What Are Some Tips for Pan Frying a Steak?


Quick Answer

For best results with pan-fried steak, take the meat out of the refrigerator approximately half an hour before cooking, and allow it to reach room temperature. Use a cast iron pan whenever possible, as this allows for preheating, lending the steak a better sear. Always sear over high heat.

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Full Answer

To reduce the amount of fat, simply rub some of the cooking oil into the steak itself. Consequently, little to no fat is required in the pan itself. Place the steak inside the heated pan so that all the meat makes contact. Once that side is fully seared, flip the steak over and repeat. If at this point the steak's doneness is below liking, one must reduce the heat to medium to cook the inside further without burning the exterior.

Tender cuts of beef, such as fillet or rib-eye, are preferable when pan-frying. This is because, as with grilling, pan-frying cooks through dry heat, a process that evaporates moisture and that can make meat tougher. Salting meat beforehand can also needlessly extract moisture, so wait until the steak is cooked to add any sodium. For enhanced flavor, consider using items such as fresh cracked pepper, coarser salt varieties and crushed herbs. Additionally, spices such as fennel seed and ground coriander pair nicely with pan-fried steak. Allow the finished steak to rest for approximately five minutes, to reabsorb juices.

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