Many steak fans say dry aged steaks taste the best directly from the grill. The smoky aroma compliments the refined nutty and buttery flavors of dry aged meat equistely. There are other meat aficionados and well versed chefs who argue that pan searing is the superior method to ensure a perfect crust and to highlight the superb texture of a dry aged steak. No matter which method, high-quality dry aged beef is sure to impress. But for superior texture, there’s no doubt, a hard pan sear is the way to go.
Beef Likes it Hot
Beef’s mouthfeel and texture is best celebrated and highlighted with high, direct heat cooking. A hard sear develops smoky toasted aromas and the exterior of the meat forms a beautiful crust. In order for a pan fried steak to reach its full potential, it needs a proper high heat cooking surface.
The Right Pan
As one may imagine, the right pan is essential for the proper cooking of a great dry aged steak. High quality ingredients deserve high quality cooking vessels to allow them to really sing. For this reason, avoid using aluminum pans. Aluminum is thought to be harmful to a consumer’s health when used at high heats and is inferior for even heat distribution and maintenance of high temperatures. For these reasons, stainless steel or cast-iron are the preferred materials for proper steak cookery. When properly seasoned and used, these materials also provide a non-stick surface for the meat.
The Steak Pan from DRYAGER™ delivers the best features of the best materials in one pan and ultimately delivers the best results. A ribbed base marks the meat with the classic look of a grill, and as a nod to DRYAGER’s™ focus on design and respect for the origins of the product, the pan includes a unique bull’s head brand that gives the steak a special flare.
A cook’s preferred fat for cooking is as varied as the cooks themselves. Some opt to use butter for its flavor and aroma which so nicely compliments the natural flavors of a dry aged cut of meat. Others argue that butter burns too easily and they opt to use one of any number of oils. DRYAGER’s™ philosophy is to highlight the meat by using a fat that is also sourced from an animal; and to achieve both flavor and temperature stability and thus, recommends lard or tallow as the superior fat.
The Warm Up and The Rest
Before cooking dry aged steak, it should be allowed to come up to temperature prior to firing. To go directly from cold to high heat is a shock to the protein strands which can produce a tougher texture, dryness and uneven cooking. It can also affect the look of the steak as the myoglobin- the protein that gives steak its signature red color, can change to an off-putting grey color. Dry aged steaks should be allowed to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking to avoid the pitfalls of protein shock.
A little rest after cooking allows the steak’s protein strands to relax and reabsorb its juices, leading to a juicer and more flavorful finished product. Allow steaks to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving in order to ensure the best result.
All in the Technique
The DRYAGER™ experts recommend a two-part method. First pan sear, then finish in the oven. This produces a steak with incredible crust and perfectly even cooking throughout for a delicious and juicy dining experience. Cooking entirely on the pan will also yield a great result as long as the cook ensures even time and sear on both sides.
The Ultimate Quick Guide
To pan fry the perfect dry aged steak, one should consider the following tips:
● First, preheat the pan thoroughly and patiently, then add oil and bring it to the point of shimmering in the pan, only then comes the steak
● Place the dried, temped steak carefully in the pan
● Cook on both sides, always using a spatula and never a fork to avoid puncturing the surface and losing moisture
● Finish in a 400° oven to the desired doneness
● Rest the meat before serving or cutting
● Time the seasoning. Salt is best added after cooking and resting