Three Tasty Ways to Cook a Steak

Updated on February 7, 2017

Three Classic Ways to Cook a Steak

Cooking a tasty steak is just about the easiest thing there is to do. I'm going to demonstrate three classic ways to cook a steak in the:

  • oven's broiler
  • frying pan
  • on the grill

Each cooking technique is very basic, but it will deliver an exceptionally good-tasting steak.

Broiled Steak

What Type of Steak Should I Cook?

When we talk about cooking a steak, we generally want to cook an individual one. It's best to select one of these cuts:

  • Filet Mignon - very tender steak, rich marbeling
  • Rib Eye - rich and flavorful with heavy fat
  • New York Strip - leaner, but still flavorful

All three of these are premium cuts. Other thinner cuts of steak can also be prepared in a similar manner, like a flank steak.

Bring the Meat to Room Temperature Before Cooking

This is a critical step to cooking a great steak. Take the meat out of the refrigerator an hour or two before cooking, and let it sit on the counter. A steak that is room temperature will cook more evenly and much more quickly.

One of the big mistakes people make is taking a steak directly out of the refrigerator and cooking it right away. This can lead to a burnt outside and a cold inside, much longer cooking times, and in the worst case, a dried out and very tough steak. To avoid this, just let the meat sit out and warm to room temperature before cooking.

Course Salt Seasoned Steak

Seasoning the Meat: Course Salt

The best chefs in the world need only a single seasoning to make a great steak: coarse Kosher salt.

If you ever look at spice rubs in the market, you'll find rich blends with garlic, onion, paprika, celery salt, oregano, chili powder, and more. The truth is, seasonings are pretty expensive, they have a relatively short shelf life, and they aren't needed to cook a fantastic cut of meat.

What about black pepper? I know folks are thinking, doesn't it at least need pepper. Nope. A great tasting hunk of meat just needs the right amount of salt. That's it.

1) Broiling a Steak

Every oven I've seen has a broil function.

  • Move the top shelf in the oven to the highest position.
  • Turn the oven's broiler to high.
  • Let the broiler heat up for at least five minutes.

Everything Needed to Broil Steak

Place Meat on Tray

Most ovens come with a broiler tray that has a slotted cover, but in the event there isn't one, just use a pan that will catch the drippings, or at the very least, prevents the drippings from spilling down to the bottom of the oven.

Spray the pan with Pam or a little oil to prevent the steak from sticking.

Meat grease can catch fire in an oven, so please be careful and keep all the drippings contained to a pan.

Checking a Broiled Steak for Doneness

Steak in an oven's broiler will cook quickly. Assuming the meat was at room temperature, use the following cook times for a one-inch thick steak. Depending on the thickness, adjust the cooking time one minute for each 1/2 inch in additional thickness.

  • Medium rare: 7 minutes per side on high broil
  • Medium: 9 minutes per side on high broil
  • Well Done: 10+ minutes on high broil

Once done cooking, let the meat sit for five to ten minutes. Cut a steak open to see if it's properly cooked. If it needs more time, just place it back under the broiler.

The heat from the broiler will create a golden-brown crust that is delicious!

Seasoned Steaks to Place in Pan

Even though Salt is all you need, I do sometime use Montreal Seasoning
Even though Salt is all you need, I do sometime use Montreal Seasoning

2) Pan Frying a Steak

It's very easy to fry a steak quickly on a stove top.

  • Turn the burner on medium heat.
  • Lightly oil the pan with Pam or olive oil.
  • Place the pan over the heat for two to three minutes to heat the pan.
  • Place the steak in the pan.

This is the quickest way to cook a steak, but it can also be a bit messy if the oil splatters. I recommend using a grease screen or a lid to prevent oil splattering out of the pan.

Frying a steak in a pan is easy, but the cooking time can vary by the stove and type of pan used. I suggest using an instant read thermometer to check the temperature. Typically, pan frying a steak will take at least ten minutes per side.

  • Medium rare - 120 degrees
  • Medium - 135 - 140 degrees
  • Well done - 145+ degrees

Salted Steaks Ready to Grill!

3) Grilling a Steak

Grilling a steak is the easiest way to cook a steak and it's also the easiest to clean up after cooking which makes it my favorite way to cook.

Follow the instructions:

  • Let the meat sit before cooking.
  • Salt the meat.

Grilling is so easy!

  • Preheat the grill to 500 degrees.
  • Spray the grill with Pam or oil.
  • Place the steak directly over the heat.
  • Turn a one inch thick steak over every 2.5 minutes for a total of ten minutes for medium rare steak. Add 1 minute per side for medium and 2 minutes per side for very well done.

Follow these instructions for medium rare steak if you want more details.

Grill marks on the steak

  • For great presentation, put hatch marks on the steak by flipping the meat and turning it 45 degrees per the turning instructions above.

What's your favorite way to cook a steak?

See results

Questions & Answers

    84% of readers found this article helpful.

    24 votes so far. Click a star to add your vote!

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      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        7 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

        Thanks for the tips, Paul. I do love steak, and you've provided some good ideas here.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        16 months ago from Central Florida

        I've had a hankering for a steak lately. After reading this, I'm going to have to satisfy my craving.

        Normally, I prefer steaks cooked on the grill, but if it's only for me, I'll do it on the stove in a screaming hot cast iron skillet. Medium rare is the way I like it. Yum! I can taste it now....

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        17 months ago from Oklahoma

        Have tried all these methods, but what I've come to like lately is to pan fry and finish in the oven.

        Wonderful read.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        17 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        If I were a meat eater this is precisely how my steak would be prepared. But, hey, the rest of my family and friends can't live without a good steak so I'm passing this hub on to those who will love it!

      • simplehappylife profile image

        sannwi 

        17 months ago

        Yum!!

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