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Jess Pryles reveals how you can cook the perfect steak

As the weather heats up during the summer months, so do the grills on our outdoor barbecues.

And nothing pairs better with a sunny day by the pool than a beautifully cooked barbecue meal, an Australian pastime which is something of a tradition.

Barbecue queen and self-confessed ‘hardcore carnivore’ Jess Pryles revealed to FEMAIL the secrets to cooking the perfect steak – which can be as simple as salting the meat, using a thermometer and focusing on preparation.

 

Barbecue queen and self-confessed ‘hardcore carnivore’ Jess Pryles (pictured) revealed to FEMAIL the secrets to cooking the perfect steak – which can be as simple as salting the meat, using a thermometer and focusing on preparation

Nothing pairs better with a sunny day by the pool than a beautifully meal cooked on the grill, an Australian pastime which is something of a tradition

Nothing pairs better with a sunny day by the pool than a beautifully meal cooked on the grill, an Australian pastime which is something of a tradition

Texas-based Jess started her food journey as a cupcake baker in Melbourne, but after visiting the barbecue-capital of the USA she fell in love with cooking red meat.

She said being faced with a fire and a thick uncooked juicy steak used to be an intimidating experience, but now wants every woman to realise their potential behind the grill because: ‘If we can give birth we can cook a steak.’

According to Jess, the best lean cuts for steak connoisseurs watching their weight includes tenderloin or rump steak which she said is delicious in a taco with fresh salsa.

‘You can check for yourself visually which cuts are leaner, check for a nice bright red throughout, rather than veins of fat,’ Jess explained. 

‘I like to go two or three days a week with leaner cuts for tacos with fresh salsa for low calorie meals, then I’ll indulge in a scotch fillet with beautiful marbling.’

The right steak can be found at your local supermarket – it doesn’t have to be artisanal and Jess said simply having a chat with your butcher can reap great results.

‘Don’t be afraid to talk to your butcher and tell them what you are thinking of doing and they will suggest a really good cut of meat,’ she said.

Texas-based Jess started her food journey as a cupcake baker in Melbourne, but after visiting the barbecue-capital of the USA she fell in love with cooking red meat

Texas-based Jess started her food journey as a cupcake baker in Melbourne, but after visiting the barbecue-capital of the USA she fell in love with cooking red meat

She said being faced with a fire and a thick uncooked juicy steak used to be an intimidating experience, but now wants every woman to realise their potential behind the grill because: 'If we can give birth we can cook a steak'

She said being faced with a fire and a thick uncooked juicy steak used to be an intimidating experience, but now wants every woman to realise their potential behind the grill because: ‘If we can give birth we can cook a steak’

TOP TIPS FOR COOKING STEAK 

* Preheat to the exact right temperature

* Use a meat thermometer

* Lightly season before and after cooking

* Use a paper towel to pat dry 

* Chat with your butcher about the right cut 

* Prepare everything in advance – including garnishes  

‘They will also tell you the best cooking method whether it will be to put it in the oven, braise it or smoke it. Just don’t shy away from asking,’ she said.

‘There is merit from both the butcher and grocery store, but the butcher will generally have more unusual cuts.’ 

When it comes to cooking the steak, Jess said the biggest mistake some people make is not ensuring the surface is hot enough.

The grill needs to be at the right temperature after pre-heating for what Jess describes as a ‘beautiful sear’ which contributes to taste and tenderness.

Her second biggest tip is to find a paper towel and pat dry the meat before putting it on the heat, a method which leaves a slight crust on the outside but soft and juicy on the inside, and Jess also stresses that a thermometer is an extremely crucial utensil. 

‘The most important tool at a steak chef’s arsenal is a good meat thermometer,’ Jess adds.

‘When you cook to temperature you will always have a precise result. Personally I never cook anything above medium rare.

And try to cut the meat against the grain – going against muscle fibres gives you a more tender bite.’

Close by Jess’ side while she is grilling a steak is salt and pepper which she uses to lightly season before and after heat application. 

But if an outside barbecue isn’t at your disposal, Jess assures a good steak can also be pan-fried.

‘Start with the steak in the oven then sear in the pan until it is perfectly pink from the edges,’ she said.

When it comes to cooking the steak, Jess said the biggest mistake some people make is not ensuring the surface is hot enough

When it comes to cooking the steak, Jess said the biggest mistake some people make is not ensuring the surface is hot enough

The meat connoisseur knows a thing or two about barbecuing for family and friends in her adoptive state of Texas, and she said preparation is key to juggling having a good time with cooking

The meat connoisseur knows a thing or two about barbecuing for family and friends in her adoptive state of Texas, and she said preparation is key to juggling having a good time with cooking

The meat connoisseur knows a thing or two about barbecuing for family and friends in her adoptive state of Texas, and she said preparation is key to juggling having a good time with cooking.

‘It’s all about the preparation and the mise en plus, just like professionals you need to get everything ready beforehand,’ Jess said.

‘It’s the same concept from the commercial kitchen to home. Everything should be chopped and ready, even the garnishing herbs.’

Jess’ preferred pairing with a good steak is a bourbon on the rocks and a salad, and she recommends coleslaw, roasted vegetables or a charred beetroot salad on the side for first-timers.

And as for the ultimate steak she has encountered in her travels – Jess said it was an piece of juicy Australian meat.

‘It was a Australian dry aged steak – grass fed, buttery and delicious with a beautiful intense flavour,’ she recalled. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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