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How To Cook Steak On Stove Top How To Cook Steak On Stove Top


How To Cook Steak On Stove Top

Written by: Ethan Hayes

Learn how to cook steak on the stove top with our informative articles. Get tips, tricks, and step-by-step instructions for the perfect steak every time.

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Cooking steak on the stovetop is a savory and satisfying way to enjoy a delicious meal without the need for a grill. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, learning how to cook steak on the stovetop can open up a world of culinary possibilities.

The stovetop method offers several advantages, such as better control over the cooking process, the ability to cook steak year-round, and the opportunity to infuse your steak with delicious flavors using a variety of seasonings and marinades.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of cooking steak on the stovetop, from choosing the right cut of meat to serving a perfectly cooked steak on your dinner table. So, put on your apron, sharpen your chef’s knife, and let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

  • Master the art of cooking steak on the stovetop by choosing the right cut, properly seasoning, and preheating the skillet. With practice and patience, you’ll impress with perfectly seared and tender steaks.
  • Elevate your stovetop steak game with valuable tips like bringing the steak to room temperature, using high smoke-point oil, and experimenting with different seasonings. Enjoy the rewarding culinary skill of cooking steak on the stovetop.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

When it comes to cooking steak on the stovetop, selecting the right cut of meat is crucial. The choice of steak cut will determine the texture, tenderness, and overall flavor of your cooked steak. Here are a few popular cuts of steak that are well-suited for stovetop cooking:

  1. Ribeye: Known for its rich marbling and buttery texture, the ribeye is a popular choice for steak lovers. It has a well-defined fat cap on one side, which adds incredible flavor during the cooking process. Ribeye steaks are best cooked to medium-rare or medium for optimal tenderness.
  2. Sirloin: The sirloin steak is a versatile and flavorful cut that is often more affordable than others. It has a slightly leaner profile compared to ribeye but still offers great taste and tenderness. Sirloin steaks are best cooked to medium or medium-well to ensure they remain juicy.
  3. Filet Mignon: Known for its tenderness, the filet mignon is a premium cut that is highly prized. It has minimal marbling and is incredibly tender. Filet mignon steaks are best cooked to medium-rare for the perfect balance of tenderness and flavor.
  4. New York Strip: The New York strip, also known as the strip steak or Kansas City strip, is a popular choice among steak enthusiasts. It has a good balance of tenderness and flavor, with a moderate amount of marbling. New York strip steaks are best cooked to medium for optimal juiciness.

When selecting a steak, look for cuts that are firm to the touch and have a vibrant red color. The meat should have a fine grain and visible marbling, as this will ensure juiciness and tenderness. It’s also important to consider the thickness of the steak. A steak that is around 1 to 1.5 inches thick is ideal for stovetop cooking, as it allows for even cooking and a well-seared crust.

Ultimately, the right cut of steak comes down to personal preference. Experiment with different cuts to discover your favorite and enjoy the delicious flavors that stovetop cooking has to offer.

Preparing the Steak

Preparing the steak properly before cooking is essential to ensure that it cooks evenly and maximizes its flavor. Here are the steps to follow when preparing your steak:

  1. Remove the steak from the refrigerator: Take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. Allowing the steak to come to room temperature will ensure more even cooking.
  2. Pat dry the steak: Use paper towels to pat dry the steak. Removing excess moisture from the surface of the steak will promote better browning and caramelization when it hits the hot skillet.
  3. Trim excess fat: If desired, trim any excess fat from the steak. Leaving a thin layer of fat can add flavor, but excessive fat can cause flare-ups and prevent the steak from cooking evenly.
  4. Tenderize the steak (optional): For tougher cuts of meat, you may want to tenderize the steak. Use a meat mallet or a fork to gently pound the steak, which helps to break down the muscle fibers and make it more tender.

By following these simple steps, you will ensure that your steak is ready to be seasoned and cooked to perfection on the stovetop. Properly preparing the steak sets the foundation for a delicious and tender end result.

Seasoning the Steak

Seasoning the steak is a crucial step in enhancing its flavor and creating a delectable crust. Here are some tips for seasoning your steak:

  1. Use salt generously: Salt is the most important seasoning for steak. Sprinkle a generous amount of kosher or sea salt on both sides of the steak, allowing it to penetrate the meat. This will help to enhance the natural flavors of the beef.
  2. Add additional spices and herbs: After salting the steak, you can add additional spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. Popular choices include freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried herbs like rosemary or thyme. Feel free to experiment with different combinations to suit your taste preferences.
  3. Consider a dry rub or marinade: For an extra burst of flavor, you can use a dry rub or marinade on your steak. Dry rubs typically consist of a combination of spices and herbs mixed together, while marinades involve soaking the steak in a flavorful liquid. Ensure that the dry rub or marinade complements the natural flavors of the steak without overpowering it.
  4. Let the steak rest: After seasoning the steak, let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the salt to dissolve and evenly distribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful steak.

Remember that seasoning is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to adjust the amount of salt and other seasonings according to your taste. A well-seasoned steak will have a depth of flavor that complements the natural richness of the meat.

Once the steak is properly seasoned, it is ready to be cooked on the stovetop for a mouthwatering dining experience.

Preheating the Skillet

Preheating the skillet is a crucial step in achieving a perfectly seared and evenly cooked steak. Here’s how to properly preheat your skillet:

  1. Select the right skillet: Choose a heavy-bottomed skillet, such as a cast iron or stainless steel skillet, for optimal heat distribution. Avoid non-stick pans, as they may not achieve the same level of sear.
  2. Place the skillet on the stovetop: Put the skillet on a burner over medium-high to high heat. It’s important to preheat the skillet for a sufficient amount of time to ensure it reaches the desired temperature.
  3. Heat the skillet for several minutes: Allow the skillet to heat for 3-5 minutes, or until it becomes hot enough to sear the steak. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the skillet. If the droplets sizzle and evaporate quickly, the skillet is ready.
  4. Add oil or fat: Once the skillet is hot, add a high smoke-point oil or fat, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or clarified butter. Swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of the skillet evenly.

Properly preheating the skillet ensures that the steak achieves a nice sear without sticking to the pan. The hot skillet creates the perfect environment for caramelization and the development of a flavorful crust on the steak.

Now that the skillet is preheated and ready to go, it’s time to move on to the next step: cooking the steak on the stovetop!

For a perfect stove top steak, make sure to pat the steak dry before cooking to ensure a good sear. This will help to create a delicious crust on the outside of the steak.

Cooking the Steak

Now that the skillet is properly preheated, it’s time to cook the steak to perfection on the stovetop. Follow these steps for a deliciously cooked steak:

  1. Place the steak in the skillet: Carefully place the seasoned steak in the hot skillet, laying it away from you to prevent any splattering. Allow the steak to cook undisturbed for a few minutes to develop a nice sear.
  2. Cook the first side: Cook the steak on the first side for about 3-4 minutes, depending on its thickness and desired level of doneness. Avoid the temptation to continually flip or press down on the steak, as this can prevent it from developing a good sear.
  3. Flip the steak: Use a pair of tongs to flip the steak to the other side. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes to achieve an even sear on the other side.
  4. Check the doneness: To determine the steak’s doneness, you can use the finger test or an instant-read meat thermometer. For a rare steak, the internal temperature should be around 125°F (51°C), medium-rare around 135°F (57°C), medium around 145°F (63°C), and medium-well around 155°F (68°C).
  5. Adjust cooking time if needed: If the steak needs more cooking time, you can reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and cook for an additional minute or two on each side. Keep in mind that the steak will continue to cook as it rests.

As the steak cooks, you may notice some delicious juices forming in the skillet. Basting the steak with these juices using a spoon can add even more flavor and moisture to the meat.

Remember, cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the steak and the desired level of doneness. It’s best to use a meat thermometer to ensure accurate results.

Once the steak is cooked to your desired doneness, it’s time to let it rest before serving.

Resting and Serving the Steak

Resting and serving the steak properly is a crucial step in achieving a juicy and flavorful result. Follow these steps to ensure your steak is at its best:

  1. Remove the steak from the skillet: Using tongs, carefully transfer the cooked steak to a cutting board or a plate. It’s essential to let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  2. Cover the steak: Tent the steak loosely with aluminum foil to help retain heat and keep it warm during the resting period. This allows for more even cooking and maintains the desired temperature.
  3. Rest the steak: Let the steak rest for about 5-10 minutes. This resting period ensures that the juices, which have gathered in the center of the steak during cooking, are redistributed throughout the meat. As a result, the steak will be juicier and more flavorful when you cut into it.
  4. Slice and serve: After the resting period, it’s time to slice the steak. Use a sharp knife to slice the steak against the grain, which will result in tender and easily chewable pieces. Arrange the slices on a serving platter or individual plates and serve immediately.

Serving suggestions for your perfectly cooked steak include pairing it with your favorite side dishes like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad. You can also add a sauce or topping of your choice, such as a mushroom sauce, chimichurri, or a simple compound butter.

Remember, resting the steak is just as important as cooking it. This extra step ensures a flavorful and moist steak that is sure to impress your guests or satisfy your own cravings.

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Steak

To elevate your stovetop steak cooking game, here are some valuable tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  1. Bring the steak to room temperature: Allowing the steak to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking ensures more even cooking.
  2. Dry the steak thoroughly: Patting the steak dry with paper towels removes excess moisture, promoting better browning and caramelization.
  3. Use a high smoke-point oil: Opt for oils like vegetable, canola, or clarified butter, as they can withstand high heat without burning or smoking excessively.
  4. Let the skillet get hot: Preheating the skillet properly is crucial for achieving a good sear on the steak. Test the heat by sprinkling water droplets on the skillet – they should sizzle and evaporate quickly.
  5. Avoid overcrowding the skillet: Cook the steak in batches if needed, ensuring enough space between each piece to allow for proper browning.
  6. Don’t flip the steak too often: Allow each side of the steak to cook undisturbed to develop a nice sear. Flipping the steak too frequently can prevent the desired crust from forming.
  7. Use a meat thermometer: To ensure accurate doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. This helps you achieve your preferred level of doneness without overcooking.
  8. Let the steak rest before slicing: Resting the steak allows the juices to redistribute for a juicier and more flavorful result. Tent the steak with foil to keep it warm during the resting period.
  9. Experiment with different seasonings: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your seasonings. Try different spice blends, marinades, or even dry rubs to add a unique flavor profile to your steak.
  10. Practice makes perfect: Cooking steak on the stovetop takes practice to achieve your desired level of doneness. Don’t get discouraged if your first attempts are not flawless. With time and experience, you’ll become a master at cooking steak on the stovetop.

By incorporating these tips and tricks into your cooking routine, you’ll be well on your way to consistently cooking perfectly seared and tender steaks on your stovetop.


Cooking steak on the stovetop is a rewarding culinary skill that allows you to enjoy a delicious and perfectly cooked steak any time of the year. By choosing the right cut of steak, properly preparing and seasoning it, preheating the skillet, cooking it to your desired doneness, and allowing it to rest before serving, you can create a mouthwatering steak experience in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Remember to experiment with different cuts of steak, seasonings, and cooking techniques to find your preferred flavor profiles. Pay close attention to cooking times and doneness levels to achieve the perfect steak consistency. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the art of cooking steak on the stovetop and impress your friends and family with your culinary prowess.

So, fire up your stovetop, grab your favorite cut of steak, and get ready to savor the deliciousness of a perfectly cooked stovetop steak. Whether it’s a special occasion or a weeknight dinner, cooking steak on the stovetop is an experience that will satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Cook Steak On Stove Top

What are the best cuts of steak for cooking on the stove top?

The best cuts of steak for cooking on the stove top are those that are tender and well-marbled, such as ribeye, sirloin, or filet mignon. These cuts will cook quickly and evenly, resulting in a juicy and flavorful steak.
Can I use a non-stick pan to cook steak on the stove top?

Yes, you can use a non-stick pan to cook steak on the stove top. Just make sure the pan is large enough to comfortably fit the steak without overcrowding, and preheat it properly to ensure a good sear on the steak.
How do I know when the steak is done cooking on the stove top?

The best way to determine if your steak is done cooking on the stove top is by using a meat thermometer. For a medium-rare steak, the internal temperature should reach 130-135°F (54-57°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, you can also use the touch method to gauge the doneness of the steak.
What are some seasoning options for cooking steak on the stove top?

You can season your steak with simple salt and pepper for a classic flavor, or get creative with a variety of seasoning blends such as garlic and herb, Cajun, or steak rubs. Just be sure to season the steak generously on both sides before cooking.
How should I prepare the steak before cooking it on the stove top?

Before cooking the steak on the stove top, make sure to let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to ensure even cooking. Pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, and season it with your desired seasonings. Additionally, you can brush the steak with a little oil to help it develop a nice crust while cooking.

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