24 hours in the fridge. I've read about dry aging and how it's basically useless unless it's done for 2 or 3 weeks, and I agree that the science seems valid. My 24 hour dry is to get a really dry surface to promote browning vs. steaming.
2. Take the steak out of the fridge 2 hours before cooking time. This allows the meat to come to full room temp, seems to relax the steak.
2b. DRY that steak. As the cool steak comes out of the fridge, dab any condensation off. You want a dry surface.
3. Cook on cast iron. I often do this on the grill, but still on a cast iron skillet. The grill is convenient in that the smoke isn't in the kitchen.
4. Salt after cooking. I don't want any salt sucking moisture to the surface. I want serious charring on the outside.
5. Oil, or no? I don't know at this point. I've heard that oil acts as a conductor and allows more heat to hit the meat. I do know that oil in the pan isn't good. All you will get is a smoky kitchen. I want oil on the steak only, and then only a tiny amount if at all. Like a thin sheen. Use an oil with a high smoke point like canola. Never EVOO during the cook. Thoughts?
6. Screamin' hot. I mean HOT. The steak houses are using charcoal or gas or infrared to get ovens to 1500+ deg for their steaks. I have to settle for a 600 deg cast iron skillet, but it's better than nothing.
7. I like KC strips. Got a fresh-cut 1 lb steak for $8.99 from my butcher. About 2" thick. I will cook for 3 minutes on each side, no more, salt, then let it rest for 5 mins before I eat. Usually a very nice medium rare.
8. The wife likes an 8 oz fillet, MEDIUM WELL. It's the bane of my existence, but I live to please. I will cook her steak for 6 minutes a side then into a 400 deg oven for 10 or 15 minutes before a 10 minute rest to get medium well on a 2" thick fillet.
9. Butter. I saw Gordon Ramsay finish a steak with about a tsp of butter in the pan for the last minute of cooking, then spooning the melted butter over the steak during the rest. I will try this tonight for the first time. Sounds awesome, and I know the steaks at the local premium steakhouse are liberally buttered before serving. Should be a tasty experiment.
So what are your tips? What am I doing differently than you? Hints, tips and tricks are welcome!