Cooking steak, to rest or not to rest

Before opening The Stone Grill, I had no idea there was so much technique involved in cooking steak. Throughout my life I had bought my favourite steak cut from my butcher, seasoned it and thrown it in a pan or on the BBQ. Now I am older and a little wiser, I realise there is so much more to it than that. This was highlighted in a discussion with a regular customer the other day when we were talking about resting steak before serving it.

A surprising amount of people I have spoken to do not rest their steak before eating. Many say it isn’t necessary if your steak is fresh and of good quality. Others say they either cannot wait or don’t want it to get cold.

Here at The Stone Grill, we always rest steak before serving if we are cooking it for you. Obviously, that doesn’t include steak on stone but if you’re ordering a prepared steak dish, we always let it rest.

Why steak needs rest

Ask any chef who regularly cooks steak and they will say much the same thing. Resting a steak allows the fibres to settle and the juices to return to all parts of the meat. It delivers a far superior taste, texture and flavour and is well worth the patience required.

When cooking on a hot surface such as a pan or grill, all the meat juices retreat into the centre of the meat. This causes the fibres in the meat to dry and go taught. Once cooked, resting for a couple of minutes allows that juice to return to all the fibres and the meat relaxes. This makes it much more tender.

If you have had a tough steak in the past that looked perfectly cooked, it may not have had enough time to rest.

Steak on a stone

The rule of thumb with most traditional steaks is to rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Steak on a stone is a little different. Usually the slices are thin and there is nowhere for the meat juice to go so it all stays tender. As long as the steak is fresh and of a good quality, every mouthful should be a delight.

So yes, traditional steak cuts like rib-eye, rump and so on require rest time before plating up. It really will reward your patience with delish texture and flavour. Steak cooked on a stone does not need resting as it is usually served in bite-sized pieces and is ready to eat as soon as it is cooked to your liking.

For a superb steak on stone experience with only the freshest steak, visit The Stone Grill in Blackpool!

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