It’s not rocket science, but cooking a steak sure is an art form. Perfect grill marks, the ideal sear, we’ve all had evenings that began with the best intentions but ended with an overcooked, dry piece of meat.
There are rules we’ve all heard from our friends and family: Flip the steak once, season before, only season after, let it get to room temperature. But within all these rules and tips, how do we sort the facts from the myths?
Chef Michael Lomonaco, former head chef at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center and current head chef at Porter House New York and Center Bar knocks down these myths.
Myth 1: Bring the Steak to Room Temperature Before Cooking it
“I like to cook my steak cold, right out of the refrigerator. You want your grill to be searing hot and the steak to hit it icy cold.” This helps control the cooking temperature of the steak, said Lomonaco. “When you cook with a room temperature steak, it cooks much faster. Cooking with cold steaks allows you to control the temperature more, resulting in a perfectly cooked steak.”
Myth 2: Season and Add Marinades Before You Cook the Steak
“Absolutely not,” says chef Lomonaco. “You only want to use salt, thick course ground salt at that.” Marinades, said Lomonaco, will burn while cooking and pepper becomes bitter when you grill with it. The best way to season a steak for cooking is to use only salt, and keep the sauces for the table.
Myth 3: Steak Forks are Perfect for Flipping a Steak
“Absolutely not! Throw those away!” said Lomonaco. “Steak forms will pierce the steak, and the steak will lose all its juices. Those forms are only good for hot dogs. Get a great pair of tongs and nothing more.”