This Steak Recipe is practically guaranteed to become one of your favorite ways to prepare steak! It’s so easy and the end results are simple yet so incredibly delicious. It doesn’t take much when you start with a good steak, just a bit of butter and garlic (and thyme if you’ve got it) and you’ve got a steak people will remember.
Perfect Pan Seared Steak
Out of just about any food steak was always one of the most intimidating things for me to cook. I don’t know what it was maybe the high price tag and how they can easily be overcooked but with a few simple tips (as mentioned below) steak can be a breeze to cook.
It’s one of my husband and kids favorite foods so I’ve been trying to cook it once a month and this method has been my favorite lately. I just can’t get enough of that crispy browned exterior and that rich garlicy butter!
Plus, I love that this method is one you can use year round, including when your grill is covered with snow in the winter.
How Do I Cook Steak?
- First start out by letting the steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (this brings them a little closer to room temp to cook more evenly).
- Heat vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want to let it get hot, preheating should take about 3 minutes if using a gas stove then more for electric.). I like to turn on vent fan above stove.
- Dab both sides of steak dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper (some people might recommend to wait until the end on the pepper because it can burn but I’ve never tasted burnt pepper).
- Place steaks in skillet and using metal tongs press down across top surface of steaks to ensure the entire bottom surface is making direct contact with skillet.
- Let cook until browned on bottom, about 3 minutes.
- Flip and continue to cook until steak is about 10 degrees away from desired doneness (see notes below for temps) approximately 3 minutes longer.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add butter, garlic and thyme. Using an oven mitt grasp pan and tilt pan so butter pools to one side, spoon butter over steaks and continue to cook until steaks registers temperature of desired doneness, about 1 minute longer.
- Transfer to a plates, let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Tips for the Best Steak
- Start with a good quality steak. Prime or choice cuts, and this recipe works well with Ribeye or New York Strip (and go with boneless NYT says they cook more evenly, besides only a small portion would barely be flavored by the bone anyway).
- Use a cast iron skillet to cook the steak. This heavy pan will hold heat well, brown nicely and cook evenly.
- As with just about any recipe be sure to preheat the pan (and use the largest burner on the stove). In this case really let the pan it heat. This gives the steak a great sear. My gas stove takes about 3 minutes to preheat the pan whereas an electric stove may take upwards of 8 – 10 minutes. The oil should be shimmering, near smoking.
- Dab the steaks dry with paper towels. A drier exterior means a crisper exterior in the end.
- Don’t be skimpy with the salt and go for Kosher for more even seasoning.
- Don’t add butter until you close to the end or it will burn because of it’s low smoke point.
- Use an instant read thermometer to test the center temperature. No one wants an undercooked or overcooked steak. The recipe lists 3 minutes per side just to give you a general idea but you’d hate to spend good money on a steak only to have it overcooked. Plus that way you won’t have to cut into the steak to check the color before serving.
- Let it rest at room temperature 5 minutes after cooking before slicing into it. This will let the juices redistribute, so that way the juices won’t just end up on our plate.
Steak Doneness Temperatures:
Here’s a quick breakdown of the temperature to watch for for desired degree of doneness. (Picture-wise this is a great color chart HERE.)
- Rare (cool red center) – 125 degrees (not recommended)
- Medium rare (warm red center) – 135 degrees
- Medium (warm pink center) – 145 degrees
- Medium well (slightly pink center) – 150 degrees
- Well (little or no pink) – 160 degrees
What to Serve with Steak?
- Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
- Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes Carrots and Green Beans
- Mashed Potatoes, or Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Baked (Russet) Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Roasted Squash Zucchini and Tomatoes
- Steamed Asparagus or Green Beans
Skillet Seared Steak with Garlic Butter
An easy, straight forward method that uses basic ingredients to cook an excellent steak! A recipe everyone in the whole family will love. Works great with Ribeye or New York strip steak, use what you prefer or what's on sale. If you don't have the thyme try rosemary or just omit it altogether you'll still have a delicious steak.
- 2 (12 oz) Ribeye or New York strip steaks (about 1 1/4-inches thick)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Let steaks rest at room temperature 30 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want to let it get hot oil should be shimmering near smoking, preheating should take about 3 minutes if using a gas stove, longer for electric).
Dab both sides of steak dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper.
Place steaks in skillet and using metal tongs press down over top surface of steaks to ensure the entire bottom surface is making direct contact with skillet.
Let cook until browned on bottom, about 3 minutes.
Flip and continue to cook until steak is about 10 degrees away from desired doneness, approximately 3 minutes longer.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add butter, garlic and thyme.
Using an oven mitt grasp pan and tilt pan so butter pools to one side, spoon butter over steaks and continue to cook until steaks registers desired doneness (see notes below for temps, keep in mind they'll rise about 5 more degrees of heat), about 1 minute longer.
Transfer to plates. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Recipe source: adapted from My Recipes
Steak degree of doneness:
135 degrees medium rare
145 degrees medium
150 degrees medium well
160 degrees well
For safety the FDA recommends cooking to at least 145 degrees