Google “How to cook the perfect steak” and you’ll have 6.7 million returns telling you how to do it. Pioneer Woman, Bobby Flay, Emeril, Gordan Ramsay, Guy Fieri, Rachael Ray, Robert Irvine – even Martha Stewart – all have recipes and methods touting theirs as the best steak in the world.
But then there’s Wes. The guy next door you’ve never heard of. Wes, who makes the best steak I’ve ever had. Wes, who also happens to be my neighbor.
Lawsy, we hit the jackpot.
Wes is an analytical kind of guy who appreciates the science of cooking. He understands the relationship between acids and bases and what happens to food on a molecular level. I understand as long as Wes understands, it’s all good.
Really, REALLY good.
If you’ve already signed up for the 30-Day Protein Challenge, you know it’s not all about beef–that just happens to be my favorite type of protein. (Which made it a no-brainer to work with the Georgia Beef Board during Georgia Beef Month to promote the #ProteinChallenge.) A slow-cooked roast with carrots and potatoes is practically my love language. Beef tacos is a family favorite. And burgers on the grill? Well, no one does ’em better than my own husband.
One of my favorite discoveries during the 30-Day Protein Challenge is all the delicious-sounding and good-for-you recipes they have. If you’ve been reluctant to try the challenge because you think you’ll be eating the same thing three meals a day for a month, you should sign up for access to so many meal ideas (all the other information is bonus).
Except for cooking a good ol’ filet or rib-eye. For the perfect steak, you’re going to want to do it Wes’ way. Anything else is sloppy seconds.
Wes’ World Rocking, Life-Altering, Magical
Way to Cook the Perfect Steak*
- Buy high quality steaks from your favorite grocer. My favorite is a filet but my husband will choose a rib-eye for the marbling every time.
- Lightly coat steaks in corn oil, about a teaspoon per side. Wes uses Mazola, which works out just fine for us, because that’s all I’ll use for the Best (Apple Pie) Crust in the world.
- Season heavily with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, coarsely ground. Apply equal amounts of both the salt and the pepper, and be careful to season with respect to thickness of the steak.
- Heat a large, seasoned cast iron skillet to very hot on a propane burner outside; you’re going to sear the steaks, and at this high of a temperature, it’s best to do so outside because they will smoke.
- Sear at high heat two minutes per side or until outside is a nice dark brown (not black). After taking them off, allow to rest at least 5 minutes.
- Finish in 500° oven or grill (indirectly only) 10-20 min until desired temp is reached. I use a baking pan, but a rack on top of a pan is ideal. Finishing will take some practice; each steak is different–i.e., ribeye cooks different than filet. Or you can feel the steaks with your finger to judge the doneness. A meat thermometer can help as well.
My friends at the Georgia Beef Board suggest medium rare as the optimal level, cooking to an internal temperature of 145°.
During the searing process the steak should reach approximately 100°. At this point you can actually put the steaks in the fridge and finish them in the oven later or even the next day.
Make sure to allow time for your steaks to rest at least 5-7 minutes before cutting.
Be sure to sign up for the 30-Day Protein Challenge for daily tips, recipes and great inspiration to eat better, in order to feel better.
*Which Wes actually got from his friend Laurence…which is very similar to Alton Brown’s method of preparation.