Nothing beats a juicy steak that has just been cooked to perfection and served with all your favorite fixings. Did you know that the best steakhouses never fry their steaks in anything but butter? Adding a little butter to your steak while cooking is all it takes to make it taste like it came from a fancy restaurant.
Is salted or unsalted butter preferable when cooking steak? Use whichever type of butter you prefer, but remember to adjust the amount of salt you use to season your steak. To maximize its flavor, butter should be added to the steak either in the final minute of cooking or during the resting phase.
You want to know the secret to making your steak taste even better, but you don’t know how to use butter? Read on to learn the best time to add butter to steak and which type of butter works best.
Why Should You Put Butter On Steak?
You may have cooked steak for years without ever considering adding butter. The addition of butter to steak can elevate this succulent cut of meat to an entirely new level. The addition of butter to steak enhances its flavor and imparts a glossy sheen. It also improves the meat’s texture, virtually ensuring that your meticulously prepared prime steak will be succulent and juicy.
The reason butter on steak tastes so delicious is because it contributes to the desirable caramelized flavor on the exterior of the meat. The addition of butter to steak provides the foundation for a sauce that is ideal for blending with herbs, cheese, or mushrooms.
Which Butter Is Best For Steak?
While you can use any store butter for steak, you’ll be surprised to learn that top-tier steakhouses are picky about the butter they use. Clarified butter or compound butter are the best butters for steak.
Clarified butter is butter in which the solids have been removed, leaving only pure milk fat. This is great for giving steak a glossy sheen without the white flecks that come with melted whole butter.
Compound butter is a combination of butter and additional ingredients such as garlic or herbs. When melted, this mixture behaves like a flavored sauce. These are both excellent choices if you want to achieve Michelin-star restaurant quality, but in reality, you can use any butter from the store.
When it comes to butter, the price does not always reflect the quality. A good butter will have a high milk-to-water ratio — ideally, it should be around 80% milk or higher. Because milk is such a simple product, store-brand milk can be just as good as premium milk.
Some factors, of course, will improve the quality of your butter. Look for butter made with milk from organically raised grass-fed cattle, as it has a better and richer flavor.
Also, carefully inspect the packaging for any unwanted additives — the ingredient list should only include milk, water, and possibly some salt. Anything else is optional and should be avoided (unless you want compound butter). But what about the salt? Should we use salted or unsalted butter with our steak? Let us investigate!
Should You Use Salted Or Unsalted Butter For Steak?
Opinions differ on whether salted or unsalted butter should be used for steak. While some steak connoisseurs would never consider using salted butter, others will avoid unsalted butter at all costs.
Apart from the saltiness, there isn’t much of a difference between salted and unsalted butter in reality! Pure milk fat, used to make both varieties of butter, melts beautifully on top of steak.
Whether to use salted or unsalted butter will depend on how much control you want over how salty your steak will be and whether you plan to season it with any additional ingredients.
The majority of chefs season a prime steak with salt and pepper before cooking it, which aids in bringing out the meat’s luscious flavor that we all adore.
This aids in creating a thick, caramelized layer on the steak’s exterior, sealing in the savory meat juices inside. The saltier flavor of the steak’s outer layer will improve the flavor of the cooked meat as a whole.
You can season your steak the same way you would normally if you use unsalted butter for it. The butter will give the flavor more depth and richness, perfectly balancing the flavor of your seasoned steak.
It’s not too difficult to use unsalted butter for steak because you don’t need to change how you cook it. But things become a little trickier if you use salted butter.
You must lessen the salt you use to season your steak when using salted butter to make up for this. You might want to completely avoid adding any more salt because doing so will change the final flavor of your steak’s outer surface.
When using salted butter for steak, it can be challenging to achieve the ideal level of seasoning, but the butter’s richness more than makes up for this!
Since salted butter, in the opinion of many, produces the best caramelized flavor on seared meat, many people prefer its taste to that of unsalted butter when applied to steak.
Consequently, salted or unsalted butter, which is better for steak?
Salted butter wins out in terms of final flavor, but you do need to drastically reduce the amount of seasoning applied to the steak prior to cooking. Choose unsalted butter if you prefer a straightforward buttery dressing without having to worry about the amount of salt in it.
When Should You Add Butter To Steak?
In addition to selecting the best butter for steak, how it is used is critical. Because butter has a low burn point, it should never be used to cook steak. The best way to cook a steak is without a doubt on a searing hot grill or griddle — at these temperatures, the butter will burn and taste bitter.
Only add butter to steak near the end of cooking time or while the cooked meat is resting. You can add a knob of butter to the pan for the last minute or so of the cooking period. It will quickly melt into the pan and begin to caramelize, leaving the meat with a delicious brown coating.
Remember that it will burn quickly, so remove the pan from the heat as soon as the butter begins to bubble and foam. Alternatively, place a pat of butter on top of the cooked steak and allow it to melt.
This is a great way to flavor a cooked steak with herby or garlic butter, as the butter melts and dribbles richly flavored loveliness all over the meat. Just don’t forget to scoop up and serve this ready-made sauce alongside your steak — wasting it would be a crime!