5 from 9 votes

How to Make The Perfect Pan Seared Steak

 February 28, 2023

There are few things as satisfying as a perfectly cooked steak. The crispy exterior, the tender, juicy interior, and the rich, meaty flavor make it a go-to for any special occasion. However, cooking a perfect steak can be quite challenging, even for experienced cooks. There are so many variables to consider, including the cut of meat, the seasoning, and the cooking method, which is why I am so excited to be sharing my tips for Making the PERFECT Pan Seared Steak. With these simple tips, your steaks will turn out juicy and delicious, every time!

A cast iron skillet, filled with two of the perfect pan seared steaks

One of the best ways to cook a steak is by pan searing it. Pan searing is a cooking method that involves heating a pan to a high temperature, adding a bit of oil or butter, and cooking the steak on both sides until it’s golden brown and cooked to the desired temperature. The key to a perfectly seared steak is to get a good sear on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender.

When I first tried out this method, I’ll admit: I totally overcooked my steak. It was tough and nearly burnt. But once I learned this perfect pan searing method, it truly changed the game for me. No matter what cut of steak that I’m using, these methods will ensure that your steak is perfectly cooked, every time.

And if you’re wondering how to take an even perfect steak to the next level, I highly recommend serving it with a heaping serving of my Easy Chimicurri Sauce and my Crispy Parmesan Potatoes for the ultimate comfort meal.

The Best Cut of Steak to Use For This Method

While all cuts of steak work well for this method, I highly recommend using a Rib Eye steak. Why? Rib Eye steak tends to have a higher fat content, which makes for a juicer steak. If you don’t want to use Rib Eye, a New York Strip is another great option!

But of course, you aren’t limited to these options. These method also works well with leaner cuts, like Filet Mignon, as well.

A cast iron skillet, with two of the steaks inside, and a spoon basting butter, garlic, and thyme over the steaks
Let your steaks cook for 3-4 minutes on each side without touching them. Then, smash 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic and add them to the pan alongside 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and some sprigs of thyme. Move the pan around and use a spoon to baste the steak with the butter.

How to Ensure That Your Steak is Cooked Perfectly

And if you’re wondering how you can ensure that your steak is cooked perfectly, then I’ve GOT YOU. The answer to that question lies in using a thermometer to ensure the perfect internal temperature.

My Yummly Smart Thermometer is one of my favorite kitchen devices, and ensures that my steaks are always perfectly cooked. Simply insert the thermometer into your steak and connect it to your phone using bluetooth. Then, set the type of steak you’re cooking in the app, set your desired preparation, and cook your steak as directed.

When your steak is ready to be flipped, your phone will buzz with a notification. And when it’s finished, it will buzz again, eliminating the need to stand at the stove and watch over your steak like a baby!

One of the perfectly pan seared steaks, sliced into strips on a cutting board, with cloves of roasted garlic and thyme beside it
Let your steaks rest on a cutting board for five minutes before slicing and serving

10 Steps to Making the Perfect Pan Seared Steak

  1. The first step to making the perfect pan seared steak is to make sure that your steak is room temperature. In order to get that perfect crust / sear, your steak has to be room temperature. If it’s cold, it will turn grey and sad!
  2. The next step is to pat the steak dry with a paper towel, to soak up any extra juices.
  3. Next is to add a lot of salt. Believe me, you’ll want to use more salt than you think! If you want to add pepper or other seasonings, you can add them at this step. But I recommend sticking to just salt and pepper.
  4. Next, add your meat thermometer, if using one. I highly recommend it!
  5. Then, add a high heat oil (like avocado oil) to a pan, on the stove, over high heat. A high heat oil is key to ensuring that the steak cooks properly!
Two of the perfect pan seared steaks, resting on a cutting board with the roasted garlic and thyme on top of them

6. Wait to add your steak to the pan until the oil glistens or shimmers – that’s how you know it’s hot enough!

7. Add your steaks to the hot pan and DO NOT touch them for 3-4 minutes. For a medium rare steak (135 F), flip the steak once the 3-4 minutes are up, and cook for another 3 minutes. For any other steak preparation, refer to your thermometer!

8. Once you have flipped your steak, smash 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic and add them to the pan alongside 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and some sprigs of thyme. Move the pan around and use a spoon to baste the steak with the butter.

9. Once done, remove the steak from the heat and let it rest for five minutes. This is very important, to ensure that all of the flavors cook properly!

10. Finally, once it’s done resting, transfer your steak to a cutting board and slice it. Pour the rest of the butter from the pan over the steak, and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Gayle McLeod
A cast iron skillet, filled with two of the perfect pan seared steaks
gluten-free/Grain Free/Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free

How to Make The Perfect Pan Seared Steak

5 from 9 votes
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
SERVES 1 Steak
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There are few things as satisfying as a perfectly cooked steak. The crispy exterior, the tender, juicy interior, and the rich, meaty flavor make it a go-to for any special occasion. However, cooking a perfect steak can be quite challenging, even for experienced cooks. There are so many variables to consider, including the cut of meat, the seasoning, and the cooking method, which is why I am so excited to be sharing my tips for Making the PERFECT Pan Seared Steak. With these simple tips, your steaks will turn out juicy and delicious, every time!

Equipment

  • 1 Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 Steak ideally a Rib Eye or New York Strip cut!
  • 2-4 Cloves Fresh Garlic mashed
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Generous Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 Generous Pinch Black Pepper

Instructions

  • The first step to making the perfect pan seared steak is to make sure that your steak is room temperature. In order to get that perfect crust / sear, your steak has to be room temperature. If it’s cold, it will turn grey and sad!
  • The next step is to pat the steak dry with a paper towel, to soak up any extra juices.
  • Next is to add a lot of salt. Believe me, you’ll want to use more salt than you think! If you want to add pepper or other seasonings, you can add them at this step. But I recommend sticking to just salt and pepper.
  • Next, add your meat thermometer, if using one. I highly recommend it!
  • Then, add a high heat oil (like avocado oil) to a pan, on the stove, over high heat. A high heat oil is key to ensuring that the steak cooks properly!
  • Wait to add your steak to the pan until the oil glistens or shimmers – that’s how you know it’s hot enough!
  • Add your steaks to the hot pan and DO NOT touch them for 3-4 minutes. For a medium rare steak (135 F), flip the steak once the 3-4 minutes are up, and cook for another 3 minutes. For any other steak preparation, refer to your thermometer!
  • Once you have flipped your steak, smash 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic and add them to the pan alongside 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and some sprigs of thyme. Move the pan around and use a spoon to baste the steak with the butter.
  • Once done, remove the steak from the heat and let it rest for five minutes. This is very important, to ensure that all of the flavors cook properly!
  • Finally, once it’s done resting, transfer your steak to a cutting board and slice it. Pour the rest of the butter from the pan over the steak, and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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  1. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe and instructions! My rib eye was better than any restaurant steak I ever had! My husband and kids were raving about it! THANK YOU!!!

    • I am so happy to hear that, Windi! Thank you so much for making this recipe and for leaving such a kind review!