You invest a lot of time and money into the steaks for a special occasion and when dinner time comes, they are tough. What happened? How can you cook steaks as tender as your favorite restaurant?
The first step to cooking a good steak is to choose the right grade of steak. Good graded beef is an acceptable grade of beef that has only minimal marbling of fat. It is leaner, but may not be as tender as USDA Prime or Choice.
Next, look at the color and texture of the meat. A good steak should be firm to the touch, moist, and bright in color. It should be well marbled with thin streaks of white fat throughout and a thin crust of steak on the outside. In our fat conscious society, we tend to look for lean cuts of meat, but the thin streaks of white fat marbled throughout the meat are the key to a tender juicy steak.
The most tender and juicy steaks come from the sirloin, the short loin, and the rib. These steaks include the sirloin steaks, porterhouse steaks, t-bone steaks, rib steaks, delmonico steaks, and the filet mignons. Steaks containing bone will weigh more than those without, but the bone adds flavour to the steak.
Aging is a desirable process that intensifies the flavors and makes the meat more tender. Aged steaks are more expensive and usually only found in high end supermarkets and specialty markets. An aged steak is recognizable by its darker colour.
Once you have purchased your steak, you can further increase the tenderness and juiciness by marinating it.