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  • Writer's pictureJulian Guerrero

Microwaved Steak V. Boiled Steak: A Survey

Grilled, reverse-seared, broiled, pan-fried, or even roasted on a skewer—all equally wonderful and potentially polarizing ways to enjoy a steak, and unfortunately, completely irrelevant to what is to be explored within this article. See, this is not an article exploring great ways to prepare steak, it's quite the opposite, in fact. This article explores the outcome of a fiendish and dastardly question, posed by an outrageously bored mind. That question is, “What is the worst possible way to cook a steak?”

It began with a list. Lime-cooked, steamed, toasted, waffle-ironed, and even clothing-ironed all came to mind, all exceptional ways to destroy a steak. As the list grew, I realized that I would need to find a way to decide one definitive worst method. Thus, I created a bracket by which I could crown a King of Not Great™. This lengthy process eventually gave me the two worst methods: boiled and microwaved. However, I could not decide which deserved the crown on my own. This is what brought me to start a survey, the very survey that this article discusses. The question of this survey was, “Would you rather eat microwaved steak or boiled steak?”

Now, before I continue, it is important to explain what exactly makes these two cooking methods so repulsive when applied to steak. To begin, we will explore boiling: when you boil a steak, you are relying on the heat of the water to cook the steak; this prevents the Maillard reaction--browning, or the formation of a crust--from occurring, which happens at much higher temperatures (between 284--330℉) than the temperature at which water boils (212℉.) Additionally, I have found from personal experience that this method results in a dry, unappetizing, bland, and incredibly tough steak. Now, we will explore microwaving, which is exactly what it sounds like; you stick a slab of meat in a microwave, set it, and forget it. The microwave, much like the boiling pot of water, is incapable of producing the Maillard reaction. It is potentially worse than boiling, though, since it unevenly cooks the steak, and depending on the power of your microwave, it may not even fully cook the steak.

With this information now cleared, I may cut to the survey itself. This was a survey opened in the fall of 2021, initially meant to interview a group of around 50 participants. It was extended to June 3rd, 2023, and came to include results from over 200 people.

The following is a pie chart to visualize the results.

As you can see, the majority of participants preferred microwaved steak. The results are in, the winner is decided. Boiled steak, thrice less desirable, is crowned the worst way to prepare a steak, the King of Not Great™.



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