Pan-Seared Steak

Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

The secret to a perfectly pan-seared steak is a hot skillet and patience. The steak is patted dry to remove any moisture that would prevent a crust from forming, and then seasoned generously. Your steak will cook for 5 to 7 minutes on the stovetop to form the desired brown crust. Then you'll move it to the preheated oven to finish cooking, another 5 to 15 minutes. (Try to avoid peeking while the steak cooks on the stove and in the oven!) Opt for a cast-iron skillet, which retains and distributes heat well—skip the nonstick skillet on steak night. Pair your steak with seasoned butter, like garlic-herb or horseradish-mustard, and you'll have five-star reviews.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 boneless rib-eye or New York strip (shell) steak, 1 ½ to 2 pounds and 2 ½ inches thick, room temperature

  • Coarse salt and cracked (butcher-grind) pepper

  • Steak Butter


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet (not a nonstick) over medium-high until it begins to smoke. Pat steak dry with paper towels. Season each side with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon cracked pepper.

  2. Cook steak in skillet over medium-high heat until a dark crust has formed, 5 to 7 minutes per side (reduce heat if meat is browning too quickly). Holding steak with tongs, quickly brown all edges, turning as necessary; lay steak flat in skillet.

  3. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of steak registers desired doneness, 5 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate; spread with 1 tablespoon Steak Butter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest 5 to 10 minutes (temperature will then rise another 5 to 10 degrees). Slice across the grain; serve with remaining Steak Butter. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers, up to 2 days.

    pan-seared steak
    David Loftus

Cook's Notes

A cast-iron pan holds the heat and distributes it evenly, so it browns well rather than scorching the food in some spots and leaving it pale in others.

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