Raising the steaks: Scientist reveals how to cook the perfect steak – and claims you should use a MICROWAVE (and ditch the salt!)
Every home cook may have their tried and true method for preparing the perfect steak.
But science suggests you probably did it wrong.
Physicist George Vekinis claims that most people’s cooking techniques result in dry, tough meat.
Instead of opting for the grill or a frying pan, Mr Vekinis claims the perfect steak should be cooked in the microwave – and never salted.
Salting the steak removes water from the meat and creates something that is ‘tough and inedible’.
Science says you’ve been cooking your steak all wrong. To get the perfect cut, discard the salt and preheat the steak in the microwave for a few minutes
Although it may not seem appetizing, science suggests that the best steaks should be left unsalted and microwaved before cooking.
“Salt should never be put on a steak before it is cooked,” Vekinis said on the BBC podcast Instant Genius.
‘Salt has the osmotic ability to remove as much water as possible from the meat, making it tough and inedible.’
If you want to season your steak, Mr Vekinis advises that it is best to do this after the cooking process is complete, to prevent any more water from escaping from the steak.
The other big mistake people make is cooking the steak while it’s still cold from the refrigerator, which he says is a “no-no.”
“If you cook it straight from the refrigerator, you’re not actually heating the meat from the inside,” he explained.
Because steaks are heated directly for only a short time, the energy from the pan does not take long to transfer to the meat.
Although the surface of the meat may cook just as quickly, the inside of a cold steak will take much longer to cook, resulting in a burnt outside or raw inside.
To prevent this, Mr Vekinis recommends heating the steak in the microwave for a while before frying.
“It’s always a good idea to heat the meat in a microwave first,” he said.
After salting, Mr. Vekinis recommends cooking each side for a maximum of one minute, just to add some color and flavor
Mr Vekinis recommends microwaving it for ‘one to two minutes’, although he added that it ‘depends on the thickness of the meat’.
“Then you fry it quickly, very briefly, as briefly as possible, to give it just that little bit of Maillard reaction on the surface so you get this light aroma and the pleasure of the taste,” he explained.
‘When I say short, I’m talking about a minute at the most. You take a steak or beef or whatever and cook it as little as possible on both sides.’
Mr Vekinis added: ‘The ideal way to eat the meat is medium rare, so it will be a little red and overcooked on the outside.
‘The only way to be completely sure of this is to either start with a thin piece of meat or with a thicker piece of meat that has been thoroughly heated in the microwave.
‘The temperature in the meat must be at least 55-60°C and that is absolutely minimum.’
Leaving meat too rare can increase the risk of food poisoning because it can contain harmful bacteria.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends heating fresh meat, such as steaks, to a minimum temperature of 62°C (145°F) to ensure safety.
However, that is still more than 7°C higher than the temperatures needed to achieve the perfect medium rare that Mr Vekinis prefers.
However, rare steak is slightly safer than rare ground meat because the majority of bacteria cannot penetrate the surface of the meat and the rare inside can still be safe in some cases.
Keep in mind that beef and other meats are eaten raw all over the world in dishes like steak tartare or beef carpaccio.
However, if you are in doubt, it is always safer to cook to the recommended safe temperature using a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy and safety.
However, Mr Vekinis’ advice may rile up some celebrity chefs who turn their noses up at microwaved unsalted steak.
According to Gordon Ramsey’s own recipe, the steak should be generously rubbed with salt before cooking.
Jamie Oliver’s recipe also contradicts Mr Vekinis’ theory as he recommends rubbing steaks with salt, pepper and olive oil before cooking.
American chef and food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who is known for his scientific approach to cooking, also disagrees with Mr Vekinis’ claims.
Mr Lopez-Alt compared the results of four steaks seasoned at different times before cooking to see which was seared the best. in an article for Serious Eats.
Steaks cooked three to four minutes after seasoning sear worse because osmosis drew water to the surface, disrupting the chemical reactions that produce the brown, tasty crust.
However, he found that steaks salted immediately before cooking had excellent searing and were not affected by osmosis.
Likewise, best results were achieved by salting the steak the night before and letting it rest in the refrigerator.
Mr Lopez-Alt found that this dried the steak for better searing and only a negligible loss of moisture of five percent.