How to Order the Steak You Actually Want
Living in these modern times, you are presented with a plethora of dining choices.
You can get the most authentic Japanese food outside of Japan as easily as you can go enjoy a superb local meal. Something that is a favorite option in many places, however, is good old-fashioned steak. It is a classic indulgence, and foodies can’t help but crave it.
Choosing steak for dinner is easy, but when you get to the restaurant, you may find that you don’t actually know enough to order just the steak you’d like to have.
Don’t worry; many have gone to a steakhouse and found themselves floundering. Fortunately, basic steak knowledge is easy enough to acquire. Here is a helpful ordering guide to get you just the steak you want.
The cuts vary in tenderness and flavor. Here are the characteristics of the most popular ones found on the menu of a great steakhouse:
This is one of the tenderest cuts because it is taken from the least worked area of the cow, far away from the hoof and horn. Sourced along the rib area, the ribeye is boneless, though a bone-in version is also available; a larger cut referred to as a “cowboy steak.”
The ribeye usually has more fat that mostly melts during cooking, adding another flavor nuance to the steak. If you’re all about flavor and don’t mind some fatty content, this is a good choice for you.
What’s a strip, and how is a Kansas City Strip different from a New York City Strip? A New York City Strip is a boneless cut from the strip loin after removing it from the short loin. Basically, a Kansas City Strip is the same thing, except that the cut has been left on the bone.
Strip steaks aren’t very fatty, but they have excellent flavor, tenderness, and marbling.
- Filet Mignon
It sounds posh because it is. Elegant and succulent, this is the most tender, buttery, melty cut. This tenderloin is as expensive as it is delicious. Cut from the smallest part of the tenderloin; starting from the short loin and ending in the sirloin, filet mignon is also healthier with lean, but very tender meat.
Another tender steak cut, the porterhouse comes from a section closest to the tail end of a cow.
A combination of tenderloin on one side and strip steak on the other, this cut requires a master to cook it right, or the tenderloin side will end up being overcooked or the strip side, undercooked. If you want two kinds of steak in one, this makes an excellent choice.
If you don’t like dealing with a bone, then go for boneless steaks, but if you love the way the bone lends more flavor and keeps the meat moist, then opt for bone-in cuts.
If you’re stumped when asked how you want your steak cooked, you need to do a bit of introspection because it all boils down to personal preference. Here are some points to ponder when figuring out how you want your steak to be cooked:
This is caramelized on the outside, but cold red in the center. Placed on a hot grill for just a couple of minutes, a rare steak is very juicy.
- Medium Rare
It is rare, but cooked a bit longer, giving you meat that is charred and caramelized on the outside but still cool red in the center.
Nicely charred on the outside, this steak has a warm pink center with less juice.
- Medium Well
This steak is cooked almost all the way through except for the slightest pink in the center. This has almost no juice and is very firm.
- Well Done
Many restaurants issue a disclaimer to those insisting on a well-done steak. A well-done steak has lost its juice and much of its flavor. It can be dry and tough, but whoever orders one shouldn’t complain. They would be getting what they asked for.
This simple guide should equip you with enough know-how to order just the steak you want so you can enjoy it best. The next time you go to a steakhouse, you can give your order without any doubt or hesitation.