How to Cook Steak in a Sauté Pan

How to Cook Steak in a Saute Pan

Steak is one of the most favored main dishes on anyone’s dinner table. In order to cook a steak to perfection, you need to pay attention to detail. But you don’t have to grill a steak to get the best outcome possible. You can pan sear a steak on the stovetop and still achieve excellent results if not better than the grilled route.

Choosing the Best Ingredient

There are several different steaks to choose from when cooking one in a pan. You could go with the traditional top sirloin steak, flank steak or strip steak. These are all great choices, but in order to get the best results, try to go with a fattier cut with plenty of marbling throughout the steak. The ribeye steak is going to be the best choice. You get them with or without the bone, just make sure the steak is at least an inch thick to get the best end results.

Preparing the Ingredients

If you are planning on cooking your steak past medium temperature, then you will want to allow the steak to rest out of the fridge for 30 minutes or so to bring it up to room temperature. This will help to cook the steak more thoroughly. Make sure to preseason your steak before cooking it too. Any type of season or combination of spices will work well. But, its best to just use salt and pepper so you don’t overpower the natural flavors of the steak. Make sure to have some butter pats to help cook the steak. Additionally, some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme and some garlic cloves will help elevate the flavors of the steak.

During the Cooking Process

Make sure the pan that you use is smoking hot when laying down the steak initially. This will help to get a nice sear on the steak and create a great crust. It will also keep the steak from sticking to the pan right away. While cooking the steak or towards the end, throw in the butter, garlic cloves and herbs. Then continuously baste the steak in the melted butter as it cooks. This will help to cook the steak evenly and take on more flavor.

The Final Touches

When you are finished cooking the steak, remove it from the pan and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it. This allows the steak to retain all of its natural juices and keep it from drying out. If you cut the steak immediately, the juices will leak out and you will be left with a tough and dry steak. Be careful not to let it rest too long, because the steak will still continue to cook as it rests on the cutting board. So, if you are worried about that factor, maybe try cooking the steak a little under to your liking to prevent it from overcooking when carrying over during the resting process.


  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. You can rub a little olive oil on the steak to help the seasonings stick to the steak better.
  2. Get a sauté pan very hot and add a little vegetable oil to the pan. Once the pan starts to smoke a little, gently place the steak in the pan. Make sure to place it away from yourself so the oil does not splash back and burn you.
  3. Sear the steak on both sides for 2-3 minutes on each side to get a nice sear.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter, garlic cloves and fresh herbs. Continue to cook the steak in the pan, turning it every so often. Make sure to baste the steak with the melted butter as well. Depending on the thickness of the steak, it should not take much longer to get a medium rare temperature.
  5. Once the steak is finished cooking, remove from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Allow the steak to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  6. Slice the steak, against the grain with a sharp straight edged knife, at a slight angle. Transfer the sliced steak to a plate.
  7. Serve the steak with your favorite steak sauce, chimichurri or just plain if you like. Enjoy!
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