I eat a lot of steak. Probably quite a bit more than average. Even though that’s the case, my cooking methods don’t really vary that much. I generally find something that works and stick pretty close to that.
My favorite way to cook a steak is in a very hot cast iron skillet. It’s a pretty simple process. Salt the steak that’s been sitting out of the refrigerator for 15-20 min (more salt than you think). Add enough olive oil to coat the skillet, heat it until the oil just begins to smoke, add the steak, let it cook on one side for 4-5 minutes depending on thickness, flip the steak, add some butter, minced garlic, and fresh rosemary to the pan, cook for another 4-5 minutes, remove, rest for 5 minutes, eat. This usually puts out a really good steak.
If you want to grill a steak, that’s fine. I just cook steak virtually daily, so dragging out, starting, cooking with and the cleaning of a grill is more work that I’m willing to put in. And, in my opinion, the steak isn’t as good as one from the pan.
Some days I don’t have time for putting my best work out there. Maybe the steaks didn’t thaw in time for me to cook them. Maybe I just forgot that I need to take something to eat with me when I leave home and only have a few minutes. Maybe it’s one of those days that I’m feeling lazy and ain’t nobody got time fo dat. Maybe I’m cooking for someone who wouldn’t appreciate the efforts made above. Like my kids.
Enter the Air Fryer.
These things have been pretty popular for a while now. We’ve had ours for over a year and use it very regularly. Mostly for cooking the kids’ food. Things like chicken nuggets, veggie tots, hot dogs, etc. The other day, I was short on time, so I decided to try cooking a steak in one, and was a little surprised.
I did the same rest at room temp and salt as above, but this time instead of the pan, they went into the fryer. 350-375ish degrees (It’s not clearly labeled) for 5 minutes on each side turned out a pretty decent steak. Some big advantages when it comes to time are: No preheat. It turns off when the timer stops. I can walk away from it and come back later to clean it without worrying about a fire.
Is it as good as my go-to steak method? No. But, it does allow me to stay on my dietary track on those days where I either don’t feel like cooking, or just didn’t have the time, and still have a good source of protein that doesn’t come out of a can or bag. The air fryer steak is definitely better than those options.