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Sear steaks like a pro from the comfort of your home

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Ever wondered why your steak never seems to have the flavour and texture that proper steakhouses have?  The secret to success lies simply in searing the meat first before actually cooking it. 

Searing gets its name from cooking the surface of a meat or seafood at very high temperatures, which crystallises the sugars in the meat, renders down the fat and thus coats the surface in a caramelized crust.  When eaten, the contrast between the crunchy surface and the tender juicy inside of the meat results in a taste sensation that all steak lovers seek.

Here are some tips on cooking the perfect steak at home:

Prepare the steak for searing

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A properly seared steak is not hard to achieve with the proper tools and  cooking methods.

Before cooking, take the steak out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature. If it’s not properly defrosted, the steak will need to be cooked much longer, leaving you with a surface that could be overdone or have an undercooked middle.

For good cuts of steak, you don’t need more seasoning than just salt and pepper to bring out its flavour. Rub it into the meat and choose a skillet or pan that is just the right size for your steak.

 

Bring on the heat

Before cooking the steak, take a few minutes to heat up the pan to a high heat. Don’t be shy about turning the heat up –  caramelisation occurs at temperatures between 150-260oC. These temperatures are easily reached by cooking hobs like the Maxiflame, whose 4.8kW of power can match the burners found in professional kitchens.  Its dual valve controls help you to set and keep the flames at a precise temperature, so you don’t have to worry about charring the steak by accident.

To test the pan, sprinkle a couple drops of water onto it. If they evaporate instantly, the steak is ready to be seared. Alternatively, you can lower one end of the steak into the pan to see if it causes the oil to sizzle.  If it does, you can put the steak in.

Do remember to pat the steak dry with a paper towel.  Any extra moisture on the steak will steam the steak instead of sear it.

 

Time it right

Cook the steak on each side for 2-4 minutes for a 1-inch thick cut. It should be seared to a brown colour.  If it turns grey, it means the pan isn’t hot enough.  Don’t worry about getting both sides evenly done, or getting the entire surface to the same shade of brown, you may risk overcooking the steak.

A steam combination oven like the EOB9800X has a Low Temperature Cooking function that is ideal for cooking multiple cuts of meat to the proper doneness after searing. 

If you prefer the inside of your steak cooked more thoroughly, simply turn down the heat so the meat will cook through without burning. Do not flip the steak more than once while cooking, or the heat won’t penetrate the steak.

Alternatively, you can finish the steak in an oven like the Electrolux EOB98000X Steam combination oven. Using its Low Temperature Cooking function is a great way to get a seared steak to the right doneness and prevents over cooking. The large 52L capacity of the EOB98000X makes this oven perfect for serving steak for large dinner parties, as it can cook even cuts of varying sizes and thickness to the same perfect doneness.

Do remember to let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking, and enjoy your home-cooked restaurant style steak!

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