The Best Ways to Cook Steak Explained

Primary meat cooking techniques include braising, pan searing, grilling/broiling, pan frying, and stir frying. Discover different ways to cook steak here.


Braising is a cooking method that involves browning meat in a small amount of oil, then cooking it in a bit of liquid in a covered pan for a relatively long time. Braising can be done inside the oven or on the stovetop. It is the ultimate ‘low and slow’ cooking method for turning tougher meat cuts fork-tender. Another advantage of braising is that you are able to add flavors and experiment with different tastes to supplement the taste of the beef,

There are three basic steps involved in braising:

  1. Brown the meat
  2. Add the liquid and seasoning
  3. Braise until tender


Chuck is a good cut of beef to use for stew. It is a tougher cut, so it requires time to break down and become tender. If you try to rush the cooking process, the beef will be tough. The key with stews is to cook them low and slow; two hours is a good guideline for beef stew.

When cooking stew, you want to avoid the lean, more expensive cuts of meat and opt for the less expensive, tougher cuts. When cooking low and slow, lean meat, like sirloin, will turn tough and chewy. The tougher cuts, like chuck, will break down and become delectably tender.

Don’t skip the browning phase! Searing the meat is a crucial step when making a good beef stew. Brown or sear the meat thoroughly to trap the natural flavor in. Other great cuts of beef for stewing include stewing beef and shank centre cut.


Where stewing and braising are the low and slow cooking methods, grilling is essentially a high and fast method. The meat is cooked quickly and does not have the time or additional moisture to improve its tenderness. Choosing the right cut of beef for the grill is crucial to the meal’s success.

Choose Canada A grades (A, AA, AAA) of beef for grilling. These grades represent increasing degrees of marbling from Canada A to AAA respectively. This range gives consumers, retail and food service options in fat content.

Beef for grilling should be dark red or cherry in color, not brown. Smaller cuts are better on the grill, while larger ones are great for smoking. Pay attention to the fat on the meat (marbling); this is what gives the meat flavor and moisture during cooking.

This does not imply that you should only grill top quality, tender steaks. You also need to consider the budget. Flank and skirt steaks and beef tri-tips are affordable and do well on the grill with a dry rub or marinade. Strip or filet mignon is more expensive, but hugely flavorful.

Pan Frying And Stir Frying

Stir-frying – or quickly cooking thin uniform pieces of meat in an open pan with a little fat – is a variation on sautéing. Ideally, use tender beef cuts. Beef for stir-fry is often packaged and labelled as such and is readily available in the meat case. Almost any tender beef cut (sirloin, tri-tip, ribeye, top loin, tenderloin, shoulder center, shoulder top blade or Flat Iron and shoulder petite tender) will make a great addition to a stir fry recipe. Some of the tougher beef cuts (flank, top round, round tip, round sirloin tip center and round sirloin tip side steaks) can work well in a stir fry when cut into thin strips.

There’s a great way to enjoy almost any cut of meat. Enjoy!

With over 50 years’ experience at sourcing and selecting beef from the top 2% of the herd or better, our beef gurus are confident about the quality and taste you will enjoy. Peruse the Chophouse Steaks online butcher shop today and find the right cut for all the different ways to cook steak.