© 2024 WHRO Public Media
5200 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk VA 23508
757.889.9400 | info@whro.org
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

How to Cook a Perfect Steak

Nothing says ‘special occasion’ like a colossal piece of meat. There's something primal about gathering friends and family around a meaty centerpiece.

It harkens back to a time when meat wasn’t an everyday indulgence, and only during celebrations would it be the star on the table. Whether it be a rib roast, whole turkey, or suckling pig - big meat can be intimidating.

I recently tackled my first 18 pound strip loin, and I'll admit I was overwhelmed by its sheer size. After watching a couple YouTube videos, I gained the confidence needed to proceed. The loin was surprisingly easy to butcher. Prepping this bad boy was as simple as trimming the fat (cap) off the top, and then portioning it into thick steaks. There was something deeply satisfying about cutting my own steaks and seeing the richly marbled NY strips in a neat stack waiting to be cooked.

After considering several complicated preparations, there was no need to gussy up something already so beautiful; simple was the way to go. I liberally seasoned the meat with a rub and followed a few basic steak-cooking rules. The results were phenomenal! The intense beef flavor was perfectly accented by the smoky seasoning and it was so tender you could cut it with a fork. When you have steak this good at home, Delmonico's and Morton's Steak House completely loose their appeal. Just follow these basic techniques and you'll be able to cook the perfect steak at home too.


  1. Start with Quality Meat - Buy your steak from a reputable source, and if possible purchase USDA prime, which has the most marbelization. And if the steak has been dry aged, all the better!

  2. Let the Steak Come to Room Temperature - This facilitates even cooking and relaxes the muscle fibers so they don't tighten up as much when the steaks cook. 

  3. Season Liberally - Don't be shy with the seasoning; remember you can't season the inside. 

  4. Cook on a Hot Pan - You want to get a good crust on your steaks so start your pan hot! Once you have good color, you can turn down the heat or finish the steaks in a 350 degree oven.

  5. Let Rest - Once cooked, let the steaks rest for 5 - 10 minutes. This allows all those lovely juices to reabsorb back into the meat.


Steak Rub


  •  6 teaspoons brown sugar
  •  4 teaspoons salt
  •  3 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  •  2 teaspoons smoked paprika


 STEP 1 Mix all ingredients together.  STEP 2 Liberally apply to both sides of your steak.  STEP 3 Store excess rub in an air-tight container.