How to Cook a Perfect Steak in the Oven
Choosing the Right Cut of Steak
The first step to cooking a perfect steak in the oven is choosing the right cut of meat. The most popular cuts for steak include ribeye, sirloin, filet mignon, and New York strip. Each cut has its own unique flavor profile and texture, so it’s important to choose a cut that you enjoy.
Ribeye steak is known for its marbling, which creates a tender and juicy steak. Sirloin is a leaner cut with a slightly firmer texture. Filet mignon is a smaller, tender cut that is known for its buttery texture. New York strip is a more affordable cut that has a beefy flavor and a firm texture.
When selecting a steak, look for meat that is bright red with some marbling for flavor. Avoid meat that is discolored or has a strong odor. It’s also important to consider the thickness of the steak. A thicker steak will require more cooking time than a thinner steak, so adjust your cooking time accordingly. With the right cut of meat, you’re well on your way to cooking a delicious steak in the oven.
Preparing the Steak for the Oven
After selecting the perfect cut of steak, it’s time to prepare it for the oven. Start by removing the steak from the refrigerator and allowing it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will ensure even cooking.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). While the oven is heating up, season the steak with salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning. You can also add garlic powder, onion powder, or herbs for extra flavor. Be sure to coat both sides of the steak evenly.
Next, heat a cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil or butter to the pan and wait until it begins to shimmer or foam. Carefully place the steak in the pan and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until a golden-brown crust forms.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and continue cooking the steak for an additional 5-10 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For a rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 120°F (49°C). For medium-rare, aim for 130°F (54°C). For medium, aim for 140°F (60°C).
Once the steak is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicy and flavorful steak.
Cooking the Steak in the Oven
Cooking the steak in the oven is a simple and efficient way to achieve a delicious and evenly cooked steak. After searing the steak on the stovetop, transfer it to the oven to finish cooking.
Set the oven to 400°F (205°C) and place the pan with the steak in the oven. Cook the steak for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak.
For a rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 120°F (49°C). For medium-rare, aim for 130°F (54°C). For medium, aim for 140°F (60°C). Remember to let the steak rest for 5 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute.
If you prefer a crustier exterior on your steak, you can also use the broiler to finish cooking the steak. Turn the broiler on high and place the pan with the steak on the top rack, closest to the heating element. Broil for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until a crust forms.
Cooking the steak in the oven allows you to multitask in the kitchen while the steak cooks, making it a convenient and easy way to prepare a steak.
Checking the Steak for Doneness
Checking the internal temperature of the steak is the most accurate way to determine if it is cooked to your liking. While some people prefer to go by touch or visual cues, using a meat thermometer ensures that your steak is cooked to the right temperature and is safe to eat.
Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding any bones or fat. Be sure to not touch the pan or bone as this will affect the reading. Check the temperature after 5-7 minutes in the oven and continue checking every few minutes until the desired internal temperature is reached.
For a rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 120°F (49°C). For medium-rare, aim for 130°F (54°C). For medium, aim for 140°F (60°C). Keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise as the steak rests, so take it out of the oven a few degrees below your desired temperature.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can also use the touch method to check for doneness. Gently press the center of the steak with your finger. A rare steak will feel soft and spongy, medium-rare will feel slightly firmer, and medium will feel firm with a slight spring. However, this method is less accurate than using a meat thermometer.
Checking the steak for doneness ensures that you’ll get the perfect steak every time.
Resting and Serving the Steak
Resting the steak after cooking is a crucial step that allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a juicy and flavorful steak. Once the steak is cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
During the resting period, cover the steak loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm. This will also prevent the juices from escaping and drying out the steak.
After resting, slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Slicing against the grain ensures that the steak is tender and easy to chew. Serve the steak with your favorite side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple salad.
If you want to add extra flavor to your steak, you can also top it with a pat of butter or a sprinkle of chopped herbs. A drizzle of balsamic glaze or a dollop of chimichurri sauce can also add a burst of flavor.
Resting and serving the steak properly is just as important as cooking it to perfection. With these tips, you can impress your family and friends with a delicious and juicy steak every time.