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How to cook a perfect steak

15. August 2012 06:07

As the majority of consumers purchase pre portioned steak, this guide line has been produced using a 2cm thick Australian steak from your local butcher. If purchasing from your local butcher, ask for the same thickness or use this purely as your guide to the perfect steak.

Selection of steak
When selecting your steak for the BBQ select meat that has minimal sinew and the fat on the outside is quite white. Yellow fat generally indicates older beef and you may have a tenderness issue. A sure way to ensuring quality is to look for
Meat Standards Australia and the slogans ‘Guaranteed Tender’ or ‘Tenderness Guaranteed’
The best cuts of beef steak to use for barbecuing are fillet, scotch fillet, porterhouse, T-bone, rump and round Look for cuts with a little fat marbled through the meat, as this helps to keep the steak moist.
How to barbecue steak
1.    Preheat a barbecue grill or flat plate until the plate is hot. You can tell when it is ready as your steak will sizzle when placed on. Do not spray or oil the plate or grill as it can cause flare ups. Use your long handle tongs and turn the steak fat side down wiping it over your grill or plate to oil it. This stops you from adding extra oil and it will soon tell you if the plate is hot enough.
2.    Now that you have selected your steak it is time to get it ready for cooking. It is always preferable to take your steak out of the fridge about five minutes prior to cooking. This allows the steak to begin to relax the fat in the meat and will assist in the cooking process as it will not take as long to reach the desired state of readiness.
3.    Wait until just before cooking to season your steak, as salt draws out the flavour some juices from the meat, making it tough. Season one side with sea salt and cracked black pepper, then cook the steak, seasoned-side down first, to seal in the flavour. Season the other side just before turning over.
4.    Cook the steak on the barbecue, using long-handled tongs to turn the steak, until cooked to your liking. Cooking times vary depending on the thickness. Turn steak once only during cooking - any more and the juices escape, which can make the meat tough.
5.    After cooking, transfer the steak to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Heat pushes the juices to the centre of the steak. Resting it after cooking allows the meat to relax, and the juices then distribute evenly throughout the steak, making it succulent and tender.
How to know when your steak is done
The time needed to cook a steak varies depending on its thickness, and how you like it. Don't be tempted to cut into a steak to see if it's done. This allows the juices to escape, making the meat tough. Instead, press the centre of the steak with the back of your tongs - if it's medium the meat will spring back. Use this guide for cooking times and to tell when it's ready
When’s  it done?
Rare 55
Medium 60
Medium to well done 65 to 70
Well done is 75 to 80

If I do not have a meat probe what do I do then?
Tongs test
Rare - soft
Medium - slightly firmer and springy
Well done - very firm with no spring
For steak 1.5cm-thick:
Rare – 1 to 1.5 minutes each side
Medium - 2-3 minutes each side
Well done - 3-4 minutes each side
For steak 2-3cm-thick:
Rare - 2-3 minutes each side
Medium - 4-5 minutes each side
Well done - 5-6 minutes each side

What equipment do I need to do this
•    A charcoal barbecue for cooking the steak.
•    BBQ fuel
•    Fire lighter
•    long stem matches
•    Long-handled tongs for turning your steak. This keeps your hands a safe distance away from the grill, hotplate or exposed flames.
•    A large plate for resting the cooked steak before serving.
•    Cleaning tools, such as a stiff wire brush or barbecue scraper, for cleaning your barbecue after use so it's ready for next time.
•    A cover for the resting meat
•    Cutting board and sharp knife
Helpful hints:
•    Always preheat the barbecue to the correct temperature before adding the steak. As a general guide, you should be able to hear a sizzle as the steak hits the hot surface. The heat seals the surface, trapping the moisture inside.
•    All ways use a natural charcoal. It keeps the meat moist and is a natural product with no additives that will flavor your meat
•    Bring steak to room temperature just before cooking. The meat can become tough if it goes straight from the fridge to the barbecue.
•    Drain any marinade from the steak before placing it on the barbecue to cook. Excess liquid can ignite on the barbecue and cause a flare-up. Plus, if you're cooking steak on a flat plate, the liquid can boil around the meat and make it tough. Use a wire rack inside a flat try to assist in draining marinade
•    Limit the number of steaks cooking on the barbecue at any one time. Overcrowding reduces the heat, which can prevent the steaks from cooking evenly and cause them to release juices, making the meat tough. Make sure steaks are not touching on the BBQ, allow heat to surround the meat.
•    Use tongs to turn your steak. Sharp forks can pierce the surface, which allows the juices to escape.
•    Cover the steak loosely with foil before resting to keep it warm. If you cover it tightly, the meat will sweat and lose its moisture.
•    Clean your barbecue grill or flat plate with a stiff wire brush or scraper while it's still warm. This leaves it ready for your next barbie.



Preparation of BBQ fire
For a one hour burn using a natural charcoal, you need approximately 35 pieces of charcoalo text]

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