Our Blog
Read Ultimate Guide to Steak: Cuts, Cooking, Sauces and Sides

Ultimate Guide to Steak: Cuts, Cooking, Sauces and Sides

Let’s talk about steak! These delicious cuts of beef are something that most people leave for the professionals to do, but why should you? Don’t be afraid of cooking your own steak at home and making it that perfect Friday dinner time treat.

Explore our Beef Steak Range

This extensive guide to steak covers everything you’ll need to know, from the cuts of steak, and their characteristics, to cooking temperatures and timings, as well as the perfect steak sauces.

We’ve even asked the nation for their knowledge of steak. Does the UK know the difference between medium rare and medium? What are their favourite sauces? We’ve found out everything about how the UK enjoys their steaks and you can find out more here.

The Different Cuts of Steak

There are lots of different cuts of steak available. To help you understand the difference between each we’ve listed them below:

The Sirloin

The Sirloin is a classic steak that is tasty and tender, and particularly well suited for having with a variety of steak sauces.

The Fillet

The fillet is a lean cut that melts in your mouth and is best when cooked quickly on a very hot pan.

The Rump

This cut is full of flavour due to being marbled with fat which dissolves when cooking, and further adds to the tastiness and helps prevent the steak from drying out.

The Minute

Minute steak is so called because it fries very quickly, and is ideal in sandwiches and stir frys.

The Ribeye

A favourite with chefs, this steak is well-marbled and very rich in flavour and goes very well with blue cheese and peppercorn sauces.


The T-Bone

This steak is comprised of two different cuts, with sirloin on one side and fillet on the other. This can require more skill as the fillet will finish cooking faster than the sirloin.

The Flat Iron

This cut comes from under the shoulder blade which gives it quite a bit of texture and plenty of flavour, and is best cooked slightly rare.

The Hanger Steak

This is also known as the onglet or “butcher’s steak” as traditionally it has been the preferred cut of the professionals. It has a lot of texture and flavour and is best when cooked very quickly at a high heat and served rare.  If cooked more than Medium Rare, the steak can be very tough.

The Bavette

A very versatile cut that is well suited for marinating, this is particularly popular in France and is the steak often served as Steak Frites.

How to Cook Steak

Cooking steak can seem like a challenge but if you follow a few essential tips and tricks you will be fine.

To start with, steaks are cooked to the following descriptions:

  • Blue: Not cooked in the middle, seared on the outside
  • Rare: Very pink in the middle
  • Medium/Rare: Cooked but still quite pink in the middle
  • Medium: Cooked throughout and only slightly pink in the middle
  • Medium/Well Done: Cooked throughout, only the slightest hint of pink
  • Well Done: Cooked throughout, not pink at all

Generally, you want to aim for Medium/Rare to Medium, as that allows for the steak to be cooked through without it becoming overcooked where it may run the risk of becoming chewy. However, people do have personal tastes and preferences and they can all be enjoyed.


Stages of steak being cooked

Before you cook your steak

The next thing to note is that before you start cooking, your steak should be taken out of the fridge and left to sit until it reaches room temperature. This is because if the steak is too cold, you may end up overdoing the outside before the middle of the steak is fully warmed and end up with an undercooked steak. While it is sitting, you should rub the steak with a flavourless oil with a high smoke point – like vegetable oil or rapeseed oil – salt, and pepper. Make sure to be very generous with your seasoning, as a lot of it will be lost when you start frying.

Then, you want to heat up a pan or griddle until it is very hot. Cast iron skillets are perfect for cooking steak as they retain a lot of heat evenly. The essential thing is that your pan or griddle must be big enough for you to place your steak comfortably on it. If your pan is not big enough for two steaks do not try to squeeze them in – simply cook one after the other.

Next, the important part is the sear. Once the pan is very hot, place your steak in the pan, and make sure when laying your steak into the pan to lay it going away from you. This should help stop the oil from splashing on you. When the pan is hot enough, the meat will brown and form a sear. This is called the Maillard reaction, and is a chemical reaction between amino acids and heat that causes the meat to sear and caramelise, bringing a lot of flavour with it.

Steak Cooking Times:

The cooking times for these descriptions are as follows:

  • Blue: 1 to 1.5 minutes on each side
  • Rare: 2.5 minutes on each side
  • Medium/Rare: 3 to 4 minutes on each side
  • Medium: 4 minutes on each side
  • Medium/Well Done: 5 minutes on each side
  • Well Done: 6 minutes on each side

Do bear in mind that the above refers to  a sirloin steak that is approx. 1” thick, and you may need to adjust the cooking times should you have a thinner or thicker cut.

Alternatively, seal the steak for 45 secs to 1 minute each side and place in the oven at 200° for the below times:

  • Blue: No oven required
  • Rare: 3 minutes in the oven
  • Medium/Rare: 5 minutes in the oven
  • Medium: 6 minutes in the oven
  • Medium/Well Done: 7 minutes in the oven
  • Well Done: 9 minutes in the oven

Remember to allow the meat to rest for the same length of time as cooking.

Cooking Steak by Touch Test:

For another easy way of telling how cooked a steak is, you can use the touch test.
This is the preferred method used by chefs, as it can be used for all types of steaks.

Simply hold your palm out in front of you, and with your other hand feel the palm flesh between your thumb and forefinger. This will have the same feel as raw steak.

Then, with your palm outward again with the same hand, touch your index finger to your thumb. With your other hand again press the fleshy bit between your thumb and forefinger. It should feel slightly more rigid. This is the texture of a rare steak.

With the same hand press your thumb and middle finger together, then once again feel the fleshy bit between your thumb and forefinger. This should feel quite a bit firmer and is the texture of medium/rare steak.

Press your thumb and ring finger together and feel between your thumb and forefinger to find  the texture of medium cooked steak.

Lastly, press your thumb and pinky together. The fleshy bit of your palm between your thumb and forefinger should feel quite tough, and this is the texture of a well-done steak.

Cooking Steak by Temperature:

Another way to cook your steak is to use a meat thermometer to assess the temperature of your meat and therefore gauge how cooked it is. Simply put your thermometer in the very centre of the steak, and the temperature for different levels of cooked is as follows:

  • Rare: 52°C
  • Medium/Rare: 57°C
  • Medium: 63°C
  • Medium/Well Done: 66°C
  • Well Done: 71°C

Always oil and season the steak and rub into the meat before putting in the pan.

How to Cook Each Type of Steak

How to Cook Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steak has a little bit of fat around the edges, meaning you need to properly render the fat, which requires cooking in a super-hot pan. Keep cooking until the fat around the steak is golden brown. Then cook it following the above instructions.

How to Cook Fillet Steak

Fillet steak is very lean, which means it can become tough during the cooking process. We usually recommend cooking it rare to medium, as to not overcook it, and also with plenty of basting to keep it moist.

How to Cook Rump Steak

Rump steak requires at least three minutes on each side with plenty of basting (using oils, butters and seasonings). It’s a muscular cut, which means it needs plenty of heat and fat to make it tender.

How to Cook Minute Steak

Because minute steaks are so thin, they cook quite easily within four minutes. Cook on both sides for two minutes and avoid cooking for too long as it can become quite tough.

How to Cook Ribeye Steak

Your oil needs to be spitting to ensure it’s hot enough for a ribeye steak. It’s best to cook rib-eye to at least medium-rare, as this gives the fat enough time to render down and flavour the meat.

How to Cook T-Bone Steak

The difference with cooking a t-bone steak compared to others, is that once you’ve seared it for 1-2 minutes on both sides, you then set the heat to medium and let it cook for at least 8-10 minutes longer for rare, 10-13 minutes for medium-rare, 11-14 minutes for medium and 13-16 minutes for medium-well.

You can even sear the steak for 2 minutes and then transfer to a 200°C oven for 10 minutes afterwards.

How to Cook a Flat Iron Steak

Flat iron steaks are quite dense, meaning it takes longer to cook (at least 8 minutes). We don’t recommend cooking it beyond medium, so set it on high heat for a couple of minutes and then bring it down to medium heat until it’s cooked through.

How to Cook Hanger Steak

Try butterflying your hanger steak so that it’s flatter. Then we recommend cooking it rare, two minutes on both sides.

How to Cook Bavette Steak

A bavette steak benefits from tenderising in marinade overnight in the fridge. Then let it get to room temperature before searing for four minutes on both sides. Check out the different steak marinades you can try.

After you cook your steak

When your steak has finished cooking, make sure to let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes. This allows for the juices to redistribute which gives the steak a better texture. Also, note that your steak will keep cooking during this time due to residual heat.

Now you have selected your perfect steak and know how to cook it, why not have a look at our recipes for the 10 best steak sauces and the 10 best steak side dishes to complete your meal?

Different Types of Steak sauces

Now that you know about the different steak cuts and how to cook a steak, let’s take a look at accompaniments. A popular must-have with steak is sauce, and our survey revealed that peppercorn is the UK’s favourite steak sauce. But what are all of the different sauces that pair beautifully with a steak?

Top 10 steak sauces

  1. Peppercorn
  2. Chimchurri
  3. Bearnaise
  4. Salsa verde
  5. Red wine ju
  6. Blue cheese sauce
  7. Creamy mushroom
  8. Daine
  9. Whisky
  10. Garlic herb butter


Learn to make each of these sauces with our extensive guide to steak sauce recipes.


We also have a range of ready-made steak sauces that you simply heat up and serve for a fantastic restaurant experience with ultimate ease.

Condiments & Sauces

The Best Sides to Have With a Steak

Steaks are best eaten alongside some delicious sides, and there are plenty to choose from. But we’ve picked our top 10, along with recipes, so that you can easily pick your favourite.

Top 10 Steak Sides


Steak and chips are a classic combination, and chips are relatively easy to make once you get the knack of them.

You can use sunflower oil to fry your chips, but for a really excellent flavour, beef fat – also known as beef dripping – is a perfect choice to go with a steak dinner. In terms of potatoes, Maris Piper, Red Rooster, and Golden Wonder are ideal.

For frying, you want to use a deep pan and do not fill more than half the pan with your choice of fat. For a lighter alternative, you can also bake your chips by placing them on a baking tray, drizzling with oil and seasoning with salt, then roasting in a preheated oven at 200C/Gas Mark 6 for 45 minutes. Make sure to turn them at regular intervals too. You could also use an air fryer to get your chips crisp and delicious, without having to use all of the extra oil.



  1. Cut your potatoes into finger sized wedges, you don’t need to peel them.
    Heat your oil in a pan, and if you have a thermometer you want to reach a temperature of 130°C. If you do not have a thermometer, you can test the temperature by placing a raw chip in the pan. When it starts to float and fry you know you have the right temperature.
  2. Use a slotted metal spoon to place your chips in the oil and fry for about 8 minutes. Take them out and put them to the side.
  3. Turn the heat up, and if you have a thermometer you want the oil to reach 190°C. If you do not have a thermometer, you can test this by returning one of the chips to the oil. It should float to the top and start turning a golden colour. This step ensures that your chips have a nice crispy exterior while still being fluffy in the middle.
  4. Add your chips in small batches, you don’t want to add too many at the same time as this will decrease the temperature of your oil. Fry until perfectly golden.
  5. Remove your chips, put them to the side and pat dry with some kitchen paper. Then, season with salt. Serve them immediately while still warm.


Coleslaw is a fantastic accompaniment to steak, providing a nice, fresh and crunchy balance to a meal. On top of this, coleslaw is incredibly easy to make and can be done in advance for a stress-free approach to a steak dinner at home.

If you are planning on making a steak sandwich, coleslaw also makes a fine dressing. You can use any type of cabbage, or even a mix of several for added colour and flavour.


  • 1 large cabbage (white or mix of red and white), take away the outer leaves and shred
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • 200g of mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare your cabbage and carrots. Mix together.
  2. Mix your mayonnaise, parsley, vinegar, and mustard in a separate bowl until combined.
  3. Add your dressing to the vegetables and mix well.

Tenderstem Broccoli/Spinach

Tenderstem broccoli fried with a little garlic and butter/olive oil gives you a really easy side dish that is packed with texture and flavour. You can also add asparagus and spinach to this recipe for an even greater variety of vegetables to pair up with your steak. Just make sure if you are adding spinach to only put it in at the end as it will only take a few minutes to cook.


  • 250g of tenderstem broccoli and/or spinach
  • 1 tbsp of butter or oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • ½ a lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Blanche your broccoli by placing it in boiling water for one minute, then pull out and drain.
  2. Heat the oil/butter in a pan to a medium heat. Add in the garlic and stir for a minute, and be careful not to burn the garlic and reduce the heat slightly if needed.
  3. Add the broccoli and stir thoroughly, then cover the pan and steam for a few minutes. If you are adding spinach, do this for the last minute or two.
  4. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and stir thoroughly.
  5. Serve immediately.

Baked Potato

Baked potatoes are a great side to have with steaks and will likely please anyone you are cooking for. On top of this, they are also delicious and incredibly easy. The ideal baked potato should be very fluffy on the inside with a nice crispy skin. Technically you can use any type of potato but Russet and baking potatoes are perfect.


  • 2 large potatoes, ideally baking potatoes or Red Rooster
  • 2 tbsp of oil or butter, any oil is fine except for extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and butter to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Prick your potatoes with a fork or carve a small cross in the middle. This is to let out the hot air and prevent them from exploding.
  3. Rub your potatoes with oil or butter and season with a touch of salt. Place on a baking tray and put in the oven.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, as this is to ensure that the skin goes really crispy.
  5. Lower the heat to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and bake for a further 50 minutes to an hour until the inside is soft.
  6. Open up the potatoes, and melt a small knob of butter inside. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately.

Green Leaf Salad

This green leaf salad with a French style vinaigrette is a fresh, crispy, and zesty side dish for your steaks. You can have it by itself, or even with some of the other side dishes listed here like chips or baked potatoes.


  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 170g of bistro salad. You can buy these pre-packaged or make your own with a mix of different types of lettuce, green leaves, and beetroot
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper together until fully combined to make the dressing.
  2. In a large bowl add your finely chopped red onion and salad.
  3. Drizzle your dressing on top of the salad, then toss.

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Dauphinoise potatoes are a classic side dish of rich and creamy potatoes with cheese. This is a perfect pairing with steak, but also works incredibly well with roasts. If you are feeling particularly decadent you can fry a few bacon lardons and add them to the potatoes before you put them in the oven.


  • 1kg of potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 100ml of double cream
  • 500ml of milk
  • 150g of grated cheese; gruyere is traditional but you can use any kind of melting cheese like cheddar or even parmesan


  1. Preheat your oven to 150°C/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Add your milk, cream, and garlic to a saucepan and bring to a slight simmer.
  3. Add your finely sliced potatoes to the milk and cream mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the milk and cream with a slotted spoon. Also remove the garlic cloves at the same time.
  5. Line your potato slices in an oven-proof dish.
  6. Pour the milk and cream on top until the mixture has seeped through the layers and so that there is a fine layer sitting on top of the potatoes.
  7. Spread your grated cheese evenly on top.
  8. Put in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until browned.
  9. Serve immediately.

Tomato & Feta Couscous Salad

A slightly more unusual and modern side dish for your steak dinner, this couscous is bursting with lots of different flavours and colours, making it a really exciting side to have. The combination of the rich feta, sharp lemon and tomatoes, and sweet red pepper compliment a lovely juicy steak. In fact, you could slice your steak and add it to this salad rather than have it as a side dish for a lighter meal.


  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 100g of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ a cucumber, diced into small cubes
  • 200g couscous
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 1 handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions.
  2. Mix your lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar until fully combined.
  3. Add the tomato, red onion, red pepper, cucumber, and herbs to the couscous and stir thoroughly. Add herbs and stir again.
  4. Add your dressing and mix thoroughly, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Mustard Mash

Mustard and mustard sauces go incredibly well with steak, and with this mustard mash you have a wonderful combination of a smooth and creamy mash that still has a punch of flavour. This very simple dish can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge, then simply heat up when needed. The best potatoes to use are Maris Piper, Golden Wonder, and Red Rooster.


  • 1kg of potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 100 ml of double cream
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tbsp of mustard, ideally Dijon
  • Salt and butter to taste


  1. Put your potatoes in a deep saucepan, covered with water.
  2. Put the pot on the heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil until the potatoes are cooked through. You should be able to put a knife or fork through them with little resistance.
  4. Take off the heat and drain.
  5. Add back into the pan, and then add the cream, milk, and mustard.
  6. Mash together until smooth.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve immediately.

Corn on the cob

Always a classic at barbecues, corn on the cob makes a very sweet, spicy, crunchy, and tasty partner with steak. It is also very easy to make and can be as seasoned or simple as you wish depending on your personal preference.


  • 4 corn on the cob
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chilli flakes, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Wrap each corn in foil to form a parcel.
  3. Place them on a baking tray, then bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and unwrap.
  5. Coat in butter and seasoning to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.

Lyonnaise Potatoes

This dish originates from the city of Lyon in France, and consists of fried slices of potatoes with onion and garlic. It is easy to make, and is perfect with steaks.


  • 1kg of potatoes, peeled and sliced to 1cm thick
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 4 shallots, finely sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Add oil to a pan at medium heat.
  2. Add your shallots and fry until soft.
  3. In the meantime and in a separate pot bring water to a boil, add your potatoes and boil for 3 minutes until slightly softened. Drain the potatoes. If the shallots are finished before the potatoes you can put them to the side.
  4. Add the potatoes, garlic, and butter to the shallots and cook until the potatoes have browned. Season to taste, add parsley and stir through, then serve immediately.


How the UK enjoy their steak

We surveyed 1,000 people to find out what the UK loves about steak. What are their favourite sauces? How do they like it cooked? We even did some qualitative research to find out if people really know how they like their steak. Do you order medium-rare but then complain it was too pink? There may be better steak out there for you.


Are you Ordering Your Steak Correctly?

Our qualitative study found that out of the people surveyed, almost 50% [49%] of people prefer their steak to be cooked differently to how they order it.

58% of people who order medium-rare or rare then chose differently when choosing from the images of cooked steak.

The study also found that those who order it well done are most likely to order it correctly, with 89% guessing well done correctly from the photos.

The UK’s Favourite Cut of Steak

Our research found that sirloin and fillet came in a close first place with 29.9% and 29.8% of the UK choosing that cut of steak over others.

What type of steak do you prefer? Percentage of UK
Sirloin 26.9%
Fillet 26.8%
Rib-eye 13.7%
T-bone 11.3%
Rump 9.0%
Bavette/Flank 8.1%
Flat-iron 2.8%
Onglet 1.4%


How Does the UK Like Their Steak Cooked?

Secondly, we asked them how they like their steak cooked, with medium-rare taking the lead at 27%. Following closely behind was medium at 22.9% and well done at 20.2%.

As little as 2.9% are daring enough to eat their steak blue, and 9.4% are ordering it rare.

How do you like your steak cooked? Percentage of UK
Medium-rare 27.0%
Medium 22.9%
Well done 20.2%
Medium-well 17.6%
Rare 9.4%
Blue 2.9%

What is the UK’s Favourite Steak Sauce?

With no surprise, peppercorn came out on top as the UK’s favourite steak sauce with 26.6% of the votes. But, at second, 14% of people said they have no sauce. Well, if you’re one of them then we highly recommend trying one of our top 10 favourite sauces next time you have a steak. You may be surprised how good they taste.

What’s your favourite sauce to accompany your steak? Percentage of UK
Peppercorn 26.6%
None 14.0%
Red wine sauce 11.3%
Creamy mushroom 10.5%
Mustard 10.2%
Blue cheese sauce 7.8%
Bearnaise 7.2%
Chimchurri 6.3%
Salsa verde 4.7%

So, you’ve learnt everything you need to cook your steak dinner. To order delicious and quality cuts of steak straight to your door, check out our beef steak collections, including sirloin, fillet, ribeye and more.

Data Methodology

The qualitative survey had 84 responses in total, across 16 different images of steaks cooked in various ways. 

We asked respondents how they order their steak, and then asked them to choose their favourite from three different images that showed the different ways of cooking a steak (from rare to well done). 

We also surveyed 1000 UK citizens and asked them how they like their steak (blue to well done), their favourite cut of steak and their favourite steak sauce.