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.
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.
Salt & Pepper
High burning oil, like vegetable or peanut
Cast Iron skillet
Long metal tongs
Heavy duty or Thick oven mitts
Meat Thermometer, Optional
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.
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.
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.
For this post I am searing a thick rib-eye steak with minimal fat marbling, and about an inch in height.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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