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What Is a Spencer Steak and How to Cook It?

Written by Peter Allen on . Posted in food

The spencer steak cut is a type of meat that always leaves people wanting more. It is very similar to the rib-eye steak, and many people get confused between the two.

One of the best aspects of this meat is how it already has a lot of flavor in the meat before adding any seasoning. It also has a beautiful shape. The spencer steak cut is easy to prepare and cook.

To boot, cooking spencer steak is straight-forward and also cheaper than the average steak. These add up to a delicious, cost-efficient, and overall fantastic piece of meat.

What is Spencer Steak? – Let’s Learn More

The Spencer Steak Cut is one that a lot of people favor when they want to prepare a steak. This meat comes from the rib of the cow, which naturally means a lot of juice and flavor if prepared correctly.

This type of steak is sometimes said to be a rib steak, but it is not. The rib-eye tends to be more expensive due to how much harder this part of the meat is to extract from the cow.

This type of steak cut is also known as the “Delmonico steak,” but most people call it the spencer steak. This type of steak cut has been around for hundreds of years and is still well-known today.

You might be wondering what the spencer steak tastes like, due to how popular it is. Well, that depends on the seasoning you use. Although it certainly has a very distinctive flavor of beef.

This type of steak is one of the richest cuts out there. Despite the strong flavor, the actual meat has a very smooth texture which allows it to be cut easily if prepared correctly.

When you are trying to determine the perfect spencer steak side dishes, there are a lot of options.

The best complement for this meat is any type of vegetable. This can include roasted potatoes, green beans, roasted asparagus, and even steak fries.

The side dish that I prefer with my spencer steak is roasted potatoes. They add a beautifully salty counterpoint to this tender meat.

Preparing the Spencer Steak

When it comes to preparing spencer steak, you are going to want to make sure that you leave it in the fridge before you cook it. Otherwise, the steak will go bad.

After purchasing the steak, you will also want to make sure that you use it within 3-5 days afterward, or else it will not be in the best condition to cook with.

You will want to take the steak out for at least 20 minutes before seasoning and preparing the steak.

You will need to make sure that you let the steak sit out at room temperature. You will need to make sure that it is room temperature because this allows the steak to have a nicer texture.

Next, you will need to cut the steak before you cook it.

Below Is What You Will Need to Help You Cut the Steak Correctly:

  • A sturdy, large cutting board
  • A clean towel
  • A 10-inch curved butcher knife (you will need to make sure that the knife is sharp it’s is easier to cut with)
  • If this isn’t available just use a long, curved knife

For the next step, you will need a towel. You will be using the towel to dry out the meat. After taking the meat out of the packaging, you will need to make sure to dry the meat out thoroughly with the towel.

You will want to follow this diligently. If there is any blood in the meat, it will cause it to turn brown. Although the meat won’t become spoiled, it will not look very appealing. You will also need to make sure that the cutting board is completely dry before you cut the meat.

Put the meat on your cutting board, and place it in the correct position to cut. The right way to lay the meat on the cutting board is to have the more dense/fattier part on the bottom, with the softer meat exposed on top.

Get Started with The Actual Cutting

To get started with the actual cutting, you will first want to cut off some of the excessive fat. This will be the tough connective tissue. Although, make sure not to cut too much off, or else you will lose some of the meat’s natural taste, juices and flavors.

To start cutting the steak, you will want to place the knife at the very top of the meat away from you (aim for about ¾th of an inch thick) and lean over the top of it. Then start to drag the knife toward you until you have cut off an entire piece.

After cutting the desired amount of steak slices, you will then want to cut a small amount of fat off the top of each to create a more appealing shape.

After cutting the steak, you will then want to either marinate or season them, which you can try with some recipes I have provided below.

Spencer Steak Recipe- How to Make the Marinade?

Spencer Steak marinated

If you are thinking about wanting to add some extra flavor to your spencer steak, something that adds a pleasant taste is using a marinade or a rub.

When it comes to marinating steak, it typically takes a lot more preparation and ingredients. But it pays off since more people seem to prefer this over simply seasoning in terms of flavor.

When marinating the steak, you will want to leave the meat in the marinade anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours before cooking.

It just depends on your preference. I typically marinate my steak for about 5 hours, which I believe gives enough flavor without being overpowering.

The recipe that I will be sharing is a favorite of mine and many others. I like this specific one due to how it only requires four ingredients.

You Will Need:

  • Italian Dressing
  • A1 Sauce (the original flavor)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Lemon Juice (this can be optional)
  • A gallon-sized Ziploc bag

To start, you will need to add each of the ingredients to a Ziploc bag. When it comes to determining how much of each ingredient, I base it off of which ingredient’s flavor or taste I want more of.

For example, when adding the lemon juice, I try not to add too much due to how the zesty flavor can become overpowering.

Next, you will want to make sure to mix the ingredients very well so that the flavors will be evenly distributed in the bag.

After doing this, put the meat in the Ziplock bag and let it sit in the fridge from anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours.

Marinated the steak long enough for your liking, but make sure to take the meat out of the bag 30 minutes before you cook the steak.

Spencer Steak Seasoning

Seasoning is a perfect method to add flavor to your spencer steak if you want something simple. I will be giving a simple salt seasoning recipe. Personally, this is my favorite spencer steak seasoning!

Depending on the person, there are different methods of seasoning. Some like to season the spencer steak right before they cook it, while others like to season and let it sit for 24 hours before cooking.

I think letting the spencer steak sit in the seasoning 12 hours before cooking is adequate and gives it the most flavor. The main reason I would do it for only 12 hours is that the longer you let your spencer steak sit in the seasoning, the less juicy it will be. Overall, it just depends on the person and how they like their steak.

Seasoning in Advance

You Will Need:

  • paper towels
  • cooling racks
  • plastic wrap
  • sheet pan/cookie sheet
  • coarse-grained Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

You will want to start by sprinkling both sides of the steak with Kosher salt, making sure to carefully apply the salt on the edges as well.

After that, you will want to make sure to press the salt crystals into the meat using your hand. You will do this to ensure the meat gets all the flavor.

Next, you will want to transfer the seasoned steak to some cooling racks with a cookie sheet/sheet pan underneath. Then you want to cover the whole tray with plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge.

After waiting a designated time (12 hours is recommended), take them out around 30 minutes before you plan to cook the steak.

You then will want to pat the steak with a paper towel to dry them, due to how the salt will pull out some of the juices. Lastly, you will want to season the steak with some fresh ground pepper to add extra flavor.  

Seasoning Right Before Grilling

You Will Need:

  • coarse-grained Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • clarified butter or a refined high-heat oil

Before you begin seasoning, you will want to make sure that the steak sits at room temperature for about 30 minutes. After waiting for 30 minutes, you will want to get your Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle them on both sides of the meat (again, as well as the edges).

Next, press the salt crystals and pepper into the meat using your hands. After doing this, you will then use either the clarified butter or refined high-heat oil to brush before cooking.

Cooking the Spencer Steak

There are many ways to cook spencer steak. You can panfry, grill, boil, and so much more. But the favorite way to cook it at home is on a grill. This is the easiest and tastiest way to cook a spencer steak by far.

There are various ways people like their steak. Personally, when it comes to cooking a spencer steak, I like mine done medium-well.

Below I have listed 5 different ways to cook a spencer steak, starting from 1, which is the most lightly cooked, to 5, which is the most heavily cooked.

  1. Rare: Set to 120-125-degree Fahrenheit. 4-5 minutes on the first side and 3-5 minutes on the other side.
  2. Medium Rare: 135- degrees Fahrenheit. 4-5 minutes on the first side and 3-5 minutes on the other side.
  3. Medium: 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 5-7 minutes on the first side and 3-5 minutes on the other side.
  4. Medium well: 150 degrees Fahrenheit. 8-10 minutes on the first side and another 3-5 minutes on the other.
  5. Well-Done: 160-175 degrees Fahrenheit, 8-10 minutes on one side, and another 5-7 minutes on the other.

Conclusion

When it comes to spencer steak, it is by far one of the most popular steaks and meats around.

This steak has lots of flavor all on its own, even without seasoning. But the great thing about this steak is how, if you do add seasoning, there are lots of different types that go well with it.

Another way to enjoy this meat is by mastering the spencer steak cut. This type of cut is favored due to how it can be easily prepared and cooked.

It is definitely a fan-favorite steak for all those that like making steak at home. No doubt this steak is the total package—convenient, tasty, and affordable!

Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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