By far, the best way to cook a steak. All you need is an ice chest, hot water, digital meat thermometer, steaks and at least 2 hours of cooking time.
Fill the ice chest with hot tap water and add the digital thermometer probe. Carefully, lower the bags with the steaks into the water and using the displacement method, use the water to push out the remaining air in the bags while carefully zipping the Ziploc’s together. This will ensure that the steaks remain fully submerged in the water.
The steaks will need to remain in the water for at least two hours. The ideal cooking temperature, as far as I’m concerned at least, is around 132°. When you put the steaks into the water, you will have to play around with the temperature and add additional hot water or cold water as necessary to arrive at that cooking temperature sweet spot. On any typical cook, I find that I have to mess around the temperature for at least 20 minutes or so until it stabilizes. It should stay very close to this temp for the entire cooking process thanks to the insulation in the ice cooler. I also like to add a towel to the top of the ice chest to give it a little bit extra insulation.
Once the two hours is up, pull the steaks out of the beer cooler and place them in the sink. Then, when you’re ready to eat, you can remove them from the bag and pat dry them with plenty of paper towels on both sides. Drying them off is important because the next step, searing, requires that no moisture exists on the surface of the meet.. You’re probably thinking to yourself, that this looks like very unappetizing meat. Don’t worry. Once we finish the searing step, it will look fantastic.
Now for the fun part. This is where all of your hard work pays off and you can be rewarded with the most glorious crusty juicy steak that you’ve ever seen or tasted. In a heavy duty cast-iron skillet or frying pan, add a big knob of butter and some olive oil. Heat these fats until the pan is screaming hot. Then, add several sprigs of thyme and allow it to flavor the butter and oil. Add the steaks and browned them until they’re nice and crusty on each side. Spoon the melted time butter over the tops of the steaks which will allow it to brown even more and give it fabulous flavor. Don’t forget to sear the sides of the meat and be sure to pay attention to the fat on the meat so that it gets nice and crispy. Once browned, transfer to a cutting board and allow it to sit for at least five minutes before carving.
Look at that beautiful edge to edge medium rare. You can’t get any better than this. This is the plate that I prepared for our dinner. It includes smashed baby potatoes and béarnaise sauce. We also had some bok choy lying around so I went ahead and sautéed that with garlic.