The Rising Spoon: How to Cook the Perfect Steak in a Cast-Iron Skillet

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to Cook the Perfect Steak in a Cast-Iron Skillet

How to Cook the Perfect Steak in a Cast-Iron Skillet | www.therisingspoon.com
Tired of overcooking steaks on the stove-top? If you're using a regular ol' pan the whole time you'll likely end up with a tasteless black crust by the time the middle reaches the right temperature. Oftentimes, the interior will end up overcooked. Not anymore! 

Using this sear and bake technique with high heat and a cast-iron skillet, you'll end up with a flavorful crust and juicy interior every time. (Don't own a cast-iron skillet yet? Get one hereCast-iron is affordable and lasts a life time or two if you care for it properly.) 

I've been cooking my steaks this way for the past 8 months and LOVE it. The only thing that beats it is a charcoal grill. Since I live in a second floor apartment, I don't have access to one. 

This is the second best option for people like me and the best for wintertime! Well, unless you're a total badass and grill in sleet, snow and super low temps. If that's the case--props to you.

 

Cast-Iron Seared & Baked Grass-Fed Steaks
Adapted from Alton Brown's Season 14, Episode 1 "Porterhouse Rules"
The best technique for achieving a perfectly cooked (crusty on the outside and juicy on the inside) and flavorful steak every time without a charcoal grill. 
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 grass-fed steaks (click here to learn about the benefits of grass-fed beef)
Coarse sea salt (or kosher salt) & coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
--I recommend Pink HimalayanCeltic or Utah sourced salt--
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
2 tablespoons of butter (this pastured butter is amazing)
Fleur de sel, for finishing (optional)
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove steaks from the fridge and season both sides with coarse sea salt (or kosher salt) and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste. Just eyeball the spices, but make sure you use enough to form a nice crust. If you have a favorite meat seasoning blend, you can also use that. Let the steaks rest 45-60 minutes on the counter prior to cooking so the meat comes closer to room temperature. 
  3. Heat a seasoned cast-iron skillet to medium-high or high and add the 1 tbsp of cooking oil. The pan should be VERY HOT in order to create a proper sear on both sides of the steak. You may want to remove the batteries from your smoke alarm temporarily, turn on a ceiling fan and/or open a few windows
  4. Place steaks into the hot pan (it should sizzle). Make sure not to crowd the pan. If you're cooking more than 2 or 3 steaks you may need to use two pans. Let the steaks cook for 2 minutes. Flip the steaks over, then let them cook another two minutes. I recommend using a timer here. If you want to sear the sides, cook them for about 30 seconds on each side using your tongs to hold up each steak. 
  5. Using an oven mitt, transfer the pan into the oven and let it cook for 4-5 more minutes. This will create a medium, pink center. If you want it medium rare or rare, try 2-4 minutes. IMPORTANT: For smaller, leaner steaks you'll want to keep it in the oven no longer than 2 minutes, even less if you want to achieve medium rare. For a larger, fattier cuts, 4-6 minutes will achieve a pink center. And if you're uncertain, you can always do the finger test to check for doneness. 
  6. Remove pan from the oven. Using tongs, place the steaks on a cutting board or plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil or a dish towel and let rest for 7-10 minutes without cutting into it.
  7. A few minutes before serving, when you plate the meat, top each steak with a tablespoon of the organic, grass-fed butter. Give it a minute to melt over the steak, then serve.
  8. Optionally, before serving, you can sprinkle fleur de sel (it's a top-quality French finishing salt) over the buttery steak. 
Notes & Tips
If you have extra time or plan ahead, I HIGHLY recommend Alton Brown's method for dry aging a steak in the fridge. It really takes the flavor to a whole new level. Watch the informative video on porterhouse steaks here.  

For an even better steak experience, top them with homemade herb butter or a blue cheese crust.


Click here to pin this recipe for later!!
How to Cook the Perfect Steak in a Cast-Iron Skillet | www.therisingspoon.com




Question for Discussion: What's your favorite technique for cooking steak? 

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About Elaina Newton
Elaina is the creator, writer, and foodie behind the blog, The Rising Spoon. She's a self-taught cook and passionate about spreading basic cooking skills and information about real foods. She loves reading fiction, crafting, video games, dark roast coffee, cats, and rainy days. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

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