I’ll be the first to tell you, cooking steak was never my forte in the kitchen. I had never been good at it – and grilling is also a skill that I haven’t acquired because I don’t spend enough time trying to learn the ins and outs of it. But you always should experiment – and so I set out to learn how to cook steak in a skillet on the stove.
I knew it could be done because my friends did it – and I knew that butter HAD to be the answer. I mean, isn’t butter the answer to most of life’s problems?
Dry? Butter. Tasteless? Butter. Old? Butter. Stuck? Butter.
And while we’re on that topic – can we all agree that REAL butter is way better than the cheap garbage that was made in some chemistry lab or factory? Okay…moving on.
So to Google I went – on my quest to research the elusive steak-at-home perfection! Let me just tell ya – there’s about forty trillion tutorials for this on Google. But let me save you a bunch of time so you can just get to the good stuff. Keep reading. 😉
The Steps to an Amazing Steak in the Skillet:
- Remove the steak from the fridge 30-60 minutes before you plan to cook.
- Blot the steak with paper towels to give it a dry surface – don’t worry. This does NOT make a dry steak. It makes it easier to sear in the skillet.
- Heat a HEAVY skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes with NOTHING in it. Most folks will say cast iron – that’s GREAT but I’ve also had great luck with a heavy stainless steel skillet as well. Use what ya have.
- Salt the steak on both sides. That’s it. Don’t add any other seasoning – that comes later.
- Add your steak to the skillet and sear for about 1 minute – you’ll know it’s okay to flip when it releases from the skillet and doesn’t stick.
- HERE’S THE KEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have to flip each steak every 60 seconds or so. I always used to just leave it – turning it over once. That doesn’t make a nice, tender steak. Flipping regularly until it’s done is better.
But how do you know when your steak is done?
Personally, I need almost totally well-done. If I cut into a steak and any red juice comes out, then I AM OUT. I can’t eat it. Barry likes a medium steak, and my kids like steak the same as me.
General Cooking Times
Although it depends a lot on the thickness of the steak, here are some general guidelines for how long to cook a steak based on what you want:
- Rare –> 5-6 minutes
- Medium –> 8-10 minutes
- Well done –> 10-12 minutes
This is where you have to pay attention – do not leave your steaks. You’ll lose track of time – or one of your kids will have to go to the bathroom and you’ll forget you’re making steak.
As you’re turning, after about 4 minutes, add a few pats of butter to the skillet. Add the seasonings you want to the BUTTER. Not the steak. Then just make sure your steak is getting into the butter as you flip it. We like the Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.
Remove steaks when done. Some folks say to let the steak rest – others say it’s not necessary. I say –> whatever works for you, boo. You do you.
PERSONALLY, I prefer a piping hot steak. So, I don’ like mine to rest. I like to eat it. Therefore, I make sure everything is ready for the rest of the meal before I start the steaks – they are my 100% focus for about 8-10 minutes.
Because Barry likes his less done, I remove his steak and cook everyone else’s a few more minutes and I start plating things up at that point.
You might even find that cooking your steaks this way means you don’t need steak sauce – try it and see! 🙂
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