Cooking steak on a grill isn’t the only option to get that perfectly seared brown steak. Sometimes you can’t have such an outdoor activity due to the bad weather or lack of space such as in apartments or rental homes. However, You can still achieve the same taste and quality of a grilled steak using any type of stoves and a steak pan.
There are a lot of pans on the market to choose from. Yet, not all of them are considered to be high quality that would meet your expectations and needs.
I have compiled in this guide a list of the best pans to cook steaks that are compatible with most heat sources.
Different Types of Steak Pans
Stainless Steel Pans
Stainless steel pans are more solid, non-reactive and more heavy-duty. This type of materials can ensure perfectly even heat retention to cook steak, thanks to the multi-ply construction such as Tri-Ply which signify the 3 metal layers that have been added to the stainless steel (usually, it’s either aluminum or copper).
This Multi-Ply construction serves to enhance the stainless steel pan to make it durable and highly resistant to acid, rust and corrosion. Also, it provides the pan with a great heat conductivity which makes it perfect for searing steaks.
Cast Iron Pans
Cast-iron Pan is perfect for searing and roasting. It is another great option to choose from since this material can retain heat to create an evenly browned steak. Also, its seasoning process helps you maintain the pan to give you the best results upon using it often. But, Why is the seasoning process important? It prolongs the life and usage of the pan, and the more you use it, the more you are adding layers of seasoning to form a slick surface that gives the pan that nonstick quality. Moreover, it can retain and maintain heats longer than stainless steel. On top of that, seasoning cast iron pans will help building up that flavor for your steak.
Cast iron pans are favored by not only chefs but also home cook for the reasons mentioned above, and because they are easy to maintain and clean (either by handwash or dishwasher).
Carbon Steel Pans
Carbon steel offers almost the same qualities as cast iron. What I love about this type of material is that it’s lightweight and can work with any type of stoves or ovens. Which makes it ideal for various cooking tasks.
The only downside about carbon steel is that they require more seasoning than cast iron and a longer preheat while in the end, they retain less heat. However, both of these materials are great to cook with, since they are built for high performance cooking.
another great choice for cooking steak. Copper is considered to be a great heat conductor that distributes heat evenly. But what I liked the most about this type of materials is its quick high heat feature that ensures a perfectly seared steak. While it is capable of reaching high temperature quickly, it can also cool down very fast which makes it ideal for safe cooking.
What To Look For When Buying a Steak Pan
One of the factors that I was confused about. I have come across people who consider weight as the main criteria for choosing the perfect pan for steak. Especially when it comes to cast iron. Since the thicker the metal is, the better and longer retention of the heat is. While that remains to be true, it doesn’t mean you must aim for the heaviest pan you find. There are many lightweight pans that would be perfect for searing steaks. What matter the most is the type and quality of the material used in the pans. Keep that in mind and always choose the weight that you can handle easily.
This is another reason why you shouldn’t be focused on heavyweight pans. Make sure all the time the handles are easy to grip and are protected from the heat. Some materials like cast iron can heat up really high which makes it dangerous if the handles aren’t protected. Especially if you are not using any mittens.
Ability To Handle Heat
Steaks require high heat in order to be seared and cooked perfectly. This is why you’ll need a pan that can handle high temperature with ease. However, always avoid “artificial nonstick pans” no matter how safe the brand claims it is. The reason behind that is, most artificial coating if not “all” cannot handle the high heat which results in damaging the coating over time that alone will lead to huge health risk later on. So, stay at the safe side and use normal pans.
5 Best Pans To Cook Steak
It might be difficult to filter through all the pans available on the market to get the right one. Therefore, I've decided to list the most versatile pans that works well to cook steaks on any heat source. Without further ado, here is my list of the best pans to cook steak
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Pan
Le Creuset has manufactured many high quality cookware over time, and this pan is no exception. It is perfect for frying and searing steaks, thanks to the natural patina that it develops. Also, It produces that brown crispy crust with a soft interior which gives that extra flavor to the steak.
This skillet is built in with enamel from the inside out to ensure high resistance for the long use. It is protected from both chipping and cracking while it requires no seasoning at all.
This enameled cast iron skillet offers a high heat performance. It is capable of retaining heat while maintaining an even distribution. It works well on both low and high heat thanks to its flexibility and heat control. Which allow it to be used on any heat sources whether it’s stoves, ovens or grills etc. So, it can be used on different cooking whether it’s searing a steak, baking a cake, sauteing or even stir-frying.
This pan can maintain its high resistance and qualities for a long time without seasoning, as long as you clean it and take care of it. While it is not dishwasher safe, you can only handwash it. However, it is easy to clean it since all it needs is warm water and dish soap.
This pan is not only an excellent choice for cooking and searing steaks. But, it can be used in most cooking styles.
All-Clad 4114 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Pan
One of the best stainless steel pans manufactured by All-Clad. It provides you with a quick and even cooking thanks to its thick-gauge aluminum core that attracts heat fast while ensuring an even distributing. Which makes it ideal for searing steaks.
This pan offers a natural stick resistance thanks to its stainless steel interior which makes it withstand even the highest acids that can be found in some vegetables and alcohol. It is completely safe to cook with as its metal will not react with food at all.
This All-Clad pan offers an even heat distribution through the stainless steel material while the tri-ply constructions guarantee perfect heat retention which results in adding that flavor and crisp to the steak.
This pan works well on both low and high heats. It adapts easily on any temperature to secure an even heat distribution and can work on almost all heat sources except glass electric stoves.
The starburst finish built in the interior of stainless steel ensures a stick resistance surface which makes it easier to clean the pan after every use. However, depending on the way you use it to cook your meat, you may end up having some hard time cleaning it. There are certain foods that may stick to the pan if cooked on high temperature. But, in most cases, an all clad cleanser and scrubber would the job.
This All-Clad Pan is a perfect choice for cooking low and high quality steaks. It allows the meat to cook faster than aluminum or nonstick while adding extra flavors and brown color to enjoy a tasteful seared steak.
Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Skillet
I have been a huge fan of the tramontina brand for years. I have tried different pots and pans of their products including this enameled cast iron skillet, and I have been satisfied with the high quality cookware they’ve delivered, alongside the outstanding service toward customers. You can learn more about the cookware I’ve tested in this tramontina cookware reviews
This skillet has been produced with a mixture of cast iron and porcelain to create a high resistance surface against rust and corrosion. The surface is made to ensure safe and healthy cooking since it’s free from both PTFE PFOA
One of the features I liked the most about this tramontina pan is its superior heat retention and distribution. It is able to maintain slow heat while distributing it evenly to secure a tenderized steak. Also, with its unique self-basting condensation ridge, it is able to collect and redirect the vapor back to the meat for the moist to enjoy a beautifully juicy, brown seared steak
This pan is not dishwasher safe. However, the smooth enamel coating prevents most of the food from sticking and reacting which makes cleaning an easy task. Sometimes, a lukewarm water and dish soap are required to clean the little sticks generated from overheating the wrong food.
This tramontina enameled cast iron skillet is compatible with all cooktops which makes it an ideal choice for not only cooking steaks but for trying a variety of recipes.
Lodge L8SK3 Cast Iron Grill Pan
One of the most natural pre-seasoned grill pans I enjoyed cooking with. The quality behind this cast iron pan would surely satisfy your desires.
This pan primary material is cast iron that makes it durable and able to last long. However, it’s prone to rust and corrosion if it not properly maintained.
This Lodge grill pan excels at retaining and distributing the heats which makes it ideal for cooking and searing steaks and slow-cooked meats in general.
What I liked about this pan is its feature to press out unwanted grease from steaks through the grill lines to enjoy a perfectly cooked meal.
Like any other cast iron cookware, this pan requires a handwash cleaning using warm water and soap. It is not recommended to put it in a dishwasher or else, you’ll risk damaging your pan and reduce its qualities and lifetime.
This grill pan is compatible with not only stoves but also ovens, grills, and campfire which makes it versatile and usable on different heat sources to enjoy a well-cooked steak even during your outdoor activities.
All-Clad 440465 Stainless Steel Pan
All-Clad has always been one of my favorite brands so far. Their cookware are built with high quality steel alloys as a result of combining different types of metals to give their consumers a perfect product that would satisfy their cooking needs and exceed their expectation. You can read more about all-clad cookware in this article
This pan is built with high quality stainless steel material to secure a strong resistance against rust and corrosion as well as sticks thanks to its interior which gives it that natural nonstick quality to prevent food from sticking while guaranteeing a non-reaction with even the highest acids that can be found in some vegetables, to enjoy delicious healthy meals.
This stainless steel pan is enhanced with tri-ply construction that added extra layers of aluminum to enhance its heating speed performance while maintaining a great even distribution for consistent results across the entire surface.
The heat control of this pan makes it adapt quickly to both low and high heat which makes it another great choice for cooking and searing steaks.
The stainless steel interior with the starburst finish gives the pan that nonstick ability to ensure less sticky food around the pan. Which makes cleaning a simple task to do. It can be cleaned easily whether by using a dishwasher or just by handwash using warm water and dish soap.
This multipurpose pan is one of the excellent choices to pick, It is designed for not only cooking steaks but also for cooking various meats and recipes. It is also compatible with all cooktops.
Comparison of The Best Steak Pans
Compatible with all cooktops
Enameled Cast Iron
Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Construction
Enameled Cast Iron
Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Construction