Pan Seared Steak Recipe

Learn an easy and delicious way to make Pan Seared Steak! All you need is a quality steak, flavorful seasoning, and butter for restaurant quality perfection right at home! 

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Pan seared steaks in a skillet topped with a pat of melting butter.

Are you ready? I am going to teach you how to cook steak in a pan so you can forget the steakhouse once and for all.

People put so much pressure on themselves trying to make the perfect steak. I totally understand. Steak is such a decadent and glamorous meal that you want to make sure you make it just right.

I happen to love a simple pan seared steak with butter, and the preparation of it couldn’t be any easier. With these simple instructions for pan seared steaks with an oven finish, you will be making restaurant quality steaks in no time at all.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Easy guide with all the tips you need to make sure your steak cooks up perfectly!
  • Skip the restaurant and enjoy a romantic meal at home!
  • Perfect skillet steak recipe for special occasions for the family or guests.
  • Cook up juicy, flavorful steaks at home for a fraction of the cost of your favorite steakhouse.

Ingredients

It doesn’t take much to an amazing skillet steak! Really, all you need are five simple ingredients.

Ingredients to make pan seared steak on the counter.
  • Steak: Choose a high-quality steak. A cowboy steak is great for making pan fried steak.
  • Vegetable oil: Use any variety of high heat vegetable oil.
  • Seasoning: Use a sprinkle of salt and black pepper to keep thing simple. Another option is to use your favorite steak seasoning.
  • Butter: Added to the top of the steak after cooking to give it a rich, buttery finish.
  • Parsley: Totally optional but it adds a splash of color to the steak for serving.

What is the Best Steak to Sear?

When making pan fried steak, you want to start with a high quality steak. It’s the star of the show so make sure to choose wisely. I personally love beef rib steak (also known as a cowboy steak) which is perfect for searing.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Whenever possible try to choose Prime grade or at the very least Choice grade. These may be a bit more pricey but they are better quality.
  • Whatever cut of steak you choose, make sure it has quite a bit of fat on it. The fat allows the steak to remain juicy during the cooking or searing process. The result of searing steak makes for a super tender piece of meat.
  • Choose a cut of steak that is well marbled.  This means it will have visible streaks of fat in the steak. It’s important to keep the steak from drying but also gives it plenty of flavor.
  • Thick-cut steaks, at least 1 1/2 inches thick is best. This will give you plenty of time to get a nice sear on the outside of the steak without overcooking the inside.
  • Keep in mind that as a steak cooks it begins to shrink in size as it loses moisture. This may impact the size of steak you select. It won’t measure the same once you are done cooking it.

How to Cook Pan Seared Steak with Oven Finish

The trick to making the best, most juicy steak is first cooking the steak in a skillet to give it a nice seared outside but then finishing it in the oven to get it to your desired temperature without overcooking.

Here’s an overview of the steps but be sure to check the recipe card for all the details before you start cooking.

  1. Bring your steak up to room temperature. This is super important so it cooks evenly.
  2. Dry the steak. Use a paper towel to blog away all the moisture from both sides of the steak.
Using a napkin to pat dry steaks on a plate.
  1. Liberally season your steak with salt and pepper or use a nice steak seasoning.  This is one I like and also here is another one if you want to just purchase it.  They add such sensational flavorful to the beef.  
Steaks on a plate are sprinkled with seasoning before cooking.
  1. When your steak is seasoned, preheat your oven to 425°F. Then heat a cast iron skillet and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil over high heat.   This is crucial because the heat should be so hot that it begins to sear the meat instantly!

PRO TIP: When you see a bit of smoke you are ready to begin searing.  The pan and oil must be hot in order to get that beautiful browned color you want on the outside of the steak.

  1. Using a pair of tongs, gently place the steak in the hot cast iron skillet.  If you don’t hear that sizzle, it is definitely not hot enough!!
Steaks cooking in a pan.
  1. Sear side one for about 5-6 minutes or until a darkened crust develops. Then, flip it over using your tongs and repeat on the other side and cook until this side also forms a crust.
  1. Place the entire cast iron skillet in the preheated oven. The baking time will depend on preference here.
  1. Place a thermometer to the center of your steak to decide doneness (medium rare- 135°, medium – 145°, medium well – 155° and well done 160°). The entire baking time shouldn’t be longer than 15 minutes.
  1. Once you remove the steak from the oven, add a tablespoon of butter to the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley if you desire.

PRO TIP: Let your steak rest before devouring it. I know it will be hard but do not skip this step. That’s seriously how easy it is to make steak and how to pan sear a steak.

Cooked steaks in a pan topped with pats of butter.

What To Serve With Steak

Here are some of my absolute favorite sides to serve with this pan seared steak recipe!

Have leftovers? No worries! Leftover steak is great to add to salads, quesadillas, steak nachos and so much more!

Pan seared steak sliced on a cutting board.

Expert Tips

  • Choose the best quality steak you can afford. But at the least make sure it has good marbling and is thick-cut to ensure the best outcome.
  • Allow the steak to come up to room temperature before cooking. I usually pull the steaks out of the fridge about an hour before cooking.
  • Remove your steak slightly undercooked from your desired temperature. It will continue to cook once it’s removed from the oven and this will prevent it being overcooked.
  • Add butter at the end of cooking for the best flavor.
  • Make sure your pan and oil are hot before cooking so get a nice sear on the outside of your steak. If you see a bit of smoke, it’s ready to begin searing.
  • Let your steak rest for at least five minutes before cutting and serving. Resting will allow all the juices to settle.  If you don’t they will run out of your steak as soon as you cut into it!

FAQs

How long do you pan sear a steak?

The length of time will depend on the thickness of the steak and how you like your steak cooked. To get a nice sear on a 1 1/2 inch steak, it will take about 5-6 minutes on each side and then about 15 minutes in the oven for a medium rare steak.

Can I sear steak in butter?

Oil is the better option for making pan seared steak. Butter has a low smoke point and will burn at the high heat needed to get a really good sear on your steak. You are better off adding the butter at the end of cooking.

Sliced seared steak on a plate.

More Steak Recipes

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Learn an Easy and Delicious Way to Pan Sear a Steak | Grandbaby Cakes

How to Make Pan Seared Steak

Learn the best way to make pan seared steak with butter. Enjoy a juicy, flavorful steak at home that's perfect for special occasions, romantic dinners, and more!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 high-quality steak a cowboy steak is great for this!
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper or steak seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Garnish: Chopped parsley if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and add a cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to your stove over high heat. Once the steak is at room temperature, begin drying it with a paper towel. Blot all of the moisture away from the steak on both sides.
  • Next liberally season with salt and pepper or use the Omaha Steaks seasoning. That’s what I used here, and it adds such sensational flavorful to the beef.
  • Once you are finished seasoning the steak, check the skillet. If you see a bit of smoke (it must be hot in order to get that beautiful browned color you want), you are ready to begin searing. Using a pair of tongs, gently place the steak in the hot cast iron skillet.
  • Sear side one for about 5-6 minutes or until a darkened crust develops then flip it over using your tongs and repeat on the other side.
  • Once the other side’s crust has developed, place the entire cast iron skillet in the preheated oven. The baking time will depend on preference here. Add a thermometer to the center of your steak to decide doneness (medium rare- 135, medium – 145, medium well – 155 and well done 160). The entire baking time shouldn’t be longer than 15 minutes. Once you remove the steak, add a tablespoon of butter to the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley if you desire. Most importantly, let your steak rest before devouring it. I know it will be hard but do not skip this step. Enjoy!

Notes

Choose the best quality steak you can afford. But at the least make sure it has good marbling and is thick-cut to ensure the best outcome.
Allow the steak to come up to room temperature before cooking. I usually pull the steaks out of the fridge about an hour before cooking.
Remove your steak slightly undercooked from your desired temperature. It will continue to cook once it’s removed from the oven and this will prevent it being overcooked.
Add butter at the end of cooking for the best flavor.
Make sure your pan and oil are hot before cooking so get a nice sear on the outside of your steak. If you see a bit of smoke, it’s ready to begin searing.
Let your steak rest for at least five minutes before cutting and serving. Resting will allow all the juices to settle.  If you don’t they will run out of your steak as soon as you cut into it!

Nutrition

Calories: 582kcal | Protein: 45g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 607mg | Vitamin A: 210IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 3.9mg
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This post was originally published February 2016. It has been republished with new images and content.

Filed Under:  Beef and Lamb, Dinner, Father's Day, Main Dishes, Valentine's Day

Comments

  1. Cooking steak in the skillet was a game changer for me! We were cooking it on our BBQ prior to that, and it just didn’t get hot enough for that sear. I will have to try putting it in the oven 🙂 Looks delicious!

  2. These are such great tips, and the timing is perfect! My sweetie would love a steak like this for his Valentine’s day dinner.

  3. Genius post, Jocelyn! My husband and I never do a steakhouse because we feel we can do it just as well at home — it’s easier than people think! You’ve shown that here and your steak looks PERFECT!

  4. The sear on this steak in unbelievably perfect! This method definitely rivals the grill. 😉

    1. You know it girl! And its hard when you live in Chicago to get a steak on the grill this time of year.

  5. My dad needed to read your blog post when we were growing up. He tried searing a steak once and accidentally set off the smoke alarm. He couldn’t get all the smoke out so he ended up turning off all the electricity to the house. 🙂

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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