Mark Stark’s Tips on Cooking the Perfect Steak

Want to cook steak like a pro? Check out Mark Stark’s 6 secrets, including choosing the cut of meat, seasoning your steak, and proper slicing, to make your steak sizzle like a pro.


“Good Grades” aren’t just for students. Seek out choice and prime. 

“Size Matters” A good steak should be at least 1.5 to 2″ thick.

One of Mark’s favorites is the New York, bone in–of course.

2. PICK THE PROPER PAN Grill or cast iron skillet, the heavier the better. 

3. SEASON IT UP A great piece of meat needs nothing more than salt, pepper, and a third ingredient that may surprise you. 

4. “THE 3 T’S,” Time, Temperature and Touch

Chef’s trick #1: “The 3-second rule” to tell if your pan is hot enough. Hold your hand 6″ above heat source. If you can hold it there longer than 3 seconds, it needs to be hotter. If you’re cowardly, instead of using your hand, you can place a drop of water in the pan. It should evaporate within 3 seconds.  

Chef’s trick #2: Baste with butter (the surprise ingredient) 

Chef’s trick #3: Finish in hot oven preheated to 500 degrees until steak reaches desired degree of doneness by touch test. Start checking after 5 minutes. 

Chef’s trick #4: The touch test. 

A great explanation (with photos!) of the touch test from Simply Recipes 

5. GIVE IT A REST Meat must be allowed to rest before slicing, 5 to 10 minutes depending upon the size of the steak. 

6. SLICING SAVVY Use a sharp, non-serrated knife and always cut across the grain.