All things steak

Learn the ins & outs of each cut, how to prep your steak, and how to cook your steak with perfect results. The goal of this steak guide is to help anyone cook up a perfect Snake River Farms steak.

Filet Mignon

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You love steak with a pure, light beef flavor and texture so tender you can cut it with a butter knife.

This popular cut is also known as the tenderloin, which is the perfect name because it is without a doubt the most tender cut of beef available. The filet mignon is low in fat, mild in flavor and buttery in texture. The melt-in-your-mouth texture is the calling card of this steak.

Ribeye

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You want a steak that’s marbled, juicy and packed full of rich beef flavor.

For many, this is the very definition of “steak” due to its high level of marbling. All that intramuscular fat makes ribeyes the most juicy and flavorful steak. When cut in the traditional style, there is a savory layer of fat and the intensely flavored cap. Ribeye filets are cut from the center or “eye” of the ribeye section for a boneless steak that is easy to cut and eat with minimal waste.

New York Strip Steak

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Your idea of a perfect steak is one with beefy flavor and firm texture you can really sink your teeth into.

The New York Strip is a steak house classic and is known for good marbling and strong beef flavor. This is a steak with a definite grain that’s tender, but pleasingly firm to the bite.

T-Bone

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You believe “variety is the spice of life” and enjoy having a filet mignon with your strip steak.

These two well-loved cuts are two-steaks-in-one, with a New York strip on one side and a tenderloin on the other. T-bones are the smaller of the two steaks because they’re cut from the front end of the short loin. The Porterhouse is cut from the larger end of the short loin and has a larger tenderloin portion.

Sirloin

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You like a steak that’s lean, full-flavored with a nice chewy bite.

Steaks cut from the top sirloin are a great value due to their excellent flavor and lower price relative to the “Big Four” steaks listed above. These boneless steaks have little fat and are well known for their beefy flavor and moderate tenderness.

Flat Iron

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You love well-marbled tender beef, but also enjoy saving a few bucks on your steak.

The flat iron steak is a favorite of butchers and beef experts due to its uniform size and delicious taste. It’s sometimes called a top blade steak and comes from the shoulder or chuck. The flat iron features intense marbling, robust beef flavor and a tender texture but costs less than other more well-known cuts.

Defrost

The best way to thaw a frozen steak is to place it in the refrigerator and allow to slowly defrost. Place your packaged steaks on a plate or baking sheet to catch any liquid that might escape during the thawing process.

Our steaks range in size from 6 ounces all the way up to 3 pounds. Small steaks can thaw in a matter of hours and the large ones can take a couple days. While we enjoy a good impromptu grill-fest, planning ahead will ensure you get the best results possible.

Speed Thaw

OK, we get it. Sometimes you just need to eat now and your steak is still frozen solid. Keep your steaks in their package, place in a pot or large bowl and place in the sink. Run a stream of cool water over the steak and fill the container. Some folks like to keep the water running to facilitate thawing, but we’ve had good results without wasting our precious H2O.

Once your steak is fully thawed, remove it from the packaging, pat dry with a paper towel, loosely cover and allow to sit at room temperature for up to an hour. While not critical, this is a great way to let your beef warm slightly and improve the end results.

Oil

A neutral vegetable oil is highly recommended for any steak preparation in a skillet. Canola is a common and popular choice. We frequently use grape seed oil in our kitchen because it has a light clean flavor and a high smoke point of about 420 degrees.

Seasoning

A well-seasoned steak is a delicious steak. Kosher salt is our standby for salt, although we like having a nice flakey finishing salt on hand to shower on our steak before serving. There are many schools of thought on when to salt. Our go-to method is to apply liberally right before placing in the skillet or on the grill.

There’s only one kind of pepper in our book and that’s fresh-ground. The fine, dried variety is not as flavorful. You can add pepper when you salt your steaks. Perfectionists wait to when their steak has been removed from the grill or skillet to avoid any chance of imparting a burnt flavor to the meat.

Thermometer

A good quality instant-read thermometer is a must for cooking a perfect steak. There are numerous options available, but we use and recommend the high quality and accurate thermometers from Thermoworks. The Thermapen (about $100) is the top pick by top chefs and particular home cooks, but we’ve had great results with the Thermopop which runs about $30.

Steak House Method


The classic way to prepare a steak. Works best for steaks 1.5” and thicker.


SEASON

Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add a light coat of vegetable oil to the skillet. Season steaks with salt and pepper.


SEAR

Place steaks in hot skillet and sear for 4 minutes, turning once. If a steak sticks to the skillet, it’s not ready to turn. Wait until it releases on its own.


COOK

Place skillet in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes depending on desired doneness. Turn once half way through the cooking time. Remove from oven when preferred internal temperature is reached. See chart for a suggested temperatures.


REST

Remove steaks from a skillet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. The steaks will continue to cook and the temperature will rise about 5 degrees.

Searing


A fast and easy way to cook steaks 1.25” or thinner.


SEASON

Heat a heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) over medium heat until hot. Add a light coat of vegetable oil to the skillet. Season top side of steaks with salt and pepper.


SEAR

Place steaks, seasoned side down, in skillet and sear 4 to 5 minutes until nicely browned. Season the top side of the steak with salt and pepper. If the steak sticks to the skillet, it’s not ready to turn. Wait until it releases on its own.


FLIP

Turn steaks over and allow to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. After 2 to 3 minutes, use a thermometer to test the thickest part of the steak. When the temperature reaches the desired level, remove from the skillet. Remove steaks from a skillet and serve

Here are the magic numbers you’ll need to determine when your steak is cooked to the degree of doneness you most prefer. The internal temp is when the steak should be removed from the heat. The steak will continue to cook so the temperature will rise during the rest period.