The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Steak Without a Grill

Craving a perfectly seared and seasoned steak but don’t have access to a grill? Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. Cooking a steak without a grill is easier than you might think, and we’ve got the best method for cooking steaks indoors so you can enjoy that delicious grilled flavor all year round. All you need is the right cut of meat and a trusty cast-iron pan.

Choosing the Perfect Steak for Pan Frying

Before you start cooking your steak on the stovetop, it’s crucial to choose a quality piece of meat. Look for steaks that are thick and well-marbled, with fat that melts down during cooking to enhance flavor. Opt for steaks that are at least one inch thick to prevent them from drying out. Thicker cuts can be even more delicious but will require longer cooking times. Consider popular cuts like New York Strip, T-Bone, Skirt, Filet Mignon, Porterhouse, or Bone-In steaks for the best results. Trim any excess fat, but remember that marbling is essential for a juicy steak.

The Best Pan for Frying Steak

Having the right pan is crucial for cooking steak on the stovetop. A cast-iron skillet is highly recommended as it ensures even cooking and helps achieve that perfect sear. Look for a high-quality skillet like the Lodge 10.5-inch or Staub 12-inch. Make sure to leave enough space around each steak when frying them to prevent overcrowding.

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The Step-by-Step Process for Cooking Steak on the Stovetop

Once you have your steak and cast-iron pan ready, it’s time to start cooking. Follow these simple steps for the perfect stovetop steak:

  1. Bring the steak to room temperature and season it well with salt, pepper, and garlic. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using a premade steak rub or create your own flavorful blend.
  2. Preheat your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add a small amount of oil. Make sure the pan is hot enough to create a seared finish and prevent sticking.
  3. Gently place the steak in the pan and resist the urge to move it around too much. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping it over and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side. Use tongs to hold the steak on its sides to sear all over. Check the doneness with a meat thermometer.
  4. While the steak cooks, use a spoon or basting brush to spread the oil and juices over the steak to infuse even more flavor.
  5. In the last few minutes of cooking, add fresh aromatics like rosemary to elevate the flavor and presentation.
  6. Avoid overcrowding the pan to allow each steak to cook evenly. The steak should have a crispy brown exterior and a juicy interior when cooked to perfection.

Oil or Butter: Which is Better for a Stovetop Steak?

Using oil or butter when cooking a steak on the stovetop adds flavor and helps keep the steak juicy. Butter imparts a rich flavor but can burn easily if the pan is too hot. Oil, on the other hand, can withstand higher temperatures without burning. A combination of both is ideal for pan-frying steak. Use oil during the initial cooking process and add butter along with aromatics towards the end. This creates a flavorful crust while ensuring that the steak remains tender and juicy. You can also experiment with starting the cooking process with a mixture of oil and butter to find your preferred method.

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Cooking Time for Stovetop Steak

Cook each side of the steak for 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness. Thicker steaks may require up to 10 minutes per side. Once cooked, remove the steak from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board for at least 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a flavorful bite. Remember to follow the USDA’s recommendation of a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for safety.

The Perfect Spices for Pan-Fried Steak

When it comes to seasoning a great steak, simplicity is key. Kosher salt and black pepper are usually enough to let the natural flavors shine. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different seasonings such as blackened seasoning, rosemary garlic butter, Himalayan pink salt, or steak-specific dry rubs. Just make sure the spices complement the steak rather than overpower it.

What to Serve with Stovetop Steak

Classic side dishes like baked potatoes, salad, or dinner rolls perfectly complement a stovetop steak. If you’re looking to get creative, we have a variety of side dish ideas to elevate your meal. From 20+ side dishes for NY Strip Steak to BBQ sides and even triple cheese baked macaroni and cheese, the options are endless.

Cooking a delicious steak without a grill doesn’t have to be complicated or require fancy equipment. With a good pan, quality steaks, and some patience, you can enjoy a tasty and juicy steak straight from your stovetop. The best part? Cleanup is a breeze since you only need to clean one pan instead of both a grill and stovetop. So go ahead, give it a try and savor the flavors of a perfectly cooked steak!

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