Ready for Rare: Making the Perfect Steak at Home

By Eric Elkins


If you’ve been reading up about RARE, The Denver Steak Championships, which is happening on August 15 in the Galleria at the DCPA, you may already be craving a meaty bite of seared goodness. Luckily, a few local chefs have stepped up to help you cook the perfect steak this summer.


Before you even start cooking, Chef Troy Guardsays to get your steak out of the fridge early. 


"Before I put the steak on the grill, I like to bring it to or close to room temp,” he says. “It helps to achieve the perfect medium rare. And don't underestimate a great seasoning. I add this ahead of time to seal in the flavor.”


And whether you grill outside or on the stovetop, the temperature of your heating surface is crucial.


“Probably the most important thing about cooking steaks at home is to use a very hot grill, either with charcoal or gas, that is heated to at least 500 degrees,” Mary Scribner, GM at Shanahan’s Steakhouse, says. “This will allow for the perfect sear in order to lock in all of the natural juices. Be sure to use either salted butter or olive oil to avoid drying out the steak and promote the perfect char.”


Exec Chef Adam Vero from Hearth & Dramsays to keep it simple.


“I always like to start by searing the steak at a high temperature so that it caramelizes on the outside,” he says. “I will typically cook a steak about 60% of the way on one side before turning it over to ensure a nice crust.  Then, I will take it to about 85-90% cooked on the second side before removing it from the grill and allowing it to rest.” 


And resting your steak is essential. “A piece of meat will continue to cook through, so rest time is key,” Vero adds. “Once the steak is rested, the flavor and moisture will be equalized throughout the piece of meat and will be the most flavorful when you cut into it.”


How do you know if you got it right?


Chef Vero says that the perfect bite is “a good cut of meat that is seasoned well, with a really great sear on the outside, tender on the inside and not hidden under a lot of garnish and fluff.”


Mary Scribner’s take is all about the fat. “The perfect bite of steak should of course be tender and juicy with true ‘prime’ marbling,” she says, “where the small flecks of fat melt throughout the steak and create a memorable flavor.”


And for Chef Guard, one more aspect of the experience is essential. “The perfect bite of steak has to be bold and flavorful, but what is often under-appreciated is the mouth feel,” he says. “When you're chewing that perfect bite, it needs to melt in your mouth."


If you’re ready for a bunch of perfect bites of steak, all unique and paired with cocktails, join DiningOut Events in partnership with Meyers Natural Angus, Stella Artois, and Laura’s Lean benefiting The Denver Health Foundation for RARE, The Denver Steak Championships, this August. Enjoy the perfect late summer evening with more than 20 restaurants competing in the “Traditional Steak” category, with a side paired to each dish, or the “Creative Steak” category, where things go truly bonkers.


Get online and purchase tix soon, because the price increases as each level of early bird tickets is sold out.

Jeff Suskin