Skip to content

How to Cook Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet

Steak is a beloved dish that is enjoyed by many people around the world. Whether it’s a juicy ribeye, a tender filet mignon, or a flavorful strip steak, there’s something about a perfectly cooked steak that is hard to resist. However, cooking steak can be a bit tricky, as it requires precision and attention to detail to achieve the desired level of doneness. In this article, we will discuss the importance of cooking steak correctly and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to cook the perfect steak at home.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right cut of steak is crucial for a delicious meal.
  • Preparing the steak by patting it dry and bringing it to room temperature is important.
  • Seasoning the steak with salt and pepper is a simple yet effective way to enhance its flavor.
  • Preheating the cast iron skillet and adding oil before searing the steak is essential for a crispy crust.
  • Finishing the steak in the oven and letting it rest before serving ensures a juicy and tender result.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

When it comes to cooking steak, choosing the right cut is crucial. Different cuts of steak have different characteristics, which can affect the cooking method and the final result. Some popular cuts of steak include ribeye, filet mignon, strip steak, and T-bone steak.

Ribeye is known for its rich marbling and intense flavor. It is best cooked using high-heat methods such as grilling or pan-searing. Filet mignon, on the other hand, is a lean and tender cut that is best cooked using dry-heat methods such as broiling or pan-searing. Strip steak is a versatile cut that can be cooked using various methods, including grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. T-bone steak is a combination of strip steak and tenderloin, and it is best cooked using dry-heat methods such as grilling or broiling.

Preparing the Steak for Cooking

Before cooking the steak, it is important to bring it to room temperature. This allows for more even cooking and helps to prevent the steak from becoming tough. To bring the steak to room temperature, simply take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Once the steak has reached room temperature, it is important to pat it dry with paper towels. This helps to remove any excess moisture, which can interfere with the searing process. Additionally, it is a good idea to trim any excess fat from the steak. While fat adds flavor, too much fat can cause flare-ups and result in uneven cooking.

Seasoning the Steak

Seasoning the steak is an important step in the cooking process, as it helps to enhance the natural flavors of the meat. The most basic seasoning for steak is salt and pepper. Generously season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper, making sure to evenly distribute the seasoning.

In addition to salt and pepper, you can also use other herbs and spices to season the steak. Some popular options include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried herbs such as thyme or rosemary. However, it is important not to over-season the steak, as this can overpower the natural flavors of the meat.

Preheating the Cast Iron Skillet

When it comes to cooking steak, a cast iron skillet is the best choice. Cast iron retains heat well and provides even heat distribution, which is essential for achieving a perfect sear on the steak. To preheat the skillet, place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes.

It is important to preheat the skillet properly to ensure even cooking. If the skillet is not hot enough, the steak may stick to the pan and not develop a nice crust. On the other hand, if the skillet is too hot, the outside of the steak may burn before the inside is cooked to your desired level of doneness.

Adding Oil to the Skillet

Once the skillet is preheated, it’s time to add oil. The best oils for cooking steak are those with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil. These oils can withstand high heat without burning or smoking.

To add oil to the skillet, simply pour a small amount of oil into the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom evenly. Be careful not to use too much oil, as this can cause the steak to become greasy.

Searing the Steak

Now that the skillet is hot and the oil is added, it’s time to sear the steak. Carefully place the steak in the skillet and let it cook undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms. Flip the steak and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side.

To achieve a perfect crust, it is important not to move or press down on the steak while it is searing. This allows for maximum contact with the hot skillet, which helps to develop a nice caramelized crust.

Flipping the Steak

Knowing when and how to flip the steak is crucial for achieving even cooking. As a general rule of thumb, you should only flip the steak once. This allows each side of the steak to cook evenly and develop a nice crust.

To flip the steak, use a pair of tongs or a spatula to carefully lift it from the skillet and turn it over. Be gentle when flipping the steak to avoid splattering hot oil or losing any juices.

Finishing the Steak in the Oven

After searing both sides of the steak, it’s time to finish cooking it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and transfer the skillet with the steak to the oven. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until the desired level of doneness is reached.

The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steak and your preferred level of doneness. To check for doneness, you can use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should be around 135°F (57°C), while medium should be around 145°F (63°C).

Resting the Steak

Once the steak is cooked to your liking, it is important to let it rest before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

To let the steak rest, transfer it to a cutting board and loosely cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the steak. This resting period also gives you time to prepare any sides or sauces to accompany the steak.

Serving and Enjoying the Perfectly Cooked Steak

Now that your steak is perfectly cooked and rested, it’s time to slice and serve it. To slice the steak, use a sharp knife and cut against the grain. This helps to ensure that each bite is tender and easy to chew.

When serving the steak, you can pair it with a variety of sides and sauces. Some popular options include mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a simple green salad. Additionally, you can serve the steak with a sauce such as chimichurri, peppercorn sauce, or a classic béarnaise sauce.

Cooking the perfect steak at home may seem intimidating, but with the right techniques and a little practice, anyone can achieve delicious results. By choosing the right cut of steak, properly preparing and seasoning it, using a cast iron skillet, and following the steps outlined in this article, you can enjoy a perfectly cooked steak that rivals those served at high-end steakhouses. So why not give it a try? Fire up your stovetop, grab your favorite cut of steak, and get ready to impress yourself and your loved ones with your newfound culinary skills.

If you’re a fan of grilling fish, you’ll definitely want to check out this article on Cookedly: “The Best Way to Grill Red Snapper.” Whether you’re a seasoned griller or just starting out, this article provides step-by-step instructions on how to grill red snapper to perfection. From preparing the fish to choosing the right seasonings, this guide has got you covered. So fire up your grill and get ready to enjoy a delicious meal with this mouthwatering recipe. Read more


What is a cast iron skillet?

A cast iron skillet is a heavy-duty cooking pan made of cast iron material. It is known for its durability, heat retention, and even heat distribution.

Why cook steak in a cast iron skillet?

Cooking steak in a cast iron skillet allows for a crispy sear on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender. The skillet also retains heat well, making it ideal for cooking steak at high temperatures.

How do I season a cast iron skillet?

To season a cast iron skillet, coat it with a thin layer of oil and bake it in the oven at 350°F for an hour. Repeat this process a few times until the skillet develops a non-stick surface.

What type of steak is best for cooking in a cast iron skillet?

Steaks that are at least 1 inch thick and have good marbling, such as ribeye or New York strip, are best for cooking in a cast iron skillet.

How do I cook steak in a cast iron skillet?

To cook steak in a cast iron skillet, preheat the skillet over high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper, then add it to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until desired doneness is reached.

How do I clean a cast iron skillet?

To clean a cast iron skillet, use hot water and a stiff brush to scrub away any food particles. Avoid using soap, as it can strip the skillet’s seasoning. Dry the skillet thoroughly and coat it with a thin layer of oil to prevent rusting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *