Cards on the table, you might be pretty proud of the steak you cook up at home, but it never quite compares to the quality and taste of the steak you eat at a good restaurant. So what’s the secret?

The grade

This is a level given to a piece of meat to indicate its quality. Restaurants that serve good steaks make sure they’re getting a high grade of beef.

Aging

This intensifies the flavours and improves tenderness. Good restaurants will let their meat age in controlled conditions for several days or weeks, or they’ll purchase it already aged. Aging beef is not something you can do yourself at home.

Seasoning

Really good steaks need little seasoning but even the best restaurants will give it a wee sprinkling of sea salt and pepper, and sometimes butter to add extra fat to the process resulting in a richer flavour. That’s right, there’s a reason fatty foods taste great and that’s because fat carries flavour.

The surface it’s cooked on

Cast iron is best.

Heat

Hot hot hot! That’s how you get the best steaks. Restaurants have extremely hot surfaces on which to cook the perfect steak. It’s splatters, it smokes, sometimes there are flames, but the searing hot heat melts the fat, which caramelises the outside.