How to Pan Fry Sirloin Steak

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For most people, sirloin steak is not an everyday meal.
Image Credit: Claudia Totir/Moment/GettyImages

For most people, sirloin steak is not an everyday meal. One of the more economical prime cuts of beef, pan fried sirloin steak offers a flavorful break from ground beef, chicken and other daily fare. It comes from the upper, forward part of the rear hip, so the muscles got a fair workout.

Though leaner and less well-marbled than some popular cuts, sirloin steak on the stovetop nonetheless offers superior flavor and tenderness.

Top sirloin steak recipes are best cooked using dry methods such as grilling, broiling or frying. It becomes tougher and chewier when cooked for too long.

Read more: 10 Steak Recipes That Any Carnivore Will Love

Prepare the Meat

Step 1: Remove from Fridge

Remove the sirloin from the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before cooking it, so it can reach room temperature.

Step 2: Pound the Meat

Pan-frying works best with thin slices of meat, as described by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Pound the steak repeatedly with a meat mallet or the side of a sturdy plate to tenderize it. Don't cut the steak or pierce it with a fork at any time during preparation or cooking. This promotes juice loss.

Step 3: Pat It Dry

Dry both sides of the steak using clean paper towels to enhance the searing process.

Step 4: Add Some Seasoning

Press salt and fresh ground pepper into the meat using the heel of your hand. Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to both sides of the sirloin.

Pan-Fried Sirloin Steak

Step 1: Preheat the Pan

Preheat a pan using high heat. Do not use a nonstick pan. You should feel heat radiating from the pan when you hold your hand 1 inch or so over the bottom of the pan.

Place 1 tablespoon of oil into the pan. Let the oil heat until it begins to separate into droplets or starts to smoke.

Step 2: Cook the Steak

Place the steak into the oil puddle, and swish the steak around to spread the oil across the cooking surface. Sear the steak over high heat for three minutes.

Flip the steak over using tongs and sear the other side for three minutes. This high heat causes an interaction between amino acids and sugar that creates hundreds of flavor compounds, adding a rich, complex flavor to the outer surface.

Step 3: Let It Rest

Transfer the steak to a plate, cover it with tin foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. The flavorful juices have fled to the middle of the steak, and resting allows them to redistribute themselves throughout the steak, and the steak reabsorbs some of the juices that leaked out.

Step 4: De-glaze the Pan

De-glaze the pan over high heat by adding 2 tablespoons of water. Use a spatula to scrape the pan and loosen any burnt-on meat drippings. Pour the deglazing liquid over the resting sirloin.

Read more: How to Cook a Tender Steak on the Stove

Follow Food Safety Tips

You can slit the steak to help check for doneness, but you would lose some of the juices. Instead, stick an instant-read meat thermometer into the side of the steak. According to the USDA, the minimum safe temperature for beef consumption is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

To prevent food-borne illness, do not allow raw beef to touch other uncooked foods. Promptly refrigerate leftover meat and consume within 3 to 4 days, or freeze at 0 degrees F for 3 to 4 months.

To reduce risk of harmful bacterial growth, discard any food that has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours, as advised by the USDA.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb. of sirloin steak, 3/4 to 1 inch thick

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Vegetable oil

  • Meat mallet

  • Pan

  • Tongs

  • Plate

  • Tinfoil

  • Spatula

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