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Cooking A Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet

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Looking for that restaurant quality steak? You know, the rib-eye or sirloin steak that has the gorgeous caramel colored sear and juicy taste that takes you on an immediate trip back to your favorite Steakhouse, but it is too cold to light up the grill or too far of a drive. Did you know cooking a steak using a cast iron skillet is actually easier than cleaning and lighting up your grill outside, and produces a juicer steak using less than five ingredients and four kitchen items.

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To get started on the quest for the perfect home cooked steak, you will need a smoking hot cast iron skillet. I mean a smoking hot skillet, with no surface oil. All the oil you need will be rubbed into the surface of the steak, before you season it.

How to tell if the skillet is screaming hot, well just test it with a single drop of water on it. If you see a sizzle and hear popping sounds your good to go. Make sure you have everything ready as you won’t get a chance to stop once you get started.

 

Ingredients:

Steak
Salt & Pepper
High burning oil, like vegetable or peanut

Cast Iron skillet
Long metal tongs
Heavy duty or Thick oven mitts
Meat Thermometer, Optional

popular cuts

Directions:

45 minutes before you start take steak out of fridge, trim any excess fat(optional) rub about 1/2 tsp oil on each side of meat and season with salt & pepper. Place on platter and cover with paper towel.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees 10 minutes before you start. Put into oven on center rack your clean & dry cast iron skillet to heat up with oven.

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Using oven mitts take cast iron skillet out of oven and place on stove top burner and turn heat to high. This step is optional and it adds just a little more flavor to the steak, but I like to add about a tablespoon of unsalted butter to skillet. Once butter hits surface of skillet you should hear an immediate sizzle. Place steak on skillet and on high heat sear for 2 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and cut of beef.

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For this post I am searing a thick rib-eye steak with minimal fat marbling, and about an inch in height.

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Once both sides of the steak have been seared move hot skillet from the stove top to the oven and close the door for 3-5 minutes each side, depending on thickness, cut of beef and wellness of steak.

your-steak

Now if you love a medium rare steak then you will want to cook each side to the 2 1/2 minute mark each side. If you prefer your steak cooked to medium, then you will want to cook it a little over 3 minutes. At the 2 1/2 minute mark, you will pull the pan out of the oven, then turn the steak over, and then put it back in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 more minutes.

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Until you are a novice at cooking steak don’t feel awkward using a meat thermometer, it’s a lot better than serving an over cooked steak or worse and under cook one.

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Using a meat thermometer push through the center of the steak to the center of the meat to get as correct reading as possible. Once your steak is prepared to your liking remove from skillet place on a clean platter and cover loosely with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Most steaks are preferred from rare to medium rare. Just my opinion but medium-well to well done leaves the steak dry and tough as there is no juice left inside to redistribute while resting.

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Each cut of steak has a slightly different cooking temperature for rare to well done and I included a basic chart for you to refer to.

red meat chart

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About Clarissa Cordero

Clarissa Cordero grew up learning to cook with her mom. In a time where traditional home-cooked food was going out of style, Clarissa learned to love and make those simple 'comfort foods' and family favorites. As she grew - and her mom got busier with long work hours, Clarissa supported her mom by taking over most of the cooking duties around the home. By the time Clarissa started high school - she had absorbed her mother's approach to traditional, homestyle Italian dishes; and thanks to So Cal's great weather year round... a love of cooking on the grill. Fast forward 30 years and Clarissa has never stopped cooking. She continued to explore food, learning more from So Cal's amazing cultural variety, trying things out on her family and her friends... and always learning. Never content to merely cook a good meal, Clarissa developed the habit of talking sharing her ideas with family, friends and coworkers. After a lifetime of learning and experimenting, Clarissa's love affair with traditional Italian cooking, and 'comfort foods' has grown into a robust, creative and cross-cultural approach to cooking that still manages to remain 'accessible' to the rest of us. Now Clarissa brings her experience and her approach online through her blog - giving all of us a chance give ourselves, our friends and our family the benefits of a lifetime of passion and joy in cooking simply great meals.

14 responses »

  1. Wonderful!!!

    Reply
  2. This looks excellent! I’m so intimidated about cooking pieces of beef (unless I’m using the crockpot). I need to try this stove top/oven method with a cast iron skillet!

    Reply
    • Hi Shae,

      Don’t be intimidated when it comes to cooking steaks/beef. Every Chef or home cook has an achilles heel, mine is making brown rice that is not sticky or uncooked in the center and when it comes to roasting a 3-7 bone in rib-eye roast, let’s just say A for effort C- for the roast.

      Pick up a good meat thermometer,and start out with a cheaper cut of steak like a sirloin or tri tip, and practice, practice, and practice. My email here goes straight to my phone so if you need help or have questions shoot me an email, its not a problem!

      Reply
  3. Love my steaks cooked this way & love my cast iron!

    Reply
  4. No doubt about it… life is better with cast iron. Thanks for the Stalking the Seam shout-out Clarissa!

    Reply
  5. I was a well done girl most of my life… I’ve recently been able to go medium to medium well. If I can see blood it kind of kills it for me. My brain doesn’t translate it to juicy. Of course, I was also a vegetarian for the first 10 years of my life, so that may be a contributing factor.

    Reply
    • Haha vegan eh? So was going all beef easy….lol..
      I grew up on well done steak too, but if you let your meat rest for 5-10 min you end up with a plate of goodness!!

      Or give it to me to lick the plate clean….lol….jl

      Reply
  6. Nice blog Clarissa. Thank you for visiting mine! :D

    Reply
  7. greyzoned/angelsbark

    Oh, I’m such a fool: I gave all my cast iron away!!! dumb, dumb, dumb. I’ll have to canvas garage sales and try to recoup my collection! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
  8. Interesting twist on grilling steak, Clarissa. I’m going to show this to my wife. (Diplomatically, that is. She’s been doing this for a bunch of decades.) She does a fine job now by just grilling it in a skillet (not iron) on the stove-top and using an olive-oil spray instead of butter, but it looks to me like your oven method would produce more uniformity.

    I guess I’d better hurry. The way the price of beef is going, this could be an annual event only. :roll:

    Reply

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