Outback Steakhouse is known for serving up delicious, juicy steaks using tried and true cooking methods. When you want to enjoy a restaurant-quality steak at home, it helps to understand some of Outback Steakhouse’s signature techniques. There are several ways that Outback Steakhouse expertly cooks steaks to bring out maximum flavor, tenderness and juiciness.
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One of the most popular ways that Outback Steakhouse cooks steaks is by grilling them over an open wood-fired grill. This allows the steaks to absorb some smoky flavor from the wood fire. Outback likely uses high-quality beef such as Angus cuts like ribeye or New York strip for grilling. They rub the steaks with spices and herbs before placing them on the hot grill. Outback chefs know exactly how long to cook the steaks over direct heat to achieve the perfect amount of char and caramelization on the outside while keeping the interior nice and juicy. Grilling imparts a wonderful texture and crust on the steak that you just can’t achieve with other cooking methods.
In addition to grilling, Outback Steakhouse may also use a searing technique to cook their steaks, especially leaner cuts like a filet mignon. With this method, they heat up a grill or cast iron pan until it is extremely hot. The steak is seasoned and rubbed with oil, then placed in the pan and allowed to cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. This allows a lovely brown crust to form through the Maillard reaction. The steak is then flipped over and seared on the other side. Searing at a high temperature like this locks in the juices and flavors.
Oven Finishing Method
While grilling and searing are key for getting that perfect char, Outback Steakhouse may also finish cooking their steaks in the oven. This technique involves searing the steaks first on both sides to get a good crust, then placing the steaks in a hot oven to finish cooking through to the proper doneness level. The dry heat environment of the oven allows the steaks to cook evenly throughout. Using a digital meat thermometer ensures that the center of the steak reaches the ideal temperature for medium rare, medium or well done preferences.
Resting the Steak
One important technique that Outback Steakhouse employs is allowing the steak to rest after cooking and before serving. This means placing the cooked steak on a plate and tenting it loosely with foil for about 5-10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices within the steak to redistribute evenly throughout the meat. If you cut into a steak immediately after cooking, the juices will spill out onto the plate. But after resting, the steak absorbs its natural juices back inward so you get a more moist, flavorful bite.
Outback Steakhouse’s Signature Steaks
From rich, tender filet mignon to bold, beefy ribeyes, Outback Steakhouse offers an appealing selection of premium steaks. Here are some of their most popular cuts of steak on the menu.
Victoria’s Filet Mignon
The filet mignon is a steakhouse classic. Being one of the most tender cuts of beef, filet mignon is a 6-8 oz portion of the beef tenderloin. Outback Steakhouse’s Victoria’s Filet Mignon is seasoned with herbs and a hint of fresh garlic. It is remarkably buttery and tender, with a milder beef flavor than other cuts. Grilling or pan searing are best ways to cook filet mignon to medium rare or medium doneness.
Outback Center-Cut Sirloin
For a more affordable steak option, Outback Steakhouse offers their Center-Cut Sirloin. This comes from the upper middle portion of the sirloin primal cut. It offers a good balance of tenderness and bold beefy flavor. Sirloins are best enjoyed cooked no more than medium doneness to prevent toughening. Outback sirloins are seasoned with pepper, garlic and herbs for a robust, juicy steak experience.
One of the most flavorful, marbled steaks, the ribeye comes from the rib section of the cow. Outback Steakhouse ribeyes are 12 ounces of richly marbled, well-seasoned beef. The fat marbling provides both enhanced flavor and juiciness. Ribeyes are excellent for grilling or searing to create a crispy seasoned crust on the outside while keeping the inside moist and pink.
New York Strip
Also called a strip steak or Kansas city strip, this comes from the short loin primal. A thick, tender cut with a full beefy taste, New York strip makes for a satisfying meal. Outback Steakhouse New York Strips are 12 ounces and boldly seasoned with spices. The marbling provides juiciness and buttery flavor when cooked to medium doneness. They take well to being grilled or pan seared.
The porterhouse combines the best of two prized steaks – a tender filet on one side and richly marbled strip steak on the other, with a T-shaped bone in between. Outback Steakhouse serves up 20 ounce prime Porterhouse steaks, seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper. The filet mignon side cooks up melt-in-your mouth tender, while the strip steak side provides big steakhouse flavors. Grilling, pan searing and oven finishing work well for porterhouses.
Outback Steakhouse’s Steak Toppings and Sauces
In addition to great steaks, another reason people flock to Outback Steakhouse is for the delicious toppings and proprietary steak sauces. These provide additional layers of flavor that complement the steaks.
Blue Cheese Crumbles
A popular topping choice for Outback Steakhouse steaks is blue cheese crumbles. The salty, tangy flavor of the blue cheese pairs wonderfully with a juicy steak fresh off the grill. The creaminess provides a nice contrast to the texture of the meat. Crumbling on some blue cheese is a great finishing touch.
Steak lovers also frequently order Outback’s creamy sautéed mushroom sauce to pour over their steak entree. Mushrooms offer an earthiness that blends nicely with meat. Outback’s rich mushroom sauce is made with butter, fresh herbs and spices for a totally indulgent flavor combo with steak.
For those who like a little spice with their steak, Outback Steakhouse’s cracked peppercorn sauce is a popular choice. Cracked black peppercorns provide a piquant kick and warming heat that accentuates the juicy beef flavors of the steak. This peppery sauce adds an extra layer of seasoning.
In place of a sauce, some Outback Steakhouse guests prefer topping their steak with grilled shrimp. The sweet, briny juiciness of the plump shrimp contrasts nicely with the charred savoriness of the steak. Another delicious surf-and-turf pairing!
Grilled Lobster Tail
For ultimate indulgence, Outback Steakhouse offers the option of adding a grilled lobster tail to any steak entree. The succulent lobster meat provides sweetness that pairs divinely with steak. Grilling the lobster tail gives it a smoky depth that complements the caramelized steak flavors.
Tips for Cooking Steak at Home Like Outback Steakhouse
You can absolutely make delicious restaurant-quality steaks at home with some know-how. Use these tips to cook steak with the expertise of Outback Steakhouse:
Choosing the Right Cut of Steak
Picking the right cut of steak is key. Tender cuts like filet mignon, ribeye and New York strip have great beefy flavor and cook up juicy. Shoot for USDA Choice or Prime graded beef for the most marbling. Properly marbled steaks will be more flavorful and moist.
Properly Seasoning the Steak
Before cooking, rub steaks all over with oil, then season generously with salt and pepper to add a flavorful crust when seared. Consider adding other spices and herbs like garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, Montreal steak seasoning or a store-bought steakhouse seasoning.
Cooking Techniques for Different Cuts
Tender cuts like filet mignon do best with quick, high-heat cooking like grilling, broiling or pan searing. This preserves interior tenderness. Fattier cuts like ribeye can handle slower roasting or braising methods since the fat bastes the meat and keeps it juicy.
Ensuring the Perfect Doneness
Use an instant-read thermometer to check for your desired degree of doneness. Take the steak off the heat when it’s 5-10°F below your target temp, then let it rest to allow the temperature to rise to perfect doneness without overcooking.
- Rare: 120-125°F (red, cool center)
- Medium Rare: 130-135°F (warm, reddish-pink center)
- Medium: 140-145°F (hot, pink center)
- Medium Well: 150°F (smallest hint of pink)
- Well Done: 160°F (no pink)
Resting the Steak Before Serving
As mentioned earlier, always let steaks rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking. This allows juices to reabsorb for better flavor and tenderness. Tent the rested steak loosely with foil to keep it warm. Resist cutting into it right away!
Conclusion: Enjoying a Delicious Steak at Home Inspired by Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse has mastered the art of making crave-worthy steaks with prime cuts of beef, proper seasoning techniques and the right cooking methods. With an understanding of their processes, you can absolutely replicate Outback’s delicious steaks at home. Choose a thick, well-marbled steak like a ribeye or filet mignon. Season boldly with salt, pepper and spices. Get a good sear over high heat. Finish in the oven if needed. Allow your steak to rest before slicing and serve with fun toppings like blue cheese, shrimp or lobster tail. Your family or guests will think you’ve become an expert steakhouse chef!