As the delicious flavor of the first bite of steak from your favorite steakhouse greets your taste buds, you really wonder if anything can compare to this sublime flavor and texture. You’ve become determined, once again, to recreate this delicacy in your own kitchen.
In the following weeks, you spend countless hours in the kitchen and at the grill experimenting with all varieties of seasonings, marinades, tenderizing methods, and so on. Somehow, though, that steak you got from the steakhouse continues to taste soar above your efforts to reincarnate the unbeatable flavor. Why, you wonder, is this so? What do they know that I don’t?
Steakhouses are experts at preparing, flavoring, and cooking their steaks to perfection. Because of their expertise, home grilled steaks rarely reach that professional level. Though the art of cooking a perfect steak takes lots of time and effort, here are a few methods that steakhouses employ when getting their steaks ready to consume.
USDA Prime beef is what you will find in the kitchens of high-end steakhouses. Since this high grade beef accounts for such a low percentage of beef, its scarcity means that restaurants and hotels actually purchase most of the supply. On top of it being Prime beef, the restaurant you eat at most likely ages their meat for a couple weeks in order to intensify its flavor and give it the perfect tender texture. The environment required for aging is very particular and controlled, of course.
The main pieces of equipment that restaurants use to achieve their unique flavors include meat lockers to store the meat as it ages. Some also use wood burning grills and high-tech broilers that cook the meat at extremely high temperatures.
Are steaks actually grilled?
Surprisingly for most, many restaurants do not grill their steaks. In fact, they broil them in professional broilers that cook the meat at very high temperatures. At the end of this process, they sear the outside of the meat on a very hot surface to give it that outer crispiness most people crave (If you wish to mimic this process at home without having to purchase such a broiler, some have reported a degree of success using a cast iron pan).
Because meat you get at the steakhouse is meticulously aged, which enhances the flavor — and because the meat is of very high quality to begin with — steakhouse meat does not require a great deal of seasoning. Commonly, steakhouses season their steaks with salt, pepper, and butter.
Achieving that delicious flavor
Grilling you own steak at home can be fun — but will it ever come close to the true steakhouse experience? With a lot of experience and experimentation, it certainly could — but remember, steakhouse chefs and managers are masters in their field. The flavor they achieve in the steaks from their kitchens is difficult to recreate at home without the proper equipment and skill. That’s not to say home-grilled steak can’t be very satisfying and delicious — but there’s just something about sitting down at your favorite steakhouse, knowing that you’re about to receive the best of the best.