How to cook the perfect steak

May 1, 2020 | Jenni Ashford

What is your perfect steak? Whether rare or well-done, flavoured or stripped back, these techniques will make sure your steak is always succulent, tender and melt-in-the-mouth.

Steak Night at Wear Park Restaurant is always fully booked. Having spent seven years at Harry’s Grill, infamous in Exeter for it’s top quality steaks, and five years serving up steak to a full restaurant at Wear Park Restaurant’s regular Steak Nights, our Head Chef, Adam Little, truly understands how to cook the perfect steak.

Having had to cancel our May Steak Night, we wanted to help you create the perfect steak at home.


Secrets to the perfect steak

Buy good meat
Butcher is best. Use your local butcher to hand pick the best local steaks. Size is important. Buy bigger and share, or go for individual steaks – a 3.5cm thick steak, around 300g will always work well.

An hour before
Take your steak out of the fridge around an hour before cooking. The steak needs to be at room temperature.
Rub the steak with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Or cut off any large chunks of steak fat, and heat in the griddle pan to get a coating of steak fat on the pan – in which case just rub the steak with the seasoning.
Blot the steak dry to remove any excess moisture – this will help it form a crust in the first few seconds of cooking.

In the pan
Get your griddle, frying pan or barbecue super hot. We’re talking too hot to hover your hand over. This heat will caramelise the meat.
Place the steak in the pan or on the griddle or barbecue. Make sure there is plenty of space between steaks if cooking more than one. Leave the steak still for a couple of moments before the first flip. This will form a flavoursome crust on the steak. Sear the edges.
Turn the steak regularly. At the famous Hawksmoor Restaurants, they flip their steaks every five seconds, however others recommend every minute. Try flipping between 30 – 60 seconds.
A good trick to add even more flavour is to rub the steak every time you turn it, with either a knob of butter, herb brush or half a head of garlic (slice the entire whole garlic horizontally).

Cooking times
Six minutes, with regular turning will give you a medium rare steak – but it’s dependent on the thickness of the steak. See below for further advice on this.

Leave the steak to rest on a warm plate for up to 5 minutes.
Rub in some extra virgin olive oil or butter for extra juiciness.

Serve on a hot plate and use the resting juices to drizzle over the steak.

And there you have it…

Juicy steak, chunky chips and a bottle of wine; the perfect Friday night dinner.

Wear Park Restaurant steaks are served with a stack of crisp, chunky chips, buttered chestnut mushrooms, baked tomato and watercress.

Find out about the next Steak Night on 28th August


How do you like your steak?

Blue:  Feels spongy, no resistance – almost purple in colour and just warm.
Rare: Feels soft and spongy with a little resistance – dark red in colour with some red juice flowing.
Medium-rare: Feels soft, spongy and slightly springy – pink in colour with some juice.
Medium: Firm and springy to the touch – pale pink in colour with hardly any juice.
Well-done: Feels spongy and slightly springy with the slightest hint of pink.


Cooking times:

3.5cm thick fillet steak

Blue: 1½ mins each side
Rare: 2¼ mins each side
Medium-rare: 3¼ mins each side
Medium: 4½ mins each side


2cm thick sirloin steak

Blue: 1 min each side
Rare: 1½ mins per side
Medium rare: 2 mins per side
Medium: About 2¼ mins per side
Well-done steak: Cook for about 4-5 mins each side, depending on thickness.

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