New York strip steak, also called Kansas City strip, club steak or top sirloin, is a cut from the upper portion of the beef short loin renowned for its moderate tenderness, marbling and strong, beefy flavor. This steak is commonly cut 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick to ensure the outside browns well without overcooking the center, a feat that is more difficult to accomplish with a thin-cut steak. This is less of a problem if you like your steak cooked well done, but a medium-rare or rare steak requires incredibly high heat to brown the outside quickly, regardless of whether you grill or fry the steak.
Season the thin-cut New York steak with your choice of marinade, seasonings or spices. A steak with such a strong flavor as New York strip often requires little more than a light sprinkling of salt and pepper to enhance the flavor.
Place the steak in the refrigerator until just before ready to cook it to keep the meat as cold as possible. If the meat starts at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, for example, it takes longer to reach the desired doneness temperature than if it starts at room temperature, about 70 F. Another option is to place it in the freezer to ensure it's extra cold, taking care not to actually freeze the steak.
Preheat a grill or skillet over high heat until very hot. Add a bit of oil to prevent the steak from sticking in the skillet, especially if it doesn't have a non-stick surface. The skillet is ready to cook the steak when a drop of water added to it evaporates almost immediately.
Place the thin-cut New York steak in the skillet or on the grill and cook the first side for 45 to 60 seconds, or until well-seared. The exact amount of time depends on the desired level of doneness and the thickness of the steak. A 1/2-inch thick steak requires less cooking time than a 3/4-inch steak to reach medium-well doneness.
Flip the steak over and cook the other side for 45 to 60 seconds until it is well-browned. Flip the steak with a pair of tongs to avoid piercing the meat and allowing the juices to leak.
Insert an instant-read digital meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat to check the internal temperature. Flip the steak and continue cooking if it hasn't reached the desired doneness, checking the temperature again in 30-second intervals until done. Cook to 110 to 115 F for rare, 120 F for medium-rare, 125 to 130 F for medium, 130 to 135 F for medium-well, 130 and 140 F for well done steak. Remove the steak when the temperature is a few degrees shy of the desired temperature.
Remove the steak from the skillet or grill and allow it to rest for about three minutes so the juices that accumulate in the center redistribute throughout the steak. The internal temperature will rise a few more degrees during the resting period, finishing at the perfect temperature.
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- Do not rely on time or color alone to determine when the steak is done, because the exact time depends on the steak thickness. Using an instant-read digital thermometer is the most accurate method.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.