While thicker cuts tend to stay juicy, cooking thin steak without drying out the meat can be challenging. Flavorful and lean, these boneless cuts of meat are best when soaked in a marinade and seasoned with your favorite spice blend.
There is no single best way to cook a thin steak — but after learning the basics, you can add your own flair in the future. Pair this cut with your morning eggs or chop it and level up a boring salad for lunch.
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How to Handle Raw Steaks
Before you begin to prepare your steak, it's important to handle it safely and check for freshness. When vacuum-packed, fresh beef appears dark purple in color, according to the USDA. If your cut is not sealed, however, bright cherry red is the color you should shop for. If your steak is starting to turn brown or has been refrigerated for longer than five days, it has most likely spoiled. If it's tacky in texture and has an off-odor, that means it's time to throw it out.
After bringing your thin steaks home from the grocery store, place them in a Ziploc bag to avoid cross contamination and leakage onto other foods, the USDA recommends. Refrigerate your beef immediately and make sure to use it within three to five days. Alternatively, you can freeze it for later use.
To avoid freezer burn, wrap the beef in its original packaging with aluminum foil, freezer paper, or freezer-weight plastic wrap or bags.
How to Cook Steak
When you're ready to prepare your steaks, wash your hands thoroughly and gather any spices or marinades you plan to use. (You don't want to touch your spice jars after handling raw meat!) Although it may seem counterintuitive, avoid rinsing your steaks, as this may also cause any bacteria from the meat to spread to your sink or dishes, according to the USDA.
Using a meat pounder, evenly pound the surface of the steaks to boost their tenderness. More tender cuts of beef don't need to be marinated and can be prepared on dry heat (like broiling, roasting or grilling), according to the USDA. Since thin cuts of steak are usually on the tougher side, they should be soaked prior to cooking for the best flavor. You can even boil the marinade afterward and brush it onto the meat after cooking for extra juiciness.
Once you've added your favorite spices and marinades to your steak, pre-heat your grill or oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush some olive oil onto the meat and then grill your steak for about four to five minutes on each side, depending on your preferred doneness.
It's recommended that you keep a meat thermometer handy and verify that your steaks reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit before taking them off the grill. Allow the steak to sit for at least three minutes before you fork in.
Read more: 5 Tips for Eating Protein the Right Way