Purchase the Steak
Before you cook your New York strip steak, you have to buy it, and not all steaks are created equal. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a rating system that will help you choose the best New York Strip for your menu and budget. Retail consumers are typically offered three grades of meat: prime, choice, and select. Your best bet is to choose steaks graded in the top two categories, prime or choice.
When you're choosing a steak for your table, look for meat with a bright red color and good marbling. Marbling is the distribution of small flecks of fat through the meat, and although that sounds bad, it's a very good thing. Even marbling increases a steak's flavor, tenderness, and juiciness.
Prepare the Steak
There are many flavorful methods for preparing a New York strip steak, but its naturally tender texture and sweet flavor doesn't need tenderizing or much additional embellishment.
- Marinades - If you are interested in adding some regional flair with a marinade before cooking, keep in mind that prolonged exposure to acidic marinades, like those containing wine or soy sauce, can result in tissue breakdown and a loss of texture. New York strip steak is already tender enough, so use the minimum exposure time for your marinade.
- Rubs - Rubs are a fast and easy way to add variety to meat. Better yet, most of them don't impact texture but can add flavor and flair.
Don't cut the fat off your steak before you cook it. It will add additional flavor and moisture to the meat during cooking. Instead, remove the fat after the steak has been cooked.
Ultimately, how you cook a New York strip steak is a matter of personal taste. The three most popular ways are grilling, broiling, and pan frying. All three methods will produce a juicy and delicious steak. Regardless of the method or steak recipe you use, the trick to making a good steak is to cook it evenly while keeping the juices inside.
Avoid piercing your steak. You don't want to give the juices a way to escape. Think of the juice as precious; it's part of what makes this such a superior cut of meat. Use your meat thermometer sparingly, and always stick it into the side of the meat, not the top. If possible, learn to gauge the doneness of meat with the finger test and avoid poking any holes in your steak.
If you plan on grilling your steak, make sure that the grilling surface is clean and well-oiled to avoid sticking. Fire up the grill until there is enough heat just above the cooking surface that your hand feels very uncomfortable after about three to four seconds of exposure. If you're using charcoal, the coals should be mostly gray and evenly distributed under the cooking area.
To grill the steaks:
- Take the steaks out of the fridge about 45 minutes before cooking and season them before leaving them on the counter to bring them to room temperature.
- Cook them on the grill for approximately four minutes per side, or eight minutes total, for a one inch steak.
Broil your steak when you don't have access to your grill.
- Set the broil setting on your oven to high and move the rack to within six inches of the heating element.
- Preheat the oven's grilling pan. It will be very hot, so use caution.
- Rub the steak with a high temperature oil, like corn or canola oil, and season it lightly on both sides.
- Place the steak on the hot pan and set it straight under the broiler. Avoid getting it too close to the heating element, as this could cause the steak to catch fire.
- Depending on thickness, turn the meat after three to five minutes. Use tongs instead of a fork for turning to avoid piercing the meat.
Check for doneness using a meat thermometer.
Pan frying a steak is best done using a two part process. First sear the meat in the skillet, and then finish the process in the oven:
- Heat a heavy, ovenproof skillet until drops of water sizzle and burn off in a few seconds. If you use a cast iron skillet, take care not to burn yourself.
- Let the steak warm up to room temperature before seasoning it and rubbing it down on both sides with a high temperature oil. You won't need to add oil to the skillet; the oil on the steak should be enough to do the job.
- Once the skillet has come to temperature, reduce the heat on the skillet to medium and use tongs to transfer the steak to the hot pan.
- Cook the steak for two to three minutes on each side. Be sure to turn the steak with tongs and not a fork.
- After four to five minutes total cooking time, place the skillet in a 425°F oven.
- Roast for approximately five minutes, and then check for doneness with a meat thermometer.
Do not to disturb it too much during the cooking process; you want to create a good seal to allow the outside of the meat to sear evenly.
The USDA recommends that steak be cooked to at least 145°F; beyond that is a matter of taste. A guest who likes his meat well done will be disappointed or worse if he sees too much red, so learn how to finger test your steak for doneness or use a meat thermometer. A good rule for doneness is:
- 145°F - Medium rare
- 160°F - Medium
- 170°F - Well done
Allow the juices in your steak to redistribute by letting it sit covered for five minutes, then plate and serve.
Recipes Using New York Strip Steak
While strip steak is tender and flavorful on its own, it also combines well with other ingredients to form complete meals. Try these recipes that use New York strip steak as the base for meals.
Beef and Broccoli
This staple of Chinese food restaurants is easy to make at home using strip steak and a work.
- 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 10 fluid ounces oyster sauce
- Toss the steak chunks in a bowl with the diced garlic, soy sauce, and dried onion until well coated.
- Heat the sesame oil in a wok or stir fry pan and add the steak, bamboo shoots, green onion, bell pepper, and broccoli.
- Cook over high heat, stirring constantly until the steak is browned and the vegetables soft.
- Mix the cornstarch, water, and oyster sauce together in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the steak and cook for an additional seven to eight minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Serve over rice.
Planked New York Strip Steak and Vegetables
Planking is a technique for grilling that lends a smoky flavor to the food by cooking the food inside the grill on top of cedar planks.
- 2 1/2-pound New York strip steaks
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon walnut oil
- 1 large zucchini, cut into chunks
- 1 large yellow squash, cut into chunks
- 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 4 small red potatoes, cut into small wedges
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the cedar planks in water for approximately one hour.
- Place the steaks in a plastic bag along with the oil, salt, and pepper. Massage the oil into the steaks.
- Refrigerate the steaks for about two hours to marinate.
- Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside.
- Place the soaked planks in the hot grill and close the lid.
- Grill the planks for about five minutes or until charred on the bottoms.
- Flip the planks over and set the steaks on one plank with the vegetables on the other.
- Close the lid to the grill and cook until the steaks reach the desired level of doneness - approximately eight minutes for medium rare.
Enjoy Your Steak
New York strip steak has a wonderful flavor and texture to rival anyone's idea of a good steak. The next time you're in the mood for beef, consider cooking some strip steaks; you'll be glad you did.