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Cook the perfect steak

Cook the perfect steak every time to fuel your muscle-building mission

We love a good steak. It’s a fantastic source of muscle-building protein – a 200g fillet steak contains a whopping 42g – and contains the essential man minerals zinc, iron and magnesium, all of which your body needs for optimal production of the primary male sex hormone testosterone.

And it’s good for your heart: people who follow a diet rich in high-protein foods, such as steaks, fish and eggs, had lower blood pressure and healthy arteries, which are two key indicators of the risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Swap the chips for a mixed salad and you’ve served up one of the best muscle-building and fat-burning dinners going – but only if you know how to cook your steak to sizzling perfection. Get it right every time with these tips from Michelin-starred chef Adam Gray.

1. Quality meat
Good quality meat makes all the difference to your dinner so visit a local butcher and pay a little more than you would in a supermarket because it’ll be worth the investment. If you are unsure what you should be buying, just ask the butcher for the breed of cattle (a traditional British breed is best), what it was fed on (grass not grains), and how long has it been hung (you want it to be dry-aged for a minimum of four weeks).

2. Room temperature
Take out the steak from the fridge at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before you cook it, so it is room temperature. This is important to ensure the steak is warm all the way through, regardless of how you want it, and there’s nothing worse than tucking into a perfectly-cooked steak that is still cold in the middle.

3. High heat
If you’re cooking the steak on a barbecue or griddle pan, make sure both are very hot beforehand. The coals on the barbecue should be white, and if you are using a griddle pan, you need to have it on a high heat for four to five minutes before you start cooking.

4. Sprinkle seasoning
Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides before cooking. This is important because seasoning brings  out the flavour of the meat. Use a light sprinkling of equal amounts of Maldon sea salt and freshly milled pepper.

Cooking times
A good rule of thumb is place the steak on the hot griddle pan or barbecue and leave for two minutes, then turn over every two minutes until the steak is cooked to your preference. You can tell when your steak is done to your tastes by gently pressing it.
• Rare: it feels soft and fleshy when pressed.
• Medium-rare: it gives more resistance to pressure.
• Medium: there’s more resistance and has a bit of give.
• Well done: there is little to no give at all.

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