August 02, 2023

Our guide to tempering steak by Barry Horne

By Online Provenance Butcher
Our guide to tempering steak by Barry Horne

To temper a piece of meat means to control the temperature of it at all stages of cooking.

Tempering meat is a very important part of the cooking process in order to get consistent results every time and should not be overlooked, particularly with beef.

There are a lot of considerations when cooking any type of meat so if you take the time to temper it, it will mean better, more consistent results. Using a meat thermometer is an important tool to ensure success.

Here is how you temper a steak

1. take it out of the fridge around 20-30 mins before cooking. This will help bring the internal temperature up so that when you start to cook it the internal temperature comes up evenly, if you were to take it straight out and then start cooking, the outside will be overcooked and the middle will be very cold.

2. Cook to desired temperature (using a meat thermometer), depending on the meat, and then when it's around 5 degrees under the desired temp, take it off the heat and let it rest. You can place it on a wire rack so the air circulates around it or leave it on a dish. Let it rest in the kitchen, not in a hot area, rather in an ambient temperature.

3. You should ideally rest meat for half the cooking time, which seems like a long time especially for roasts but the results you get from resting are worth it. When meat cooks it contracts and tightens, by resting you are letting it relax back and distribute the juices evenly which will give you a much juicier and tender end result.

A lot of people are worried about the meat being cold but meat should never be piping hot anyway, it’s more enjoyable at a lower temperature, plus you may be covering it with a hot gravy or sauce. It will still retain a good temperature, especially large roasting joints.

4. Monitor the temperature with a thermometer while it rests so you know when it is ready and at the perfect temp.

Enjoy cooking any size steak or roasting joint with confidence.