Pan searing a beautiful steak is wayyy easier than you'd think. Follow our easy tips below and you'll become a pro in no time.
1. Use a THICK cut of steak.
You want something at least 1 inch—1 ½ is even better! The Delish test kitchen prefers boneless ribeye steak because of all the marbled fat, which turns into the softest, most tender, velvety bite once cooked. (I’m drooling just thinking of it!) But New York strip steak is another great option.
If you want to do something thinner like a flank or skirt steak, you’ll need to reduce the amount of time per side to avoid overcooking and producing a tough steak. Depending on thickness, it could be as quick as 2 or 3 minutes per side!
2. Take them out from the fridge ahead of time and dry them off.
I know it sounds weird, but for a really good crust sear, you want your steak's surface dry as hell: surface moisture is the enemy of crunch! Just pat the steaks with paper towels before you add them to the pan and you are good to go.
*EXTRA CREDIT: Season the steak with salt the night before and let it rest (uncovered) in the fridge overnight. It’s the best way to draw out even more moisture from the raw steak, and as an added bonus, the interior meat will be much more flavorful.
For a more even cook, you want to make sure your steak isn't super cold straight from the fridge—take it out 20 to 30 minutes before you're ready to cook so that the steak is more even in temperature before it hits the heat source. A cold steak will mean that the interior of the steak will have a harder time reaching the proper internal temperature while the outside overcooks.
3. Don’t be afraid of salt.
Salt leads to flavor. Never forget that. You want the surface of each side to be thinly covered in kosher salt for a properly seasoned steak!
4. Get the pan HOT.
Only when the oil is shimmering and just about to smoke are you allowed to add the steak. Putting the steak in the pan before it's screaming hot will lead to overcooking and, you guessed it, a tough steak.
5. Let it rest.
You’ve heard it a thousand times before, but it is always worth repeating. Before you cut into that beautiful hunk of meat, let it hang out for at least 10 minutes. You don’t want to lose all of those amazing juices!
extra-virgin olive oil
Boneless ribeye steak, preferably 1 1/2"-thick
Freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season steak with salt and pepper on both sides. When oil is just about to smoke, add steak. Cook 7 minutes, then flip and add butter. Baste with butter and cook another 5 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140°, for medium.
- Remove from pan and let rest 5 minutes before cutting.
TEMPERATURE CHEAT SHEET: Medium-rare: 130°-135°, Medium: 135°-145°, Medium-well:145-155°