Election Night Sirloin Steak

Election Night Sirloin Steak

Every four years, when the polls close, I cook a steak. I don’t know why I started the tradition…maybe sometimes I need a visceral reminder of why this country is so freakin’ awesome and no victual sums up that self-evident truth like steak.

This year I’m going with a top sirloin because this election has been tough on all of us and if you’re not careful, sirloin can be tough. In fact, you could choke on it if you’re not careful.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much done with spin, so I’m keeping this elemental: steak, kosher salt and a crap ton of heat. That’s right…no oil no butter…that would make things slippery and I think we’ve had enough of that for now.

America…eat well and sleep well. Tomorrow is a new day…one way or another.


Election Night Sirloin Steak

  • One sirloin steak (1.5 inches thick, one pound five ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  1. Take steak out of fridge 30 minutes before cooking. I like dry sides so I keep mine unwrapped on a rack for air flow.
  2. The cast iron goes over the heaviest heat you’ve got for 5 full minutes.
  3. Either crank your hood, open a window or take the batteries out of your smoke detector because there will be smoke, and if there isn’t you ain’t doin’ it right.
  4. Liberally salt the pan…how liberally? I use one tablespoon. That’s right because if I can survive the last few months of TV salt won’t kill me in a night. Besides most of it will be staying in the pan. That’s right we’re actually cooking on salt. Why not? It’s a rock aint it? And I like my steaks crusty and salt will pull out proteins lending my sear actual crunch.
  5. The room temp steak goes into a pan hotter than the engines on a presidential candidate’s jet. Do not interrupt the steak for one minute. Sure it’ll feel like a long time because…never mind.
  6. Flip the steak and cook for another minute. Uninterrupted.
  7. Turn the steak up on one long edge and cook 30 seconds.
  8. Turn the steak onto the opposite long edge and cook another 30 seconds.
  9. Remove the steak and wrap tightly in foil for 3 minutes.
  10. Regardless of who wins, someone’s going to have to take some bitter medicine. Luckily I like medicine, and that’s why I drink Coke and Fernet Branca, a medicinal, bitter liqueur from Italy…but that’s just me.
  11. The steak goes back in the pan one minute, then flip and repeat, flip and repeat, flip and repeat. That’s a total of four minutes, two on each side…trust me on this.
  12. Re-wrap in foil and rest 5 more minutes.
  13. Slice on the bias and consume with your hands…because, after all, this has been a gloves-off kind of election.

Alton Brown's Election Night Steak Recipe


Add yours
  1. 2

    I made this for dinner this evening and followed the directions to the letter and it was delicious. Some of our family members are not steak lovers but really enjoyed our dinner. Thanks Alton

  2. 4

    To eliminate the smoke issue I put the skillet on the grill outside. Worked fine and I didn’t have a fire alarm problem of a smoky filled house.

  3. 5

    Hey Alton! I’m interested in how you like your Cola and Fernet. Do you prefer the traditional “90-2-10” like Argentina or have you put a different spin on it?

  4. 6

    Best steak I’ve ever made at home. The directions forgot one important thing – this is a 2 person operation. 1 to cook, 1 to deal with the fire alarm disaster that is inevitable. 100% worth it

  5. 7
    Brenna Soth

    Set off the fire Alarm 4 times, alarm company called 3x to make sure my house wasn’t on fire… over cooked one side for sure while trying to assure the alarm company that the fire department was in fact not needed… all while the living room fan, stove fan were on full blast, the back door open, and dogs freaking out… I sure hope I didn’t ruin this meal…

  6. 8

    It worked! Brilliant technique! But I did keep it a bit longer on the pan and in the foil (which I shouldn’t have done) and inadvertently crossed from the preferred rare/medium rare to medium. Tremendous method!

  7. 11

    Follow this recipe, you won’t be disappointed. Used a cast iron griddle so I didn’t get quite the crust but followed the timing and it turned out AH-MAZING!! Used the thin slices over top a “hooked-up” salad. Alton never fails to deliver.

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