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.
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.