8 Ways to Take Your Steak Game to the Next Level

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Photo By: Jackie Alpers

Raise the Steaks

No matter how you slice it, a juicy steak is a thing of beauty. But there’s always room for some delicious improvement. Raise the bar for how you cook steak at home with these 8 easy ideas for taking it over the top.

Make a Marinade

With a little planning, it’s easy to give an inexpensive cut of meat like skirt steak depth of flavor: just let it linger in a marinade to soak up the flavors. Marcela’s simple, top-rated recipe calls for soy sauce, citrus, garlic, onion and a cup of your favorite lager. Spend 10 minutes throwing it all together, let the ingredients marry with the meat for an hour and enjoy the added layer of flavors.

Season Liberally

One of the quickest and most foolproof ways to add bold flavor to steaks is with a blend like McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning, a mix of peppers, garlic and spices. Shake on 1 tablespoon of seasoning per pound of meat, and grill to perfection. Done!

Whip Up a Compound Butter

Adding a pat of compound butter to a hot-off-the-grill steak may look and seem like a fancy move, but the truth is it couldn’t be easier. Simply mix a little salt, pepper, and savory green herbs like chives, oregano and parsley into unsalted, room temperature butter. Then transfer it to parchment paper and form a log. Roll it up, securing each end of the paper with a twist. Firm the butter up in the refrigerator or freezer, and add a slice to the tops of steaks or veggies for instant richness and herbaceousness.

Go Surfing (and Turfing)

There’s a reason this classic pairing never goes out of style: gilding the lily with a succulent shrimp or lump crabmeat set atop a juicy steak is always a good idea.

Use a Finishing Salt

Instead of seasoning your steak completely before cooking, try this method. Add about a third the amount of fine-grain salt you normally would to season the meat. Cook and rest your steak, slice it up, and add large flakes of sea salt or a finishing salt to the slices for flavor and crunchy texture that explodes in your mouth.

Get Saucey

Forget the jarred stuff. A great steak demands a homemade sauce…or two. Rachael makes a duo in her recipe for Strip Steaks with Two Sauces. One’s a slightly spicy, classic tomato-based steak sauce, the other’s a perfectly-pungent salsa verde packed with garlic, herbs and vinegar. 

Smoke it Out

No smoker? No problem. Impart smoky flavor with chips or chunks of hardwood like hickory, cherry, pecan or mesquite. Simply soak the wood for an hour before adding it to your grill in a smoking box or tucked inside aluminum foil, punctured a few times to let the smoke escape.

Pepper with Flavor

Steak au Poivre is another option that looks impressive, but secretly takes just a few minutes of prep time. Alton walks you through the process in his 5-star recipe: crush whole peppercorns using a heavy skillet or a mortar and pestle, then press them into both sides of beef tenderloin steaks. Sear the steaks to medium-rare perfection, and make a quick pan sauce with heavy cream and Cognac while they rest.

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