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How To Cook the Perfect Steak (Including Steak Cooking Times) 2021

By Bridget Reed

Dec 7, 2021

A grilled steak sitting on a cutting board.

The ability to cook up the perfect steak is a sign that your culinary skills are reaching new heights.

There are a range of ways in which you can prepare a steak, but regardless of how you choose to cook it, beef remains a staple dinner dish.

For some reason, over the years there have become preconceived notions that cooking beef is complicated and challenging. But the truth is, it is rather the opposite. You don’t have to fire up the barbeque to make the perfect steak—and thank goodness for that considering the consistent wet weather in the UK.

So if you are wanting to learn how to cook the perfect steak, we are here to guide you along the way. You can start by learning the basics from Banquist and practising the basic culinary skills with our exclusive menus and step-by-step cooking courses.

Once you are ready, follow along with everything we know about what it takes to cook the perfect steak and how to sizzle one up yourself.

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking the Perfect Steak

First, Pick the Type of Steak

There is a whole range of types of steaks that you can set out to master. First, you will need to pick the one you want to tackle. The types of steak will impact the tenderness of the meat and the flavour that you get to enjoy. Here are the options you need to choose from:

1. Sirloin: This is similar to a fillet and you will need to cook it to medium-rare

2. T-bone: If you want to make a steak for multiple people to share and enjoy together, choose this one and cook it out evenly in the oven

3. Flank: A more affordable option that is best grilled to medium on the barbeque during summer

4. Rib-eye: This one has no bones and generally is only big enough to serve one portion

5. Flat-iron: Best bang for your buck in terms of portion size and you will need to cook it through to medium but no more than that

6. Onglet: Full of flavour but only best when cooked at rare

7. Rump: A budget-friendly option that only tastes great when cooked to medium

Overall, you will need to pick the right meat that suits both your budget and taste preferences. The best types of meat will be found at a butcher shop.

Master the Cut

Cooking the perfect steak starts with the perfect cut of meat. In general, thicker cuts are better when it comes to red meat—which is what you will see a lot of the best restaurants do. It is the thickness of meat that produces such delicious and mouthwatering flavours with each bit. 

When the cut is just right, your steak will be able to be seared on the outside while remaining nice and rare in the middle. Plus, the thicker cuts in steaks allow more room for forgiveness, where the thinner cuts create a much larger margin for error.

Invest in a Quality Pan

If you are cooking your steak inside, which you likely are if you call the UK your home, you will want to invest in a quality frying pan. This means that your frying pan will need to be extra heavy-duty and thick to allow you to cook your perfect steak. 

You can also try a cast iron skillet as well, as they heat up fast and add a smokey finish to your steak. A pro tip with choosing your pan is that if your cut of meat does not comfortably fit in it, then do not use it. Try cooking one cut at a time instead of squishing them all together.

Season That Steak

To get unparalleled flavouring with your perfect steak, you want to focus on the seasoning you use on your cut of meat before cooking it. First, you should always salt your steak at least an hour ahead of when you plan to cook it. 

You can then add extra flavour through a range of marinades like honey and mustard or teriyaki. Don’t shy away from also splashing on some thyme and rosemary too for an extra layer of flavour.

Turn Up the Heat To Sizzle

Now it is time to get sizzling. To do so, you will first want to add fatty oil to your cooking pan. We recommend flavourless oils such as vegetable oil so you don’t contradict the beautiful seasoning you just rubbed into your meat. 

You will want the heat to be really high, but not to the point where it is smokey. Since you are making this steak in your home, you won’t have the luxury of what steakhouses use, like an infra-red cooker. That’s okay because if you just put the stove on high for at least five minutes before sizzling time, you should be good to go.

Flip It Fast

Now, this is where precision really comes into play when it comes to making the perfect steak. Depending on the outcome of the steak that you are going for will impact how long you should cook your steak for and it all depends on the type of cut you are working with. 

If you leave it sizzling too long, you risk not getting the right type of steak you were after. To assist with you fast you need to flip the steak, we’ve created a little cheat sheet guide to follow.

Cooking Times for Different Types of Outcomes

1. A rare steak: This will mean that your steak will be dark, juicy, and feel a bit spongy.  You will want to cook your steak for around one and a half to two and a half minutes on each side to get the perfect rare steak. It should have an internal temperature of 57 degrees Celcius.

2. A medium-rare steak: This type of steak will be a pink colour that is a bit juicy and springy texture. You should cook your steak for around two to three minutes on each side to get this result and the internal temperature should be 63 degrees Celcius.

3. A medium steak: This will be a much paler pink with minimal juice. However, it will still have a bit of spring to the texture. To get this result you should cook each side for two and a half to four minutes and have an internal temperature of 71 degrees Celcius.

4. A well-done steak: This result will give you a very minimal pink colour, but is still juicy and spongy enough to chew and enjoy. To get this result you should cook your steak for around four to five minutes on each side and have an internal temperature of 75 degrees Celcius. You will need a thinner sirloin steak cut to have your meat cooked to well-done.

Get Scientific With the Steak

After you have finished cooking the steak, it is time to let that steak rest. Following a precise scientific equation, you will want to let your steak rest for five minutes plus half the amount of time you cooked it for. 

This is because during this time the fibres of the steak will be able to absorb the juice and give you a tender and moist meal to enjoy. Another pro tip with this is that you can take any and all of the leftover steak juice and pour it on top to give it that bonus layer of juice.

Serve It With a Side

Now it is time to finish up cooking that perfect steak of yours. To really ensure that every bit is delicious and jam-packed with flavour, you will want to pick an assortment of sides that enhance it. These can include roasted herbed potatoes or a homemade chimichurri sauce. Make sure that the sides don’t outshine the steak—which will honestly be hard to do as you have just cooked the perfect piece of meat.


Cooking the perfect steak is not rocket science and anyone can accomplish this feat in their home kitchen. All it takes is preciseness, patience, and making sure the steak doesn’t exceed the pan time. It is a dish you can make to impress dinner party guests or simply treat yourself to a delicious mid-week meal.



Lesser-Known Cuts of Steak You Need to Try, According To Chef | Yahoo! Life

5 Expert Steak Tips: How You Can Cook a Perfect Steak Every Time | Forbes

How to Cook the Perfect Steak | The Guardian

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