How to Pan Sear a Steak
- by Omaha Steaks
- Last updated Nov 20, 2023
Cooking a perfect steak doesn’t need to be complicated. Pan searing a steak is a simple indoor cooking method that will give your steak a great crust and a juicy middle. This high-heat steak cooking technique delivers restaurant results at home. Cook a delicious steak dinner on your stovetop in just six simple steps.
Pan sear a steak in 6 steps:
- Prep steaks
- Turn stove on high and pre-heat skillet
- Add high-temp oil and place steaks in pan
- Cook both sides evenly using Omaha Steaks mobile app timer or cooking chart
- Remove from skillet 5 degrees F below desired doneness
- Rest steak under foil tent 5-10 minutes and enjoy
What you need to pan sear steak
- Meat Thermometer
- Seasoning – oil, salt and pepper
- Cast iron or heavy bottom skillet
- Raised-rack sheet pan (optional)
The best steaks for pan searing
To deliver an incredible steak dinner, it’s critical to start with an exceptional cut of beef. Omaha Steaks beef is aged 28+ days for maximum tenderness, hand-selected for the highest quality and expertly trimmed by master butchers.
For optimal results with this cooking method, select steaks that are 1 ½” thick or less. Steak cuts, like New York strip or ribeye, would be great choices for this method of cooking. For thicker steaks, we recommend sear-roasting.
How to pan sear a steak
1. Prep Steaks
Thaw steaks completely using one of these two thawing techniques: cold water quick thaw or refrigerator thawing. Pat steaks dry both sides. Excess moisture will inhibit the steak from getting a nice crust. Once dry, place steak on raised-rack sheet pan or flat surface and season both sides with coarse salt and pepper or Omaha Steaks seasoning.
2. Turn stove on high and pre-heat skillet
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove. You can use stainless steel, however cast iron is the ideal skillet choice for pan searing steaks. Cast iron skillets are nonstick, retain heat, and give a great sear on your steak.
3. Add high-temp oil and place steaks in pan
Once your skillet is fully pre-heated, add a high-temp oil. Grapeseed oil, canola, oil, ghee, duck or pork fat are great choices. To ensure a great sear and a perfect cook for your steak, the skillet needs to be HOT. The oil should sizzle when placed in the pan. If it doesn’t, your skillet isn’t hot enough. Once sufficiently hot, place steaks in pan.
4. Cook both sides evenly using Omaha Steaks mobile app timer or cooking chart
5. Remove from skillet 5 degrees F below desired doneness
Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of your steak. Remove the steak from the skillet when it’s 5 degrees F below your desired doneness.
- Rare: 120°F
- Medium-rare: 130°F
- Medium: 140°F
- Medium-well: 150°F
- Well: 160°F
View the steak doneness guide and temperature chart to learn more about how doneness affects the steak texture.
6. Rest steak under foil tent 5-10 minutes and enjoy
It’s tempting to slice right into your steak, but the wait is worth it. Tent your steak with foil and let rest 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. This will result in a juicy, tender steak. Add a compound butter to your steak to add rich flavors to your steak and pair with Omaha Steaks steakhouse side dishes for a perfect steak dinner.
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