Poll of the Week: How do you like your steak cooked?

A note to whoever stumbles on this:  Last weekend a debate with friends turned into a poll about cookies and I learned some things about people’s preferences in cookies.  It also motivated me and friends to bake some cookies!  I thought it would be fun to do a weekly food-related poll, at least for the summer.  There are so many ideas already floating around too!  At the end of the summer, we’ll see whether to continue.  I’ll try to post them as we start looking forward to the weekend — that’s a time to start thinking about what I’ll be cooking and/or eating!  And I’ll use a hashtag series #My___ so the convo can carry on through the blog and twitter as well!  Thanks to the friends who have played with polling ideas! 

So if having a debate about cookies made me want cookies, why not move onto #MySteak?  It’s perfect!  I love a really good steak.  AND since I get to set up the poll, I also get to start the conversation on the topic!  How fun is that?

So steak… I guess having a meat and potatoes dad made me aware of steak early in life. Granted, we weren’t able to have artisan steaks often, but my parents enjoyed firing up the grill and putting a sirloin on there.  In fact, we had multiple grills — both charcoal and gas long before that seemed to be mainstream. The steak debate in our house was usually around the temperature — yes my dad was on one of the spectrum and mom was more centrally located.  Dad was sure the steak would be like shoe leather if it stayed on the grill.  And mom (and I think all of us kids) cringed when the meat was dead cold in the center.

Working in agriculture, one of the benefits seems to have been the ability to taste test steakhouses across the US.  In big cities and in the middle of nowhere, I seem to have tried lots.  And I have to admit, that sitting around a friend’s patio or deck, laughing and hearing/telling stories, smelling the grill and eating with folks you really enjoy being around…. those are the best steaks to me even if they aren’t exactly the right shade of pink. My other steak preferences:

  • I’m somewhere in the medium-medium rare camp.
  • For some reason, cowboy cuts are a favorite but I enjoy ribeyes and filets too.
  • I usually like a fairly simple preparation. Not one for heavy marinades or too much served on top as long as it’s a good cut of beef.  Just salt & pepper.
  • Some of the best steaks have been at locally owned and operated places.  Cagle’s in the Lubbock area comes to mind — you drive across cattle guards to get to the restaurant.  But the most memory of a truly great steak was in Tulsa at the Blue Danube. Our friend Cindy was treating a few broke college students. One asked for a steak sauce and the waiter stopped dead in his tracks and said, but you haven’t tasted the steak yet. He was right, the steak needed nothing.
  • There are chains that do a great job too though, I especially like Flemings.
  • I love red wine with steak! (It’s also good solo… prefer Malbec, Rioja, Pinot Noir….)
  • Fresh vegetables and yummy starch are great compliments — some of my favorites?  Artichoke hearts, mushrooms, greenbeans, twice baked potatoes, steak fries and always need a hot yeast roll!

So the poll is on how you like it cooked but please feel free to add lots of comments and suggestions about things I (and others) should try.

If you want to do a bit more reading, I suggest you look into these blogs to hear from some friends of mine who know a lot about steak!

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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29 Responses to Poll of the Week: How do you like your steak cooked?

  1. The Wife of a Dairyman June 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    I’m a medium rare girl!

    • Janice June 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

      That’s what I put too… bad to make the categories myself AND want to split them huh? LOL.

  2. Fred Pond June 11, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    Med for the most part, wouldn’t send back Med. Rare either. Rib-eye, T-Bone, Center Cut Fillet. Leave any topping on the side, let me decide if I want it or not. Plus a cold beer like Sam Adams makes for a meal created by the Almighty Himself

  3. Allison June 11, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    And yay! For Dr. Chris Raines!! He’s a professor of mine and really knows everything about meat!!

  4. Debbie Lyons-Blythe June 11, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    GREAT idea to have a poll through the summer! I look forward to participating!

    My favorite steak? hmmmm….we have our own beef, of course, so my fave is to have the tenderloins kept whole, then I can cut off what we need. I wrap in bacon and make filet mignon for an “everyday” dinner on the ranch!! Medium rare, with a special seasoning blend that we make ourselves. It is not secret, but the recipe cannot be duplicated (really, even by me–it is different every time!).

    But yesterday, I bought CAB ribeye steaks on sale for $7.99/lb– cut thin (5/8″) so we could pop them on the grill for a big family gathering–and then put them on a crusty bun w/ horseradish, homegrown lettuce, tomatoes & mayo! YUM!

    • Maru Whitmore July 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      That sounds fantastic, we usually save the thin ones for tacos/carne asada (mexican style) I’ll have to keep this option in mind. YUM!!!

  5. crystal.cattle June 11, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Back in college my judging team coach wouldn’t pay for our steak if we ordered it more than medium. I like it medium rare.

    • Daren Williams June 11, 2010 at 11:59 am #

      Crystal, your judging team coach was a wise person. Overcooking a steak is a waste of money. One of my favorite restaurants in Norhtern Virginia described it this way:

      Rare — cool, red center
      Medium Rare — warm, red center
      Medium — pink throughout
      Medium well — pink in the middle
      Well done — order chicken!

  6. Marjory Walker June 11, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    LOVE this!!!! And a good steak … medium, medium well, depending upon the cut, the restaurant or if it’s a Walker Happy Hill Farms home-grown one. YUM! Looking forward to more polls this summer. Love your blogs!

  7. Carrie Oliver June 11, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Fun poll and thanks for including me! As you know, when I can do so I’m a pickier over the Provenance of the steak – what it is, ate, who raised/aged it, etc. – than a particular cut because I’m more interested in the specific flavor and texture of each beef. That said, I’d rather eat a steak raw than medium and generally prefer rare. Your dad and I would have been partners in crime!

    My favorite cut is probably the Porterhouse, which I like much more than either it’s two parts, or the Sirloin (top, bottom doesn’t really matter). The skirt steak can be divine; it’s just so hard to find. And I love Rib Eye for the fat.

  8. Gardner Hatch June 11, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Great poll! Medium rare, filet or strip steak (often called NY strip) my favorite. With a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. OK, now I’m hungry!

  9. jill meisenheimer June 11, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    I just might like talking about steak even more than cookies! I was a well done ONLY for most of my life–but, med rare these days. Go Steak!

  10. jill meisenheimer June 11, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    I meant med well these days… I really should be concentrating on WORK but I don’t want too! Steak talk trumps work, hehe.

    • Daren Williams June 11, 2010 at 11:54 am #

      Jill, keep working your way down the scale. I’ve converted many a former medium well fan to medium rare by having them over to my house for a properly cooked steak (medium rare — warm red center). Ask any prime steakhouse chef and they’ll tell you that when a customer orders medium well or well they pull out the low quality meat. You can take a prime steak and turn it into select if you overcook it!

  11. Daren Williams June 11, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Medium Rare all the way. Low and slow is the way to go. Weber grill with charcoal covering 1/3 of the grill. Sear both sides for 3-5 mins over the coals then move them to the other side for indirect heat. Cover the grill and let the Weber kettle do its thing while you grab a cold one. Ditch the gas. Take your time and enjoy the experience. I grill almost every night and that is my time to unwind from the day. I love bone-in (Cowboy Cut) ribeyes but have grown to really enjoy tenderloin lately, especially when paired with mushrooms, blue cheese, red wine and other foods high in Umami (pronounced ooo-mommy, a Japanese term for “meaty or savory”). When you combine steak with other foods high in Umami you get a flavor explosion. Google it and try it…you”ll like it!

    • Mike Haley June 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

      I love a medium rare steak! but cant get my wife to cook them that way, hope you talked he into it last week!

      Lets go Ranchin!

      • Janice June 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

        Mike…. do you not know how to use a grill? I’m sure Pam would be fine with letting you cook a medium rare steak for you and hers however she likes it. 🙂

      • Mike Haley June 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

        Yes I know how to use a grill, Pam dont trust me with it though!

  12. Daren Williams June 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Janice — you say “cowboy cuts” are your favorite. What do you call a cowboy cut? At most steakhouses that means “bone-in.” You can get cowboy cut ribeyes, strips and filets! The flavor is always better on a bone-in steak. BTW, so you know the difference between a KC Strip and a NY Strip? Than answer is in the bone. A true KC strip is a bone-in strip — the original. NY chefs tooks it off the bone for finnicky east coasters and renamed it the NY Strip.

    • Janice June 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

      Whoops! Should have realized the beef man would catch any lack of clarity on my part! I meant a cowboy cut ribeye is my favorite, like the cowboy KC strip too. In fact, I like all cowboys! 😉

  13. Mace June 11, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Medium Rare to Medium…I just like steak. Period.

  14. Ryan Goodman June 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    I like my steaks medium rare and nothing but salt on top.

    Here is a recipe that I love to fix with steak cuts that may be a little on the tough side or when you are looking for something a little different.

    No-mess Fajitas on the grill. http://tinyurl.com/2ed7hey

  15. Tara Litzenberger June 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I like my steak with potatoes on the side, doesn’t matter what kind, and chocolate for desert.


  16. Annie Haven June 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Yep you were right change in dinner menu, pork butt to steak “Rib Eye, Skirt, Porter House…Although I’ve don’t think I’d ever turn down the others…Now did someone say Cookies for desert? And what Cookie may I say goes best after a steak dinner : )

  17. Michael June 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    I like my beef rare. I’ve had too many steaks ruined by people who cook them too much. I want to taste my meat. I cannot understand people who order their beef well done then add “steak sauce” to give it some flavor.
    I had some Steak Tartare once that was fantastic. Most people cannot understand how properly prepared, uncooked, meat can taste.
    Steak Tartare is finely ground raw beef, (sometimes marinated in wine) raw egg, pepper and onion. Because it is raw it should not be consumed by people with delicate health.

  18. Robin Rastani June 13, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    I love a medium rare steak… rib eyes are my fav to cook at home. I usually opt for tenderloin or filet when I’m traveling- occasionally I’ll get a queen cut Prime Rib.

    Must haves- onions & mushrooms with the steak. Bleu or gorgonzola cheese great too. Plus a garlic rub.

  19. Susan Crowell June 14, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    I needed a button in between “Medium” and “Medium Rare” (whatever that would be). Sheez, you’re making me hungry!

  20. Mike Haley July 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Can I have mine a la mode?


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