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Steak in a Cast Iron Pan--Perfect Everytime

Updated on April 15, 2020
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Susan Hershberger,B.A and a M.S, and retired VP from Commercial Real Estate and University of New Mexico educator.

Final touches.  Ready for plating and resting
Final touches. Ready for plating and resting | Source

Basic Steak Cookery

This is the end picture of our perfect steak. We like it leaning crispy on the outside and very pink on the inside. The pink that happens right after any bloody bits.
However, YOU will determine how done your steak is with just a bit of practice.


What you will need:

-the best grade of steak you can afford Although, I do not purchase the top grades because I can make an average steak tender and delicious with this method

- Rock salt. I used a Himalayan Pink as I had that on hand. Be sure and use a rock salt. Kosher is fine.

- Cast Iron Skillet A well seasoned cast iron skillet will NOT need oil. Nope. Just salt the skillet and set the temperature on the stove to HIGH

- Butter (I used home made ghee) and Blue Cheese (only if you want) The butter is NECESSARY!

-a GOOD meat thermometer. You can assure your personal level of doneness with a GOOD one. I cannot tell you how many lackluster to just bad thermometers that I have used until I found the Thermapen. (Found it at a cooking class BTW.) Don't waste your money on anything less. The Thermapen is guaranteed. It is good for everything from meat to candy preparation. You will need to find a cookery store OR I'll put a link at the bottom of the page. It is worth every penny. Remember it is guaranteed and SUPER accurate!

Shall we begin!

Costco Brand Steaks.  Pink Himalayan Salt in IKEA table grinder
Costco Brand Steaks. Pink Himalayan Salt in IKEA table grinder | Source

First ALL IMPORTANT step

So, this is a Costco Steak, It is a little over an inch thick.

I buy in bulk and yes, I do repackage to two servings to freeze them.

Once thawed in fridge you re-plate to a dry plate and lightly grind Pink Himalayan salt on both sides. (Don't use typical fine ground American table salt---no no!)

Place uncovered salted steak in refrigerator for no less than 24 hours (Great steak houses often hang meat for much longer.....so this is not a new idea!)

Bring steak out of fridge and let come to room temperature for ONE FULL HOUR


Resting at room temperature for One Hour AFTER spending 24 hours in refrigerator
Resting at room temperature for One Hour AFTER spending 24 hours in refrigerator | Source
Steaks are at room temperature and now waiting for Cast Iron Skillet to get smoking hot.
Steaks are at room temperature and now waiting for Cast Iron Skillet to get smoking hot. | Source
First sizzle of steak in HOT Cast Iron Skillet
First sizzle of steak in HOT Cast Iron Skillet | Source

Got steak in skillet.....

Okay first of all leave the steak in ONE PLACE until it releases itself from the pan. That means the steak will be stuck to the cast iron skillet when you first put it in the cast iron skillet RESIST the temptation to MOVE the steak (even if you didn't get it exactly where you wanted it when you plopped it in the skillet.)

Although, I leave the heat set to smoking hot. It is best to stand right over the steak and turn it when it is released OR partially released itself from the skillet. The steak will get nice and brown with seared bits at this time.

Once seared on both sides; Use the timer in 2 minute increments. I tend to stress out on how long the meat has been on one side.....SO, I use my cute little kitchen timer to help me. I usually turn the burner to medium at this point. And then back up if cooking is too slow. ONLY YOU know your burners. Including the hot spots on each burner. Adjust with this knowledge.

It will take 'about' 2 minutes per side....USE YOUR THERMOMETER to gauge how done it is.

Flip the steak at this point to reach both internal temperature and/or getting the surface to how you want them to look.

AND if the outside isn't charred enough for you....turn heat back up and finish to your preferred level of char. BUT watch the internal temperature so you don't over cook your steak. That would NOT be good.


I often pick up (with meat fork) the steak and cook the edges on high to get nice crisp fat. (I am KETO/Carnivore so I EAT the fat.....)

Now to the FINISHING steps.....

Toppings Include Butter (A MUST) and Blue Cheese which is yummy but not a must.
Toppings Include Butter (A MUST) and Blue Cheese which is yummy but not a must. | Source
Butter ( used a table teaspoon full) on steak first then Blue Cheese. Let melt a bit then....
Butter ( used a table teaspoon full) on steak first then Blue Cheese. Let melt a bit then.... | Source
Plated 'resting' steak
Plated 'resting' steak | Source

Rest....


The steak MUST rest for a few minutes. This will guarantee the juices are through out the meat. Resting is a must. And as you see I do one steak per time. One steak is resting while the other is being cooked. Then I rest the second one too.


I do firmly believe that the Cast Iron Skillet and the Thermapen MK4 thermometer are a MUST. I don't usually get all insistent on stuff like this. BUT if you're going to spend the money on a steak....DO NOT SCREW IT UP with inferior kitchen tools!



I got nothing else...… Let me know how this works for you.

Stuff I like....

I do firmly believe that the Cast Iron Skillet and the Thermapen MK4 thermometer are a MUST. I don't usually get all insistent on stuff like this. BUT if you're going to spend the money on a steak....DO NOT SCREW IT UP with inferior kitchen tools!

(Thermapen is what the cooks on the TV Show Cooks Country use too!)

The salt grinder ( I have one for pepper too) is just thrown in because the design is such that it will NOT leak salt and pepper all over your table and in your cupboard.

Yeah...salt or pepper mill that DOESN'T leak all over!

Comments

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    • profile image

      Bobbie Chapman 

      15 months ago

      Great tutorial. Look forward to what else you got ☺

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