How to pick the perfect steak

0 Published by By on March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

chilcottsbutchery Steak 270x146 How to pick the perfect steak

Here are Dave’s top tips on how to pick the perfect steak (from Chilcott’s Butchers of course!):

1. Take a closer look – Picking a good steak is like choosing a good pair of shoes. Take your time and really look hard at what you’re buying.  If you want lots of juice when you’re cooking, look for white flecks (or marbling). These will melt away during cooking and keep the meat nice and moist.

2. Size matters – If you’re cooking for the family, try to select cuts that are all the same size and thickness so they finish cooking at the same time.

3. Know your steak – Here’s a brief explanation of some of the different steak types: (You can read more about each style by clicking the link and visiting Wikipedia!).


Chuck steak – A cut from neck to the ribs.
Filet Mignon – A cut from the small end of the tenderloin; the most tender and usually the most expensive cut by weight.
Popeseye steak – Thinly sliced rump steak, originating in Scotland and available in the UK.
Rib eye steak, also known as Scotch fillet- This comes from the primal rib used to make prime rib which is typically oven roasted as opposed to grilled as is typical with rib eye. Also known as a Spencer Steak.
Rump steak, round steak, or (French) rumsteak – A cut from the rump of the animal. A true grilling steak with good flavor though it can be tough if not cooked properly.
Sirloin steak – A steak cut from the hip. Also tends to be less tough, resulting in a higher price tag.
T-bone steak and Porterhouse – A cut from the tenderloin and strip loin, connected with a T-shaped bone (lumbar vertebra). The two are distinguished by the size of the tenderloin in the cut. T-bones have smaller tenderloin sections, while the Porterhouse – though generally smaller in the strip – will have more tenderloin. T-bone and Porterhouse steaks are among the most expensive steaks on a menu because of the large individual portion size.

4. Cook it the way you like it
There are many different ways to cook steak, here are some tips:
  • Raw — Uncooked. Used in dishes like steak tartare, Carpaccio, gored gored, tiger meat and kitfo.
  • Seared, Blue rare or very rare — Cooked very quickly; the outside is seared, but the inside is usually cool and barely cooked. The steak will be red on the inside and barely warmed. Sometimes asked for as “blood rare”.
  • Rare — (52 °C [125 °F] core temperature) The outside is grey-brown, and the middle of the steak is red and slightly warm.
  • Medium rare — (55 °C [130 °F] core temperature) The steak will have a fully red, warm center.
  • Medium — (60 °C [140 °F] core temperature) The middle of the steak is hot and red with pink surrounding the center. The outside is grey-brown.
  • Medium well done — (65 °C [150 °F] core temperature) The meat is light pink surrounding the center.
  • Well done — (71 °C [160 °F] and above core temperature) The meat is grey-brown throughout and slightly charred.
  • Overcook — (much more than 71 °C [160 °F] core temperature) The meat is dark throughout and slightly bitter.
5. Choose a great butcher – Find a butcher you know and trust, ask him questions, we’re only to glad to help!
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You can visit David Chilcott Monday to Saturday at Chilcott’s Butchery, Hunters Hill Sydney for advice and tips on any kind of meat.

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