Wolfgang Puck’s award-winning steakhouse, CUT Las Vegas, serves up some of the best steaks in America. On the menu is a mouthwatering dry-aged 34 Oz porterhouse that’s expertly cooked to perfection over fiery hardwood then finished under a 1200 degree broiler. This, my friends, is indeed an absolutely amazing steak. Once you’ve experienced this kind of prime beef perfection, you’re sure to wonder how you might come close to preparing a comparable steak at home. While a lot goes into serving up amazing steak at a AAA Four Diamond restaurant, several practical cooking techniques bring absolutely amazing steak to home cooks everywhere.
First and one of the most important considerations is the beef. This may seem obvious but it’s worth pointing out — Start with really really good beef. Exactly what defines good beef is a debate that will continue long after you’re done reading this post, but most agree on a few beef selection considerations that make great steak possible. Dry-aged; bone-in; butcher-prepared. Start there — definitely start there. Your favorite steakhouse did.
Transforming that dry-aged beauty to an absolutely amazing steak requires a great cooking technique (and avoiding these 8 common steak cooking mistakes). Fortunately, home cooks have practical options that make reaching steakhouse-level bragging rights a reality. I’ve experimented with many steak cooking techniques and these are my goto favorites that always produce impressive results. Try them all and discover the one that works best for your taste and cooking style.
Steakhouse techniques for absolutely amazing steak at home.
1. Grill & Sear
Want to cook incredible steaks like the chefs at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT restaurants? If so, this is the technique for you. This is my favorite for warm weather entertaining. I get my best results with my trusty old kettle grill loaded up with really good quality hardwood lump charcoal. For the finishing sear, Wolfgang Puck & crew use the 1200 degree broilers in their professional kitchens. I want a AAA Four Diamond restaurant finish on my steaks, but my oven broiler doesn’t cut it. Instead I use a handheld power broiler like this one.
2. Frequent Flip
This technique was made popular by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. It’s really simple. Cook your steak in a hot skillet, flipping once every 15 seconds until your desired doneness. When I first tried this approach, I was surprised that maillard reaction took place and I had a wonderfully browned crust on my finished steak.
3. Skillet & Sear
This is a tried and tested technique preferred by top chefs like Bobby Flay. A hot skillet, tempered beef, and a really hot finishing sear is all it takes. If you’re doing this one right, you’ll produce a lot of smoke. I suggest firing up the grill and getting your favorite cast iron pan nice and hot over the hardwood-fueled flames. I use my outdoor propane burner for this; really quick & easy and saves my precious hardwood for proper grilling. For the sear,
4. Wood-Fired Oven
Great flavor. Fun, rustic cooking. This one takes a few tries to perfect. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll become one of your favorite techniques. My portable wood-fired oven is one of my favorite outdoor accessories so it’s no surprise that I really enjoy this technique. Chef Jamie Oliver knows what he’s doing here.
5. Sous Vide & Sear
A little more advanced, sous vide & sear produces amazing results. You’ll need an immersion circulator, and like the other sear techniques listed here, a powerful searing tool gets you that crusty, steakhouse finish. Be sure to plan in advance since cooking sous vide steak takes some time.
Bonus! Check out chef Wolfgang Puck in action, showing us how to cook the perfect steak using the skillet & sear technique.
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