Cooking the Perfect Thick Steak: Tips and Techniques

Nothing beats a perfectly cooked, thick steak for a hearty and satisfying meal. However, getting that steak just right can be a challenge for even the most skilled home cook. The good news is that with a few simple tips and techniques, anyone can cook a mouth-watering steak that is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. From selecting the right cut of meat to choosing the perfect cooking method, this article will guide you through everything you need to know to cook the perfect thick steak.

Cooking the Perfect Thick Steak: Tips and Techniques | Eat Urban Garden
Cooking the Perfect Thick Steak: Tips and Techniques

Why Cook Thick Steaks?

If you’re looking for a flavorful and juicy steak, then cooking a thick one is the way to go. The reason behind this is simple- a thicker cut of meat retains more moisture and flavors than a thinner one. Thick steaks are also ideal for special occasions, family gatherings, or romantic dinners- they serve as an excellent centerpiece for your meal. Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to cook thick steak perfectly to have a great dining experience.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak for Thickness

Steak lovers know that choosing the right cut is the first step in cooking the perfect steak. However, not many people realize that the thickness of a steak will also impact the cooking method and final result. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a cut of steak for thickness:

Consider the Cut

Each cut of steak has a different thickness and unique texture, which makes it imperative to choose the right cut for the thickness you wish to cook. For example, a ribeye steak is typically thicker and has a higher fat content than a sirloin steak. An experienced butcher can help you choose the perfect cut based on your thickness needs.

Thickness Matters

When choosing a thickness, remember that thinner steaks generally cook faster, while thicker steaks can take longer to cook. Thicker cuts benefit from a slower cooking method to allow the inside to cook properly without overcooking the outside.

  • For steaks that are 1 inch or less in thickness, a higher heat can be used for faster cooking times.
  • For steaks that are 1-2 inches thick, a lower temperature and longer cook time will allow the inside to cook properly and produce a great crust on the outside.
  • For steaks that are 2 inches or thicker, consider using a reverse sear method to ensure that the inside of the steak is cooked correctly before searing the outside to perfection.

Preparation and Seasoning

When it comes to cooking the perfect thick steak, proper preparation and seasoning can make all the difference. Here are some specific techniques and ingredients to consider for the best results.

Select the Right Cut of Meat

The first step in preparing a thick steak is to select the right cut of meat. Look for steaks that are at least 1 inch thick, as thicker cuts will be easier to cook to perfection. Some great options for thick steaks include ribeye, sirloin, and New York strip.

Season Generously

Before cooking, it’s important to season your steak generously. Use a high-quality kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture into the meat on both sides, making sure to coat it evenly. For added flavor, consider adding garlic powder, onion powder, or other herbs and spices to the mix.

Let the Steak Come to Room Temperature

Before cooking your steak, it’s important to let it come to room temperature. This will help it cook more evenly and prevent the center from being too cold. Let the steak sit out on the counter for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Cooking Techniques for Thick Steaks

When cooking a thick cut of steak, the cooking technique plays a crucial role in determining the texture and flavor of the meat. Here are some popular cooking techniques along with their pros and cons to help you choose the perfect one that suits your desired outcome:


Grilling is the most common way of cooking thick steaks, especially during the summer months. It involves cooking the steak over hot coals or gas flames. Grilling provides a crisp and caramelized outside layer with a juicy inside.

  • Pros:
    • Provides caramelized outer crust from direct heat.
    • Can be done on both gas and charcoal grills.
  • Cons:
    • Requires proper attention as the steak can easily burn due to high heat.
    • It can be challenging to control the cooking temperature of the steak.

Sous Vide

This technique involves cooking the steak in vacuum-sealed bags in a precisely controlled water bath to achieve a supremely tender and uniformly cooked steak.

  • Pros:
    • Ensures uniform doneness in every bite.
    • Retains the flavor and juices of the steak.
  • Cons:
    • Requires special equipment like a sous vide machine.
    • Does not provide a crispy outer crust.

Reverse Sear

This is a two-step process that involves cooking the steak in the oven at a low temperature, and then searing it over high heat on the stove or grill. This technique results in a juicy and perfectly cooked steak with a crispy outer crust.

  • Pros:
    • Ensures even cook from edge to edge.
    • Provides a crispy outer crust.
  • Cons:
    • Requires proper attention as the steak can easily overcook during the searing process.

Pan Searing

This technique involves searing the steak in a hot, oiled skillet on the stovetop. It is perfect for when you need to cook a thick steak quickly and want a crispy crust without using an outdoor grill.

  • Pros:
    • Provides a crispy outer crust and moist inside.
    • Can be done indoors on a stovetop.
  • Cons:
    • Can generate smoke in the kitchen and may leave an oily residue.
    • May not be feasible for cooking large steaks due to the size of the skillet.

Resting the Steak and Serving

After all the effort you put into your thick steak, the last thing you want is for it to become dry and tough. One way to ensure your steak remains juicy and tender is by allowing it to rest before serving. Resting means letting the steak sit for a couple of minutes before carving it. The heat of the steak will redistribute the juices throughout the meat, making it more flavorful and tender.

How to Rest a Steak

Resting time should be about half the time the steak was cooked. For a two-inch thick steak cooked for eight minutes, the resting time should be about four minutes. Here are some tips to help you rest your steak correctly:

  • Use a pair of tongs to transfer the steak to a cutting board. Never use a fork to move the meat as it will puncture the steak and let the juices run out.
  • Loosely cover the steak with foil to keep it warm and stop it from drying out.
  • Keep the steak away from any cold drafts or cold surfaces.

Serving the Perfect Thick Steak

Before you start slicing, decide which way you want to cut your steak. Cutting the steak across the grain will result in a more tender steak. The grain refers to the long strands of muscle that run through the meat; cutting across these strands will be easier for your teeth to break the meat down. Here are some other things to keep in mind when serving your steak:

  • Use a sharp chef’s knife to make thin slices to avoid tearing the meat;
  • Arrange the steak slices on a heated platter to keep them warm;
  • Top with a pat of butter to add flavor and keep the steak moist;
  • Season the steak with salt and pepper before serving. You can also offer a variety of steak sauces at the table.

Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting

Thick steaks can be challenging to cook, and there are many questions that may arise while cooking them. Here are some frequently asked questions and troubleshooting tips:

How do I determine when my steak is done?

The best way to determine the doneness of your steak is to use a meat thermometer. For medium rare steak, the internal temperature should be 135-140°F. For medium steak, it should be 145°F, and for medium well, it should be 150-155°F. Make sure to insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the steak, avoiding touching the bone or the pan.

How do I prevent my steak from getting dry?

One of the main reasons for a dry steak is overcooking it. To prevent this, take your steak out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Another way is to let it rest for several minutes after cooking, which allows the juices to redistribute.

What is the best way to season my steak?

The best way to season your steak is with salt and pepper. You can also use garlic powder, rosemary, or thyme to add more flavor. It’s essential to apply the seasoning evenly on both sides of the steak and to let it sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow the flavors to soak in.

Why does my steak have a burnt crust?

If your steak has a burnt crust, it’s probably because you cooked it on too high heat. The high heat causes the sugar in the seasoning to caramelize, and if it’s left on the heat for too long, it can become burnt. To avoid this, cook the steak on medium-high heat, and keep a close eye on it.

What should I do if my steak is too thick?

If your steak is too thick, you may have trouble cooking it evenly. One way to solve this is to sear it on high heat for a minute on each side, then move it to a cooler part of the grill or oven to finish cooking. You can also butterfly the steak or use a meat tenderizer to make it thinner.

How do I prevent my steak from sticking to the pan?

To prevent your steak from sticking to the pan, you should make sure the pan is hot enough before adding the steak. You can also use oil with a high smoke point, like canola or vegetable oil, to create a non-stick surface. If your steak is sticking, don’t try to force it off the pan – it will release naturally when it’s ready.

Enjoy your Perfect Steak!

Now that you have learned all the tips and techniques on how to cook the perfect thick steak, it’s time to put your newfound skills to the test! Remember that the secret lies in the proper preparation and cooking techniques, so be patient and don’t rush the process. With practice, you’ll surely be able to impress your guests with your juicy and flavorful steaks. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you again soon!

Cooking the Perfect Thick Steak: Tips and Techniques | Eat Urban Garden

Cooking the Perfect Thick Steak: Tips and Techniques

Learn the secrets on how to cook the perfect thick steak with these tips and techniques. Achieve a juicy and flavorful steak that will surely impress your guests!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 316 kcal


  • 1 1 1/2 pound flank steak
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and black pepper. Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the top. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Preheat your grill to high heat (around 450°F). Remove the steak from the marinade and discard the excess marinade.
  • Place the steak on the grill and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature - 125°F for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, and 145°F for medium-well. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving.
Keyword thick steak, cooking techniques, flank steak, marinade, grill

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