How To: Cook the Perfect Steak

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I feel like a lot of people get intimidated by cooking steak, so I’m here to tell you that it literally could not be easier. The key is to get the pan smoking hot, sear it quickly, and then place it in the oven to heat the meat through.

Start by taking the meat out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking. You want it to come pretty close to room temperature, which will ensure it cooks evenly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat your pan (I highly recommend using a cast iron skillet, but any pan that can take high heat will work) over high heat until the pan just begins smoking. It will take about 8 minutes. To test the heat, splash a few drops of water into the pan, if it sizzles and instantly evaporates, it’s ready. Do not add any oil or butter to the pan.

Sprinkle the steak with a generous amount of salt and cracked black pepper.

Using tongs, place the seasoned side of the steak into the pan. It should loudly sizzle. Add salt and pepper to the raw side.

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Let the steak sear for 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak, and how well-cooked you’d like your steak.  (I don’t go beyond a medium, and prefer a rare to medium-rare, which is how I cooked it here.) A 1-inch thick steak should sear for 2 1/2 minutes per side, for medium-rare (add 1 minute per 1/2 inch, if thicker than 1 inch).

While the steak is searing, resist the urge to move it around. You want a nice crust to form, so you need to leave it as-is until you flip it.

Sear the second side, the same amount of time as the first, for even cooking.

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Remove the steaks from the heat and place the pan into the oven to heat through, about 6-8 minutes. If you don’t have an oven-proof pan, simply transfer the steaks to a baking dish and place into the oven.

After 6-8 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, and place the steaks onto a plate.

Cover with aluminum foil, and let rest (this part is critical to get the juices redistributed), for about 10 minutes.

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Serve immediately.


Makes: 2 filets

Prep: 1 minute, Cook: 12-14 minutes, Total: 15 minutes

  • Two 8 oz filet mignon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

Start by taking the meat out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat your pan over high heat until the pan just begins smoking. It will take about 8 minutes. Do not add any oil or butter to the pan.

Sprinkle the steak with a generous amount of salt and cracked black pepper.

Using tongs, place the seasoned side of the steak into the pan. It should loudly sizzle. Add salt and pepper to the raw side.

Let the steak sear for 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak, and how well-cooked you’d like your steak. A 1-inch thick steak should sear for 2 1/2 minutes per side, for medium-rare (add 1 minute per 1/2 inch, if thicker than 1 inch).

While the steak is searing, do not move it around.

Sear the second side, the same amount of time as the first, for even cooking.

Remove the steaks from the heat and place the pan into the oven to heat through, about 6-8 minutes. If you don’t have an oven-proof pan, simply transfer the steaks to a baking dish and place into the oven. After 6-8 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, and place the steaks onto a plate.

Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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