Give the Gift of Restaurant-Style Steak

Get these 3 inexpensive tools, and the days of paying restaurant prices for steak are over.

Does less than 50 bucks seem like a good deal on a gift to you? If so then read on and see how simple (and cheap!) it is to turn a home kitchen into a steakhouse.

Savory Garlic Marinated Steaks
Photo by CookinBug.

1) Cast Iron Pan—About $35

The steakhouse has a massive, high-BTU broiler. You do not. So get the home version: A cast iron pan.


Why cast iron? Two words: thermal mass. That's what lets a heavy pan get hot and stay hot even after you slap the steak down in it. Get that cast iron hot for a while, then start searing the steak. Instant crust!

And, they are really inexpensive. This one is only $22, and it comes pre-seasoned. Pretty soon, it might be your favorite pan.

Live somewhere that you can grill year-round? Find some heavy cast iron grates for your grill. Then you'll have those delicious looking diamond grill marks every single time.

2) Tongs—About $12

You didn't think you were going to flip that steak with a spatula, did you? No, you want a serious pair of tongs.


Don't just grab the long ones that go with your grill. Length isn't too important, but "heft" is. They need to feel substantial. This way, that perfectly seared, grade-A prime piece of steak won't slip and fall.

I prefer hefty tongs like this, with metal (not silicone) ends. But really, it's that solid feel in your hand that matters.

Trust me, once you have good tongs, you'll start guarding them like, well, the last piece of steak on your plate.

3) An Instant Read Thermometer—About $15

How do you get one steak medium-rare and another medium-well? With an instant-read thermometer. That way, you're never guessing at the temps.


They're cheap—less than 8 bucks for the analog/dial version, or a little more for the fancy digital kind. I have several of these floating around my kitchen, because they're just super useful.

How does it work? Stick through the side of the steak to the center. Take the steak out of the pan when it's about 5 degrees from the final temp, since it keeps cooking while you let it rest.

Practice Makes Perfect


The best news? You need to practice. Often. A lot. Over and over. I imagine that's the sort of homework you're down with? Good. Now start in on a steak tonight. Like this Herb Marinated Tenderloin.

Once you've got the cooking, flipping, and temperature-taking down, maybe it's time to add The 5-Minute Trick That Makes Every Meat Dish Better, namely, a pan sauce.

That word you're looking for? It's "Yum!"

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