Kitchen Tips

How to cook steak like a chef

Want to know how chefs manage to cook steak to perfection every time? Here, Sophie Gray reveals her top tips and tricks to cooking steak just like a professional.

Why do chefs sear meat?

Searing meat before cooking is almost always one of the first steps when cooking meat. We sear meat for one purpose only: to give it flavour. Contrary to what you may have heard, searing does not seal in moisture or anything else – it simply caramelises the outside of the meat, adding deep, roasty, umami flavours to your dish. Use high heat and sear until you see a deep golden-brown crust on the outside of the meat.

What is pan-roasting?

Pan-roasting involves searing the meat in a pan on the stovetop and then finishing it in the oven. It's a method restaurants often use for cooking steaks, as they can be seared in advance and then roasted to order depending on the degree of doneness required.

How to pan-roast a steak

To pan-roast a steak, you need a nice thick fillet or sirloin steak at room temperature. Sear the steak for 90 seconds on one side and 60 seconds on the other side in oil or butter in a very hot pan. It can then be cooled and refrigerated until needed. Bring the steak to room temperature and roast at 230°C for 10 minutes for rare or 11 minutes for medium rare. Rest the meat for 5 minutes before serving.

What about pot-roasting?

Pot-roasting is cooking a large, tough piece of meat in liquid for a long time. Cooked properly, the high amount of collagen in tough cuts breaks down, tenderising the meat and adding richness and body to the braising liquid, which can then become a sauce. Pot-roasting works well for a chicken, too – if you add lots of veges to the pot, you'll only need to make some creamy mash or roast spuds and dinner's done.
To make a beautiful saké, miso and butter basted steak, watch our video with The Backyard Cook's Marty Shanahan below!