Videos

How to Sear Perfect Steaks

July 15, 2011 • 29 Comments

With a great piece of meat and perfect technique it is virtually impossible to fall anywhere short of delicious when you cook steak. A&M tip us off to a few tricks -- a generous salt-and-sit before searing and post-pan-peppering -- that will ensure said perfection. It's just that good.

For more on the science behind brining (and why you should always do it, if you've got 45 minutes to spare) don't miss Kenji Lopez-Alt's super thorough Food Lab steak guide over on Serious Eats.

This week's videos were once again shot and edited our videographer Elena Parker (who now produces our bi-weekly Dinner & a Movie column as well!).

Jump to Comments (29)

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Comments (29)

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about 2 years ago mjdelcas

I love it that I end up craving a steak at 9:00 in the AM after watching this.

I have question--I took a grilling class where the instructor suggested pouring a little olive oil and a pinch more salt immediately after taking the steak off the grill. The logic is that when the meat is hot, it will absorb some of the oil and salt while it rests and cools, making the meat more moist. I do it all the time now and think it is great. Anyone else do this?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Great tip -- and totally new to me. Thanks for sharing it with us. Will give it a try!

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about 3 years ago familydinners

I always enjoy your videos, but can't hear them. I turn the volume up to max, turn off everything else in the room. I just try to guess what you are saying. I still watch the videos, silently. Thanks

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about 3 years ago pkemery

Was the video deleted? Nothing shows but a black box and scrolling over it does not produce any control buttons.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Strange. It wasn't deleted and is working for me, but there seems to be some kind of problem because there have been some other reports of issues. Can you let us know if you use Windows/Mac and which browser? Feel free to answer here or email us at [email protected]

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about 3 years ago pkemery

Was the video deleted? There is nothing showing on the web page but a black box. Scolling over thye box does not produce any contol buttons to allow viewing

Philip K

Cindy_laughing_at_rog's_ceo_dinner_2

about 3 years ago saltandserenity

So would you say you do not need to salt kosher steaks and chicken, or just use a little less salt?

Loved the video! Thanks for doing this.

Don't know if you caught this month's Bon Appetit, they also do a feature on the perfect steak and recommend salting at least 3 hours ahead of time and placing on a cooling rack in the fridge, so it is sort of like dry aging I guess.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

We haven't tested kosher steaks and chicken with this method, so I can't say. Would like to try it -- thanks for the idea!

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about 3 years ago Sly Brandy

Girls! I don't usually have a problem with the volume of your video, but this time I had to turn the volume up as high as I could and still had a problem hearing you, don't think it was my computer?! Just an FYI for ya! Keep up the great work!
Debra

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about 3 years ago davidpdx

Ditto; no audio when I played it on my computer.

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about 3 years ago elenakathryn

Thanks for pointing that out. I'll see what I can do for the next one. For now... Headphones definitely help.

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about 3 years ago SouffleBombay

I never knew about they drying...thanks!! Now I am hungry for a good steak lol!!

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about 3 years ago MarieR

Do you salt the meat for forty-five minutes if you are going to use a liquid marinade?Thank you!

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

No need if you have salt in your marinade -- in that case, the marinade is essentially acting like a flavorful wet brine.

Sandy_nj_148

about 3 years ago thekoshertomato

That was a great informative video. Interesting how kosher poultry and beef is soaked and salted ahead of time. Although there are many reasons involved for that process, it is good to know that it is advised in general. I agree, it makes the meat taste delicious. The post peppering is genius.

Last year I wrote this post (below) on outdoor steak. I love how in the video above, it is indoors and you use the ever perfect cast iron pan! It is the ideal candidate for this searing relationship :)

http://www.thekoshertomato...

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for weighing in and for the link to your post.

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about 3 years ago Inspire me

I just tried this with some rib eyes. OMG! The best steaks I've ever cooked! Let the salt soak in, bring to room temp before cooking and let it rest after. So simple, but so important.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Cool!

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about 3 years ago Nathana

I marinade my steaks in a liquid marinade and cook them in a broiler to get them to rare, then cut my piece off and toss it back in for my daughter's medium rare. So far, we love them. But I don't dry it before I cook it, do you suggest I dry off the steak before I broil it ?? Would that make them better?

I broil rib eyes, with the bone, and skirt steaks, this way.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, I'd try drying it -- should allow the meat to get more of a crust when it broils.

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about 3 years ago marynn

Sam1148--Great new rule of thumb for me! Kind of like an engine oil meat mantra: 10 W(ait, not weight) 40.

I, too, have to give a very appreciative, king- size thumbs up to Kenji, his unceasing curiosity, generosity, imagination, and precision. If I am not food52-ing, I am reading up on K L-A's latest exploits and figuring out what I need to do.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much for the tips on searing came in so handy with this weeks contest the steak I made was fantastic! Love the video!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for giving it a try!

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about 3 years ago rlb4

Sounds good for people who don't have blood pressure problems, for those who do that is not thewy to go.

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about 3 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

I'm a big fan of the technique in the "Serious Food Guide". When I salted steaks and THEN fired up the grill for 15mins I never got a good seasoning. The rule of thumb there was 10 mins---or 40 mins. Anything in between removes liquid from the meat. At 40mins the moisture retreats back into the meat seasoning it and holding in moisture. That works for me well as that's about the time they reach room temp and grill is blazing hot. The long seasoning and rest works very, very well.

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about 3 years ago ATG117

I was wondering the exact same thing regarding the salting and peppering of just one side.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry -- lost on the cutting room floor! We salted both sides. Glad you both asked -- thanks.

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about 3 years ago EmilyC

Enjoyed the video. Curious, why do you only salt one side of the steak? Like your suggestion of post-peppering.