If you are a meat lover and enjoy having steak at the comfort of your home, you need to figure out how to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet to get the best result possible. Any quality cast iron pan or skillet can be a very useful investment in your kitchen for this purpose. This is because these pieces not only last you a lifetime but give you the best outcome for cooking and searing a steak. So, before you decide on cooking a steak, you have to be very cautious about the following things.
Things to Remember Before Cooking Your Steak
Timing is the key
Before cooking your steak, make sure that you keep track of your timings. If you will not do it, and cook it for a long time, you will end up getting an undesirable burnt on your steak. On the other hand, if you cook it in an emergency, you will not be able to get a tender piece of steak. Keep in mind that steak needs your perfect attention to give the desired results.
Keep your “Steak Doneness Preference” in mind
Everyone has their own preference for the meat part, tenderness, and flavors in steaks. You have to keep these things in mind to set the perfect cooking timings and ingredients you want.
Choose your Favorite Steak Cut
It is said that the most important thing while cooking a steak is the meat portion you are choosing. Thinner cuts are difficult to handle as timings become a more important factor in that case. Thick pieces are good because you can keep flipping it for a good time to get the desired results. Another important factor can be the amount of good fats in it. If you have invited your friends and family, prefer a portion of meat that is generally liked by almost everyone such as Ribeye or tenderloin.
Choose a Roomy Pan or Skillet
Another significant aspect of cooking a delicious steak is choosing a wide base pan because you cannot squeeze the meat as it can affect the taste and it would be difficult to flip over and over again. If you are looking for a new pan for your steak or a replacement, I suggest you read our in-depth guide about the best pans to cook steak beforehand.
Using a heavy-based Frying Pan for Cooking Indoors
It is suggested by the expert that a heavy-based frying pan or skillet is best for cooking the steak indoors. Because of its weight and thickness, the pan becomes most suitable for this purpose as it disperses heat to all portions of the utensils.
6 Benefits of Using a Cast Iron Skillet to Cook Steak
- These skillets can retain the heat while offering a superb heat distribution which comes in handy to tenderize the meat equally from all sides.
- Cast-Iron skillet is usually having a wide base, good enough to fit most types of steak
- It sears nicely and gives the meat a nice brown color.
- Cast Iron Skillets compared to other utensils have a high heat tolerance which is needed to cook a perfect steak
- The biggest advantage of using a Cast Iron Skillet is that it gives you a beautiful crust outside your meat which is a preference for most people"
- Cast-Iron skillet is ideal for adding smokey taste into your meat
How to Cook a Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet - The Perfect Recipe
If you have a Cast Iron Skillet, this is how you can use it for making an amazing steak at home.
Use Your Stove or Kamado Joe for Your Steak
You can use your stove in the kitchen or a Kamado Joe in your backyard for making your steak. The benefit of kamado joe is that you will get a smokey taste in your meat which is a preference for many. But no worries, even using a conventional stove, your steak can be smoked later on to achieve the same taste. As far as Cast Iron skillet is concerned, it is equally good to be used on a stove or a Kamado Joe.
Choose a Cast Iron Skillet that Fits the Size of Steak
Once you have decided your heating mode, you need to pick the Cast-Iron skillet for steak that has sufficient size for your meat to fit in and a little bit more.
Which Meat Portion is Best for Steak
Choosing the right type of steak depends on your own taste and preference. You can use a Ribeye portion because it is tender, juicy, and has absolutely perfect marbling of fats. These qualities make it flavorsome and crispy. However, strip Loin, tenderloin, and top sirloin are also good for preparing steak and each part has its own distinctive taste and flavors.
You Can Marinate the Steak If You Have Time
You can just add some salt into your steak after removing it from the refrigerator and let it stand for around an hour. However, you can skip this part if you want to add salt after cooking or you have less time to make your food ready.
Preheat Your Cast-Iron Skillet
You need to preheat your Cast Iron Skillet at least 4 to 5 minutes before starting to cook your steak. Let the pan get really hot and retain a lot of energy because it will sear the steak the way you want
Pour In Vegetable or Olive Oil
In a Cast Iron skillet, you need to put just a little bit of olive oil and that would be sufficient to give it a nice brown color you want. For steak to come out perfect, remember that original olive oil can give you a high smoke taste as compared to using an extra virgin olive oil or any other oil.
Put the Steak into the Sizzling Skillet
Once the oil is hot, you can place the meat into the skillet. After a minute or so you can experience that mind-blowing smell of searing your steak. Do not change the side until you are sure that it has become crusty from one side and has turned nicely brown. Flip the side and get the other side nicely cooked too. It is good to keep pressing the steak slightly so that the whole meat has uniform contact with the skillet. It is experienced that around one or a half-minute is good to sear one side but it depends on how thick the meat portion is and the color you want.
Lower the Temperature of your Skillet
Once you have achieved the desired color and crust from both sides, lower the temperature in your skillet. This is because you do not want to burn your steak and let the meat get tender and soft from inside. If you want perfectly tenderized meat inside, then you can also use a preheated oven and put your skillet with the stake for a good 5 minutes.
Flavor Your Steak as You want
If you are not on diet, I would suggest adding some butter because it will make your steak super delicious at this stage. However, you can also add compound butter once the steak is done. Add some garlic cloves, ginger, and fresh rosemary to get the taste of fresh herbs into your steak and keep stirring and flipping until you get as many layers of crusts as you want. You can easily find some steak flavor booster from the store and add it at this stage. Make sure that the temperature at the core of your steak is sufficient enough to tenderize it as per your requirements.
Take Your Steak Out of the Skillet
You need to take your steak out and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before you slice it up. This is important as it will help get the meat to tenderize and absorb juicy oils, giving it an amazing taste. Now you can add some salt and pepper if you want to. I prefer to add only salt and pepper and no other spices because it retains the original flavors of the meat. After a while, you can slice it up nicely. You can also use aluminum foil to wrap up steak for some time before slicing so as to get the maximum taste.
Stir Fry Vegetables in the Steak Leftover Oil
You can use the leftover juices and oils in your skillet to stir fry some onion rings, capsicum, or boiled (sliced) potatoes to be served along with your steak. Add some black pepper and salt before taking them out of the skillet and you are ready to enjoy the smoked vegetable and steak together.
In simple terms, you can make the most amazing steak ever using a cast iron skillet at your home. These utensils are good for handling all sorts of meats that need high flames or smoke. I hope this in-depth guide helped to answer your question on how to cook a steak in a cast-iron skillet.