How to Cook a Steak on the Stove

Cooking the perfect steak indoors on your stove is just as easy as on the grill, sometimes even better!


  1. Image titled Cook a Steak on the Stove Step 1
    Prepare the steak before you cook it. Generously salt both sides about an hour before cooking. Salt actually opens up your taste buds to allow more flavor in your mouth. This will make the steak taste even better.
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    Know what to avoid. So for steaks 1.5" thick and above, it's difficult to cook the center enough without overcooking the rest of the steak. Just taking it straight to a burning sear for 4-5 minutes each side leaves you with a tiny strip in the middle of perfect steak, grey overcooked steak outside of that getting more overcooked as you reach the surface that most likely has a great sear.
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    Slow cook thick steaks first. Put the steak in your preheated oven at 225º straight on a wire rack with something to catch any drippings. In about 15-25 min (depending on how thick it is), you should have a uniform temp of 115º.
    • For thinner steaks, less than an inch and a half thick, there is no need to do this - searing the steak over the stove will adequately cook it all the way through without burning or overcooking the outside.
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    Prepare a pan to sear the steak. Get an iron skillet or frying pan and heat it over the stove to make it as hot as possible. Charcoal gets hotter than gas, but your stove will work fine too.
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    While your pan is getting scorching hot, paint some olive oil or rendered fat (healthiest options), vegetable oil or butter onto both sides of the steak. This allows for a better sear and adds even more flavor. Feel free to add some more salt for a better crust; coarse salt is best for this.
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    Lay the steak in the pan. Don't move it, and time it while it cooks. Don't leave it alone, as it will overcook fast. Cook for 30-90 seconds depending on how hot your pan is. Flip it, add a few drops of the oil again, and pepper it. The hot oil will break out the pepper's flavor. Another 30-90 seconds and you should have a perfect, edge to edge pink, amazingly seared steak. If the sear isn't to your liking, leave it longer, but the sear is not as important as the middle, which should be no hotter than 130-135.
    • Sear thinner steaks longer to cook all the way, as needed. Sear them for up to 2-3 minutes each side.
    • It will get very smokey! You will smoke out your entire house. Guaranteed. (Smoke alarms, windows, maybe even run the whole thing outside for a minute while it sears?)
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    Serve and eat. Put your steak on your plate with any sides you like, including a baked potato, asparagus, or other vegetables. Pour whatever drippings you have in the pan over the steak and maybe add a small pad of butter on top. Eat shortly after cooking - you don't want cold steak!


  • If you get to use coal, just lay a grate or pan directly on the coals for the hottest surface possible.
  • You can ALWAYS cook the steak more, you can never take cook away.
  • Use a digital thermometer. If you don't have one, everything is basically guesswork, which takes a lot of practice on the same cooker for consistency. Buy a little thermometer and you'll never guess again.
  • Medium rare has been scientifically proven to be the juiciest and most tender that a steak can be: 130-135 degrees. If you like it less juicy and less tender, to each his own. (The red stuff isn't blood either, it's myoglobin. Protein liquid from within muscle cells.)

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Categories: Food Preparation | Meat