Searing is a technique that is used to achieve a crisp, brown outside on a steak. In addition to producing a crunchy brown outside, the purpose of searing is to seal in the juices to achieve the most moisture in the steak.
A good sear is best achieved by using a skillet where a little oil has been heated over medium-high heat. The steak is prepared by first patting it dry, then rubbing some oil on both sides, followed by sprinkling seasonings on each side and patting them to stick to the meat.
Over the medium-high heat in the greased skillet, each side of the meat is cooked for a couple of minutes until that crispy brown outside is achieved.
While no one would argue the effectiveness of searing, it does take some time, and you may not always want to go through that step. If you do not have the time to sear a steak, that should not keep you from cooking one, and it can be done beautifully in the oven without a sear.
One of the major concerns for everyone today is the price of food. Weekly grocery bills have sky-rocketed, and it has become an enormous challenge to feed one’s family nutritious meals while not breaking the bank.
Steak, as red meat, is an excellent source of iron. While dietitians, nutritionists, and doctors recommend that we cut down on the amount of red meat we eat, in an effort to be healthier and cut down on heart-related health concerns, red meat can be eaten, just not every day of the week.
There are also some good choices of steak that are more economical. Here is a list of some of these:
- Top Round
- Sirloin Tip
- Bottom Round
- To Blade
With these cuts, you can have steak from time to time, and enjoy that great steak flavor. Many of these cuts are better marinated which will make them juicier and more tender.
What differentiates these less expensive cuts of steak from the more expensive ones is something called marbling. Marbling is fatty deposits in the meat which make a steak juicy and tender.
These more expensive cuts come from the parts of the animal that get less exercise, whereas those cuts that are less expensive and therefore have less marbling, come from the parts of the cow that are exercised a lot, such as around the legs.
If a cut of beef lacks those fatty deposits that make the meat tender and moist, you can achieve tenderness and juiciness through marinating the meat.
Let’s return to our main focus, how to cook steak in the oven without searing. Steak, after searing, is often grilled or it is sometimes done on the stove in a skillet. These methods of cooking steak require keeping a careful eye on the steak to ensure you flip it at the right time, and do not overcook it.
Using the oven makes cooking steak much easier and less fussy. By skipping the searing step, the process is that much faster, and still rewards the cook with a tasty and delicious steak. You can pop the steak in the oven and leave it there until it’s done.
How To Cook Steak In The Oven Without Searing: Skirt Steak
It is important to let the steak come to room temperature as this allows the steak to cook more evenly. Allow about 30-40 minutes for a 500 g steak to achieve room temperature before you cook it.
When the skirt steak comes out of the oven, be sure to cover it with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for five minutes before serving it. This gives the steak time to relax, and the juices to become evenly distributed, so that your steak will be its juiciest, and most tender. If you were to cut it right away, then you would see a lot of the juices running out of the steak which is definitely not where you want them. You want to lock those juices in.
Tongs are a simple but key tool when you are cooking meat. By using tongs to turn the skirt steak, remove it from the baking sheet after cooking, and place it on the cutting board, you ensure that the steak will not get punctured. If you use a fork to move the steak, you will put holes in the steak, and, guess what, the juices will escape. Remember, we want to lock those juices inside.
How To Know When Steak Reaches Desired Doneness?
Rare, medium-rare, medium, well-done, how are you supposed to know when your steak has reached the desired doneness?
The more you cook steak, the better you will become at judging when your steak has reached various stages of doneness, but you can use temperature and time to help you make this determination.
The following chart gives you temperature readings for the different levels of doneness as well as a general idea of the amount of time required to reach different levels of doneness.
This information is given for both a thin cut of steak, and a thick cut of steak as the thickness of the steak you are cooking in the oven is a very important consideration when determining how long to cook it. A thicker steak will take additional time.
|Thickness of Steak||Internal Temperature||Approximate Time|
|Thin Steak||Rare: 120-130 degrees F|
Medium: 140-150 degrees F
Well: 160-170 degrees F
|Rare: 3-4 minutes|
Medium: 5 minutes
Well: 6-7 minutes
|Thick Steak||Rare: 120-130 degrees F|
Medium: 140-150 degrees F
Well: 160-170 degrees F
|Rare: 9-11 minutes|
Medium: 13-16 minutes
Well: 20-24 minutes
As you can see by the chart, there is a range of degrees within each level of doneness, and a range of minutes required to reach each level of doneness. This is due to the fact that within the categories of thin and thick cuts of steak, there can be some variation in how different cuts of steak cook. You also need to account for differences in ovens.
As you cook different cuts of steak, your ability to determine when steak has reached the desired doneness will develop, but using the range of degrees and times given in the chart will be a good guide.
Different Types Of Steak
There are many different kinds of steak, and they all have certain characteristics that play into how long they should be cooked to reach various levels of doneness: rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well.
The chart below lists some types of steak that are either thin or thick, expensive or easier on the wallet. This can help you choose the type of steak you want to purchase.
|Type of Steak||Characteristics|
|Skirt||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 an inexpensive cut of steak making it one of the more affordable kinds of steak.
Skirt steak is long and thin which makes it perfect for stuffing into a burrito or using in a fajita. It is also a popular choice for Philly cheesesteak.
|Flank||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, economical option when you want steak on a low budget.
|T-Bone||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 tender.
T-bone steak is a great choice, delicious and tender, if you want to opt for a more expensive steak.
Grilling T-bone steak is considered the best way to prepare it.
|Round||Round steak is a more economical cut.|
Round steak has a number of different names: London broil, inside round, top round cap off, top round cap on.
|Chuck||Chuck steak falls into the category of more economical kinds of steak.|
Chuck steak can be prepared and cooked in the same way as the skirt steak in this article.
|Club||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.
|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 grilled.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Determine If Steak Is Done Without An Instant-Read Thermometer?
If you do not own a meat thermometer there is another way you can determine if your steak is rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, or well. You use your hand!
Start by opening your hand, and locating the soft part of your hand under your thumb. Your hand will need to be relaxed, not tense. The way it feels resembles raw steak.
To determine if a steak is rare, touch your thumb to your index finger. There will be a little more firmness there than in the area under your thumb.
The next step is to touch your thumb to your middle finger – this is medium-rare. For medium, touch your thumb to your ring finger, and well done is the feeling you get from touching your thumb to your baby finger.
You will want to perform this test – poking the steak – while the steak is cooking. Be patient with yourself as it may take a while before you have a good sense of the various levels of doneness, but it’s great not to have to rely on a thermometer.
How Do I Marinate Steak?
Marinating steak simply means that you are letting your steak sit in liquid for a period of time. You can let the steak marinate overnight, or through the day for several hours.
There are many different recipes for great marinades, but if you are short on time, you can make your marinade as simple as a steak sauce you buy at the grocery store.
Marinades have three basic parts, an acid, an oil, and seasonings. It can be as simple as lemon juice or wine, olive oil and your favorite spices.
- Skirt steak (at room temperature)Olive oil
- Salt and pepper Additional seasonings such as steak spice that you want to use
- Paper towel
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Instant-read thermometer
- Cutting board
- Remove the skirt steak from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Pat the skirt steak dry using a paper towel.Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the skirt steak.
- If you wish to use other seasonings such as steak spice, sprinkle those on at this time.
- Place the skirt steak on the baking dish, and put it in the oven.Cook the skirt steak for six minutes, then turn the steak using tongs.
- Cook the steak for another six minutes.Check that the steak is done to your liking by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the steak.
- If you want your steak cooked more, give it an additional minute, then check for doneness again.
- When the steak has reached the desired doneness, remove it from the baking sheet, and place it on a cutting board.
- Cover the steak with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for five minutes before serving.
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