Chef reveals the one thing you need to make a restaurant steak at home

Chef reveals the trick to cooking a restaurant standard steak at home – and the one gadget you need to invest in for the tastiest flavour

  • A chef has revealed her trick for cooking restaurant standard steak at home
  • Nichole Dailey says the secret lies in internal temperature, not just the outside
  • She says you must invest in a digital thermometer with a thin probe to test inside
  • Thermometers are sold at Bunnings for $89 and on Amazon Australia from $149

A top chef has shared the secret to cooking a restaurant standard steak in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Nichole Dailey, ‘Chef de Cuisine’ at Traeger Grill barbecues in Salt Lake City, Utah, says the answer lies in the internal temperature of the meat – not just the skin.

To guarantee steak is cooked to perfection, Ms Dailey says you must invest in a digital thermometer with a thin probe that penetrates right to the centre.

Smart wireless thermometers are available on Amazon Australia from $149 to $199, while Bunnings stock a cheaper model for just $89.

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The key to cooking a restaurant standard steak in the comfort of your own kitchen lies in the internal temperature of the meat,  not just the skin, according to a US chef (stock image)

Traeger Grill ‘Chef de Cuisine’ Nichole Dailey (pictured) says the secret lies in the internal temperature of the meat – not just the skin

Ms Dailey told 7News that rare steaks should be cooked for two and a half minutes on either side, recording an internal temperature of between 49 and 51 degrees Celsius to show they are done.

She said medium steaks should be left on the pan for three and a half minutes either side, with a temperature of 55 to 57 degrees inside.

Meanwhile well done steaks with a crisp, caramelised outside should be cooked for anywhere up to six and a half minutes, with an internal temperature of 71 degrees.

Ms Dailey added that the quality and thickness of the meat will influence the standard of a homecooked steak, regardless of the skill of the chef.


2 red capsicums

4 tomatoes

1 red chilli  

1/2 onion

1 garlic glove 

Olive oil

Lemon juice 



1. Char the capsicums, tomatoes, chilli and half an onion on the barbecue until blackened and caramelised. 

2. Peel the capsicum and chilli, then blend everything together with a clove of garlic, some salt, olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

‘The quality determines the texture, tenderness and how flavourful the steak will taste,’ she said. 

The thicker the meat, the easier it is to cook, Ms Dailey added, with a two-inch cut the ‘ideal’ choice for top quality steak.

Most supermarkets slice steak between a half and one inch, so it’s best to head to a butcher’s if you’re looking for a premium cut.

Ms Dailey’s tips come after one of Australia’s most sought-after chefs shared the simple recipe he swears by for homemade steak sauce.

Pip Pratt is the head chef at one-hatted Sydney restaurant Bistecca which offers diners just one main course: T-bone steaks.

He whips up his signature steak accompaniment with red capsicums, tomatoes, chilli, olive oil and onion, adding extra flavour with garlic, lemon juice and salt.

Pip told Daily Mail Australia that buying a premium cut of beef ‘will do all of the hard work for you’ – leaving you with little more to do than flip the steak two to three times on each side.

‘You should flip a steak on the BBQ grill enough times to get the balance of a good crust without burning the surface,’ he said.

‘This could be two to three times on each side. I season the steak just before cooking and with a little sea salt right at the end after slicing.’

Sydney chef Pip Pratt (pictured) says buying a premium cut of beef ‘will do all of the hard work for you’

 Pip says steak should be flipped two to three times on either side for the best result

Pip said the ‘beauty’ of steak is that it can be served with ‘absolutely anything’.

‘Vegetable wise the list is endless, even fruits can be used like grilled peaches. It is extremely versatile as a product,’ he explained.

‘Anything fresh and light is my favourite to go with barbecue beef as they help cut through the beautiful rich flavour of the meat. 

‘Something like a simple tomato salad with lots of herbs and a sweet vinegar or green beans tossed in some lemon juice and olive oil with some toasted pine nuts would be my go-to.’

The chef said the best way to cook sausages to perfection without it bursting or dying out on a grill is to steam them first.

Tips for cooking the perfect steak 

CUT: Choose quality cuts like a Scotch fillet, a well-aged tenderloin, flank or hanger.

STEAK TEMPERATURE: Take the steak out of the fridge one to two hours prior to cooking for the optimal frying temperature.

SEASONING: A ratio of two grams of salt per kilo of steak should be used as a guide (use an accurate digital scales to weigh the salt). Soft flaked salt is best as it has an inherent sweetness, whereas fine cooking salt is too aggressive.

PAN TEMPERATURE: Start with a high heat so the steak can sear, form a nice golden crust and start to caramelise. Once that happens, turn the heat down slightly and avoid turning or prodding the meat to keep all the juices inside, aiming for a medium rare doneness.

RESTING TIME: Always rest your steak for approximately the same amount of time it’s cooked for to let the fibres relax and the juices spread.

ADDED FLAVOUR: Brush the steak lightly with olive oil instead of putting the oil in a pan, as it also helps your seasoning stick.

‘A sneaky cheat is to steam them beforehand, all you have to do is get the colour on the outside and they’re good to go,’ he explained.

Like any barbecue, Pip said you could never go wrong with serving the classic sausage sizzle.

‘Australians have a long tradition of a good quality beef sausage, soft sliced white bread, caramelised onion and a good blob of tomato ketchup,’ he said. 

‘I go for local butcher’s specialty beef sausages, ketchup and the classic Wonder White bread.’ 

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