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How to Cook a Steak in an Iron Skillet on a Stove Top

author image Alissa Pond Mentzer
Alissa Pond Mentzer worked in biotech research and educational publishing before becoming a freelance writer in 2005. She has contributed to textbooks for The Mcgraw-Hill Companies and National Geographic School Division and writes science articles for various websites. Mentzer earned a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University in anthropology and biological sciences.
How to Cook a Steak in an Iron Skillet on a Stove Top
Simple seasonings bring out the flavor in a pan-seared steak. Photo Credit: karandaev/iStock/Getty Images

Steaks aren’t just for grilling. When a craving for steak strikes, you can indulge in a juicy cut of beef in the comfort of your own kitchen. A cast-iron skillet produces a brown, crusty sear on a steak and cooks the meat to perfection. Iron is dense and a good heat conductor. It is slow to heat up but maintains the temperature once hot. Steaks are ideal for cooking in an iron skillet because the pan browns the exterior without overcooking the interior. Cuts suited for stove-top cooking include rib-eye, sirloin, skirt and strip steaks.

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Step 1

Remove the steak from the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before cooking. Pat it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Step 2

Apply a thin coating of oil to both sides of the steak using an oil mister or brush.

Step 3

Season the steak on both sides with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Use your hand to rub the salt and pepper into the surface of the steak, then let the steak sit for about 5 minutes.

Step 4

Set the burner or heating element to high and heat the pan for 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 5

Gently ease the steak into the pan to avoid splattering. Let the steak cook undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the steak over and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes, depending on thickness.

Step 6

Remove the steak from the skillet with tongs and place on a plate or platter. Tent loosely with foil and let the steak rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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