How To Make The Best New York Strip Steak

How To Make The Best New York Strip Steak

Feature Photo: Davidchuk Alexey / Shutterstock

Fans of beefy meat products are likely to have a special fondness for the New York strip steak. What’s not to love? As a steak, this is among the larger cuts from the cow and has the least amount of muscle tissue to contend with when prepping it up as part of the meal. When done right, this juicy steak can serve up as more than a dished-up favorite. It can also cause a musical experience in the mouth that may have one singing a beefed-up version of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

Among the most serious cooks, doing up a good steak is like an artist working with a canvas. What can ruin a perfectly good steak is poor preparation and miscalculated cooking techniques, a practice too many people who make assumptions do without doing the necessary homework to avoid such a fate. Steak meat is not cheap, especially a New York strip. You want to make sure you do this right from start to finish. This means you make sure you buy the best quality meat your wallet can afford before taking it home and getting it ready for that perfect steak meal. From tenderizing to marinating to cooking, when done right that New York strip steak may give cause to run back to the butcher shop for more.

Recommended Tenderizing Technique

Before cooking any steak, especially one as exquisite as the New York strips, making sure the meat is tender enough is essential in order to make the most out of this beautiful cut. One of the best methods is using a sheet of plastic wrap and covering up the steak before beating each side with a spiked meat mallet. Doing this exactly as suggested keeps the nooks of the mallet from sticking to the meat, therefore making this tool easier to clean. As for the meat itself, it won’t have any bits caught up in the mallet that will compromise the quality level of your steak. Once you’ve done this, unwrap the meat and place them on a shallow pan, making it easy to pour your marinade of choice, completely covering each steak in the process.

For a pair of beautifully tenderized and marinated New York steaks, mix together two cloves of minced garlic, a cup of Worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of salt and pepper, plus two tablespoons of lemon juice. This wonderful marinade serves the dual purpose of tenderizing your meat even further, thanks to the acidic content behind the lemon juice, as well as adding flavor to the meat that doesn’t overpower the tastebuds. Among top-notch restaurants that choose to keep things simple, this is the favorite method of choice used, especially among Red Seal chefs who have been trained in this technique as students. If you’re not a fan of garlic, substitute it with another spice that is more suitable for your palette.

Once the marinade is poured over the steaks, either place a lid over the shallow pan or cover it up with a plastic wrap. Place the steaks into the fridge and let them sit there for at least two hours. What this procedure does is allow the meat to tenderize even further, not to mention enhance the flavoring and juiciness of the meat. Following this tenderizing technique takes care of the first half of how to make the best New York strip steak, not to mention any other kind of meat product you wish to put on your plate.

Cooking Procedures

Chefs use a variety of methods to cook up a steak. The all-time global favorite is to simply fire up the barbecue and let the grilling process begin. Other chosen methods have seen New York steaks broiled in the oven, fried up in a skillet, and smoked. Assuming you have followed the recommended tenderizing technique to the letter when you take the meat out to start cooking, let it sit out of the fridge for about thirty minutes before applying it to a heated source. Among most of the best chefs in the business, this is what they do.

During the cooking process, if you have a digital thermometer handy, great. If not, you can check how done your steak is by gently pressing two fingers against the surface of the middle of the steak before doing the same to the palm of your right hand underneath your thumb. Using your thumb as a tool, bring it over to the other four fingers of your hand. From finger to finger, the squishiness of the muscle your hand is holding will be determined by whichever finger you’re touching with that thumb. The tougher the muscle feels the more the meat has been cooked. If the feel of the steak and the muscle feel of the thumb is the same when using your index finger, this tells you your steak is rare. The middle finger feel suggests the steak is medium-rare, followed by the ring finger indicating it’s at medium temperature. The pinky finger feel serves as a steak that is now well done. This method is not as accurate as a digital temperature reading of a thermometer but it does the trick and it is a technique the best-trained chefs know as a trade secret.

Broiling Method

Should one use a broiling method to cook up a New York steak, place the meat on a broiling pan and place it under the heated up broiler for six minutes. Carefully, use a set of tongues to flip the meat over and cook for an additional six to eleven minutes, depending entirely on how cooked you want the meat to be when done. If you have a digital thermometer, this is the best method you can use to make sure you don’t have something undercooked or overcooked that will compromise your dining experience.

Grilling Method

How To Make The Best New York Strip Steak

Photo: Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock

Cooking steaks on the grill, including New York cuts, seems to be the all-time favorite method, and for good reason. Between the charred marks and the flavoring, only a barbecue grill can pull off, it is a very difficult technique to beat. Whether it’s powered by propane or you’re going with the charcoal that has reached a heating temperature of 350 degrees, it takes about three minutes per side for a rare to medium-rare New York steak and about five minutes per side for a medium. Medium-well steaks average about eight minutes and well-done steaks are known to take about ten minutes to cook each side. However, the times vary according to the heat of the grill and how the New York strips have been cut. Ideally, going with a digital thermometer and its readings is your best bet to make sure you don’t mess up the cooking process of your steak.

Skillet Method

How To Make The Best New York Strip Steak

Photo: KarepaStock/ Shutterstock

When the time comes to cook, if it’s the skillet method, add just enough extra virgin olive oil to its surface before adding it to a burner that’s been on high heat. Wait about a minute or two before putting the steak in. When on high heat, it takes an average of three minutes per side of the New York steak if you want to serve this steak as rare. For medium, add an extra minute to each side while well-done steaks need a solid five to six minutes on each side. The last thing you want to do is overcook the meat as this will dry it out. As mentioned, these are average times. It will vary slightly due to the amount of fat content involved in each cut. For fattier cuts, it is recommended the skillet rest on very high heat for a minute before adding the steak. Doing this will sear off the fat quickly and the meat will absorb it as juice as it cooks in the skillet. This will maximize the flavor in what seems like an effortless fashion.

Steak Temperature Readings

Sometimes, time itself to cook a steak cannot always be trusted. There are a number of variables involved such as fat content, meat quality, and even how well the appliance used for the job can do what it needs to do. Using a digital meat thermometer is a recommended tool to determine when the steak is done, especially if you doubt your personal judgment. When injecting the thermometer into the meat, do not pierce all the way. Ideally, you want to poke as close to the thickest cut of the meat as possible and insert about halfway. This will give you the best reading. For blue rare steaks, the temperature should read 108 degrees. Rare steaks read at 115 degrees while medium rares are measured at 125 degrees. Medium-well steaks are achieved at 145 degrees while well-done steaks are at 155 degrees. Among commercial and institutional kitchens, it is usually a requirement by food and safety regulations to mark down the temperature of prepared meals before serving.

It should be pointed out, however, that the feel of doneness to a steak is not quite the same as an internal temperature reading you get from a thermometer. Also, it is recommended you remove the steak from its source of heat when they’re about five degrees shy of reaching your desired temperature as a New York steak cut. Even when removed from the heat, the cooking process continues for a few more minutes still, so if you don’t want your meat overcooked, this is the best way to make sure it doesn’t.

According to Taste

No two people are exactly alike, so it stands to reason no two people at the same meal sitting are going to like their New York strip steak done up the exact same way. There are scores of recipes and suggestions on how to do up a juicy steak, regardless of cut, that is as vast as the number of food products there is available for the consumer market. However, the common denominator boils down to the quality of meat you’re buying and how you treat it all the way up until it’s time to serve it. When I worked for a certain Greek restaurant that was the number one choice for several miles as the “go-to” place for steaks, after it came off the grill it took a quick trip into a bowl where it met with a hint of lemon juice and garlic butter. After a slight dance in the bowl, it was put on the plate, ready for its companions to accompany it as a “wow” experience by the diners. Speaking as someone who prefers a well-done New York strip steak, this method definitely helped take away the otherwise dry texture of meat that sometimes becomes too tough when the cut is overcooked.

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