“what all do I need to make a killer steak?”
I hear that question a lot. The easiest answer is very little, hold one over a fire for a few minutes and it will probably be ok. For people looking to dial in on re-creating a dream steak or learning to eat like a king, I started on a list.
When it comes to knives, starting is actually really simple. You want to start with a cheap knife set with decent full-tang knives. (that means the metal extends into the handle) A great starter example is the Cuisinart Forged Knife set from Canadian Tire. You can generally find it on sale for anywhere from 25-70% off. When you see it on sale, grab one.
When you start getting more familiar with using/abusing knives and start spending more time with them, you can probably benefit from exploring higher quality. I am personally a huge fan of Henkel Knives, I have used the set in that pic since I was 18. (Henkel Professional S) I am a big fan of Henkel knives for the weighting (which allows for longer term comfortable use) and the trait of hard high-carbon steel to hold an edge. It makes them a little more work to sharpen, but I prefer them.
Sous Vide Machine
I have to admit, when we first started playing with sous vide cooking techniques, I was very wary of this gizmo. I am a purist when it comes to beef and have never really enjoyed slow cooking. (which I assumed was going to be similar)
When we first started testing the Anova Precision Cooker I have to admit we were blown away. The ability to control exactly the time and temperature makes the cooking process exact and with each new cook you are perfecting your finish. We could not duplicate how the Anova is able to ensure exact doneness,
Cast Iron (Enamel)
Cast Iron is well known as the best surface for cooking beef. it’s ability to hold high levels of heat without being damaged allows you to transfer that heat evenly and quickly into the perfect sear for a steak.
Cast iron is the tool advised for anyone cooking indoors for sure. Your best bet for a cast iron pan is a Canadian Tire Sale as well. Once you buy one, follow THESE STEPS to prep it for use. They are a bit more expensive than the basic stainless steel pan you may already use, but with the right care, a cast iron pan could last you.. forever?
My personal choice is cast iron enamel, a variant where an enamel finish is added to the outside of the pan/pot/dutch oven. Le Creuset is my go-to company for cast iron enamel cookware and I advise trying it out once you feel confident with cast iron.
The right salt is really important with steak. (and really everything)
I am a fan of Maldon Sea Salt for post-cook seasoning.
When you season a steak to cook, use a Kosher Salt which you can grab easily from any grocery store. It is very inexpensive and alongside pepper is the coat you want on the steak before you cook it.
When that steak comes out of the pan, is rested and ready to eat, when you sprinkle some Maldon salt on there, you will understand exactly why I am so specific about it. Grab Maldon Salt from The Cheese Encounter. (grab some cheese too)
Fat is the medium you sear your steak in. I have always been a big fan of 75% oil and 25% butter. (for searing, if you are basting then switch those numbers)
Now, the reason for that is because the oil generally has a higher smoke point (the amount of heat it can take before visibly smoking) and the butter brings it’s own flavour.
That being said, olive oil is fine for home usage, but grapeseed oil does have a higher smoke point. The butter should be un-salted because you want to control the amount and type of salt being added to your beef.
Both Oil and Butter are easily sourced from any grocery store, I have yet to find any particular reason to really dial in on a brand.