How To Cook A Cheap Steak Vs. An Expensive Steak Like a Pro!

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Steak night shouldn’t be a wallet-wincing affair. Whether you’re rocking budget buys or splurging on prime cuts, this guide unlocks the secrets to cooking restaurant-worthy steaks at home. Learn how to transform humble flap meat into a flavor bomb and master the reverse sear technique for a perfect, juicy ribeye, no matter the price tag. So ditch the steakhouse envy and get ready to sizzle up some serious satisfaction, because tonight, you’re the chef!

Intrigued? Dive in and discover:

  • Budget-friendly magic: Unleash the hidden potential of affordable cuts like flap meat and tri-tip with marinades and cooking techniques that turn tough to tender, and cheap to sensational.
  • High-end hacks: Elevate your pricier cuts like ribeye and filet mignon with the reverse sear method, guaranteeing a melt-in-your-mouth experience that rivals any steakhouse.
  • Essential tips and tricks: From choosing the right pan to understanding internal temperatures, we’ll equip you with the knowledge to conquer any steak, every time.

No more steak FOMO! Get ready to impress your taste buds and your wallet with this insider’s guide to cooking steak like a pro. Let’s fire up the grill (or pan) and get cookin’!

Here is what you’ll need!


Servings: 2-4


  • 1 pound flap meat
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Gallon-sized plastic zipper bag
  • Cast-iron skillet


  1. Place flap meat, soy sauce, and pepper in the gallon-sized plastic bag.
  2. Place garlic cloves on a flat surface and crush with hand using palm. Just enough to crack the clove open a bit.
  3. Add garlic to bag and seal, making sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible.
  4. Massage the contents of the bag to ensure the soy sauce mixture is completely coating the meat.
  5. Leave bag in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-12 hours.
  6. Place cast-iron skillet in cool oven and preheat to 475°F/240°C.
  7. Remove steak from marinade and thoroughly pat dry.
  8. Once oven is preheated, transfer skillet to stovetop and place on place on high heat.
  9. Add oil to skillet.
  10. Once oil starts to shimmer, but before it starts to smoke, carefully place steak in pan.
  11. Flip steak every 30 seconds to a minute, moving the steak to the hottest parts of the pan each time.
  12. Once internal temperature reaches a few degrees below 135°F/57°C remove steak from pan and place on a cutting board to rest.
  13. Let rest for 8-10 minutes.
  14. Slice steak against the grain and serve!


Servings: 2-4


  • 1 1.5- to 2-inch-thick rib eye steak
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Optional: Pepper


  1. Liberally season steak on all sides with salt and (optional) pepper. Place steak in fridge for 1 to 24 hours. If leaving for more than an hour, cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Preheat oven to 275°F/140°C.
  3. Transfer steak to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches about 95°F for medium-rare.
  5. Preheat cast-iron skillet on high heat for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add oil to skillet.
  7. Once oil starts to shimmer but before it starts to smoke, carefully place steak in pan.
  8. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature is a few degrees below 135°F/57°C and a dark crust has formed.
  9. Rest the steak on a cutting board or wire rack for about couple minutes.
  10. Slice steak and serve!

Essential Tips and Tricks for Making Tasty Steak

Choosing the Right Pan

  • Cast iron skillet: the holy grail for steak cooking. It retains heat incredibly well, ensuring a perfect sear. Just make sure it’s preheated over high heat for at least 10 minutes before adding your steak.
  • Stainless steel skillet: a good alternative to cast iron, but it won’t sear quite as well. Opt for one with a thick bottom to prevent uneven heating.

Understanding Internal Temperatures

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure your steak reaches the perfect doneness.
  • For rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C).
  • For medium-rare steak, aim for 135°F (57°C).
  • For medium steak, aim for 145°F (63°C).
  • For well-done steak, aim for 160°F (71°C).

General Tips

  • Pat your steak dry before cooking. Moisture prevents a good sear.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper. Do it at least 30 minutes before cooking for best results.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. If you’re cooking multiple steaks, cook them in batches.
  • Let your steak rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.
  • Use clarified butter or ghee for added flavor. They have higher smoke points than regular butter, so they won’t burn as easily.
  • Finish your steak with a pat of butter and fresh herbs. This adds extra richness and complexity.
  • Experiment with different marinades and rubs. There are endless possibilities!
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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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