While seated at the steakhouse enjoying your favorite cut, little do you ever take time to think about what it takes to make it delicious. What you do not know is that there is more to what it looks like behind those counters. Some secrets have been kept from you by steakhouse managers and they are the reasons no matter how much you try to prepare steak at home, you cannot come anywhere close to what steakhouses offer. This article unravels those little best kept secrets.
- It is All About Practice
Unlike us who use instant read thermometers to check how cooked our steaks are while preparing some at home, chefs at steakhouses do not have to use thermometers. This is because by observing how long a cut has been cooking in the boiler, professional chefs have mastered and perfected the art of knowing how long and at what degrees it should cook, without the use of a thermometer. However, this takes lots of time, attentiveness and practice to perfect.
- Lots of Butter
Fats are responsible for the marbling that makes your most favorite cut so flavorful and juicy. Therefore, steakhouses knowing this are prepared to go a notch higher in a bid to make their cuts as juicy and flavorful as possible. Since butter is full of the much-needed animal fats that can make a less marbled cut juicer and more flavorful, they use lots of it. Most of the time, it is added to the frying pan before placing the cut. If you are trying to cut some extra weight, you might want to keep off those marbled cuts and try to prepare your cut at home.
- Wet and Dry Aging is Sometimes Done at the Steakhouse
The texture of a steak solely depends on the nature of the animal from which it was harvested. For that reason, some are overly juicy while some are so hard, so they need dry or wet aging. Wet aging is the process of storing an overly dry cut in humidity-controlled conditions to make it tenderer and juicer. On the other hand, dry aging is the process of removing excess juices from a cut by storing it in controlled temperatures. A steakhouse can outsource these dry/wet-aged cuts, while others usually do this in their storage rooms, and this is no problem at all.
- Superheat Creates the Crust
Have you ever tried to cook your steak at home but could not come anywhere close to the type of cuts prepared at steakhouses? Well, that is because you were not able to control the temperatures perfectly so that your cut cooks even. What steakhouses do to achieve the mouth-watering dark brown crust on their steaks is by cooking them in their infrared super-heated boilers. These have digital temperature controls that help them set the desired levels of temperatures that a particular cut would cook in. This allows heat to penetrate the cut evenly, forming the crust while preventing burning.
- The Steaks Have High Calories
What most of us out here do not know is that those sweet looking marbled steaks have high contents of calories than their less marbled counterparts. This is because marbling is because of the fats present in that particular cut. In addition, the butter and cooking oils used to cook the steak add to the calories in the cut.
- Steak Thickness is For a Reason
Most of the cuts at a steakhouse are more than an inch thick for two reasons; one is for the cut to look more appealing. The other reason is for it to allow the cut to stay longer in the superheated boiler so that caramelizing crust can form on its surface without overcooking the steak. A thinner cut can burn in the boiler or the crust will not form.
- More and More Salt
Steakhouse chefs usually apply lots of kosher salt on every square inch of a cut, before it goes into the boiler, to make it even sweeter and flavorful. You may have never realized this because when it is fully cooked and presented at your table, it does not taste salty.
The above discussion shows the dedication and the hustles that chefs at steakhouses go through to make your steak flavorful and juicy. These secrets should help you do things differently while preparing your steaks at home. This information should also help you appreciate the efforts of chefs even better.