New York strip is one of my all-time favorite cuts, combining an ideal amount of big beefy flavor with remarkable tenderness. It’s hard to go wrong with a strip steak, and as long as your goal is searing the outside to a crisp, caramelized crust and keeping the inside pink you’ll have one of the very best steak experiences around with minimal effort.
You can buy strip steaks (sometimes called shell steaks) either boneless or bone-in. I prefer bone-in strips since I adore the succulent flesh that sits right alongside the slender bone; if only family is around, I’ll happily gnaw away to get every bit of it. But I admit, if you intend to slice the steaks after cooking, a boneless strip is more convenient.
Strip steaks can be cut by your butcher in a variety of thickness, anywhere up to 2 inches or more. My preference is for steaks about 1 1/4-inches thick; I find these steaks, weighing in at about 1 pound, the easiest to control doneness on, yielding a nicely seared, crusty exterior while the interior reaches a juicy medium-rare, the most popular doneness for this cut.
TipsHere are some tips that apply to strip steaks no matter how you cook them, plus general guidelines for grilling, stovetop and oven cooking.
Take your steaks out of the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking them to ensure the most even heating.
Trim off any thick, ropy fat around the edges of the steak; a thin layer is fine, but too much can cause flare-ups if you’re grilling.
Pat the steaks dry to help them get a good sear.
Season with sea salt and black pepper generously, unless your recipe (or a need to restrict salt) directs otherwise. For best flavor you typically want to see a crust of seasoning on both sides of the steak.
Coarse rather than fine salt or pepper are preferable, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
The bone in a steak insulates the meat, so add a minute or two to your cooking time if you’re cooking bone-in strips.
After cooking, rest your steaks for 5 minutes before slicing or serving. This lets the juices redistribute themselves so that they will leak out less as you cut.
Cooking strip steak directly over fire is an absolute winner. You’ll want a medium to medium-high heat, plus a cooler part of the grill to move your meat to in case of flare-ups. Cooking times vary, but usually clock in at about 10 to 12 minutes for a 1- to 1 1/2-inch steak to reach medium-rare.
A heavy cast-iron skillet or a ridged grill pan works very well for steaks as well. Heat your pan over high or medium-high heat until it is very hot. Turn on your exhaust fan, then place the steaks in the pan and sear them for about 2 minutes per side. Lower the heat slightly so they won’t char outside while they reach your desired doneness, about 12 to 14 minutes total for medium-rare on a 1- to 1 1/2-inch steak.
Cooking steaks in the oven is a good alternative if you don’t have an exhaust fan. Preheat the oven to 425°F while you heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Sear the steaks on both sides for about 2 minutes, then pop them into the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes for a 1- to 1 1/2-inch steak.
Inspirational RecipesA steakhouse-quality meal of strip steak doesn’t really require a recipe, but it’s always fun to peruse some. The following are all for grilled steak, but any of the methods described above will give you great results as well: