Cast Iron Skillet Seared Steak 2022

If it's too cold outside to grill a steak (is that possible?) or just too hot, a steak seared in a cast iron skillet and finished in the oven is the way to go. Keep in mind, your smoke detector may sing to you a little but it'll be worth it. Be sure you have everything you need before you start searing the steaks. This method is fast and you don't want to overcook your steak. This Cast Iron Skillet Seared Steak recipe is just slightly different from how we were fixing them in 2015. The primary difference? BUTTER!

The key to the perfect steak is to use a hot cast iron skillet and to check the temperature before moving it to the oven (if needed) and letting it rest before cutting it. I like a rare steak and will be happy with a medium rare. Anything past that and I just don't like it. You can ask Andy how whiny I get about overcooked steaks. Mom grilled our beef on the rare side when we were growing up so the first time I ate an overcooked steak I noticed the taste and texture were off immediately--my jaws were wore out and I was not a fan of the lack of taste. To each his own.

We normally buy a whole rib eye and slice it into 1" steaks and vacuum seal them in packs of three. One for me, Andy and my Mother. If you have followed me over the past ten years, you know Wednesday nights were Momma Dinner nights. Sadly, my Mother lost her battle with Alzheimers this past fall. Each time Andy grabs a pack out of the freezer, it is a subtle reminder of her.

You will need the following:

  • Steaks
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Sturdy tongs
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse ground salt & cracked black pepper
  • Pats of butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the steaks. Season both sides with coarse ground salt and cracked black pepper. Let them set out on the counter for about 30 minutes. I like to leave a little extra fat on these and cut it off before serving. The fat adds to the flavor.

Set your stove on high and get the skillet nice and HOT! Once it is hot, drop your steak in the skillet and immediately start your timer for two minutes. Get ready for your smoke detector to go a little nuts. That's okay. You are not burning the steak. When two minutes is up, flip the steak and go for two more minutes. The next step is very important.

Drop a few pats of butter and check the internal temperature of the steaks. (We have several digital thermometers close at hand when cooking that make checks super easy.)

RARE: 125°F   Color: Bright purple red center--warm, tender and juicy
MEDIUM RARE: 135°F  Color: Bright red center--warm, tender and very juicy
MEDIUM: 145°F   Color: Deep pink center--yielding, juicy
MEDIUM WELL: 150°F  Color: Tan with a tint of pink--firm, slightly fibrous, slightly juicy
WELL DONE: 160°F   Color: Tan to brown, no pink--chewy and dry

If you like a rare steak, you may opt to plate your steak and skip the oven. If the steaks are too rare, move them to the oven and let them finish cooking (Check at 3 minutes to start) until you reach the desired internal temp---MINUS A FEW DEGREES. Your steak will continue to cook a little once it's removed. Some folks like to tent them with a piece of foil as they rest. If you like your steak a little more on the cooked side, go for it. I, myself, do not tent mine. 

This last step is the most important. Remove your steak to a plate as it rests. LET THE STEAK REST FOR 15 MINUTES! That means, do not cut off a chunk straight up the middle to see if it is done. That is what the thermometer is for!!

That goodness left in the skillet? While the steaks rest, throw a few onions and fresh sliced mushrooms along with a little more butter (if needed) and saute.


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