THE BENEFITS OF COOKING BIG STEAKS

Porterhouse steak on a cutting board being prepped for the grill.
Raw porterhouse steak with ingredients for cooking on the grill.

When cooking for a crowd, many home cooks avoid preparing a large steak. However, I have found that cooking one big, thick cut of meat has numerous advantages that make it a worthwhile endeavor. Not only does it simplify the cooking process, but it also allows for a more flavorful and impressive final result. In this article, I will delve into the art of cooking large steaks and explain why it is a culinary feat worth conquering.

INTRODUCTION

Cooking a single, substantial steak as opposed to multiple smaller ones may seem counterintuitive at first, but there are several reasons why it is a preferred method. Firstly, managing one temperature is much easier than juggling multiple cooking times and temperatures. This allows the cook to divert their attention to other aspects of the meal, such as preparing sides or sauces. Additionally, cooking a large steak affords more opportunities to achieve the desired internal temperature, ensuring that each bite is perfectly cooked. But what makes it truly enticing is the opportunity to create a show-stopping centerpiece for your meal.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Cooking one large steak simplifies the cooking process and allows for better temperature control.
  • The longer cooking time of large steaks on a charcoal grill creates a delicious crust.
  • Season generously to enhance the flavors of the steak.
  • Cooking multiple large steaks simultaneously is feasible with the right tools and techniques.

THE ALLURE OF A BOLD STATEMENT

There is something undeniably impressive about bringing a large steak to the table. The mere sight of a thick, juicy slab of meat is enough to make any meat lover’s mouth water. When cooked over charcoal, the longer cooking time of a large steak allows for an improved crust and deep Maillard reaction on the exterior. This results in a caramelized and flavorful crust that smaller steaks often struggle to achieve. The contrast between the crust and the tender interior creates a textural sensation that captivates the senses.

To fully embrace the boldness of a large steak, it is essential to season generously. These colossal cuts can handle more seasoning than expected, so don’t be afraid to go all out. Whether it’s a simple salt and pepper rub or a more intricate blend of spices, let the flavors elevate the meat to new heights.

Large platter of tomahawk ribeye steaks just off the grill

Recent steaks from the Hill Country Chocolate/DKM Cellars Tomahawks & Truffles Event

COOKING LARGE STEAKS ON CHARCOAL GRILL

When cooking large steaks, I have found that a charcoal grill is the perfect tool for the job. The smoky flavor imparted by hardwood charcoal adds a layer of complexity to the meat that elevates the dining experience. My trusty HastieBake grill has seen its fair share of ribeyes, but I was curious to see if it could handle the challenge of cooking multiple large steaks simultaneously.

Surprisingly, the process remained largely unchanged. The only difference was the logistical aspect of managing the hefty cuts on and off the grill. However, with a little practice and the right tools, such as sturdy tongs and a large cutting board, this hurdle can be easily overcome. The end result is well worth the effort.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the art of cooking large steaks is a culinary adventure that guarantees a memorable dining experience. The benefits of simplicity, enhanced flavors, and the visual appeal of serving a substantial slab of meat make it a worthwhile endeavor. Embrace the challenge season generously, and enjoy the satisfaction of mastering the art of cooking large steaks.

FAQs

Q: What are the benefits of cooking big steaks?

A: Cooking big steaks allows for more tender and juicy meat, as the larger size retains moisture during the cooking process. Additionally, big steaks offer a more satisfying and flavorful eating experience.

Q: How do I cook a thick steak?

A: Cooking a thick steak requires a slightly different approach. It is recommended to sear the steak first on high heat to get a nice crust, then finish cooking it in the oven at a lower temperature to ensure the inside is cooked to perfection.

Q: What is the ideal cooking time for a thick steak?

A: The cooking time for a thick steak depends on various factors, such as the desired level of doneness and the thickness of the steak. As a general guideline, a 1-inch thick steak should be cooked for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Q: Can I cook a ribeye steak in the oven?

A: Absolutely! Cooking a ribeye steak in the oven is a popular method that ensures even cooking and delicious results. Preheat the oven to the desired temperature, season the steak, and roast it according to your preferred doneness level.

Q: Do you have a recommended recipe for cooking a big steak?

A: Yes! Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for cooking a big steak: 1) Start by preheating the oven to 450°F (232°C). 2) Season your steak with salt and pepper. 3) Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and sear the steak for 2-3 minutes per side. 4) Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes for medium-rare. 5) Remove from the oven and let the steak rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Q: How do I cook a big steak to the perfect temperature?

A: The best way to cook a big steak to the perfect temperature is by using an instant-read meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, away from the bone, and cook until it reaches the desired internal temperature (around 135°F / 57°C for medium-rare).

Q: What is the recommended cooking method for big steaks?

A: The recommended cooking method for big steaks is to sear them on high heat to develop a crust, then finish cooking them in the oven. This method ensures a nice sear on the outside while maintaining a juicy and tender interior.

Q: Why is it important to let a big steak rest after cooking?

A: Letting a big steak rest after cooking allows the meat to reabsorb and redistribute its juices, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak. This step also helps the steak retain a higher level of moisture when sliced and served.

Q: What are the cuts of steak that work well for cooking big steaks?

A: Some of the cuts of steak that work well for cooking big steaks include ribeye, strip steak, and sirloin steak. These cuts are known for their tenderness and rich flavor, making them excellent choices for larger cuts of meat.

Q: How do I prevent a big steak from becoming overcooked?

A: To prevent a big steak from becoming overcooked, it’s essential to monitor its internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Remove the steak from the heat source a few degrees below the desired level of doneness, as it will continue to cook while resting.

Q: Can I cook large steaks on a gas grill?

A: While a gas grill can certainly be used to cook large steaks, the smoky flavor and char achieved with a charcoal grill often elevate the overall experience. However, if a gas grill is your only option, you can still achieve delicious results by following the principles discussed in this article.

Q: How long should I cook a large steak?

A: The cooking time will vary depending on factors such as the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness. It is best to use a meat thermometer to ensure accurate cooking. As a general guideline, a 1.5-inch thick steak cooked over medium heat will take around 12-15 minutes for medium-rare.

Q: Can I cook a large steak in the oven?

A: Yes, you can cook a large steak in the oven by using the reverse sear method. Start by slowly cooking the steak in a low-temperature oven until it reaches the desired internal temperature. Then, finish it off by searing it in a hot skillet or under a broiler for a flavorful crust.

Q: What are some recommended seasonings for large steaks?

A: Seasonings can vary based on personal preference, but classics like salt, pepper, and garlic powder are always a good starting point. You can also experiment with more robust flavors like paprika, cayenne pepper, or dried herbs like rosemary and thyme.

Q: Are large steaks more expensive?

A: Large steaks are pricier due to their size and weight. However, the experience and the visual impact they bring to a meal often make them worth the investment for special occasions or gatherings.

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Large platter of tomahawk ribeye steaks just off the grill

Dan McCoy