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Contributed by Christine Szalay-Kudra

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How Long to Cook a Steak and How to Cook Steak Right

There is no straight answer to the question "how long to cook steak" because it depends on the cut of meat, the quality of the meat and how done you want it. Perhaps you have discovered our easy marinades but you do not know how to cook it or how long to cook it for the best results. No problem - everybody has to start somewhere!

Here are some of the very best tips for cooking steak so it comes out succulent and tender:

  • Trim any fat off to a fourth of an inch to prevent flare-ups and slash the edges of the meat at one-inch intervals so it stays flat whilst cooking.

  • Choose good quality, fresh meat with light marbling for plenty of juiciness and flavor.

  • Let it stand at room temperature for a maximum of half an hour before grilling it. This means it will grill quicker and it will be more tender.

  • If you want to know how to grill it, so they come out tender, start with a very hot grill. A hot grill will sear the meat on the outside, caramelizing the surface, adding flavor, color and texture.

  • To cook an inch thick cut over a medium heat, give it four minutes per side for rare, five minutes for medium and six minutes for well done.

  • When the bottom is brown, turn the meat over with tongs. Do not use a fork or the juices will drip out and it will not be as juicy.

If you are wondering how to bake a steak, make sure you are using the right type of meat. A top quality cut will do better on the grill rather than baking because it will not dry out as easily. Braising needs to be cooked over a low heat for a long time in some kind of liquid to make it tender and juicy.

A good way to check for doneness if you are broiling or grilling it is to feel the muscle at the base of your thumb while you touch your forefinger to your thumb. That is what rare feels like when you press it. For medium, press your thumb to your middle finger, for medium well press your thumb to your ring finger and for well done press your thumb to your baby finger. With a bit of practice you will be able to tell how done the meat is without feeling your thumb muscle but this is a great way to learn.

Average Grilling Times for Steak

Rare:

If your cut of meat is an inch thick, give it two minutes on one side and three on the other. If it is an inch and a half thick, give it five minutes on one side and six on the other. If it is two inches thick, seven minutes on the first side and eight minutes on the other side should be fine.

Medium:

An inch thick steak will need four minutes per side, an inch and a half thick cit will take seven minutes on the first side and eight on the second and a two inch steak takes about nine minutes on the first side and ten on the other.

Well Done:

A piece of meat, which is an inch thick, will take about five minutes on the first side and six on the second side. An inch and a half thick cut will need about nine minutes on the first side and ten on the second and a two inch thick piece will need ten minutes on the first side and eleven on the second side.