How to Make Restaurant Style Steak at Home
Take your dinner game to the next level! Making restaurant style steak at home is easy with our steak doneness chart!
By: Toby Kuhnke, Editor, AllFreeCopycatRecipes.com
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There's nothing better than a big juicy steak for dinner, especially when it's paired with a delicious side dish and the perfect glass of wine! A well-cooked steak dinner is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion, like a birthday or Father's Day.
But sometimes, making steak at home is easier said than done. Whether it's that special blend of seasoning, the careful technique, or even the method used for preparing the steak, there's just something about a restaurant quality steak dinner that is undeliably delicious.
It might seem difficult to replicate that flavor at home, but once you know the secrets to perfecting your technique, you'll be making steaks so good your family will be asking you to make them for dinner every night.
Internal Temperature of Steaks
One of the biggest factors in making your steak taste just like a restaurant quality steak is the internal temperature of the steak. Depending on how you order your steak, this temperature will vary.
In general, when using a meat thermometer, you should try to meature the temperature in the coolest part of the meat. This is usually in the center of the thickest part of the steak, although this is not always the case; check your steak in different areas to make sure you don't end up with undercooked or unsafe meat.
It's also important to remember that your steak will continue to cook, even when it's not on the grill. Remove your steak when it's about five degrees below your desired temperature.
Curious what exact temperature is best for the way you like your steak prepared? Check out this Internal Temperature Cooking Chart!
How Long to Cook Your Steak
No matter how well done you like your steak, cooking times are vital to getting the preparation just right. For a typical 3/4-inch thick steak, the times we've listed below should be a nice guideline for how long to cook your steak. In general, times may vary from grill to grill and skillet to skillet, but practice makes perfect!
Rare: Seared around the edges with red interior
4 minutes on the first side
2 minutes on the second side
Medium Rare: Seared outside with a pinkish-red interior
5 minutes on the first side
3 minutes on the second side
Medium: Browned outside with a smaller, pink center
6 minutes on the first side
5 minutes on the second side
Well Done: Browned throughout
8 minutes on the first side
7 minutes on the second side
Steak Doneness Chart
What Is the Maillard Reaction?
One of the biggest secrets out there about making the best steak ever is in understanding the Maillard reaction. But what even is it?
Discovered by French chemist Louis Camille Maillard, this reaction is a chemical shift that occurs in food when it is pan-fried or seared. You know that beautiful, distict flavor that comes from a perfectly seared steak, caramelized onions, crispy French fries, or even dulce de leche? That light browning is what happens during the Maillard reaction, and achieveing the perfectly browed exterior will add tons of flavor to your steaks. This reaction occurs at around 300 degrees F (148 degrees C).
Don't believe us? The next time you make steak at home, do a side by side comparison and see for yourself how much of a difference it makes.
Restaurant Style Steak Methods
Preparing Steak on the Grill
Some restaurants prepare their steak on the grill, although this method is more uncommon for larger restaurants. It's a great way to prepare your steaks, and you'll get those signature grill marks that make you hungry just looking at them.
Preparing Steak in the Oven
Preparing steak in the oven is probably the easiest of these methods. But while some restaurants use this method to prepare their steaks, it probably won't give you that amazing restaurant-quality flavor you're craving. The key to getting this method just right is to preheat your pan before putting your steak on it; then just follow the instructions on your recipe, checking regularly to make sure the steak isn't overcooked. It's also important to bring your steak to room temperature before putting it on the pan.
Preparing Steak in a Skillet
Chefs, home cooks, and foodies alike swear by this method. This is the method most commonly used by restaurants to prepare their steaks, and for good reason! It gives you reliably delicious steak every time, it's easier to clean up than a grill, and it's the easiest way to achieve the Maillard reaction, mentioned above.
Watch and Learn
Applebee's is famous for their Smothered Steak Skillet! Watch the video below to learn exactly how they prepare their steak at Applebee's.
Which restaurant has your favorite steak recipe?
Let us know in the comments!
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