One of the most common questions asked on cooking blogs or culinary shows is how recreational cooks can recreate the experience of a steakhouse dinner at home. How does one achieve the succulent flavor, charred crust, and tender inside of a perfectly cooked steak? In fact, many foodies consider a steakhouse meal to be one that cannot be replicated at home and therefore an extra special treat. There are a number of reasons why a steakhouse meal is often left to the professionals.

For one, many steakhouses do have equipment that most home chefs do not have access to. Broilers in a high-end steakhouse can reach temperatures exceeding 750° Fahrenheit, much hotter than most at-home ovens. Additionally, part of the reason that a professionally prepared steak is so hard to recreate is that steakhouse chefs often go through special training to learn how to select and prepare phenomenal steaks. Read on to learn more about what it takes to become a stand out steakhouse chef.

Steakhouse Chef Training

All chefs who have a culinary degree will take courses related to the preparation of meat and different cooking techniques. Apart from this general education, chefs hoping to secure a job in a high-end steakhouse will often take additional courses related to butchery, grilling, and steak preparation. Through these courses, steakhouse chefs will expand their body of knowledge and expertise in selecting, preparing, and cooking top of the line steaks.

In addition to this academic training, steakhouse chefs often get their foot in the door by working at a lesser-known steakhouse or as a sous chef in a prestigious steakhouse. Through years of experience, steakhouse chefs are able to hone their craft, learn from other experts, and perfect their skills when it comes to steak preparation. When ordering steak at a high-end steakhouse, it isn’t uncommon for diners to ask the steak to be cooked “how the chef recommends” to take advantage of this expertise.

Choosing a High Quality Steakhouse

If you find yourself craving a perfectly cooked steak, your best bet for satisfying your urge is to head to a high quality steakhouse. Like any other type of restaurant, steakhouses run the gamut from mediocre cookie cutter chains, to high-end institutions with white linen and all the bells and whistles. While most of us can’t afford a top-of-the-line steakhouse every day of the week, there are plenty of quality options that are more wallet-friendly if you take the time to look.

Finding the best possible steakhouse to fit your budget will require doing a bit of research. Read reviews online and check out restaurant websites to get a sense of customer satisfaction and value. Once you’ve settled on a steakhouse, take advantage of the staff’s expertise by asking for recommendations on cuts of meat and sides. Steak generally isn’t a meal that one eats all the time, so it’s worth doing the research necessary to ensure the experience is special. And if you really want to recreate a professional steak at home, you can get there — it just takes training and practice!