A good sized boneless top sirloin steak is large enough to feed a family. The downside is that if it is improperly prepared, it can be a very tough cut of meat. Fortunately, cooking sirloin steak properly yields a flavorful meal with meat that is well tenderized.
Step 1 - Season
Seasoning your boneless top sirloin adds flavor to your meat. You can do this with either rubbed seasonings or a marinade. Contrary to popular belief, marinades don't penetrate into the meat any more deeply than dry rubs do. Both add flavor to the surface. For best results, rest the meat in the marinade or with the dry rub for about four hours.
You can use a commercially prepared marinade or make your own. If you prefer to make your own, include the following components.
- A liquid base - Contrary to popular belief, this does not need to be an acid. In fact, marinating beef for long periods in acid allows the acid to cook the beef partially and gives it a mushy texture. Some good liquid bases for your marinade include red wine and beef stock, or a combination of liquids, such as a little citrus juice, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.
- Salt - Adding salt or salty ingredients to your marinade allows the flavor to soak into your meat. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce or a half teaspoon of sea salt to the marinade. It doesn't take much salt to flavor the meat when distributed in liquid.
- Other seasonings and flavorings - These can include flavors like garlic, pepper, onion, shallot, thyme, honey, brown sugar, rosemary, tarragon, Dijon mustard, fish sauce, or whatever sounds good to you at the moment.
Alternatively, you can season your meat with a dry rub. You can purchase rubs for meats in the spice aisle of your grocery store or mix up a simple dry rub that adds tremendous flavor.
Step 2 - Dry the Meat
If you've marinated the meat, it will be quite moist. In order to prepare it for cooking, you need to blot away any excess marinade with a paper towel. After blotting (which is unnecessary if you've used a dry rub), allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to come up slightly in temperature. This prepares the meat's surface for cooking.
Step 3 - Cook
A delicious steak is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside, so you need to select the proper cooking method to maximize tenderness and flavor.
One of the best methods for cooking this type of steak is on the grill. In order to develop flavor, you will need to use an extremely hot grill to sear the meat, followed by grilling at a moderate temperature to cook the meat.
- Turn all the burners on to high and preheat with the lid closed for about 15 minutes.
- Turn one burner down to medium.
- Place the steak on the hot burner. Grill until well-browned on one side for about two to three minutes. It is important to the development of the crust that you don't move the meat during this searing process.
- Flip the steak and grill it on the other side for about two to three minutes.
- Move steak over to the cooler side of the grill. Put the lid down and grill according to the cooking chart, below.
Charcoal adds a smoky flavor to the meat you won't get from a gas grill. To use a charcoal grill:
- Build a two-level fire where the grill is closer to the charcoal on one side (stack charcoal higher) and farther away on the other side.
- When charcoal is ready, grill steak over the hot side of the fire for two to three minutes per side - until steak is well-browned on both sides.
- Move the steak to the cooler part of the grill. Continue grilling according to the cooking chart, below.
You can pan-fry the steak from start to finish if it is one inch thick or less, or pan fry to start and finish in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven if it is thicker than an inch. Choose an oven-proof, thick bottomed skillet, such as a cast iron skillet.
- Heat a tablespoon or two of oil or butter in the skillet on medium-high.
- Add the steak and cook without moving, three minutes per side.
- If the steak is one-inch or less thick, turn off the heat. Tent the pan with foil and allow the steak to rest for about seven minutes. The pan will retain enough heat to continue cooking the steak.
- For a thicker steak, transfer the pan to a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer measures the desired temperature, noted in the cooking chart below.
To broil your steak, heat your oven's broiler on high with a broiling pan in the oven preheating. Set the oven rack to the middle position.
- After about 10 minutes, place the steak on the broiler pan in the oven.
- Broil for about five minutes per side.
You can also roast your steak in a preheated oven. Adding a little liquid to the pan allows the meat to retain its moisture and tenderness. To roast:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add two cups of marinade to a baking dish and add the steak.
- Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for two to three hours, or until very tender.
A slow cooker is a hands-off way to cook your steak.
- Add vegetables, such as sliced onions and carrots, to the slow cooker.
- Add two cups of marinade or another liquid.
- Add the steak. Cover and cook on low for eight hours or on high for four hours.
The following chart offers approximate cooking times on a grill or in a medium-high pan to get the steak to its desired doneness.
|Rare||5 to 6 minutes||120 degrees||Most tender|
|Medium rare||6 to 7 minutes||125 degrees||Tender|
|Medium||7 to 8 minutes||130 degrees||Least tender|
Step 4 - Let It Rest
If you cut the steak too soon, the juices will drain out. Therefore, once the steak has cooked, allow it to rest tented with foil on a cutting board for about 10 minutes.
Step 5 - Cut the Steak
For maximum tenderness, slice the steak very thinly against the grain. Doing so shortens the steak fibers, making it less chewy.
There are as many ways to cook a boneless sirloin steak as there are to flavor it. Add some of your favorite ingredients and the cooking method of choice to make your steak delicious and memorable.
Have leftovers? Try tasty recipes for leftover steak.