There’s Going to be Beef: Common Misconceptions About Steak
Think you’re a steak fan? Reckon you know your filet mignon from your sirloin? Your porterhouse from your t-bone? Is the only chuck you’re familiar with the nerdy TV spy? Think you’ve sampled the best steak a Balham restaurant can conjure up? Even if you do profess to be a hard-core steak lover, we still think you may be guilty of harbouring some common misconceptions about steak. Read on to find out!
Porterhouse or t-bone?
To the untrained eye, there is almost nothing to distinguish a porterhouse steak from a t-bone steak. Both are sirloin cuts and both are split down the middle by a t-bone into a top loin strip and a tenderloin filet (filet mignon) – and, you guessed it – both are delicious. Whilst what separates them has been the subject of much discussion, it has been agreed that the definitive difference is merely the size. A porterhouse has a larger tenderloin section than a t-bone steak. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines the difference in numerical terms – a porterhouse has a tenderloin section that measures at least 1.24 inches across at its widest point, a t-bone measures anywhere between 1.24 inches and 0.51 inches at its widest. The one thing that is safe to say is that you need to be hungrier to take on a porterhouse than a t-bone.
Bone in steak carries more flavour
A rumour that has ingrained itself in the minds of many is that bones in steak carry more flavour. While cooking steak with the bones left in does have its advantages (as the bone is an insulator, the meat that surrounds it will cook slightly less, and as a result, it will be slightly juicier and more succulent) there is no truth whatsoever in the assertion that cooking steak with the bone in causes flavour to be transferred from the bone to the meat. Researchers from Texas A&M University corroborated this statement, and for this reason, don’t fret about cooking steak boneless. The difference is, at best, marginal.
Only flip steak once
Flipping steak once has become an age old adage, and one that doesn’t look like going away any time soon. But as you can expect from wisdom passed from one person to another, time and time again over the years, it hasn’t aged well. Flipping steak multiple times while cooking actually makes it cook more evenly, as well as reducing the amount of time it takes to cook by up to 30%. Less cooking time = more eating time. The clichéd portrait of a perfect steak is one with conspicuous and clear grill marks, and that is perhaps why the ‘one flip’ technique has become such a popular and pervasive myth. With multiple flips you won’t get quite as distinguished a pattern, but you will get a better cooked steak – in less time too.