How to Cook the Perfect Steak | Grill to Plate

Learn how to cook the perfect steak. Whether you prefer grilled steak or pan-seared, this guide walks you through the cook times, temperatures, and techniques to achieve a juicy, perfectly cooked steak every time.
min read

When one of our seasoned producers, Dawie from Farmers Pantry, was asked about the secret to a perfect steak, he simply replied, "Start with the right cut." The cut of steak you choose can significantly impact the flavour and tenderness of your final dish.

When one of our seasoned producers, Dawie from Farmers Pantry, was asked about the secret to a perfect steak, he simply replied, "Start with the right cut." The cut of steak you choose can significantly impact the flavour and tenderness of your final dish.

Table of Contents

Types of Steak

Each steak cut has a unique flavour and texture. Rib eye steaks are known for their rich marbling and succulent taste, while a sirloin steak offers a balance between tenderness and robust beefy flavour. For those seeking a more tender steak, the fillet steak is a prime choice, prized for its melt-in-the-mouth quality.

The Importance of Marbling and Thickness

We always recommend looking for a steak with good marbling. Those streaks of fat within the muscle add flavour and juiciness to the steak. Meanwhile, the thickness of your steak affects cook times and how evenly it cooks. A thicker steak may require longer on the grill but it can also ensure a nice contrast between the seared outside of the steak and the tender interior.

Preparing the Steak for Cooking

Before you even begin to cook a steak, it needs some preparation. We advise taking your steak out of the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature, ensuring a more even cook. They also highly recommend proper seasoning to enhance the natural flavour of the beef.

Cooking Your Steak: The Role of Time and Temperature

Important: we cannot stress enough the importance of time and temperature in cooking your steak to perfection!

Understanding Steak Doneness Levels

Whether you prefer a rare steak or a well-done, understanding the differences in steak doneness is essential. A meat thermometer can be your best friend in achieving your desired temperature. A medium-rare steak, for example, has an internal temperature of 57°C, while a medium steak reaches 63°C.

Cooking Time Based on Steak Thickness

Once you have your preferred steak doneness in mind, you'll need to adjust your cook times accordingly. Thicker steaks need to cook longer to reach the desired internal temperature. Even on a BBQ, you can easily cook a thicker steak by adjusting the cooking time, achieving a medium-rare steak perfectly.

Importance of Resting Your Steak

After you've cooked your steak, it's tempting to dig in right away. However, we highly recommend that you rest your steak. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, making every bite a juicy delight.

Techniques for Cooking the Perfect Steak

There are various techniques you can use to cook the perfect steak. Each has its benefits and it's worth experimenting to see which you prefer.

Grilling Your Steak

For those summer days, there's nothing quite like a grilled steak. Our favourite method: heat up the grill until it's hot enough to sear the steak, then place the steaks on for about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. The result? A beautifully charred steak with a tender interior.

Pan-frying Your Steak

If you don't have a grill, pan-frying is a great alternative. Searing a steak in a hot pan can achieve that beautiful brown crust. Make sure to add oil to the pan so your steak doesn’t stick.

Other Cooking Techniques

You could also try broiling, sous vide, or reverse searing. A particularly popular method is using a cast iron pan for reverse searing, as it helps lock in the juices for a tender, mouth-watering steak.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Cooking Steak

Even with the best steak and equipment, mistakes can happen. We've seen it all, and want you to avoid these common pitfalls.

Pitfalls of Overcooking and Under-seasoning

An overcooked steak loses its juicy texture, and an under-seasoned one can be bland. Be careful not to overcook it, and season it generously to bring out the steak's natural flavours.

Cutting into the Steak Too Soon

It can be tempting to cut into your steak to check if it's done. But this lets out the juices and can leave your steak dry. That's where the meat thermometer comes in handy.

Ignoring the Rest Time

Resting is an often overlooked but crucial part of cooking steak. As Dawie shared with us noted, "Letting your steak rest can make the difference between a good steak and a great one." This pause allows the juices to distribute evenly, making sure every bite is as delicious as it should be.

From choosing the right cut to letting your cooked steak rest, every step is crucial in achieving that perfect steak. We hope this guide helps you in your quest to cook the perfect steak. Remember, practice makes perfect, and the journey to steak mastery is just as delicious as the destination. Happy cooking!


How long does it take to grill a steak?

The grill time for a steak varies based on its thickness and your desired doneness level. As a general rule, you might grill a medium-rare steak for about 4-5 minutes per side, while a well-done steak could require up to 10 minutes per side.

How do I know when my steak is done?

Using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature is the most reliable method. For example, a medium-rare steak should reach an internal temperature of about 57°C, while a medium steak should be around 63°C.

How do I cook the perfect steak?

Cooking the perfect steak involves careful selection of the steak cut, proper seasoning, using the right cooking method, and allowing enough time for the steak to rest after cooking. A good grill or frying pan can make a significant difference in the outcome.

What is the best way to cook steak on the grill?

When you're cooking steak on the grill, preheat the grill to high. Add the steak and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip the steak and cook for another 3-5 minutes for medium-rare. Adjust the time as necessary for your preferred level of doneness.

Why do I need to rest my steak?

Resting your steak after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, resulting in a juicier and more flavourful steak.

How do I cook a medium rare steak?

A medium rare steak is typically grilled for about 4-5 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to check the steak's internal temperature - it should read about 57°C for a medium-rare steak.

What's the best way to sear a steak?

Start with a hot frying pan, add a small amount of oil, and then add the steak. Cook the steak on high heat without moving it for about 2-3 minutes on each side for a nice sear.

How long do I cook a steak to get it well-done?

A well-done steak typically requires about 10-12 minutes per side on the grill, but this can vary based on the thickness of your steak. Again, a meat thermometer is the best way to check for doneness - a well-done steak should reach an internal temperature of about 77°C.

How should I cook a fillet steak?

Fillet steaks are typically cooked quickly on high heat to sear the outside and then finished in the oven. Depending on the thickness, sear it on each side for about 2-3 minutes in a hot pan, then transfer to a preheated oven (200°C) for about 10-15 minutes.

Where can I buy steak?

You can buy steak from supermarkets, butcher shops, or online meat suppliers. Our producers recommend choosing steaks with good marbling and a thickness of at least 1 inch for the best results.

What steak recipe would you recommend for a beginner?

Our producers recommend starting with a simple grilled steak recipe. This involves seasoning your steak with salt and pepper, preheating your grill, cooking the steak for a few minutes on each side, and then allowing it to rest before serving. This basic recipe is easy to follow and leaves room for you to experiment with different types of steak and levels of doneness.

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