How To Get the Perfect Steak Crust
By: Jack Mancuso
There’s a lot of chatter among people who love meat about how to make that perfect steak crust. It’s likely if you ask, you’ll get many “tried and true” methods. I have an approach that works beautifully that I’d like to share with you.
One thing. Look for a steak that’s about 1 ½ inches thick. Also, you want one with good marbling. The better quality steak you choose, the better the results.
Dry the steak in your refrigerator for 1-3 days. Why? A dryer exterior makes for a better crisp.
Bring the steak to room temperature. Using a Chef’s Knife, lightly score the steak.
1 hour before cooking, sprinkle some sea salt on the steak evenly. You can also look at other spice options like Cuso’s Gravel Seasoning. The great thing about Gravel is that it adds to the crust you’re developing.
Ah, the pan. I prefer cast iron, but you can use carbon steel or stainless as alternatives. Heat up the pan over high heat.
Once the pan is heated, press the steak onto the surface (for an even crust). Do not move the steak. Leave it for about 1-3 minutes. You can use tongues to peek and see if it needs more time.
Once the first side has developed crust, flip the steak over and sear the second side. Again, push the steak down so it lies flat.
Baste both sides of the steak with a generous amount of butter.
Move the steak into the oven under the broiler (350F). Watch the internal temperature. You’re looking for 125F for medium rare (it will come up 5 degrees while resting). For a thick steak, you will probably need another 2 minutes on each side.
So, what’s the big deal about steak crust? There are four things you can depend on when you crust a steak properly.
- The meat won’t get soggy
- The texture has a great mouth feel
- You can’t beat the flavor
- Makes for an impressive presentation
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