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Jul 6, 2009 11:27 AM

Prime NY steaks, what to do?

I have 2 gorgeous prime strip steaks and wondered what's the best way to address these puppies? I'm thinking pan sear in hot cast iron and finish in the oven till they hit about 135-140, then resting for ten minutes (the steaks, not me!). Was gonna season with S&P right before searing. Should I be doing anything else? I'm trying not to mask these steaks w/ lots of marinade or heavy seasoning. Any tips or advice on successful recipes and/or cooking methods would be swell. I have a gas grill and a good broiler in my trusty old 1962 GE wall oven. TIA, adam

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  1. Seems to me you have everything covered.

    You clearly state you are not looking for any marinades or heavy I do not know of any recipes other than a good coating of Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper set by your parameters . Given a choice, I always like the outdoor grill best, but if you cook indoors in the oven, I find I prefer 450* on the top rack best, after your initial sear. I've tried 475* and 500*...but I prefer 450* after experimenting all three temperatures..

    My favorite way to have quality steak is with fresh Oregano(hand rubbed/crushed between my palms), Good Quality Olive Oil and Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice.......Tuscan Style.

    Compound butters are a close second.

    Rather than trying to do something crazy with the steaks, would concentrate on the sides instead......a ragu of assorted muchrooms, grilled asparagus and possible grilled potatoes with your favorite seasonings.

    1. I'd salt aggressively at least 12 hours in advance and use the grill but the pan will work as well.

      5 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC

        Not for Prime.

        I would do this (i.e. salt heavily prior to grilling) for lesser grades of beef, e.g. Choice, but not Prime.

        I think what the OP plans to do sounds just about right.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Judy Rodgers and I both disagree with you.

          ETA, include Harold McGee to our camp.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            I'm not running for elected office. Just expressing an opinion -- namely, mine.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              And I'm expressing my own opinion and I'm including the opinions of food professionals I respect.

        2. re: KTinNYC

          @adamshoe, I'd skip the salting if you haven't done it for prime steaks that were likely expensive. pre-salting like this can lead to, well, salty meat, even if it's rinsed well, and if you don't have experience with the process you run the risk of ruining an expensive steak. save the experiment for a regular supermarket steak and stick with the approach you've outlined. i don't see how you can go wrong with it.

        3. I'm usually all about salting/ dry brining and/ or rubs, but I kind'a just wanted to see what they're like w/out much fussing over. I love the idea of a compound butter served atop; just bought some Pt. Reyes blue that I think would be perfect. My gas grill is sort of a cheapie, so I figured the tried and true skillet method would be best, but I might go for the grill method. Didn't mean to stir up a hornet's nest re: cooking steaks, but that's to be expected here on CH ;) Thanks again, adam

          4 Replies
          1. re: adamshoe

            Adam, I don't know if you are willing to take one for the "team" but you could be the judge of what is better by pre-salting one steak and salting the other just prior to cooking.

            As per the Niman Ranch cookbook, "Science supports Judy's theory. When you salt the surface of meat, you draw moisture out of the meat cells as the cells' attempt to equalize the saline concentration within the walls and without. That's why the droplets of moisture appear on a steak that's salted an hour or so before cooking. But if you wait longer, the salt will denature the meat proteins enough that they reabsorb the water and hold on to more of it when meat is cooked. This makes the cooked meat more moist and because of the partly dissolved proteins, more tender."


            1. re: KTinNYC

              OK, KT, gauntlet accepted. Now how much salt and what type? I've got kosher, table and coarse sea salt. Will 7-8 hrs be enough time or too much time? The steaks are betw. 10-11 oz. Just salt or any other pre-seasoning? Covered or uncovered in fridge? Sorry for the Jewish Inquisition, but since I'm the guinea pig, I need to know. Thanks, adam

              1. re: adamshoe

                According to Judy Rodgers you should use 3/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt to 1 pound of meat. Please, please report back if you do the experiment! I'd leave the meat uncovered and I think 8 hours is okay but it would be better if it was at least 12 hours. TIA.

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  KT, I started a seperate thread abt. this experiment..."prime steak guinea pig". I salted one w/ abt. 1/2 generous tsp. of kosher salt and left both uncovered in fridge on a rack over a baking sheet. They're now coming up to room temp for an hour or two while I bake my spuds. Then into a slow oven (per ATK's recipe) and onto a hot skillet to finish. Already made a blue cheese/chive compound butter to top the babies. Will report back on results tomorrow.

          2. With regard to salting/not salting, a lot/a little, long before/just before--good article on just that, with taste tests, in this month's Food & Wine.


            3 Replies
            1. re: JoanN

              JoanN, Thanks for the interesting article.

              1. re: JoanN

                I just read that while trolling the web in search of info. I'm a little too luddite to post the link, so thanks for doing it. Sounds like the camps were divided when it came to salting the steaks. We shall see.... adam

                1. re: adamshoe

                  I think they should be lightly salted and peppered right before cooking with kosher salt and then topped with a small slab of butter after coming out of the oven...

              2. If you haven't already cooked the steaks, I'd like to throw another technique in the mix-- the Cook's Illustrated pan seared steaks method-- pat steaks dry and cook in low oven (275) until 90 to 95 degrees for rare to medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes, or 100 to 105 degrees for medium, 25 to 30 minutes. Then remove from oven and sear in a rocket hot cast iron pan for 2 minutes/side. Rest. Devour. Best steaks ever.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chococat

                  cocoakitty, that is PRECISELY the recipe I'm gonna do as someone upthread suggested it and I recall seeing that episode of ATK. You also have to sear the sides which they recommend doing 2 steaks @ once w/ a pair of tongs. They also suggest cutting the steaks in half vertically, which I'm gonna do as well. Now, if I can just keep track of which ones were the pre-salted steaks after several stiff cocktails!! ;) adam