Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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

Want to know how to cook the perfect steak in a cast iron skillet? Here's the best technique for achieving a perfectly cooked (crusty on the outside and juicy on the inside) and flavorful steak every time using only a skillet and your oven.

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

Tired of overcooking steaks on the stovetop? 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 here

Cast-iron is affordable and lasts a lifetime or two if you care for it properly. Already have a decent cast-iron cookware collection? Check out this heavy duty pan organizer. No more digging to the bottom of your huge pile of pans to get to the heavy ones. ;) 

I've been cooking my steaks this way for the past 8 months several years and LOVE it. As long as you follow the easy steps and set a timer (so as not to overcook the steak in the oven), it's pretty much foolproof! 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 winter time! Well, unless you're a total badass and grill in sleet, snow, and super low temps. If that's the case--props to you.

Do you need some recommendations for side dishes to serve with your perfectly cooked steak? These are some of my favorites:

Also...leafy side salads with easy homemade salad dressings like maple balsamic vinaigretteblue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or apple cider vinaigrette. 

Watch The Recipe Video

Before you jump into the instructions, make sure to watch my short recipe video by clicking below. It illustrates the super easy process of cooking steak in a cast-iron skillet! 

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

Adapted from Alton Brown's Season 14, Episode 1 "Porterhouse Rules"
Want to know how to cook the perfect steak in a cast iron skillet? Here's the best technique for achieving a perfectly cooked (crusty on the outside and juicy on the inside) and flavorful steak every time using only a skillet and your oven.
Serves: 2

2 steaks (I generally use grass-fed New York strips or a similar cut)
Coarse sea salt (or kosher salt) & coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
--I recommend EnglishPink Himalayan, or Celtic  salt--
1 tablespoon of cooking oil (I recommend avocado oil as a good high-heat oil)
2 tablespoons of butter (this pastured butter is amazing)
Fleur de sel, chimichurri sauce, or blue cheese (for finishing - optional)

Recommended Equipment
cast-iron skillet
stainless steel tongs
large lid (big enough to cover the skillet)*

*The lid is for safety purposes in case you unintentionally get your skillet/oil so blazing hot that it causes a grease fire and you need to quickly extinguish the flames (do not use water). This has never happened to me, but it doesn't hurt to share safety tips in case this is your first time cooking or you're in the habit of walking away while something is on the stove (eek).

Want more real food & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page for a list of my favorites. 

  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. Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil to a seasoned cast-iron skillet and turn the burner to medium-high heat. Warm the oil until the surface just begins to shimmer (that's how we know it's hot enough to sear). Note: We want the pan/oil to be plenty hot in order to create a proper sear on both sides of the steak; however, the oil should not be smoking before you place the steak in the pan. If it is, remove the skillet from the burner and let it cool down for several minutes before continuing the process. You may want to remove the batteries from your smoke alarm temporarily, turn on a ceiling fan or vent fan and/or open a few windows, as once the steak goes in the pan it will likely create a bit of smoke (using an oil with a lower smoke point like butter or olive oil will definitely contribute to this). 
  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 to 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 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.   
  • For an even better steak experience, top them with homemade herb butter or a blue cheese crust.

Did You Make This Recipe? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how it went! Please leave a comment here on the blog, on Pinterest via the "tried it" feature, or use the hashtag #therisingspoon & tag @therisingspoon when you share pics to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. It helps me to get feedback on my creations and it totally makes my day. :)

Click Here To Pin This To Your Beef Recipes Or Cast-Iron Recipes Pinterest Board

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

Love this recipe? Check out my main dishes recipes index for more! 

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MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. 

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