Top 10 Steps to Cooking a Perfect Pan Seared Steak

You can cook the most perfect steak on a stove top just by following these ten steps and essential tips. If you do this you will be left with a crisp, juicy, buttery steak. This list starts at 10 from the start of what to do, all the way to 1 which will the final step to the delicious steak.

#10 Choose the Best Cut for Pan-Searing

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The best steaks for cooking on the stove top are boneless steaks that are between one and one-and-a-half inches thick. Thicker cuts like a New York strip steak or a boneless rib-eye work best for this method. Look for a steak with plentiful marbling. When a steak has enough fat, it tends to remain juicy during the cooking process and has the meaty flavor and texture you want from a steak.

#9 Salt Steak

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If you have ‘steak night’ planned ahead of time then the best way would be to salt your steaks 24 hrs before cooking. this creates a dry surface for searing and you will get a concentrated flavor in the interior tissue. But if you haven’t planned ahead not to worry, just salt the meat 30 minutes before cooking and this will give a dry surface for searing.

#8 No Oil

Don’t use any oil on the steaks or in the pan to prevent sticking. Oil can inhibit browning, which slows searing. As long as you’re using a very hot cast iron pan, sticking shouldn’t be a problem.

#7 Cook Hot and Fast

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Put your heaviest pan, preferably cast iron, over high heat and let it get so hot it smokes a little before adding the steaks to the pan. The hot, hot heat is essential to a creating a nice crust on your steak. Searing isn’t about keeping moisture in, it’s about creating a crisp crust on the outside that adds a ton of flavor to the finished steak.

#6 Keep Steak Moving

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Keep the steaks moving, turning or flipping every minute or so to create a thin, even crust on the outside.

#5 Add Butter and Seasoning

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Do not add the seasoning before searing as an extremely hot pan will burn these spices before they can flavor the steak. But about halfway through cooking, add a few tablespoons of butter, herbs, and aromatics to make a hot baste for finishing the steak. Use a large spoon to bathe the steaks in the hot butter and continue flipping until the steaks reach your desired doneness. The butter-basting helps ensure that even the most well-cooked steak is moist and flavorful.

#4 Determine Doneness

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The best and easiest way to determine the doneness of steak is with a probe thermometer. Begin to check the steak’s temperature with a probe thermometer about halfway through cooking. For a rare steak, remove the steak from the heat at 125°F, about six minutes total cooking. For a medium steak, 140°F is the sweet spot at a total of nine to 10 minutes cooking. A well-done steak will take about 12 minutes.

#3 Resting not Required

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Almost every article you read or cooking show you watch will tell you that for juicy steak you need to rest the steak. Well this may not be true. Resting may not be as important as serving a steak hot. A steak is a relatively small piece of meat compared to a brisket or roast, so it heats and cools quickly. In between the resting, slicing, and moving to the plate and table, most home steaks get pretty cool before we actually eat them. The pleasure of eating a hot steak is manyfold: the crust is still incredibly crisp, the butter from cooking is still warm and dripping, and the juices pool on the plate into a playground for dipping.

#2 Cut Across the Grain

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Slicing steak across the grain creates shorter meat fibers, making for a more tender, easier-to-chew piece of steak.

#1 Enjoy!

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You now have a perfectly cooked steak that is hot, juicy and buttery. Enjoy!