The million-dollar question

The perfect prep

Not that there is one.

There are so many techniques and chef-y secrets out there, it’s a mind-field.

From salting to resting, there is an opinion on each step on what makes the perfect steak.

But is there actually the perfect way to prep and cook a steak?

Well, it depends.

You have to put into play your own personal preferences, such as:

  • What cut of steak are you cooking?
  • Is it dry-aged?
  • Do you like a nice crust on the outside or is an even cook throughout more important to you?
  • Do you prefer a buttery flavour or a smokey flavour?
  • How many people are you cooking for?

These can all impact your preparation and cooking technique.

But below are some quick tips to cooking a steak (Based on something like a thick ribeye steak)

Quick tips to cooking steak

  1. Thickish cut steak – no more than 2.5cm/1″ thick, if you want to cook entirely on the stove (*thicker cuts need to be finished in the oven – see Restaurant Method, below). 
  2. Bring to room temp: At least an hour before cooking. This makes an amazing difference to cooking through evenly.
  3. Pat dry and season: I personally adhere to 3 Michelin star chef, Marcus Waring’s method, which is to season the meat on one side and place this side down onto the hot pan.
  4. Get a heavy-based pan smoking hot (with a tiny amount of oil) before putting the steak in – it should sizzle when you place it in.
  5. Don’t be tempted to add butter (yet).
  6. After a couple of minutes of cooking, season the top of the meat and flip it over to cook for six to eight minutes on the other side (depending on thickness).
  7. Add flavour: Now, you can add butter, along with a garlic clove, fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs.
  8. Baste – baste the steak with the butter and herbs – it will come out deliciously buttery with a golden caramelization and char.
  9. Rest your steak for 10 minutes so it sucks its own juices back in and the fibres relax.

Additional tips

  • If you’re using a meat thermometer, take the steak off the stove before your it reaches your preferred cook i.e. rare, medium-rare, well or the correct internal temperature (see below) as it will continue to cook as it rests.
  •  For the perfect home-cooked steak you’ll need a quality, heavy-based pan – cast iron is best. (A light, flimsy pan, just won’t hold the heat).
  • Buy your meat from a butcher instead of a grocery store.
  • Don’t be afraid of the fat; fat equals flavour

Internal temperature for your desired steak

  • 55°C (131°F) for rare
  • 60°C (140°F) for medium-rare
  • 65°C (149°F) for medium
  • 75°C (167°F) for well done

The restaurant method

It’s not anything tricky.

And is great for thicker, larger pieces of meat.


  • Sear the outside of the steak in a pan to get a nice colouring i..e the maillard reaction
  • Finish off in the oven at 120 C / 220 F for approx. 8 to 10 minutes or until it’s reached the desired internal temp (see above)
  • Rest and serve by cutting (against the grain) into thick slices.