How to Buy and Cook Steak

Steak. It's fucking delicious. Here's how I make it.

The first half of this post is a piece on how to buy steak, by Eric Zhang. What follows are directions on how to prepare it, down to the most minute (but crucial) details.

How to Buy Steak

by Eric Zhang

about buying steak
most important thing is the cut of steak
namely where the meat is cut from
safeway is the best place to buy steak around here
trader joes/wholefoods offer shitty steak
costco is even better than safeway but has much higher prices for that quality
so basically
you want one of these cuts
: new york, rib eye, t-bone
disregard all other steak
disregard, top sirloin, round, chuck, 7 bone, tri tip, all of those, they don't exist, they suck
good steak is new york rib eye or tbone
you may have also heard of filet mignon
it's fucking expensive and hard to cook right, don't bother, safeway doesn't offer good filet mignon
filet mignon simply means a steak cut from the tenderloin
t-bone is a combo cut of new york and tenderloin steak together, so t bone is tasty
rib eye is easiest to cook cuz it has best marbling
marbling is the amount of fat "strands" inside the lean muscle, hence giving a marbled
top notch marbling:

very shitty marbling:

marbling is 2nd most important thing when buying steaks
you want more marbling
marbling is what gives steak deliciousness and makes it easier to cook
at safeway, for same cut and price, you'll see all sorts of levels of marbling
look through all the available packages to find the one with best marbling
so to reiterate
when buying a steak
1. most important is cut, buy a rib eye, new york, or t-bone
2. choose the package with most marbling
now a note regarding prices
every other week, safeway has a generous sale on one of those cuts
safeways sales run on a wednesday - tuesday cycle
typical sale prices are as follows
new york, rib eye: 5.99/lb
t-bone 6.99/lb
(for bone-in), boneless costs more
do not pay more than these prices, it will go on sale guaranteed
if you can find boneless new york or rib eye (no such thing as boneless t-bone) for $7.99,
that is an acceptable price
this week safeway has bone-in new york or t-bone for 7.99
if you need it this week, then buy those, otherwise next wednesday there will be lower prices
stay away from top sirloin
people think thats good steak cuz they serve it at outback steakhouse
it is an inferior cut to new york/ rib eye/ tbone/ tenderloin
its only good at restaurant cuz they marinade it in wine which increases tenderness and flavor but you lose the natural beef flavor

Addendum by David: Rib eye is also known as Delmonaco. It is said that bone-in gives better flavor. Thicker steak cooks slower so it's easier to cook it rare, or medium-rare. You should not cook steak well-done, and only cook medium by accident. Well-done is a crime.

GREAT! Now you know how to buy steak. Let's cook:

How to Cook Steak

If you successfully follow my directions, your steak will taste far better than what you've had in restaurants. Restaurant chefs don't have time to put this much love into each steak. Much of this is sourced from celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver — relevant videos are included at the end of the post.


  1. Dress the board (
    • Chop & squash a few cloves of garlic with the side of your knife. Mix with salt and parsley.
    • Add lemon juice and olive oil.
    • When the steak is ready, the board will be dressed, so rub your steak on the board, 'dressing' it.
    • If you want, add more butter. You can never go wrong with more butter.
    • Add lemon.
    • Drizzle a bit of good olive oil.

Enjoy! David Trejo

PS How can you tell if olive oil is real? Good signs include:

  1. The olive oil is made in California and is not "mixed." (some labels try to trick you)
  2. When you smell it, it smells like olives (if doesn't smell like anything, be suspicious)

David Trejo

Engineer at Chime & consultant. Past clients include Credit Karma, Aconex, Triplebyte, Neo, the Brown Computer Science Department, Voxer, Cloudera, and the Veteran's Benefits Administration.