Make restaurant quality Cast Iron Steak at home with simple ingredients that comes out tender and juicy every time.
There’s no beating a delicious steak dinner. Whether you’re looking for a tasty yet fast busy night’s dinner or fancy-feeling, dine-at-home experience, you can’t go wrong a steak in a cast iron skillet. And it all starts with a well seasoned cast iron pan.
This post has been updated from its original August 19, 2019 publishing with new content, photography, and clarified recipe card.
Learning how to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet is an important rite of passage for the home cook. Cast iron can be intimidating but with a little knowledge, love, and care, that skillet will last a lifetime and yield some of the best food, including steaks, you’ve ever had.
Recipe Ingredients and Equipment:
- Good quality steak — We used New York strip steak. You’ll want at least 1-2 inch thick steak.
- High heat cooking oil — We used canola, but avocado oil and sunflower oil are excellent options too. You want to use a high smoke point oil. We do not recommend using olive oil.
- Salt and pepper — Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper help develop a nice crust but the table versions are great too.
- Butter — To control the saltiness, we used unsalted, but you use whatever you have.
- Seasonings — Garlic and fresh herbs like rosemary, which is what we used.
- 12″ cast iron skillet — a 10- or 15″ skillet will work as well, but you may have to cook in batches if using a smaller pan.
- Instant read thermometer — Cooking by temperature is accurate whereas cooking by time is not. This instrument will ensure your steaks (and all meats) come out to your liking every time…or not make you sick by being under cooked (looking at you chicken.)
Step by step directions:
Step 1 — 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to cook, pull the steaks out to come to room temp, this will allow them to cook evenly. Then pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the skillet on medium high heat and add the oil.
Step 2 — Place steaks in the hot cast iron skillet. If you have a smaller skillet, large cut steaks, or several steaks, you’ll need to cook in batches. Cook for 3-4 minutes for thicker steaks and 1-2 minutes for thinner steaks. Remove steak, and reduce to medium heat.
Step 3 — Add butter, garlic, and fresh rosemary into the skillet and give a quick stir.
Step 4 — Return the steaks to the hot skillet and finish cooking. Use a meat thermometer to determine desired doneness. Remove the steaks from the cast iron pan, place them on a plate or baking sheet and cover will foil. Allow the to rest for 5 minutes.
Steak doneness temperatures and tips
- We can’t stress enough to test for doneness by using a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer. Any given cooking time is a gauge of when you should check the temp.
- Avoid touching fat or bone when taking meat temperature.
- Remove your steaks from the heat when the thermometer reads 5°F lower than desired doneness. The internal temperature will continue to rise while the steaks rest.
- Rare – cool red center 125°F / 52°C
- Medium rare – warm red center 135°F / 57°C
- Medium – warm pink center 145°F / 63°C
- Medium well – slightly pink center 150°F / 66°C
- Well – no pink 160°F / 71°C
- If the steaks are really thick, sear the sides.
- Use tongs to press the steaks down while cooking to get a perfect seared steak.
- While cooking baste or spoon the butter and herbs over the steak.
No, you do not need to oil the skillet if it has been properly seasoned. However, we do add oil to the skillet before cooking.
No, you can use whatever herbs you enjoy most. We love using fresh thyme sprigs.
Absolutely. Most blends have salt and pepper in them as well.
You can use whatever cut you prefer; t-bone, filet mignon, ribeyes, and more.
What do I serve with Cast Iron Steak
The perfect steak needs no adornment like Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce, but it could do with a few side dishes.
Potato Side Dishes:
Vegetable Side Dishes:
Other Tasty Side Dishes:
Cast Iron Steak
- 12" Cast Iron Skillet
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 4 steak
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ tsp black pepper ground
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves or 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 sprigs rosemary fresh
- In a 12” cast iron pan, heat canola oil on medium high heat.
- Season each side of the steaks with salt and pepper.
- Add steaks to skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove steak, reduce heat to medium and add garlic, butter, and rosemary.
- Return steaks to skillet and finishing cooking (2-3 minutes).
- Remove from the skillet, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.