It's hard to replicate the results of a perfectly grilled steak with other cooking methods. But when it comes to cooking steak indoors, you shouldn't choose between the stovetop or oven — instead, use both.
In fact, whether they are seared on a grill or in a pan, finishing steaks in the oven is the standard in fine restaurants everywhere, and for good reason. Using both the stove and the oven creates the characteristic mouth-watering sear and tenderness of restaurant-prepared steaks.
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How to Cook a Steak on the Stove (and Finish in the Oven)
Things You'll Need
2 steaks, any cut
Salt and pepper, to taste
Some type of skillet (cast-iron can go from stovetop to oven, which is ideal)
A baking dish (if you're not using an oven-safe skillet)
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
Tongs, for turning
Now that you understand the why, here's the how:
1. Season the Meat
Liberally season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Heat Up the Oven and Ready Your Pan
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is ready, heat a lightly-oiled oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke slightly. Add butter to the pan.
3. Sear the Steak on the Stove
When the butter has melted and the foam subsides, add your steaks. Depending on the thickness of your steaks, sear them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until both sides are nicely caramelized.
4. Finish Steak in the Oven
Transfer the skillet with the steaks into the preheated oven. As opposed to finishing the steaks on the stovetop, transferring them to the oven stops the searing at the ideal point, allowing the interior of the steak to continue cooking without burning the exterior.
Depending on the thickness of your steaks, they should take no more than 7 minutes for medium-rare doneness.
Steak and other cuts of beef should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 145 degrees F, according to the USDA.
Keep in mind your steak will continue to cook internally while it rests, so you'll need to remove it from the oven before it reaches your desired temperature.
5. Remove, Rest and Enjoy
Remove your steaks from the oven and allow them to rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for about 5 minutes before serving.
Other Tips for Cooking Steak
Whatever cut of beef you intend to cook, choose consistently-marbled steaks that are at least 1 inch thick but less than 2.
About an hour before cooking, remove your steaks from the refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature. Placing refrigerated steaks directly onto heat prevents the searing effect and results in unevenly cooked steaks.