Steak Guide

Steak is considered by many to be the ultimate meal. Fortunately, preparing a spectacular steak dinner is easy by following a few basic steps. Ready to start mastering the perfect steak? We've included a few pro tips so even the most proficient steak master might find a new trick or two. For a memorable steak dinner, it's critical to start with beef of the highest quality, like any of the cuts from Snake River Farms.



Learn the ins & outs of each cut, how to prep your steak, and how to cook your steak with perfect results. The goal of this steak guide is to help anyone cook up a perfect Snake River Farms steak.




You love steak with a pure, light beef flavor and texture so tender you can cut it with a butter knife.

This popular cut is also known as the tenderloin, which is the perfect name because it is without a doubt the most tender cut of beef available. The filet mignon is low in fat, mild in flavor and buttery in texture. The melt-in-your-mouth texture is the calling card of this steak.




You want a steak that’s marbled, juicy and packed full of rich beef flavor.

For many, this is the very definition of “steak” due to its high level of marbling. All that intramuscular fat makes ribeyes the most juicy and flavorful steak. When cut in the traditional style, there is a savory layer of fat and the intensely flavored cap. Ribeye filets are cut from the center or “eye” of the ribeye section for a boneless steak that is easy to cut and eat with minimal waste.



New York Sreak

Your idea of a perfect steak is one with beefy flavor and firm texture you can really sink your teeth into.

The New York Strip is a steak house classic and is known for good marbling and strong beef flavor. This is a steak with a definite grain that’s tender, but pleasingly firm to the bite.




You believe “variety is the spice of life” and enjoy having a filet mignon with your strip steak.

These two well-loved cuts are two-steaks-in-one, with a New York strip on one side and a tenderloin on the other. T-bones are the smaller of the two steaks because they’re cut from the front end of the short loin. The Porterhouse is cut from the larger end of the short loin and has a larger tenderloin portion.



Top Sirloin

You like a steak that’s lean, full-flavored with a nice chewy bite.

Steaks cut from the top sirloin are a great value due to their excellent flavor and lower price relative to the “Big Four” steaks listed above. These boneless steaks have little fat and are well known for their beefy flavor and moderate tenderness.



Flat Iron

You love well-marbled tender beef, but also enjoy saving a few bucks on your steak.

The flat iron steak is a favorite of butchers and beef experts due to its uniform size and delicious taste. It’s sometimes called a top blade steak and comes from the shoulder or chuck. The flat iron features intense marbling, robust beef flavor and a tender texture but costs less than other more well-known cuts.




The best way to thaw a frozen steak is to place it in the refrigerator and allow to slowly defrost. Place your packaged steaks on a plate or baking sheet to catch any liquid that might escape during the thawing process.

Our steaks range in size from 6 ounces all the way up to 3 pounds. Small steaks can thaw in a matter of hours and the large ones can take a couple days. While we enjoy a good impromptu grill-fest, planning ahead will ensure you get the best results possible.

Speed Thaw

OK, we get it. Sometimes you just need to eat now and your steak is still frozen solid. Keep your steaks in their package, place in a pot or large bowl and place in the sink. Run a stream of cool water over the steak and fill the container. Some folks like to keep the water running to facilitate thawing.

Once your steak is fully thawed, remove it from the packaging, pat dry with a paper towel, and cook immediately.


You'll get the best results using a neutral vegetable oil with a high smoke point. That means the oil doesn't start smoke (or burn) until it reaches a higher temperature. Since you are searing at temperatures of over 400°F, using an oil with a high smoke point avoids the off flavors that come from burned oil.

Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point of about 325°F so although it's probably on your pantry shelf, it's not a good choice. Vegetable oils with higher smoke points include soybean (450°F) and safflower (510°F).

A neutral oil is also preferable. Although peanut oil has a high smoke point, it can add an unwelcome flavor to the steak. 


A well-seasoned steak is a delicious steak. Kosher salt is our standby for salt, although we like having a nice flakey finishing salt on hand to shower on our steak before serving. There are many schools of thought on when to salt. Our go-to method is to apply liberally right before placing in the skillet or on the grill.

There’s only one kind of pepper in our book and that’s fresh-ground. The fine, dried variety is not as flavorful. You can add pepper when you salt your steaks. Perfectionists wait to when their steak has been removed from the grill or skillet to avoid any chance of imparting a burnt flavor to the meat.


A good quality instant-read thermometer is a must for cooking a perfect steak. There are numerous options available, but we use and recommend the high quality and accurate thermometers from Thermoworks. The Thermapen (about $100) is the top pick by top chefs and particular home cooks, but we’ve had great results with the Thermopop which runs about $30.



The classic way to prepare a steak up to 1.5" thick.


Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add a light coat of vegetable oil to the skillet. Season steaks with salt and pepper.


Place steaks in hot skillet and sear for 4 minutes, turning once. If a steak sticks to the skillet, it’s not ready to turn. Wait until it releases on its own.


Place skillet in a 350°F degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes depending on desired doneness. Turn once halfway through the cooking time. Remove from oven when preferred internal temperature is reached. See chart for suggested temperatures.


Remove steaks from a skillet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. The steaks will continue to cook and the temperature will rise about 5 degrees.


A fast and easy way to cook steaks 1.25” or thinner.


Heat a heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) over medium heat until hot. Add a light coat of vegetable oil to the skillet. Season top side of steaks with salt and pepper.


Place steaks, seasoned side down, in skillet and sear 4 to 5 minutes until nicely browned. Season the top side of the steak with salt and pepper. If the steak sticks to the skillet, it’s not ready to turn. Wait until it releases on its own.


Turn steaks over and allow to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. After 2 to 3 minutes, use a thermometer to test the thickest part of the steak. When the temperature reaches the desired level, remove from the skillet. Remove steaks from a skillet and serve


This method is the darling of many “how to cook a steak” tutorials. The Reverse Sear cooks a steak at low temp, then adds a nice crust as the finishing step. This is a good technique for thicker steaks.


Heat oven to 275°F degrees. Season steak with salt and pepper. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place a metal rack in the middle. The idea is to elevate the steak from the pan.


Place the pan, grill and steak in the oven. Bake until the steak reaches the temperature that matches your preference. See the chart for exact temperatures. For medium-rare, cook until 120°F degrees. This can take up to 60 minutes, but begin checking the internal temperature at 30 minutes.


Remove steak from oven, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.


Add a light coating of vegetable oil to a heavy skillet and heat over high heat until hot. Sear steak on each side for 60 to 90 seconds to form a beautiful crust. Serve.


Cook a consistently perfect steak using precision sous vide cooker or immersion circulator.

Heat Water

Place your immersion circulator in a container with water and set the temperature. See the chart to determine the best temperature to achieve the result you desire.


Use a generous amount of salt and pepper on both sides of the steak.

Package & Seal

Use a vacuum sealer to seal the steak in a bag. You can also use a self-sealing plastic bag by placing the bag in a container of water, being careful to keep the lid above the waterline. The water pressure will displace the air as the steak drops deeper into the water. Seal the bag when all or most of the air has been pushed out of the bag.


Place the sealed bag into the water. We recommend cooking your steak a minimum of one hour and no longer than two hours.

Heat Skillet

Add a light coat of vegetable oil to a heavy skillet. Place on a burner set to medium-high heat.


Remove the steak from the sealed bag. Pat the steak dry and place in the hot pan. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes per side to create a brown, crisp crust. Steaks cooked sous vide do not require resting so you can serve immediately.


A great way to cook steaks 1.5″ or thinner in the great outdoors.


Turn on grill to medium heat. Season grill with a light coat of vegetable oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper or your favorite rub.


Place steak on hot grill, close lid and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Lift steak off the grill, turn 45 degrees and place back on the grill. Allow to cook 2 more minutes.


Turn steak over and cook for 2 minutes. Lift steak off the grill, turn 45 degrees and place back on the grill. Allow to cook for 2 more minutes. For medium-rare, the total cook time is 8 minutes. Check the temperature of the thickest part of the steak to determine when it is done to your preference. See chart for temperature guidelines.


Remove steaks from the skillet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 5 minutes. The steaks continue to cook the temperature will rise about 5 degrees. Finish with a pinch of flaked salt. Serve.


Here are the magic numbers you’ll need to determine when your steak is cooked to the degree of doneness you most prefer. The internal temp is when the steak should be removed from the heat. The steak will continue to cook so the temperature will rise during the rest period.