The Perfect Pan Seared Steak is juicy, tender and delicious! Learn how to make the perfect steak every time by following some easy techniques.
Steak is one of my favorite things to eat. A perfectly cooked steak is easy to achieved if you follow a few easy techniques. Not only you can enjoy a restaurant quality steak at home anytime, but also at a fraction of the price! Now that is a deal!
Tips for Buying Steak
- Buy the best grade of meat you can afford. Meat is graded as USDA Prime, USDA Choice and USDA Select. It is almost impossible to find USDA Prime steaks at the supermarket because a very small percentage of beef processed in America is grade Prime.
- Chose a steak that has fat running through the meat (marbled). It’s the marbling that gives the steak it’s tenderness, juiciness and delicious taste.
- I truly prefer the taste of grass fed beef.
How To Pan Seared Steak
- Some of the best cuts of beef for pan searing are tenderloin, ribeye, strip, poterhouse and T-bone.
- Choose steaks that are 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.
- Bring your steak to room temperature.
- Pat your steaks dry with paper towels – do not skip this step if you want a perfect golden crust!
- Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. For the best flavored steak, season it and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator uncovered OR season it right before putting it into the hot pan. I know I sound crazy but you get the most flavor from both sides of the spectrum!
- Use a 12-inch cast iron skillet or the heaviest stainless steel skillet you have. Cast iron retains heats and helps create a nice crust.
- Heat your skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom. Heat the oil for a minute or until right before it starts smoking.
- Place the steaks in the skillet leaving one to two inches between them. You don’t want to crowd the pan.
- Cook flipping once (this comes from working in a restaurant, there’s no time for constant flipping!!) however, there are plenty theories about flipping your steak constantly and still getting good results.
- If you are trying to flip your steak but it is sticking to the bottom, do not fight it! That means the steak is not ready to be flipped yet! Give it a few extra seconds until it releases.
- Cook your steak to desired temperature. 110 for rare, 120 for medium rare, 130 for medium, 145 for medium well and 150 for well done. The temperature will continue to rise while you rest your steak. Check this out!
- Transfer the steak to a plate and tent it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 5 and up to 10 minutes for thicker steaks.
Pan Seared and Oven Method
- I use the pan seared and oven method for this Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Butter, I provide specific instructions in the recipe for when to add the blue cheese butter for maximum melty goodness!
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Pan sear your steak according to the instructions above, for about 3 minutes per side.
- Add some aromatics to the pan (garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs. Place the skillet in the oven for about 3 – 4 minutes or until desired temperature is reached.
What Temperature to Cook Steak
The temperatures below, reflects the temperature your steak should have when you remove it from the heat. The temperature will rise while the steak is resting.
Pull the Steak: 120 degrees
Serving Temperature: 125 degrees
Pull the Steak: 125 degrees
Serving Temperature: 130 degrees
Pull the Steak: 135 degrees
Serving Temperature: 140 degrees
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Perfect Pan Seared Steak with Garlic Herb Butter
- 2 rib-eye or New York strip steaks 1 1/4- inch thick and about 12-14 ounces each
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Garlic Herb Butter (optional)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary)
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
Make the Herb Butter
- In a small bowl, mix together the herb butter ingredients until well combined. Transfer the herb butter to a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and shape it into a log. Refrigerate until ready to use. You can store it in the fridge for up to 1 week).
- Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and ground black pepper. If time permits, let the steaks sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet (or heavy stainless steel skillet) over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the steaks to the skillet.
- Sear the steaks on the first side until a nice brown crust has formed, about 4 minutes, using kitchen tongs flip the steaks and cook for about 3 additional minutes. Holding each steak with kitchen tongs, quickly turn each steak on its sides, to sear the edges (about 1-2 minutes).
- Reduce the heat to medium low and add the butter, rosemary, and garlic. Tilt the skillet so the butter pools to one side of the skillet. Spoon the butter over the steaks and continue to cook until the steaks are about 5-10 degrees away from the desired doneness. (The steaks' temperature will continue to rise 5-10 degrees while they rest).
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a cutting board or plate and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve topped with herb butter (if desired), or spoon some of the butter from the skillet over the steaks.