If you're looking to impress your guests, you may want to sear then bake steak for a flavorful and moist meal. Cooking steak in a cast-iron skillet and oven seals in the flavor and juices for a perfect meal. Get tips on choosing a lean cut of meat and pair it with the right seasonings.
Choosing the Best Steak
Steak is extremely versatile as it can be cooked in a multitude of ways and it's available in many different cuts to complement whatever dish you're making. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), there are four basic cuts: chuck, loin, rib and round.
Look for steak that is labeled "lean" as it has less than 10 grams of fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol. You can also find extra-lean cuts, which contain less than 5 grams of fat and 95 grams of milligrams of cholesterol.
Furthermore, the USDA FSIS states that even though all meat is "natural" as it doesn't contain artificial ingredients, you should read the label and choose brands that indicate their cattle weren't exposed to hormones or antibiotics.
These leaner cuts of meat are healthier as they're much lower in fat and cholesterol. However, they can take longer to cook to become moist and tender.
One of the best cooking methods for these leaner cuts is to sear then bake steak as it seals in the juices and the flavor, says Washington State Magazine. Finish in the oven at a lower temperature to ensure it's cooked completely without drying out.
Read more: How to Tenderize Cooked Beef
Sear-Then-Bake Steak Tips
Cooking steak in a cast-iron skillet and oven is a great way to make a flavorful and moist meal. As a bonus, it's a surprisingly easy cooking method.
Start by heating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, season the steak with paprika, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper, recommends the American Council on Exercise. Make sure the seasoning is rubbed evenly on both sides of the meat.
A heavy, cast-iron skillet works best for searing steak. Heat two teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and pan sear for one to two minutes on each side — until they are just browned. The searing process locks in the moisture and flavor, but you still need to place the meat in your oven to finish cooking.
Next, transfer the meat to a pan and bake it for five to seven minutes for a medium-rare steak. Use a food thermometer to ensure it's cooked at a safe temperature.
According to the USDA, beef must be cooked at a minimum of 145 F with a three minute rest time for medium-rare steak. A steak cooked medium should reach an internal temperature of 160 F, while one cooked well done will be 160 F.
Once you're done cooking, place the steak on a cutting board with foil on top. Let it rest for three to five minutes before cutting.
Read more: 5 Healthy Red Meat Recipes That Satisfy
Steak — A Powerhouse of Nutrition
Steak is a good source of protein, iron and other nutrients, including B-complex vitamins, zinc and selenium, reports the USDA. A ribeye steak filet (129 grams or about 4.5 ounces) has 240 calories, 9.8 grams of fat, 105 grams of cholesterol and a whopping 38 grams of protein.
Even though steak is rich in nutrients, it's quite high in fat and cholesterol. For this reason, adults should eat no more than 5.5 to 6 ounces (156 to 170 grams) of cooked lean beef per day, points out the Mayo Clinic.
Ideally, choose lean or extra-lean cuts of beef and look for brands labeled "Choice" or "Select" over those labeled "Prime," which usually contain more fat. Trim off the excess fat before cooking and remove any visible fat after cooking as well.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Beef From Farm to Table"
- Washington State Magazine: "How to Cook Lean Beef"
- American Council on Exercise: "Skillet-Roasted Strip Steaks With Pebre Sauce & Avocado"
- USDA: "Cooking Meat? Check the New Recommended Temperatures"
- USDA: "Ribeye Steak (Filet)"
- Mayo Clinic: "Cuts of Beef: A Guide to the Leanest Selection"