My friend Dave Ruel aka “the Muscle Cook” and author of the Anabolic Cooking was in town visiting a couple weeks ago and he taught me how to cook the perfect the steak.

One terrific source of protein that tops the list for many people in terms of what they want to be including in their diet plan is steak. Steak is rich in protein, high in iron, and if you choose a leaner cut of steak, will also contain a low amount of saturated fat. If you can purchase grass fed beef, you’ll also get some healthy fats from this protein source, making it especially healthy.

That said, some of you have approached me with a number of questions regarding cooking your steak as part of your healthy meal plans, so let’s give you the facts you need to know.

Question 1: When I cook steaks, I often mess them up in one way or another. But one question I have is will there be a difference in seasoning the steak prior to starting to cook it or can I season it after I cook it and get the same effect?

Muscle Cook: For best results, I’d recommend seasoning the steak before cooking it. This way the seasonings can absorb into the meat better and blend with the natural meat juices during the cooking process.

Waiting until after to season it won’t give you nearly the same flavor and you might find it rather bland tasting or too powerful if you use too much spice.

Question 2: How long should I marinate a steak for before cooking it?

Muscle Cook: Ideally you should marinate your steak the night before you want to cook it and let it sit in the fridge overnight, but if you can marinate it for 3-4 hours before cooking, that will also be effective and help to bring out the flavors that you’re looking for.

Question 3: When cooking steaks with vegetables, is there a right way or a wrong way to cook them? Should I cook them separately from the steak? Or should I cook the steak first?

Muscle Cook: Your safest and best bet here is to cook the vegetables until they are almost finished first, then remove them from the pan/heat. Then prepare your steak and about 2-3 minutes before it’s finished, add the vegetables back in.

This will still allow the flavor from the steak to blend with the vegetables and vice versa as they’ll be in the hot pan together, but give you more control over the speed of cooking to ensure that you cook each until your desired state of doneness.

Steak is definitely a great addition to your healthy meal plan so if you have any questions that you’d like to ask about the cooking process, make sure that you post them below.

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