A lot of folks are intimidated when it comes to cooking steak. This pan-seared sirloin steak recipe couldn’t be easier and will melt that fear away.
A perfectly pan-seared steak is a beautiful thing. Finished with a simple garlic butter, these pan seared steaks will have your family’s mouths watering in no time. A cast iron skillet is the secret to making the perfect pan seared steak.
Let’s get cookin’!
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Quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner, serve these steaks with spicy potato wedges and asparagus.
Sunday dinner? Pan-seared steak with a loaded baked potato is a great way to finish off the weekend. Transport your family to a French Bistrot by making Steak Frites which is simply a steak served with french fries. Sounds super fancy and will fool the kids into thinking they are cosmopolitan but really you’ve just made one of the easiest recipes out there.
This versatile recipe can be prepared with any cut of steak. A simple garlic butter elevates your pan-seared steak to a whole new level.
How To Make Steak In A Cast-Iron Skillet
With very little prep, this recipe may be your best friend. A perfectly pan-seared steak in no time? Yes please!
What You Need:
Here’s what you’ll need from the store. The exact amounts are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Kitchen Tools Needed:
- Cast iron pan, grill pan, or other heavy bottomed skillet
- Small bowl
- Tongs or spatula
- Digital meat thermometer
- Sirloin steaks (or your preferred cut)
- Canola oil
- Unsalted butter
- Minced garlic
- Parsley flakes
Best Type Of Steak To Use
When it comes to steak quality matters. There’s a reason some steaks are significantly less expensive. Save these cuts for a Salisbury steak recipe.
This recipe calls for a 4-6oz sirloin steak which is a petite sirloin. This cut can be tricky to find in many grocery stores. Can’t find this cut and want to stay faithful to the recipe? Ask the butcher at the meat counter. They will happily trim steaks to size. However, if you are me you get a bigger steak!
Should You Let A Steak Rest Before Cooking?
There are multiple schools of thought about letting your steak rest at room temp before cooking. I fall into the category that 30 minutes at room temp will help you cook a perfect steak.
If you put a cold steak in a hot pan it will cook unevenly and you run the risk of overcooking the outside of the steak before the inside of your steak is the temperature you want. This’ll run the risk of tough leather and nobody want that. So let that bad boy rest at room temp for 30 minutes.
The Best Pan To Use
Ideally, a cast iron skillet is the pan of choice. Caring for a cast iron skillet is easier than you think. Take a look at this cast-iron skillet guide. Don’t have a cast-iron pan? Invest in one. You’ll thank me. However, you can also use a grill pan which can help you achieve grill marks. If you are a purist like me, I only prefer grill marks from an actual grill. In a pinch, any heavy-bottomed skillet can work for this recipe.
Pre-Heat The Pan
Now that we’ve selected our pan, the most important thing to get a good sear and a golden crust is to preheat your pan. Heat your pan and then add the oil. Let the oil get hot before adding your steaks. Similar to letting the uncooked steak rest at room temperature before cooking, if you start to pan sear your steak in a cold skillet while the pan slowly heats it will slowly cook your steak and again run the risk of overcooking and never giving you a good sear.
The trick to a good sear is a high heat to give you a beautiful crust and seal in all those precious juices.
Do Not Overcrowd The Pan
Just as important as preheating your skillet, do not overcrowd your pan! Your steaks need air around them to achieve a perfect sear. If you overcrowd your pan, your steaks will steam rather than sear. If you need to make more steaks than will fit in your pan, sear them in batches and transfer them to a warm oven and cover them with foil.
Let Steaks Rest After Cooking
Lastly, use a meat thermometer to check your temps. Keep in mind once removed from the heat your steak will continue to cook. Remove them from the skillet on the lower end of your ideal temp. Most importantly, let your steaks rest for at least five minutes after cooking. This will let them finish cooking and allow the juices to redistribute giving you the perfect juicy pan-seared steak.
Best Oil for Pan Searing Steak
You want to avoid searing your steak in extra virgin olive oil or butter. To achieve the perfect sear your pan needs to get HOT. Extra virgin olive oil and butter have a lower smoke point than canola, peanut, or vegetable oils.
If you attempt to use extra virgin olive oil or butter they will burn long before your pan even gets hot enough. Not only will you ruin the flavor of the olive oil, butter, and steak, you’ll fill your kitchen with smoke. So make sure you use an oil that can withstand high heat such as canola, vegetable, or peanut oils.
Internal Temp for Steak
This is probably the most important section of all. These are the internal temperatures of steak that you need to reach for each level of “done-ness.”
Sear the steak for 1 minute per side. (Yes only one minute per side in a preheated skillet for the perfect rare) Spoon the butter mixture over the steaks and cook an additional 30 seconds per side. Remove the steak from the pan when the internal temp reaches 115 degrees and allow the steak to rest 5-10 minutes. The steak is rare when the internal temp is 120 degrees.
Sear the steak for 3 minutes per side. Spoon the butter mixture over the steaks and cook an additional 30 seconds per side. Remove the steak from the pan when the internal temp reaches 125 degrees and allow the steak to rest 5-10 minutes. The steak is medium rare when the internal temp is 130 degrees.
Sear the steak for 6 minutes on one side, flip and sear 4 minutes on the other. Spoon the butter mixture over the steaks and cook an additional 30 seconds per side. Remove the steak from the pan when the internal temp reaches 135 degrees and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes. The steak is medium when the internal temp is 140 degrees.
Sear the steak for 7 minutes on one side, flip and sear 5 minutes on the other. Spoon the butter mixture over the steaks and cook an additional 30 seconds per side. Remove the steak from the pan when the internal temp reaches 145 degrees and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes. The steak is medium when the internal temp is 150 degrees.
Sear the steak for 9 minutes on one side, flip and sear 7 minutes on the other. Spoon the butter mixture over the steaks and cook an additional 30 seconds per side. Remove the steak from the pan when the internal temp reaches 155 degrees and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes. The steak is medium when the internal temp is 160 degrees.
Easy Pan Seared Sirloin Steak Recipe
- Cast-Iron Skillet
- Instant Read Thermometer
- 2 sirloin steaks 4 – 6oz
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
- In a small microwaveable bowl, melt butter in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds or until completely melted. Add garlic and parsley flakes.
- Add canola oil to pan and medium-heat over high heat until the pan is blazing hot (about 5 minutes). Make sure to use a vent.
- Pat the meat dry.
- Add salt and pepper to both sides of steaks, and place in pan. Grill for 3 minutes and flip over.(medium rare) See post instructions for cooking times for rare/medium/well done.
- Flip steaks again, add more butter, and let cook for another 30 seconds per side until the steak is done to your liking.
- Use an instant-read meat thermometer, and remove the meat from pan when the thermometer reads 10 degrees below the temperature for doneness. Add the remaining butter mixture. Cover lightly with a piece of aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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