Cooking a Perfect Steak

Cooking the Perfect Steak

As a food blogger, I love conveying my message through words. As a photographer, I love capturing my message in images. But with some things, like cooking, you need to hear the sounds, smell the aromas, taste the flavors and feel the ingredients with your hands to really get the full picture. Unfortunately my experiments with inventing a device to broadcast the later three things haven’t been very successful. Luckily, there’s video, which helps me convey some of those things with the addition of motion and sound. That’s why I try to do video to accompany my posts as much as my schedule allows.

Since it’s always been my philosophy that anyone can cook well without a recipe by understanding a few basic techniques, I figured what better way to get started than to show you how to make the perfect steak. After all, what could be more basic than cooking meat? It’s been around since man started chasing his fellow mammals around with spears, and eating a juicy medium-rare steak satisfies on such a primal level.

But as simple as a steak may seem, it’s important to understand a few basic things about the laws of thermodynamics. They are after all, what separates a raw slab of flesh from a superlative steak. Check out the latest episode of No Recipes to see how I make the perfect steak.

  • Anonymous

    Try salting the steak heavily a good 30-60 minutes before you cook it. As in cover it with a good tablespoon or two on each side and letting it rest at room temperature for that time. Then rinse off all the salt and extract moisture and cook as you did. The salt serves to denature (relax) the protein as well as season it. Try it!

  • Dluehr

    Marc, great job on your you-tube steak video. It was very informative and fun to watch!

  • Dluehr

    How long does it really take to bring a steak to room temp? Has anyone tried butter poaching a steak and then searing it off?

    • Anonymous

      Depends on how cold the steak is and ambient temperature of your kitchen,
      but I usually leave it out for 20-30 minutes. As for butter poaching it
      results in more evenly medium rare steaks. I prefer the gradation of steaks
      cooked over high temperatures, but the richness of the butter and nutty
      crust it forms is nice, particularly with leaner cuts like filet mignon.

      • AN

        I leave the steak out for 2 hours before cooking, which is the time I’ve repeatedly heard referenced by Michelin-starred chefs. I sear on medium-high so it takes a little longer but forms a super crunchy crust and because the steak has really come to room temp, by the time that crust is done the steak has reached a perfect rare-medium rare.
        I also cook it in ghee, which gives unbelievable flavour!

  • Katherine Grace Jonas

    Hi Marc,

    I’ve been a reader of your site for about a year, and have enjoyed all you enthusiasm and originality. Thank you for sharing your non-recipes!


  • Hannah @ Bake5!

    That steak looks incredible! Here’s a question though, to cook a 200g tenderloin, how long on each side should I cook to medium well? (:

    • Anonymous

      Great question, but it’s hard to give exact times. There are so many
      factors that can influence how long it will take to cook. How hot the
      pan is, how cold the steak is, even your elevation. Some chefs use the
      touch test to determine how done the steak is, but this takes practice
      to master. The only sure way to know exactly how well done a steak is,
      is to use a meat thermometer. Medium well (not pink in the center) is
      around 150 degrees F.

      As for how long to sear on each side, it’s the same amount of time for
      rare or well done. You want to cook it on the stove until the meat has
      a brown crust each side. It’s the time in the oven that will change
      whether the steak is rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, or well

  • DessertForTwo

    Hi Marc! I just wanted to say thanks so much for your presentation at the photography session on Saturday. You were very helpful! I loved that you preached that inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras can take good photos! I can’t wait to buy the light bulb and a dimmer like you recommended :)

  • Rachel (S[d]OC)

    I know what you mean about the issues with being unable to convey smell and taste. Licking the screen when I saw this steak photo was so unsatisfying!

  • Jamie

    I am hoping to finally see your video! I absolutely loved the trailer! And I agree with you that video adds many layers of food that one cannot convey in words and photos. Sadly I’ll have to try again later as the video would not show for me. :-(

  • Claudia

    Great video Marc, and lots of good tips on the perfect steak. I have been doing most of what you demonstrated, but here is a clear case of always being able to learn something new. I won’t put any oil next time, and only have the oven at 350F for the last bit.

  • Sharlene

    Your videos are so useful and they help us get to know your personality a bit better than just words on a page. Congratulations on making it into the next round! This video will definitely be bookmarked for future reference!

  • Aboxofkitchen

    konnichiha, Marc-san! greeting from Sendai!
    I`m new to your blog but I`m sure I`d be a routine visitor as I`ve seen in a glance there`s soooo many many things here I seem to enjoy to read. Your video is nice too! I`m a well-done meat eater, but it`s good to know how to prepare a steak from a real chef.

  • Mariko

    Yep, this is awesome. Very informative. I never heard of turning off the oven after putting it in. I will try it.
    What cut did you use? I see a bone in there but can’t quite identify it.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a 28 day dry aged ribeye steak. Probably my favorite cut because
      of the bone, and fat content.

      • Mariko

        I need to find a butcher over here.

  • Norma823

    My husband tells me I make a mean steak, but I learned something new from you today.

    Great seeing you in San Fran and looking for ward to the next challenge.

  • Pingback: A bowl, slab and handful of comfort |

  • Amelia from Z Tasty Life

    Very educational! I did not know about the cast iron pan.
    I LOL at the “squirts cow juices all over your mouth” 😀

  • Chez Us

    Great video Marc! I love the little joy cook you are using. We have one & it is always a party pleaser. As well, this steak is done just the way we like them – simple, delicious with lots of cow juices!!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    Grat Video! and incredible photos!! Thanks for your help while I was in NYC!

  • Rich

    Nicely done! I like the insight and … I really, really like the look of that steak.

  • Joan Nova

    It seemed like a simple subject but I actually learned a few things. Nice job on the video…I felt like I was watching an episode on FoodTV.

    P.S. Love your purple splashboard!! And mitt!

  • TW Barritt at Culinary Types

    Beautifully done! And, so was the video!

  • From Buenos Aires to Paris

    Well, what can I say? I’m Argentinian…so you have me drooling here!! Well done!
    Simple things (in appearance) are what most people ignore!

  • Daydreamerdesserts

    You pretty much covered all the bases when it comes to cooking a perfect steak, nicely done! BTW, you are a total natural on camera. :)

  • Karen

    Wow! I smiled all the way through this great and informative video. You belong in front of a camera with your nice smile. Good tips on cooking up a perfect steak.

  • Savory Sweet Living

    Very informative, and you also show your sense of humor which I love. I remember the first time I cook steak on the stove top, my husband thought I was crazy since he claimed his dad makes the best steak and he only cooks it on the grill. I think a lot of people don’t know you could make a perfect steak on the stove top, and you did a fabulous job showing them how.

  • sippitysup

    Every tip you offer is perfect, and I am not just saying that because this is exactly how I do it to. Nice cut of meat too. Great job. GREG

  • Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot

    Awesome video and very informative! I’ve never attempted making a steak because I’m sure I’d disappoint myself. I have very high standards when it comes to steak since I grew up on filet mignon. Good luck in the challenge!

  • Mhel B

    Great informative video! I agree with you. One of the reason why I rarely blog these past few days, is i’m getting kinda lazy in putting down into words on how to make a certain dish. the measurements, ratios, and step by step process is tedious FOR ME. Because I rarely follow exact measurements, i just approximate, I sometimes do short cuts. So what happens is that every time i cook something, i am obliged to take note of whatever i did and how much i added this and that. Your blog / video is refreshing for me, and kind of liberating in a sense, that someone out there thinks the same way (im not alone, thinking if I can only share a recipe-less recipe, if that made sense). You definitely have my vote!

  • Anonymous

    You have a nice presence on film. hee hee, I especially liked the random noises (boing! MOO!), they really added some character to the video. Great tips!

  • Katie

    Love your video! I want a steak.

  • The Cuisinerd

    I’m suddenly craving some serious steak action – nicely done!!

  • Thekitchenwitchblog

    I’m a big fan of the cast iron pan. It’s perfect for cooking a steak when it’s too cold to use the grill. You’re video was great, first one I’ve watched all the way through.

  • Sara @CaffeIna

    Great post and video Marc! i always complain that I am not really good at cooking meat in general and steaks in particular. Now I have no excuses you gave me some wonderful tips!

  • Bunkycooks

    Good luck advancing to the next round, Marc! I’m with you on the cast iron skillet. That is definitely my first choice when cooking a steak indoors.

  • Laurie

    Great job!!

  • Jen E @ Mommablogsalot

    Really great video – informative and enjoyable to watch!

  • SpicieFoodie

    Great video and tips! I learned a lot, thanks. Best of luck & continued success on the PFB.

  • Lori Lynn

    That is one mouthwatering steak Marc! Great video and tips, Good luck!
    P.S. Loved the trailer too!

  • Lana

    Sometimes the simplest dishes are hardest to prepare well. I cook my steaks in the cast iron pan, too, and the results are amazing. There is nothing more disappointing than killing a perfect steak by overcooking it.
    I have to try your method of transferring the pan into the oven and turning it off.
    Great job on the video! I enjoyed your presence in front of the camera. And it’s always nice to put the face and the voice together:)
    Good luck in the next round!

  • bigfatcook

    niceee:) the steak sure looks juicy,:)

  • Debi Shawcross

    Impressive entry! Full of great tips. You have let your witty, charming self shine through in this video with informative cooking instruction all wrapped together.
    And… you have mastered the art of still looking good while talking with your mouth full ( a requirement for anyone hosting a cooking show).


    • Anonymous

      LOL thanks, I never really thought of that as a talent, but I’ll have
      to add that to my resume;-)

  • Janet

    Really great job! Only one thought: For those of us who like our beef extremely rare, we’d leave it less time in oven. And for any doneness level, it’s a good idea to allow the meat to rest after cooking, so that blood redistributes within.

    • Anonymous

      If you like it blue rare (as I like with some cuts) you can actually
      cut the oven time out completely and just let it rest after the sear,
      but you better really trust the place your getting your meat from.

  • Elpi

    good job. .beautiful steak! steak never fail to satisfy my home-cooked meal cravings. This version looks especially tasty.

  • Liren

    Hi Marc! The camera just loves you – you are so effervescent on screen! And the steak is perfect – all the tips are on point. I couldn’t agree with you more about letting the meat come to room temperature before letting it hit the pan!

  • Anonymous

    Steak is one of those things that we mortals can consistently cook as well as any restaurant—as long as we keep a few key things in mind. You’ve covered them here. What a great public service. I also love seeing how much you enjoy being in the kitchen.

  • Anonymous

    can i invest in your new tv show? i most enjoyed you tossing bad ingredients over your shoulder :) -alice

  • DianasaurDishes

    Love the video, you’ve knocked every challenge out of the ballpark!

  • Hungry Jenny

    You made me smile the whole way through, what a fantastic video! My favourite bit was when you said, let’s take a bite, then you take a little nibble and then just shove the whole piece in your mouth, haha.

    Good luck with the challenge, you’ve got my vote!

    Hungry Jenny x

  • Heena @Tiffin Tales

    I love that true to your blog, your video is about technique and not just a recipe. Love your ease and charm in front of the camera. And this makes me CRAVE a good steak. My vote’s in. Good luck!
    P.S. Linked to your site in my latest post.

  • ela

    simple. very informative

  • Varro1369

    well spoken, clear and concise. easy to understand and your manner is pleasant to watch. thanks for the great video!

  • Colloquial Cool

    Just watched this with my dad, he was like “of course, a cast iron” “of course neutral oil” “of course really hot” – he never cooks anything but the steaks, but steaks are his expertise – we just never finish it in the oven so the inside remains raw. French people are a little prehistoric that way.

  • Felix

    Is there no need for having the meet rest when it comes out of the oven for a few minutes or has the temperature of the meet already dropped enough?

    • Anonymous

      It couldn’t hurt to let it rest, but I find that the relatively low
      temperatures in the oven relax the proteins enough so it doesn’t gush juice
      all over the plat when you cut into the steak.

  • Marykattietaylor

    I made the most perfect steak thanks to you! Thank you so much!

  • Alyks42

    When you put salt on the meat, it draws out moisture. The moisture steams the meat, makes it gray.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      That’s why it’s important to salt it just before you put the meat in
      the pan. Also if your pan is hot enough you should not have a problem
      with getting a nice brown sear even if there is a little moisture on
      the surface of the meat.

  • Alyks42

    When you put salt on the meat, it draws out moisture. The moisture steams the meat, makes it gray.

  • Dawn Annmarie Kwiatkowski

    Awsome!! 😉

  • Lillie Johnson Forte

    Hi Marc. Just wanted your “cook a perfect steak”. Great instructions! I like my steak medium to medium well. How long would you recommend leaving in oven.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Lillie, I’m glad to hear the video was helpful. The cooking time depends on a lot of factors including the initial temperature of your meat, the thickness of the steak, and inclusions in the steak such as bone, fat and connective tissue, so it’s really hard to give you a number. If you have a digital thermometer that’s the best way to tell with medium running the range from 140F-150F. If you don’t have a thermometer you can cut the steak in half to see if it’s where you like it.

      • Lillie Johnson Forte

        Affirmative….thanks Marc. I reviewed a lot of your recipes today and really liked what I saw. I’m trying the Orange Chicken tonight. My husband and son simply adore Asian food and so… goes!

  • Debra Alves

    for your steak….you didn’t say the temp of oven?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Temperature is stated at 4:55, but it needs to be preheated to 350 degrees F. Once you put the steak in, turn the oven off and let it finish off with the residual heat in the oven.

  • Debra Alves

    thanks for responding Marc….had a blonde moment!

  • Tony

    Approx how long did u sear each side?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Tony it depends on a lot of factors like how cold your steak is, how dry your steak is and how hot your pan is. The best way to gauge is by looking at the color. It should have a nice golden brown crust.


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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