How to cook a steak in a skillet

How To Cook the Perfect Steak

Preparation

Indoors

Season the steak one hour before cooking, using extra virginolive oil, fresh ground black pepper, and kosher or sea salt. Leave it at room temperature until cooking.

Open a window or start a ventilation fan, cooking in this method can produce a fair amount of smoke.

Put the pan over high heat, and leave it until it is extremely hot. Add 1T butter and 2T olive or canola oil to the pan and watch for the butter starting to brown.

Place the steak into the pan and reduce the heat to medium, cooking the first side for 4-6 minutes. Turn the steak gently with tongs, then tilt the pan and baste the cooked side with pan juices.

Cook the second side until it develops an even crust on both sides. Picking the steak up with tongs, quickly sear the edges.

“Cook To” Temperature Guide

Very Rare: 115-120 °F Medium: 138-145 °F

Rare: 125 °F Medium Well: 150 °F       

Medium Rare: 128-135 °F Well Done: 160+ °F

Remove to a cutting board, and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes, underneath an aluminum foil tent to retain heat. Serve on a warm plate

To make Au Jus, while steak is resting skim the fat off the pan drippings, then boil to reduce to ½ of the original. Pour over cooked steak before serving.

On The Grill

Season the steak one hour before cooking, using extra virgin olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, and kosher or sea salt. Leave it at room temperature until cooking.

Brush each side with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil.

Place the steaks on a hot grill and sear for 4-6 minutes, rotating 90° once to create criss-cross grill marks.

For a rare or medium finish, turn the steak over and finish cooking to the right temperature. For medium or more cooked, turn the steak over and close the grill lid to trap heat, then cook to your desired doneness (between 3-9 minutes, depending on preference and steak thickness).

“Cook To” Temperature Guide

Very Rare: 115-120 °F Medium: 138-145 °F

Rare: 125 °F Medium Well: 150 °F       

Medium Rare: 128-135 °F Well Done: 160+ °F

Remove to a cutting board, and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes, underneath an aluminum foil tent to retain heat. Serve on a warm plate

How to Cook Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet

Cooking steak in a cast iron skillet is a much simpler process than many would imagine.  Simply follow our step by step tips below and you’ll be enjoying perfectly seared steak in no time.

  1. Bring steaks to room temperature on counter for maximum flavor. Season liberally with salt and pepper, or, better yet, Chicago Steak Company steak seasoning.
  2. Turn oven on to 450 and place the skillet with small amount of oil in bottom of pan, into the oven.
  3. Once the oven reaches temperature, your skillet is pre-heated and can be removed to the stove top. Be extra cautious to use both hands for extra heavy cast iron and to wear proper oven mitts or use special cast iron handle covers.
  4. Grill steaks for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on thickness and desired temperature.
  5. Transfer pan, steaks and all, to the oven to finish cooking for 3-4 minutes more. Steaks will be medium rare when internal temperature measures 135, but don’t wait that long!  Take your steak out of the oven and allow to rest on a plate when internal temperature is between 125-130 degrees.  Your steak will continue to cook for a few minutes before it begins to cool, ensuring perfect medium rare, cast iron skillet steak goodness.
  6. Rest for at least five minutes before slicing to allow juices to congeal, making for juicier, more flavorful steak.
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There you have it folks.  Everything you needed to know about cooking steak in a cast iron skillet.  While it isn’t the only cooking method for your Chicago Steak Company gourmet steaks, it certainly is our favorite.

Tips for Buying Steak

  • Buy the best grade of meat you can afford. Meat is graded as USDA Prime, USDA Choice and USDA Select. It is almost impossible to find USDA Prime steaks at the supermarket because a very small percentage of beef processed in America is grade Prime.
  • Chose a steak that has fat running through the meat (marbled). It’s the marbling that gives the steak it’s tenderness, juiciness and delicious taste.
  • I truly prefer the taste of grass fed beef.

Pictured here a raw bone-in rib eye steak

How To Pan Seared Steak

  • Some of the best cuts of beef for pan searing are tenderloin, ribeye, strip, poterhouse and T-bone.
  • Choose steaks that are 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.
  • Bring your steak to room temperature.
  • Pat your steaks dry with paper towels – do not skip this step if you want a perfect golden crust!
  • Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. For the best flavored steak, season it and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator uncovered OR season it right before putting it into the hot pan. I know I sound crazy but you get the most flavor from both sides of the spectrum!

Golden brown pan seaed steak on a cutting wooden board.

  • Use a 12-inch cast iron skillet or the heaviest stainless steel skillet you have. Cast iron retains heats and helps create a nice crust.
  • Heat your skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom. Heat the oil for a minute or until right before it starts smoking.
  • Place the steaks in the skillet leaving one to two inches between them. You don’t want to crowd the pan.

Four filet mignon steaks in a cast iron skillet

  • Cook flipping once (this comes from working in a restaurant, there’s no time for constant flipping!!) however, there are plenty theories about flipping your steak constantly and still getting good results.
  • If you are trying to flip your steak but it is sticking to the bottom, do not fight it! That means the steak is not ready to be flipped yet! Give it a few extra seconds until it releases.
  • Cook your steak to desired temperature. 110 for rare, 120 for medium rare, 130 for medium, 145 for medium well and 150 for well done. The temperature will continue to rise while you rest your steak. Check this out!
  • Transfer the steak to a plate and tent it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 5 and up to 10 minutes for thicker steaks.
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Close up view of a bone-in rib eye steak thinly sliced

Pan Seared and Oven Method

  • I use the pan seared and oven method for this Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Butter, I provide specific instructions in the recipe for when to add the blue cheese butter for maximum melty goodness!
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pan sear your steak according to the instructions above, for about 3 minutes per side.
  • Add some aromatics to the pan (garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs. Place the skillet in the oven for about 3 – 4 minutes or until desired temperature is reached.

Close up view of a perfectly seared filet mignon topped with melty blue cheese butter. It has been sliced thinly and it is cooked to medium rare temperature. Also on the plate, sauteed asparagus.

What Temperature to Cook Steak

The temperatures below, reflects the temperature your steak should have when you remove it from the heat. The temperature will rise while the steak is resting.

  • 110 for rare
  • 120 for medium rare
  • 130 for medium
  • 145 for medium well
  • 150 for well done

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The Perfect Pan Seared Steak is juicy, tender and delicious! Learn how to make the perfect steak every time by following some easy techniques. Course: dinner, Main Course Keyword: pan seared steak

  • 2 bone-in rib-eye steaks, at least 1 1/2- inches thick and about 12 ounces each
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  1. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and ground black pepper.

  2. Heat a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the steaks.

  3. Sear the steaks flipping once, until the desired temperature is reached – 6 to 9 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak.110 for rare, 120 for medium rare, 130 for medium, 145 for medium well and 150 for well done.

  • Add the butter and rosemary sprigs and cook for 2 minutes. Baste the steaks with the butter from the skillet. Remove from the heat and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before serving. Discard the rosemary sprigs.

  • Steak Temperatures:

    110 for rare, 120 for medium rare, 130 for medium, 145 for medium well and 150 for well done.

    The above temperatures reflects the temperature your steak should have when you remove the steak from the oven. The temperature will rise while the steak is resting. Check this image for better understanding!

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    Perfect Ribeye SteakRibeye Steak Recipe

    The Perfect Ribeye Steak without a grill is made in a cast iron skillet and basted with herbs and butter. Yep, I said in a pan! Plus if you don’t want to use herbs you can even just add salt and pepper and use my A1 Steak Sauce (Copycat) recipe.

    Cast Iron Skillet Ribeye Steak only takes five minutes to actually cook. It will actually take you longer to get the oven preheated than to cook your meal.

    What are the benefits of cooking in a cast iron skillet? The searing in butter is, let’s face it, pure flavor. Getting a good sear on the steak is essential to the flavor, then the oven finished the cooking process on an even heat.

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    Why not cook the steak completely in the skillet? If you were to cook the steak through in your skillet the direct heat would overcook the outside of the steak to the point of toughness. This would result in a less tender crust on the steak as well as it being much drier.

    Look at the cook on the steak below:

    Perfect medium rare Ribeye Steak

    This red center runs through most of the steak because of the even cooking of the indirect oven heat finishing off the cooking.

    Why use a cast iron skillet? Cast Iron Skillets are great conductors of high, even heat. If using a thin skillet you could scorch the pan or the steak. They also are nonstick when heated properly so the steak won’t stick to the pan. Finally, they’re perfect for finishing a dish in the oven.

    Some tips/tricks for picking the right Ribeye Steak:

    • Ask your butcher for a cut from the center of the rack if possible. The bigger the deckle the more flavorful.
    • The deckle is the chef’s cut of the whole cow. It is the rib cap that wraps around the top of the steak, over the center eye of the steak.
    • Ask for a thick, 1 1/2 inch cut of steak. You want a good thick cut to give you time to sear your steak and finish in the oven without overcooking.
    • Season with a Kosher salt or sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. Using table salt and black pepper is just not going to give you the same flavor and will actually taste too salty.
    • Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.
    • Cut the meat against the grain as you can see in the picture above.

    Perfect Thick Cut Ribeye Steak with a large deckle on top of the eye of the steak, cooked in a cast iron skillet.

    Looking for more beef recipes?

    The most tender and EASY ribeye steak you'll ever eat. Butter basted in a cast iron skillet.

    Tools Used in the making of this Ribeye Steak:Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.Pig Tail Flipper: I use this to flip the chicken without damaging the skin and its super easy. I use this tool EVERY time I cook something that requires flipping, it is amazing.

    Save Recipe

    • Yield: 2 Servings
    • Prep Time: 14 minutes
    • Cook Time: 6 minutes
    • Total Time: 20 minutes
    • Course: Main Course
    • Cuisine: American
    • 2 16- ounce ribeye steaks 1 1/2 inch thick
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
    • 3 rosemary sprigs

    Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

    1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
    2. Add the butter to a cast iron skillet on high heat.
    3. Add the Kosher salt and black pepper to the steaks and add to the pan.
    4. Sear the steaks on high heat for 30 seconds on each side.

    5. Add the rosemary sprigs to the top of the steaks and spoon over the butter onto the steaks.
    6. Put the pan with the steaks into the oven for 4-5 minutes (if you'd like you can flip them halfway through – I don't and you can see how mine have cooked through.)

    7. Rest for five minutes before serving.

    All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

    Save Recipe Perfect, Easy Ribeye Steak that's butter basted in a cast iron skillet with Rosemary. An error-proof medium rare in 20 minutes including rest time.The most tender and EASY ribeye steak you'll ever eat. Butter basted in a cast iron skillet.

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