The key to cooking high quality beefsteaks of average thickness such as aged rib eye (Scotch fillet), sirloin (New York Cut), or tenderloin (fillet) steaks, is to sear the meat quickly and rest it well before serving.
Sear it quick and rest it long
• Brush both sides of the meat with a little vegetable oil and sear it quickly on a preheated, hot plate (griddle) or grill on medium to high for 2-3 minutes each side. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the meat and the degree of doneness required. Searing caramelises the surface for added flavour. Turn steaks when meat juices start to appear on the surface.
• For a rare steak, remove after sealing and rest. For medium rare to medium, complete cooking by further resting the meat for a longer time (about 2 to 3 minutes) on a cooler part of the barbecue plate or grill, until it has reached the internal degree of doneness.
• Avoid turning and handling the steaks too many times when searing and cooking. Brush with limited oil, marinade, or baste' during cooking. Sprinkle it with a little salt and freshly ground pepper just after searing (if desired).
• Rest meat in a warm place, loosely covered with foil. Resting prevents excessive muscle shrinkage (tightness) and moisture loss. It allows the meat fibres to relax, prevents dryness and results in a succulent steak with hot, evenly distributed pink juices for maximum tenderness.
• For thicker steaks (more than 4 cm/1.5 inches), it is sometimes possible to complete the cooking by resting them on a warm BBQ with the hood down.
• Test your cooked steak by either using a meat thermometer, or by pressing gently with tongs to establish the degree of doneness.
How Well Done is Well Done?
People often mean different things when they say rare or well done. Use this guide so we all end up with steak just the way we expect.
Very Rare: Internal colour is deep red, very moist with warm juices. Very soft to touch when pressed.
Rare: Internal colour is very red, very moist with warmer juices. Soft to touch when pressed.
Medium rare: Internal colour is a lighter red, moist with pink warm juices. Soft and springy to touch when pressed.
Medium: Internal colour is pink/red, moist with clear pink juices. Firm and springy to touch when pressed.
Medium-well: Internal colour is light grey, a little moisture, clear or no pink juices. Firm to touch when pressed.
Well done: Internal colour is grey, dry, clear or no signs of pink juices. Very hard to touch when pressed.