How to Cook Steak in a Cast-Iron Skillet

Great Steak Can Be Made at Home

With the current economy, not everyone has money to eat out. Occasionally you want to have a good steak. Here is a way to cook a perfect steak time after time, and enjoy good eating at home. If you don't have a cast-iron pan, you can buy a new one at any decent store that sells cookware, but if money is an issue, you can pick up good cast iron at second-hand stores, flea markets, and the like.

What You Will Need

You need a seasoned cast iron skillet (see end of article for how to season a new skillet). You'll need tongs, safflower or peanut oil, and sea salt or kosher salt. Also good thick oven mitts are a must. I will assume you have a range and oven. It does not matter whether the range is electric or gas; good results can be had with either.

Any type of steak will work, but in this example I am using a ribeye that is a bit over an inch thick. Ribeyes have a good flavor so they do not need a lot of added seasoning.

Ribeye steaks
Ribeye steaks

Getting Things Going

Pull the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them warm up a bit. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven heats up, put the cast iron skillet on a large burner and heat it up to high temperature. Meanwhile, place the steak on a plate and pour a little safflower or peanut oil on it. Rub the oil in, then add salt and pepper and rub that in. This would be a good time to add dry seasonings, if you want any. Sometimes I use a mixture of onion and garlic powder with seasoned salt. Turn the steak over and repeat. Now it is time to cook.

Cooking the Steak

Once your skillet is nice and hot, use the tongs to place the steak in the skillet, and sear each side for 30-40 seconds. Then, using your oven mitt, place the pan and the steak in the 450-degree oven. Luckily, everyone at my house likes their steak medium rare, so all my steaks will have the same cooking time. For a medium rare stake, let the steak cook in the oven, 2 ½ minutes per side, that is, 5 minutes total. At the 2 ½ minute mark, you will pull the pan out of the oven, turn the steak over, put pan and steak back into the oven, and cook for 2 ½ more minutes. If your taste tends towards medium, you will want to go for a bit over three minutes per side, six or seven minutes total. Thicker steaks may take longer.

Once it has cooked on both sides for the allotted time, take the pan out of the oven and let the steak rest for a few minutes. If you have aluminum foil, loosely cover the steak with the foil while it rests.

While you wait, you can plate your other side dishes. Once your few minutes have passed, take the tongs and put the steak on the plate, and enjoy.

Seasoning a New Cast-Iron Pan

If you just acquired your cast-iron pan, you will need to season it properly. Most cast iron pans these days come seasoned, but if yours is not, it is easy. Set the oven to 450. Brush cooking oil on the inside surfaces of the pan. Put it in the oven for one hour. When it comes out of the oven, let it cool, and wipe any excess oil off. Your pan should look black when it is properly seasoned.

Comments 42 comments

jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma

I have always gone with the grill in the warmer months. But, I always use the broiler the rest of the year. I will have to give this a try. It looks fantastic.

christine almaraz profile image

christine almaraz 7 years ago from colorado springs

Sounds good. I'm a steak lover so I'll definitely try this. Thanks.

linjingjing profile image

linjingjing 7 years ago

Cooking Steak in Cast Iron Skillet

This article is very helpful to me

nikki1 profile image

nikki1 6 years ago

Try using 0 calorie cooking spray to cook your steak. Cuts a lot of calories in half. Great article.. very detailed.

fitman profile image

fitman 6 years ago from Ankara,Turkey

I will try this , thank you

Jim 6 years ago

I tried this, and it worked great! Smokes up the house a bit though, so if you live in an apartment, might want to turn off the smoke detectors for a bit and run some fans, hahaha.

Mike 6 years ago

I tried this last night. Came out great. Thanks for the recipe.

Pockets 6 years ago

I just got done using this technique. I didn't have any oil so I substituted red wine instead and it turned out wonderful. Thank you very much to the one who posted. This was my first time ever really cooking. I also made a salad using salsa and red wine for the dressing which also turned out wonderful along with potatoes and of course red wine to drink. Thanks again.

Japemwellows profile image

Japemwellows 6 years ago from 5ifth Dimensi0n

Ah man, my mouth is watering so much right now.

Nearly dribbled on the keyboard a bit!

Definatly gonna be trying this one. Tasty hub!

Nina 6 years ago

I'm using it now. I will let you know how it turns out. From the sound of everyones comments, it will turn out fine!

Nina 6 years ago

Really delish! Fell off the bone

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 6 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Thanks for the comments, it usually does come out the same everytime. Did a couple ribeyes tonight and they came out great.

Paula 5 years ago

We used thick steaks and did as directed--every 5 min. we checked and it probably took 15-20 min. on each side before done to our liking. It was the juiciest steak we've had in a long time!! Will do very often this way!! Delish flavor and very moist!!

Tam 5 years ago

I was just a little confused about...

You will let the steak cook in the oven, 2 1/2 -3 minutes per side. If your taste tends towards medium, you will want to go for a bit over 3 minutes. At the 2 1/2 minute mark, you will pull the pan out of the oven, then turn the steak over, and then put it back in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 more minutes.

...are we putting it back in for a second time on each side?

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 5 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Sorry for the delayed response. Actually, you would increase the time per side depending on the doneness you prefer. If you like medium rare, 2 1/2 does it, if you want medium, 3 minutes or 3:15 might work best for you.

eatlikenoone profile image

eatlikenoone 5 years ago from Saline, MI

Since I don't have an outdoor grill, I use cast iron to get a good sear on my steaks. I love the Lodge products, cheap, American, and effective.

ss 5 years ago

a wonderful article

Mary 5 years ago

Ever since I read this article I found this the best method for cooking steaks! I do not have a grill where I live. It took me a couple of times to get this method down and now I have it perfect! Thanks!

Linda 4 years ago

I just tried this tonight. Thicker steak took 4 mins on each side in the oven. Perfect. Thank you.

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Glad it went well for you and thank you for the comment

bergerbytes 4 years ago

Gonna try this tonight! It is how it is done in the top end restaurants!! Sounds delish!

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Hope it works well for you. I always goes well for me.

Brody 4 years ago

I really don't see the need to do them in the oven. Isn't that what a top is for? I warm up the pan over a medium-high heat, sear the first side for 3 mins, do the second side for 2 mins, turn off the heat, put the top on the pan and just let the steak finish off for about 5-7 mins depending on thickness. Cast iron holds heat so well that oven time isn't necessary.

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

The oven time just finishes the steak to the desired doneness. It is thought that the additional oven heat just helps to make the heat more uniform in the steak.

If you are happy with your method, there is no reason to change.

Thanks for the comment

michael 4 years ago

what is a skillet

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

A skillet is a pan that is used for frying or cooking. Usually they have at least one handle to make it easy to handle. In this case, the skillet is made of cast iron.

Ruthie Sumner 4 years ago

Cooking steak in an iron skillet was very easy and tasty!

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Thank you for the comment.

Glad you enjoyed this method of cooking. It is an easy way to get professional results.

Elly 4 years ago

Steaks are incredible, but for a thick ribeye it takes a LOT longer than 3min per side, I think we ended up at 8-10min per side.

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Thanks for the comment. Yes, it depends on how thick the steak is to determine the cooking time.

Dave 4 years ago

This turned out amazing. Nice work puter_dr

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Glad it worked out for you. Thanks for reading my hub.

chefsref profile image

chefsref 4 years ago from Citra Florida

Manufacturers have tried repeatedly to reinvent the pans we cook with. I have my Mother's stainless c;ad aluminum cookware yet a simple cast iron pan still does the best job, it spreads and retains heat, is simple to clean and costs less. The only disadvantage is the weight.

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 4 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Thank you for the comment. When I was younger, I didn't care much about the handles on a cast iron skillet, but now I won't buy one without double handles.

Csjohnson 3 years ago

Thanks for the post! Tried it tonight and it was great. Both husband and I was impressed.

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 3 years ago from Midwest USA Author

Thank you for the kind comment.

Wldflur 3 years ago

We have done this recipe three times now! Tonite it was perfect! Reduced time in oven per side to 2 min! Very med rare and wonderful! When skillet started smoking, reduced heat and put steaks in...set timer and did exactly 30 sec per side...set timer again and did exactly 2 min each side....Perfect! Thanks

paul g 2 years ago

Perfect recipe...delish...Thank you!!

Nikki 23 months ago

Can you keep the steak in the skillet when you put it in the oven?

puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 23 months ago from Midwest USA Author

Yes, you keep the steak in the pan, and place both in the oven.

Matt 16 months ago

good stuff. My only error was having a really thick steak but I'll cook it like this again. Thanks for the instructions!

Meatosaurus 12 months ago

I believe you may have the methods mixed up.

The best and fastest way is to boil wTer. Put the steak in a zip lock bag. Add salt, rosemary and olive oil.

Place the bag in an already boiling pot of water.

10 min for rare. 20 min for mid rare.

In the meantime you are preparing the steak, you should have placed an iron skillet on high heat.

When the steaks are cooked inside in the hot water, place them in the 550* pan ans seare it.

The best I've head.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article