There are many ways to cook a steak using tools like an oven, stovetop, air fryer, or grill. How to cook steak perfectly depends upon the right technique that works best for you and your kitchen setup.
I have been cooking steak for a long time. In my home, at least 3 times a week are steak nights. I have tried cooking steak in different ways but my favorite is using a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. Lately, the weather is nice and I have been grilling the steak in my backyard.
In this guide, I’ll discuss How to cook a steak using different methods but before that let’s learn how to prep the steak.
Prepping the steak
The importance of prepping your steak before cooking cannot be overstated. By properly preparing your meat, you’ll ensure that it cooks evenly and comes out tender and juicy.
It is a fact that a properly cooked steak is more about technique than it is about the recipe. Whether you are cooking your steak on the stovetop, in the oven, or on the grill, there are a few key steps you should always take to prep your steak.
With that in mind, here’s a quick guide on how to prep your steak for cooking
Step 1: Bring it to Room Temperature
First, you’ll want to make sure that your steak is at room temperature before cooking. This will help it cook evenly throughout. If your steak is too cold, the outside will be cooked before the inside has a chance to properly come up to temperature.
Due to this, you will be inclined to cook it longer, resulting in a dry and tough piece of meat. Allowing your steak to sit out for about 30 minutes before cooking will help ensure that it cooks evenly from edge to edge.
Step 2: Pat it dry
Next, you’ll want to pat your steak dry with a paper towel. This step is important for two reasons. First, it will help the steak brown better when cooked. Second, it will prevent the steak from steaming as it cooks, which can lead to a less-than-ideal texture.
Step 3: Season it Generously
Next, you’ll want to season your steak generously with salt and pepper. Seasoning is important as it helps to flavor the meat and also helps to form a crust on the outside of the steak when cooked. Be sure to use coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper for the best results.
I usually cook my steaks on a whim. I don’t plan ahead and let them sit out to come to room temperature. But even then I make sure to salt them for 30 minutes before cooking.
This allows the salt to penetrate the steak and adds flavor. 30 minutes is a good time because during this time the salt does not release moisture from the steak and ensures a dry surface for searing.
However, when the steak day is planned I salt my steaks for 18 to 24 hours. This ensures an intense flavor throughout the interior of the steak. For this purpose salt, the steak and set it on a cooling rack placed over a tray. Place the tray uncovered in the fridge. The salted steak will be air-dried while in the fridge.
Once your steak is prepped, it’s time to cook it.
How to cook Steak on the stovetop?
There are many ways to cook a steak, but the best and easiest way is on the stovetop. I will provide tips on how to make sure your steak comes out perfectly every time. So read on and learn how to cook the juiciest and crispiest steak!
Best Steaks for Pan Searing
The best steaks for pan-searing are boneless ribeye, Tenderloin Steak (also known as Filet Mignon), and strip steaks (also known as NY strip Steak), ones that are 1″ to 1-1/2″ inches thick. In my opinion, if you are cooking bone-in steaks like T-Bone and Porterhouse in the pan make sure they are no more than 1″ thick
What you will need
Thick steak – Boneless ribeye or filet mignon
Tongs and Heavy Skillet – your heaviest pan preferably a cast-iron skillet or a stainless steel pan with a heavy bottom. Avoid non-stick pans at all costs.
Oil – Any cooking oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil or canola oil
Butter, fresh thyme or rosemary, and garlic cloves for added flavors
How to Sear the steak on the stovetop
Searing creates a crisp crust on the outside of the steak which makes it visually appealing and also adds a ton of flavor to the finished steak.
Preheat the skillet
Turn on your exhaust on high. Place your skillet on the stove over high heat and let it preheat for 2-3 minutes. A very hot pan is essential for a good sear.
Add oil to the pan
once the pan is hot, add enough oil just to coat the bottom of the pan. The oil should be very hot. This step is important as it helps to form a crust on the outside of the steak when cooked. The hot oil will shimmer and move easily in the pan.
Add the steak to the pan
Carefully Place the steak in the pan away from you so that you don’t get splattered with hot oil.
Sear each side of the steak
let the steak cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes until it forms a golden-brown crust on the bottom. Don’t worry, the steak will not stick to the pan. It will naturally release the pan once the crust is formed.
Once you have a nice sear on one side, flip the steak using tongs and sear for 2-3 minutes without moving it.
Once you have seared the steak you can reduce the heat to medium-high. About halfway through the cooking process, add a few tablespoons of butter, herbs, and garlic to make a hot baste for finishing the steak. Bathe the steaks in the hot butter using a big spoon and continue flipping them until they’re done to your liking.
How Long to Cook the steak
The best and easiest way to determine doneness is by using a meat thermometer. See the chart below for details.
Remove your steak from the pan when it’s about 2-3 degrees lower than the target temperature. The steak will continue to cook a little bit after you remove it from the pan so this ensures that your steak is not overcooked.
Let it rest until you make the sauce
Let it rest for about 3-5 minutes so that all the juices can redistribute evenly throughout the steak. Meanwhile, make sauce from the fond (the bits and pieces of meat that are left in the pan after cooking).
Remove fat from the pan
Remove fat and save it in a bowl. we’ll use it later to add to the sauce
Add a small chopped shallot to the hot pan and continue moving it around until it starts browning.
Deglaze the pan
Pour in a cup of beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the flavor bits. Allow the broth to simmer for about 30 seconds, or until reduced. At this point add the fat that you saved earlier and whisk until it’s combined
Finish with butter
turn off the heat and whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of butter. This will give the sauce a nice shine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve your steak with the pan sauce and enjoy!
Slice against the grain
Once your steak is rested, it’s time to slice it. Cut the steak against the grain into thin strips. This step is important as it will make the steak more tender and easier to chew.
How to cook Steak in Oven?
The best thing is that almost every home chef has a secret weapon to prepare a great steak in their home. That’s their oven! There are four ways to make a juicy, delicious steak in your oven:
- Cooking in a sheet pan
- Cast Iron Skillet in Oven
- Sear on Stove Finish in Oven
- Reverse Searing
I’ll guide you from selecting the proper cut to choosing the appropriate oven method.
Best Steaks for Cooking in the oven
The best steaks for cooking in the oven are Bone-in ones that have a good amount of fat marbling throughout. This will help to keep the steak moist as it cooks and also prevent it from drying out. The best cuts of steak for the oven are ribeye, T-Bone, and Porterhouse which are about 1-1/2″ inches thick.
Cooking in a Sheet pan
One of the most popular methods to cook a steak in your oven is using a sheet pan. This method is also great if you’re cooking for a large crowd as you can cook multiple steaks at once on one large pan.
If you are intimidated by the thought of handling a hot skillet for searing a steak, this method is for you as it’s practically foolproof.
This technique may not get you the same sear as a skillet would, but it’s an easy and effective way to cook a delicious steak.
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Step 2: Cut thick onion rings and place them on a sheet pan and then place the seasoned steak on top of the onion rings.
- Step 3: Place the sheet pan in the top third of the oven and broil for about 3-4 minutes.
- Step 4: Remove the pan from the oven, flip the steak over, and return to the oven for another 3 minutes.
- Step 5: Turn off the broiler and turn on the heat at 450 F and place the pan sheet in the center rack for another 4 minutes.
- Step 6: Check the internal temperature of your steak using a probe thermometer. If it’s at the desired temperature (consult the doneness chart above ), remove it from the oven.
- Step 7: Remove from the oven and let rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into it
You can use pan drippings to make the sauce as described in the stovetop method.
Cast Iron Skillet in Oven
In this method, the Steak is placed in a hot skillet (preferably cast iron) in the oven. This method is used when you want to sear the steak before cooking it through.
- Step 1: Place your skillet in the center rack of the cold oven and then preheat the oven to 450F degrees.
- Step 2: Once the oven comes to temperature, carefully remove the skillet using oven mittens.
- Step 3: Place your Steak in the skillet and return it to the oven. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the steak is seared on one side.
- Step 4: Then Flip the steak and cook for an additional 3 minutes to sear the other side
- Step 5: Check the internal temperature of the steak with a meat thermometer.
- Step 6: Consult the doneness chart above, If it is not yet at your desired temperature, place the skillet back in the oven and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- Step 7: Remove from the oven and let rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into it.
Searing on Stove finish in Oven
This is a popular method of cooking steak among professional chefs. This method is exactly as it sounds, you sear the steak on the stovetop and then finish cooking it in the oven.
- Step 1: Preheat your oven to 450F degrees.
- Step 2: Place the cast iron skillet on the stove and turn it to high heat.
- Step 3:Add oil (enough to just coat the skillet )when the skillet becomes hot.
- Step 4: Once the oil starts shimmering and moving, carefully add the steak to the skillet.
- Step 5: Sear on one side for about 4 minutes and then flip and sear for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Step 6: Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the probe thermometer inserted in the meet shows desired temperature( consult temperature doneness chart above).
- Step 7: Remove from the oven and let rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into it.
Cooking in Oven Then Searing ( Reverse Searing)
The reverse sear method is totally opposite of the searing on stove and then finish in oven method. In this method, the steak is cooked low and slow in the oven until it reaches the desired doneness, and then it’s quickly seared on the stovetop to create a crust. Some people prefer this way to cook a steak as it gives them more control over the cooking process.
- Step 1: Preheat your oven to 300F degrees.
- Step 2: Place the seasoned steak on a wire rack that’s placed on top of a baking sheet. Insert a Probe thermometer from the side so the tip is in the middle of the steak. Make sure it doesn’t touch the bone. this will throw off your temperature readings.
- Step 3: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and cook until it reaches about 10 degrees below your desired doneness temperature (consult the temperature doneness chart above).
- For example, if you want a medium-rare steak, cook it to an internal temperature of 135F degrees.
- Step 4: Meanwhile Place the skillet on the stove and once it becomes hot, add oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Step 5: Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and turn on the stove to high heat.
- Step 6: Carefully place the steak in the skillet and sear for about 1 minute per side. Make sure to sear the edges for about 20-30 seconds.
- Step 7: Remove from the heat and cut into it ( no resting required )
How to Cook Steak on Grill?
When it comes to grilling, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to make sure your steak comes out juicy and delicious. First, you’ll want to choose the right cut for grilling. Second, Prep the Steak as described above, and finally, be sure not to overcook your steak.
Best Steak cuts for Grill
When it comes to cooking steak on the grill, there are a few different cuts that work best. Rib-eye, strip, and tenderloin steaks are all excellent choices for the grill. If you opt for steaks with bones, keep in mind that they’ll take longer to cook.
Look for good marbling to ensure a juicy and tender steak. Steaks should ideally be 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick so they form a nice charred crust without overcooking.
Flank, skirt, and hanger steaks are excellent for grilling as well. These thinner cuts should be marinated, grilled rapidly over high heat, and sliced against the grain to serve.
Prep the Grill
Before you start grilling your steak, it’s important to take a few minutes to prep your grill. First, clean the grates with a wire brush. This will help remove any built-up residue from previous meals and ensure that your steak doesn’t stick to the grill.
Next, coat the grates with a thin layer of vegetable or canola oil. This will create a barrier between the steak and the metal, making it less likely that your steak will stick or be charred.
Once your grill is prepped, you’ll be ready to cook up a fantastic Steak that everyone will enjoy.
Grilling the perfect steak is all about managing hot and cool zones. The hot zone is where the charring happens, so you want it to be as hot as possible. The cooler zone is where the steak can rest and finish cooking through.
On a gas grill, you create these zones by turning some of the burners off and leaving others on high. On a charcoal grill, you pile all the coals on one side of the grill, creating a hot zone on that side and a cooler zone on the other.
No matter what kind of grill you’re using, always make sure to give your steak plenty of time to rest before cutting into it. This will help to ensure that all the juices stay locked in.
Preheat the grill for 15 minutes to a temperature of about 500°F. If you’re using charcoal, keep the lid vents open.
As previously instructed, season the steak.
Place the steaks on the heated side of the grill after opening it.
When grilling steaks, leave the lid open. Sear the steak for about 3 minutes on one side then quarter-turn it to sear the edge.
In about three minutes, turn the steaks to sear the other side and cook for another three minutes. Turn the steaks over to sear the other edge by rotating them a quarter turn halfway through.
If you feel that the steaks are burning before reaching the desired internal temperature then move them into a cooler zone to finish up.
How Do You Know When Steak Is Done?
It depends on a variety of things, including the cut and thickness, the grill temperature, and desired doneness. Check for doneness by using an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of your steaks.
Refer to the chart below for approximate cooking times:
- Rare: 125°F
- Medium rare: 135°F
- Medium: 145°F
- Medium well: 155°F
- Well done: 160°F
Remove from grill when the steak reaches 2°F to 3°F below the desired doneness. The steak will continue to cook a little bit after being removed from the grill, so keep that in mind when you’re checking the temperature.
How to cook Steak in an Air fryer?
While nothing compares to a perfectly cooked steak in a cast-iron skillet an Airfryer is a simple alternative.
Best Steak cuts for Air fryer
The best steaks to cook in an air fryer are with high amounts of marbling and fat, such as ribeye steaks. Other excellent steak cuts include NY steaks, T-bones, Porterhouse steaks, and some sirloins.
Prep and Season
Prep and season your steak as described before. Additionally, rub oil all over the steak to ensure the exterior browning and crusting.
Preheat your Airfryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a thicker cut of meat, you may need to cook it for an additional minute or two.
Place the Steak in the Basket
Place the steak in the air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes for a 1-inch thick steak. Flip the steak over halfway through the cooking time.
Check the Temperature
As with any other method, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your steak. The USDA recommends cooking steak to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare doneness. Refer to the temperature doneness chart above.
Once the steak has reached the desired level of doneness, remove it from the basket top it with some garlic butter, and let it rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
Airfryer Tip for Crusty Steak
For best results, cook only one steak at a time so it has plenty of space. If the steaks are too close together, they’ll steam instead of searing.
Key Takeaway Points
Now that you know how to cook steak, there’s no excuse not to whip up a fantastic steak dinner tonight! Whether you’re grilling, broiling, air frying, or pan searing, Keep in mind these tips to cook up a delicious steak.
- Allow the steak to come to room temperature before cooking.
- liberally season the steak with salt.
- Always use a meat thermometer to determine doneness to avoid overcooked and undercooked steaks.
- Remove at least 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit below the desired doneness as the steak will continue to cook once removed.
- Rest the steak for 3-5 minutes before slicing it against the grain.
If you have any steak left over, wrap it up in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to three days. If you want to keep the steak longer, you can freeze it for up to six months.
What to do Next
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, now you know how to cook steak like a boss. But why stop there? Learn more dinner recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q- What temperature do you cook steak on a gas grill?
A- The ideal temperature is between 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to make hot and cold zones on the gas grill.
Q- How long do you cook a 1-inch steak on each side?
A- Cook 1-inch steak for about 8 minutes, flipping the steak over halfway through the cooking time. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
Q- How to cook steak medium rare?
A- The USDA recommends cooking steak to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare doneness. Remove the steak from the heat at 142-143 degrees Fahrenheit and let rest for 5 minutes.
Q- How to cook steak without a cast-iron skillet?
A- While a cast-iron skillet is the best way to cook a steak, you can also cook it in the oven using a sheet pan, on the grill, or in an air fryer. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.
Q- How do you minimize smoke when cooking steak?
A- Heat the cast iron pan by placing it in the oven until the oven temperature reaches 450 F then take it out of the oven, coat it with oil (use oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil ), and immediately drop the steak in it. turn on the stove burner to maintain the temperature of the pan. Sear as described in the article.
There will be less smoke since there was only a brief period of oil in contact with the pan.