Steak, a beloved classic in the culinary world, is the epitome of fine dining. But what temperature should you finish steak in the oven? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. There are several factors to consider, including the type of steak, the desired level of doneness, and even the specific oven you’re using. This article aims to guide you through the process, offering tips, tricks, and detailed explanations to help you cook your steak to perfection.
The temperature to finish your steak in the oven depends on your desired level of doneness: Rare is 125°F, Medium-rare is 130-135°F, Medium is 140°F, Medium-well is 145°F, and Well-done is 155°F. Remember, these are the steak’s final internal temperatures, not the oven temperature. You should remove the steak from the oven when it’s about 5 degrees below your desired final temperature. The oven should be preheated to 400°F (204°C) or 425°F (218°C) for a conventional oven, or reduced by 25°F (about 15°C) for a convection oven.
Understanding Steak Doneness and Temperature
The first step to cooking steak in the oven is understanding the different levels of doneness and their corresponding internal temperatures. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Rare: 125°F (52°C)
- Medium-rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C)
- Medium: 140°F (60°C)
- Medium-well: 145°F (63°C)
- Well-done: 155°F (68°C)
Remember, these temperatures refer to the steak’s final internal temperature, not the oven temperature. Also, keep in mind that the steak’s temperature will continue to rise by about 5°F as it rests after being removed from the oven. Therefore, you should take the steak out of the oven about 5°F before it reaches your desired final temperature.
Preheating the Oven
Before you start cooking, preheat your oven to the right temperature. For a conventional oven, preheat to 400°F (204°C) or 425°F (218°C). If you’re using a convection oven, which uses a fan to circulate hot air and cook food more evenly, you may need to adjust the temperature. Typically, you should reduce the cooking temperature by 25°F (about 15°C) when using a convection oven.
Preparing the Steak
Before placing your steak in the oven, let it rest at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes. Pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, then season generously with salt and pepper.
Next, sear the steak on a hot skillet over high heat for about 1 minute on each side. This step is crucial as it helps create a flavorful crust. Use a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe pan for the best results.
Cooking the Steak
Once you’ve seared your steak, it’s time to finish it in the oven. Place the skillet with the seared steak in the preheated oven. Cook for 4-6 minutes on one side, then flip the steak and cook for another 4-6 minutes.
The exact cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness. Use an oven-safe meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. Remember to remove the steak from the oven when it’s about 5 degrees below your desired final temperature.
Resting the Steak
After removing the steak from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This resting period allows the steak to reabsorb its juices, resulting in a more tender and juicy steak. Plus, the steak’s internal temperature will continue to rise slightly during this time.
Cooking steak in the oven may seem daunting, but with a little knowledge and practice, you can master the process. Remember to preheat your oven, sear your steak before cooking, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, and let the steak rest after cooking. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to cooking the perfect steak.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of steak works best for oven cooking?
Any cut of steak can be cooked in the oven, but thicker cuts like ribeye, T-bone, and filet mignon often work best as they can withstand the longer cooking times without becoming overcooked.
Should I use a marinade or rub before cooking steak in the oven?
While it’s not necessary, using a marinade or rub can add extra flavor to your steak. If you choose to use a marinade, ensure you pat the steak dry before searing to get a nice crust.
How do I know if my oven temperature is accurate?
You can check the accuracy of your oven temperature by using an oven thermometer. These are relatively inexpensive and can help ensure your oven is at the correct temperature.
Can I cook a frozen steak in the oven?
Yes, you can cook a frozen steak in the oven, but it will take longer to reach the desired internal temperature. It’s generally recommended to thaw the steak before cooking for the best results.
Why is it important to let the steak rest after cooking?
Resting the steak after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. If you cut into the steak immediately after cooking, the juices will escape, resulting in a less juicy steak.