The Minimalist's Tips for Perfect Steak

No need to go out for a perfectly cooked steak. Mark Bittman, aka the Minimalist, shares his tips for achieving steakhouse-quality perfection in your own kitchen.

What Cut to Use?

If you can buy prime beef (this essentially means it is fat-laced, or well marbled), you are ahead of the game. Fat means flavor. But a good cut of choice grade is often the equal of prime. Aging, of course, also improves flavor and tenderness. But even if you find prime meat that is well aged, and even if you spend a lot of money on organic, natural, specialty or so-called gourmet steaks, you won't be eating anything special unless you buy the right cut.

So, what is the right cut? To some degree it's a matter of opinion. Some people will argue for flank, but I don't believe any steak that must be sliced thin to be chewable qualifies as terrific. Others (myself included) like skirt, with the caution that it is easy to overcook. But almost everyone agrees that sirloin strip and rib-eye are best.

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