If you are like me you are always interested in finding ways to prepare food that will reduce preparation and cook time, and still deliver on taste and nutrition. Life today is super busy. If you are the parent of children who are involved in activities after school, then the evening meal can be a super stressful time of the day for you. .
You race home from work, you have to get your children ready for their activity, plus you need to feed them, ugh. All you really want to do is sit down in a big easy chair and enjoy a cup of tea.
What you need is simplicity, and cooking steak in the oven using aluminum foil delivers on simplicity. Using basic ingredients that most households have like olive oil, thyme, oregano, and garlic, you can have this super protein source in the oven in five minutes and cooked to tasty perfection in 30 minutes, depending on the desired doneness.
The world of steak can be confusing. There are so many different kinds of steak that are readily available in grocery stores. How do you know which steak to buy?
There are some basic facts about steak that are handy pieces of information to have. One of these key facts is “marbling”.
- Marbling is fatty deposits in meat. These deposits look like bits and strips of white in the meat, and the pattern they make resembles marble, hence the name.
- Marbling is extremely important when it comes to cuts of steak because marbling is what makes a steak juicy and tender. All of those fatty deposits are bits of juicy tenderness waiting to be released when the steak is cooked.
- Marbling is a key element that influences the cost of a type of steak. If there is considerable marbling, the steak will be more expensive. If there is less marbling, the steak will be less costly.
- Marbling occurs in parts of the cow that do not get a lot of exercise, allowing for the fat to sit in those areas of the animal. Whereas those areas that get a lot of exercise have less marbling because their muscles are being worked a lot, resulting in little fat. It’s basically like human beings. Athletes, in general, have very little fat whereas people who get little exercise tend to carry more fat on their body.
- The lack of marbling does not mean that a steak cannot be juicy and tender. Marinating a more economical steak will produce a tender steak. How you cook the steak is also important. Cooking the steak in aluminum foil also helps to produce a juicy steak as the heat produces moisture within the foil packet.
So, which types of steak have more marbling, and which kinds of steak are more economical?
The following chart provides you with some basic information about different types of steak.
|Type of Steak
|Expensive or Economical
|Skirt steak is a thin cut of steak with lots of flavor. While it can be a little tough, skirt steak has a very beefy, and bold taste.
Skirt steak is long and thin so it doesn’t take long at all to cook, even for well-done steak lovers.
|Skirt steak is an inexpensive cut of steak making it one of the more affordable kinds of steak.
|Skirt steak is perfect for stuffing into a burrito or using in a fajita. It is also a popular choice for Philly cheesesteak.
These long, thin strips are also ideal for a stir fry or delectable beef stroganoff.
|Like skirt steak, flank steak is a little on the tougher side, but with a good marinade it can be beautifully tender.
In flavor, the flank steak is bold with a strong, beefy taste.
|Flank steak is a great option when you want steak on a low budget.
|Slice this type of steak thinly, and put it in a fajita.
Serve marinated flank steak on its own.Flank steak skewers are fun.
|Like its name suggests, T-bone steak has bone in it that is the shape of the letter “T”.
T-bone steak actually consists of two different cuts of steak, short loin and tenderloin, and they are both verytender.
Grilling T-bone steak is considered the best way to prepare it.
|All the marbling in the T-bone steak puts it in the expensive steak category, but it is delicious, and wonderfully tender and juicy, so if you are wanting to splurge, it’s a great choice.
|Let this steak stand on its own.
Seared and grilled to perfection is the best way to taste this type of steak.
You want to get all of the flavor and not have anything else compete with it.
|Round steak has a number of different names: London broil, inside round, top round cap off, top round cap on.
Round steak is a tougher type of steak and benefits from marinating, and cooking in a sauce.
|Round steak is another economical option.
|With this less tender steak, think recipes where the meat cooks in a sauce.
Put in a roast pan with onions, mushrooms, and beef gravy, round steak will be super delicious yet easy on the wallet.
|Chuck steak is in the category of tougher steaks.Cooked right, chuck steak is delicious, and tender, and no one would guess that you paid so little for it.
|Chuck steak falls into the category of more economical kinds of steak.
|Like other cheaper kinds of steak, chuck steak benefits from recipes that have a sauce.
Try slicing cooked chuck steak to put in tacos, or put it in a slow cooker along with a wonderful sauce and have a fabulous dish waiting for your dinner.
|Club steak also goes by shell steak and tomahawk steak because of its characteristic long bone that makes the steak resemble a tomahawk.
Club steak is a great option for weekday meals as it is less expensive than some of the pricier types of steak such as porterhouse and ribeye, but it is quite tender. This is due to the fact that it comes from a part of the animal that does little work.
|Club steak falls in between inexpensive and expensive steak types.
|With a few simple ingredients, you can make a wonderful club steak recipe.
Cook club steak with mushrooms and onions and steak sauce. In a word, delicious.
|New York Strip
|New York strip comes from the short loin of the cow. It is a very tender cut of beef, and that is reflected in the high price.
This steak is best seared and grilled.
|You will pay more for New York strip steak than you will for some types of steak that are less tender.
New York strip steak, however, is not quite as pricey as ribeye or tenderloin which are a little more tender.
|Let the flavor and juicy tenderness of this steak speak for itself.
Just a pat of garlic butter on a grilled New York strip, and served with fluffy mashed potatoes will be divine.
While this list isn’t extensive, it has hopefully given you some ideas about which steak you might buy if you are on a tight budget, but really wanting that great beef, steak flavor, and what you could purchase if you are treating yourself.
Any of these types of steak can be done in the oven in aluminum foil with very good results. Here are the details on how to use this easy method to cook steak.
These instructions are given for an 8 oz. steak, but you could use a different size, and adjust the cooking time, giving a thicker, larger steak more time, and a thinner, smaller steak less time.
If you have other seasonings or herbs you would like to use, feel free to substitute them for the oregano and thyme. You might also want to add mushrooms and onions.
If you do not have a meat thermometer, all is not lost. While an instant-read meat thermometer is a very handy gadget, you can totally determine the doneness of steak without one.
By using the feel of different digits on your hand, and comparing that with the feel of the steak when you press it with your finger, you can tell what level of doneness the steak has reached.
First, open your hand and keep it relaxed, then read the particular instructions in the chart below.
|Level of Doneness
|Touch the soft part on the inside of your hand that is just below the thumb. It should feel very soft.
|Touch your thumb to your index finger. This should feel a little more firm than the area under your thumb.
|Touch your thumb to your middle finger. This will feel a little more firm than the index finger.
|Touch your thumb to your ring finger.
|Touch your thumb to your baby finger.
If you are using a meat thermometer to determine if your steak is done, then aim for the following temperatures:
Rare: 120-130 degrees F
Medium-Rare: 135 F
Medium: 140-150 degrees F
Medium-Well: 150 F
Well: 160-170 degreesF
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Other Ways To Cook Steak?
Absolutely! While popping steak into a foil packet and into the oven is super simple, there are other ways to cook steak. Grilling is very popular as it gives a lovely smokey flavor and the distinctive grill marks. Using aluminum foil packets on the grill works great!
Steak can also be fried in a frying pan on the top of the stove. Sear the steak in an iron skillet then cover it with aluminum foil and let it cook on low. One of the downsides of frying steak is that you have to watch it closely.
Can You Cook Vegetables With The Steak In The Foil Packet?
Yes, yes, yes! It is so easy and tasty to cook vegetables with steak in a foil packet. Simply prepare the vegetables with a little oil, salt and pepper, place them in the middle of the aluminum foil, then place your prepared steak on top. Be sure to secure the foil packet tightly to avoid juices leaking out
- An 8 oz. steak - your preference
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Dried thyme and oregano
- Aluminum foil
- Baking sheet
- Oven mitts
- Cutting Board
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Pat dry the steak with a paper towel.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the steak on both sides.
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper as well as dried thyme and oregano on the steak and pat it onto the steak to make sure it sticks to it.
- Place the steak in the center of a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to fold over and secure tightly.
- Put the aluminum foil packet on a baking sheet.
- Put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or when the internal temperature reads 140 F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and carefully place the packet on a cutting board. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes.
- Carefully open the foil packet using oven mitts if the foil is hot. Be careful of steam coming out of the packet when you open it.
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