Kim and Thi's Excellent Cooking Adventures


Posted in Low Carb, Paleo, Steak by kimandthi on January 25, 2012

I love steak.

Here are pictures of a few steaks I cooked back when I was living in an apartment in La Jolla with friends. The kitchen was, to put it bluntly, fucking terrible. It had a very old electric stove, and only a few “burners” would work at a given time. When the burners actually worked, there were really only two settings for the range (it was supposed to have infinite options from low to high): Fucking HOT and getting hotter (how is this possible?), or a low simmer.

Like the range, the oven didn’t seem to too concerned with precise temperature controls. I have a feeling it had a standard error of +/- 50 degrees at any given time. The result: frustrated me and an indifferent kitchen, it was pretty much domestic absurdity. Not to mention I chose to use cheap pots and pans (the famed $2 Ikea pan and an ungodly blackened cookie sheet, for example). Luckily I found a way to adapt to less-than-ideal kitchen environments. Archaea of the cooking kingdom. Perhaps you will find me in hot springs one day.

Despite the setbacks in appliances and hardware, I had developed a pretty good steak protocol that was tailored to work in this kitchen. It was yielding medium-rare steaks consistently. It produced a perfectly satisfying brown crust. I started to laugh again. Life was good.

Click “more…” for medium-rare moneyshots and more steak rambling.

Here is some exclusive raw text footage of the notes I kept for perfecting this recipe:
“3 minutes first side
2 minutes second side

450 degree oven for 6 minutes
(4 is too little, 8 is too much!) bone cooks too

note to self:
3 minutes one side, 2 minutes the other
6 minutes in oven = TOO MUCH!

next time:
2 minutes first side, 1.5 minutes second side
+ 4 minutes in the oven

^^ this is slightly overdone for a small-medium steak

would rather:
2 minutes first side, 1.5 minutes second side
+ 3 minutes in the oven

2 min first side
1.5 min second second side

for 3 minutes in oven. FLAT.

Yeah, go figure. Is this self-explanatory? I’m assuming it is, because I’m too lazy to write out what I really did. Take out steak an hour before cooking to bring to room temperature, salt right before cooking, 450 degree oven, yadda yadda yadda. Also, when cooking, I love to listen to music that matches the cuisine of the food I’m eating. Steak is pretty culturally inert, but my steak songs are usually from the Beastie Boys – The Mix Up album or Calexico songs. I end up using the songs to time the cooking, actually.

As terrible as the kitchen was, I learned to roll with it. It worked out by the end, however I admit I now feel somewhat stunted in the proper way to cook a steak (super hot cast iron skillet, different timing). Surely I’ll learn to roll with this, too.

– Thi


One Response

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  1. Peter Irwin said, on February 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    beautiful treatment of a lovely steak. i like the way you use bone in as i think the flavor superior.

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