How to Cook a Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet


Wonder how Restaurants Make Such Great Steaks? Try this Method on your Backyard Grill (or in your Oven).

Skillet Rib Eye Steak
Skillet Rib Eye Steak

Have you ever wondered why the steaks from fancy restaurants are so good? They use a number of tricks to get their steaks seared hot and fast so they can achieve that perfect medium rare internal temperature and still have a thick, caramelized crusty surface. Some restaurants use very expensive broilers to do this and others use the method described here. The secret to the perfect steak is a combination of flavorings and intense contact heat. The perfect way to get this high heat is with heavy metal and by that, a heavy cast iron skillet. So, save yourself the luxury prices and make the perfect restaurant steak at home.

What you need:
• A good steak
• A heavy cast iron skillet
• A gas grill with side burner (or an oven and stove top burner)
• Butter
• High-temperature oil, like avocado oil
• Salt and pepper
• A pair of long-handled tongs
• A warm plate or cutting board
• A large sheet of aluminum foil
• Two heavy cotton kitchen towels and a heavy oven mitt or high-temperature grilling gloves
• An instant-read digital thermometer

For the Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup red wine (dry preferred)
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Talk to your butcher about getting the right steak. I prefer a rib eye steak for this method. It can be either boneless or bone in. Strip steaks, fillets, or a T-Bone steak works just as well. The bone can reduce contact with the pan, however, so take that into consideration. To get the best possible results, look for a ‘prime’ grade steak. If this is too much money, choose ‘choice’.

CAUTION: This cooking method requires extreme temperatures. Normal oven mitts will not be sufficient. High-temperature grilling gloves and a thick towel should be used when handling cast iron at high temperatures.

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