How to cook a steak

How to
cook a steak

Cook steak perfectly every time with our cook's tips, foolproof steps and tasty recipes. 

Waitrose beef is reared by carefully selected British farmers who share our values on animal welfare and producing quality food.

6 steps to cooking the perfect steak


6 steps to cooking the perfect steak


Rustle up a steak with flavour, juiciness and tenderness


How to cook steak


Remove the steak from the fridge half an hour before it's needed. This is so it can reach room temperature and cooks more evenly.


How to cook steak


Rub a little oil and seasoning onto both sides of the steak.


For a beautifully browned crust and maximum flavour, heat a heavy-based frying or griddle pan until smoking hot. You’ll know it’s hot enough when you hear the steak sizzle as it goes into the pan.


Sear the steak evenly on each side for our recommended times (see below), turning every minute for the best caramelised crust.



How to cook steak


Leave to rest on a board or warm plate for about 5 minutes. Don’t be tempted to skip this bit! Resting adds to the juiciness because it allows time for the juices to redistribute throughout the steak and helps avoid them running onto your plate.


How to cook steak steps

Serve the steak whole or carved into slices, and season with sea salt and black pepper.


Easy steak dinner recipes

From simple pan-fried sirloin steak to seared côte de boeuf for a celebration


Steak cooking times

We recommend the following cooking times for a 2cm thick piece of steak. You can alter the cooking time depending on the thickness and cut.

Steak cooking times

3 to 3.5 minutes each side

Medium rare
3.5 to 4 minutes each side

4 to 5 minutes each side

Well done
6 minutes each side


Steak cooking tips Rare


Cooked for a very short time with a very red, warm centre. Eating steak this way does not pose any risks to health.


Rare steak internal temperature:
49 - 55 °C 

Steak cooking tips Rare

Medium rare

A steak with a
red, warm centre and lots of juices.




Medium rare steak internal temperature:
55 - 57°C

Steak cooking tips Rare


Firm and nicely charred on the outside with a pink, soft and
juicy centre.



Medium steak internal temperature:
60 - 63°C



Steak cooking tips Rare

Well done

Charred on the outside and greyish-brown throughout with no sign of pink meat.



Well done steak internal temperature:
70°C and above



A cut above the rest

Steak cuts can vary in taste and texture. Explore our beginner’s guide and find the right one for you.

Steak cuts


Lean and well-flavoured, this moderately tender cut has no bones and very little fat, so needs to be cooked carefully and always rested to make sure it’s not chewy. Its strong beefy flavour marries well with punchy sauces.

Waitrose Cote de boeuf

Côte de boeuf 

If you can bear to share, this bone-in rib eye is a real treat. It’s a thick piece of meat, so is best started in a pan, then finished in an oven, giving you a bit of time to let your wine breathe.

Waitrose Rib Eye steak

Rib eye 

The marbled meat from the Aberdeen Angus breed makes for a rich and especially tasty slab of steak. And a slab it can be too, it's a cut that can be sliced as thickly as you like at the in-store meat counter.


Waitrose Flat Iron steak

Flat Iron

Less expensive than more tender cuts such as rib eye and sirloin, the Flat Iron is a perfectly lean and gristle-free piece of meat taken from the shoulder blade.



If you value flavour, go for rump. As the name suggests, its a cut that comes from the rear
of a cow and while not as tender as others, its flavour makes up for it.


Waitrose Bavette steak


A flavoursome and affordable alternative to better-known cuts, the strong fibres mean it can be tough when over or undercooked so aim for medium, then serve with fries or toss through salads.

Waitrose Fillet Steak


The tenderest cut, full of flavour with a fine marbling of fat which makes it succulent.  At Waitrose & Partners, our grass and forage fed beef comes from cattle sired by registered pedigree Hereford bulls. Serve with a classic peppercorn sauce.




Braising or stewing steaks include chuck, skirt, leg and flank. They are affordable cuts that suit long, slow cooking. When cooked gently, the result is beautifully tender meat.


Steak sauces

Steak sauces


Take your steak to the next level by serving it with a sauce. Alternatively, use condiments already in your cupboard or fridge such as tomato relish, chutney, English mustard and horseradish.




To beef up your dinner, serve a lively and creamy sauce made with punchy peppercorns.




Divine poured over a juicy steak, this silky French classic is made from butter, egg yolks, tarragon and shallots.




Dress up your steak with this velvety sauce that pairs well with all cuts.



Drizzle this piquant puree of parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and chilli flakes on your grilled meat.



Salsa verde
Made from capers, this no-cook sauce adds a zing to steak and other dishes.


What to drink with steak dinner

What to drink with steak 

Red wineThe traditional pairing for steak because the tannins complement the rich fattiness of the meat and help bring out the robust flavour.

Dark beers
Bold stouts and fruity porters bond to steak fat, highlighting the taste.

Another classic pairing its rich, caramel notes sit beautifully with steak’s strong, beefy flavour.


Steak stand-ins

For alternatives to beef, try these recipes including seared tuna steak with a sesame crust, sweet honey and mustard pork, cauliflower steak slices or portobello mushrooms.


Best of British beef

Sourced with care from British farms we know and trust – some of which we've worked with for over 30 years – our beef is never bought on the open market so we can guarantee high standards of animal health, welfare and traceability.
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