How To Cook The Perfect Pan Seared Steak
There are some key steps to searing the perfect steak in a pan, and the most important steps involve searing and turning myths. I’m going to make post short and sweet so you can get on with your cooking. I’ve done a lot of experimenting in the area of cooking steaks. I’ve tried the Ruth’s Chris method of finishing off in a VERY hot oven. I’ve tried dry aging, hot searing, and many other techniques. The method I’m listing below is the best, and easiest. It produces a delicious, evenly-cooked steak.
Forget The Myths You Have Heard About Cooking Steak
- Start with a good, thick, well-marbled steak that is chilled.
- Season it well with a generous amount of sea salt.
- Dry the steak well.
- Sear it in hot oil or butter, in cast iron. I prefer searing it in butter.
- Flip often. Yes, that’s right, forget what you’ve heard about only turning once.
- Add butter and aromatics.
- Keep flipping and basting.
- Rest. Carve. DIG IN!
- Let steak warm to room temperature. This actually has no effect on the finished center temperature. It makes no difference. The key is to start with a dry steak.
- Sear over high heat first to lock in juices. Not true! Actually, the opposite occurs. Steak that is cooked gently first and finished with a sear will not only develop a deeper, darker crust, but it also cooks more evenly from center to edge.
- Only flip steak once! False. Multiple flipping will not only get your steak to cook up to 30% faster, but will cook it more evenly, as well. By flipping frequently, the meat on any given side will neither heat up, nor cool down significantly with each turn. Gentler cooking = more even cooking.
- Don’t season your steak until after it’s cooked. Bad advice. A dry surface is the key to cooking a good steak steak. Moisture has to go away for proper browning anyway, so the drier your steak is, the better it’ll brown in the pan. Salting early can also help your meat maintain a bit more internal moisture. Salting your steak after it cooks is not a great idea. The end result is a surface layer too salty, leaving blander meat underneath. Salting before cooking helps form the proper crust.
So now you are minutes away from the perfect steak without firing up the grill!