Cooking a New York Strip Steak

Their is nothing like spending some time in the kitchen at home and learning how to cook a New York Strip steak.  Eating steak is a time honored tradition in the United States.  It is passed down by the cattle rustlers in the great state of Texas.  Their native Texans would like nothing better than to sit down to the table and bite into a juicy New York Strip Steak cooked to perfection over a open flame.

The flavor of a New York Strip steak is second to none with its sizzling crust flavored topped with a choice of seasonings that can be unique to each individual in this world.  But getting a steak that will milt in your mouth does not have to be gotten from a top steak house.  You can produce just as juicy of a steak right in your own kitchen it only takes a few utensils like a grill pan and some seasoning.

For years I slaved over a grill at Red Lobster cooking New York Strip Steaks for the public.  Yes, Red Lobster sells other things other than just seafood.  Now, I want to pass on some of the recipies that I have seen and share them with you. 

Their is not magic seed when cooking a New York Strip Steak.  It is just a matter of obtaining the right cut of steak, seasoning it and cooking it either over a open flame on the grill or using some other type of recipe like frying it.   Either way it is very hard to mess up a steak, it will come out with great flavor and have you wanting more.

Finding The Right Cut Of Steak

As your first task, you need to find the best cut of steak that your budget will allow. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) rates steaks on a number of factors including the degree of marbling and the age of the meat. Marbling is small streaks of fat that are found within the muscle and can be seen in the meat cut. The benifit of marbling come in effect when measuring juciness and flavor and may also have a positive effect on tenderness. That said, meat that does not have marbling will be dry and flavorless. On the opposite end excessive marbling will not guarentee that the steak will be more juicy and flavorable then a moderately marbled steak. So, look for steaks that are in between that have marbling but not an over abundance.

To the right you will see a guide as to the different marbling standards.

Once you have gotten the marbling out of the way you need to look for "USDA Prime" cuts of beaf. Not all grocery stores carry the "USDA Prime" cuts and they may try to pass lower cuts off as prime by providing brand names. So, check out larger grocery chains with butcher shops. They should be able to point you in the right direction and provide you with prime cuts that will milt in your mouth. If you don't have a major grocery chain in your local area, then try a butcher shop that specializes in "USDA Prime" meat.

When looking for a strip steak try to find steaks that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick. If you get a steak any thinner than 1 1/2 inches thick the steaks tend to dry out during cooking leaving a very tough New York Strip steak.

Prepare the Steak

Now we start getting into the good part. Getting the steak ready for cooking. Are you starting to feel hungry yet? Well, you wait is not going to be much longer.

Remember steak like any meat has to be prepared before hand to get the full flavor. That means seasoning the steak, letting it sit for a while so that the steak molecules loosen up providing a texture in the steak that is easy to bit into. So lets get started.

First, pull the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them sit on a clean pan or plate for a hour. Put a clear wrapper on top just to be a little sanitary. This process will bring the temperature down on the meat and provide a even temperature within the meat. Even temperature equals even cooking.

Once the hour has past add a olive oil as a coating onto the steak. Add it to both sides of the steak. Next add salt (Kosher Salt preferred) and pepper to the steak for seasoning. DO NOT ADD SALT BEFORE THE OLIVE OIL. It is believed that the salt with draw out the moisture from the meat. If you don't want to use salt and pepper you can use a steak seasoning rub recipe. This could be of your own recipe or one that you can find on the internet.

Marinating the steak is also an option. Marinating will add a unique flavor to steak. This type of cooking will take a little longer as the steak needs to have time to soak up the marinate into its meat.

How To Cook New York Strip Steak On The Grill

We are now to the point of cooking the steak. Now, you can cook your steak either on the grill or on a grill pan. I would recommend cooking the steak on the grill if this is possible. With the grill you can add hickory chips and such to add even more flavor. But, if cooking on the grill is not possible the second best cooking method is in a grill pan cooked on the stove.

First, you need to prepare the fire. I usually use charcoal for my grills but propane is also very popular these days. Either is fine. Here is a great article for adding woods chips to propane grills. If you have a charcoal gill, but add the wood chips to the charcoal before you light the charcoal. The wood chips provide a smoky flavor to the meat.

Get the grill temperature to around 500 to 600 degrees. This is the perfect temperature for grilling steaks. Remember, you need to cook the inside of the steak also, not just the outside. Higher temperatures will heat the inside of the steak providing a even cooking stream.

Place the steak on the grill. To get the steak house grill marks rotate the steak 180 degrees after placing on the grill the first time. Always turn the steak with tongues. Forks release the juices within the steaks. Once the steak with browned on one side turn it over.

Brown the steak on the other side and cook to your specifications (rare, medium, well done).

Testing a steak by temperature:

Very Rare Steak - 120°
Rare Steak - 125°
Medium-Rare Steak - 130° - 135°
Medium Steak - 140° - 145°
Medium-Well Steak - 150° - 155°
Well-Done Steak - 160°
Testing a steak by visual means:

Very Rare Steak - The center is barely warm with a blood red center.
Rare Steak - Warm throughout and red in the center.
Medium-Rare Steak - fairly hot, pinkish red in the center
Medium Steak - hot throughout, pink in the center, grayish brown surrounding
Medium-Well Steak - trace of pink in middle, grayish brown center 
Well-Done Steak - gray in the center
Now you have the perfect steak, enjoy!!!