Just a post to honor the greatness of Alton Brown’s genius. Ever since I discovered this recipe online for cooking steak, I have never gone pack to simple pan frying and I get restaurant quality steak everytime. One thing to note though is that you’ve got to follow the necessary ingredients and equipment to the tee otherwise it won’t work out too well. Canola oil has a very high smoking point, so when you place your steak on the hot pan, it doesn’t blind you with flumes of smoke. Cast iron pans hold their heat the best and it is always evenly distributed through the pan.
1 boneless steak, preferably more tender cuts such as Prime Rib or Filet Mignon 1 ½ inch thick
Canola oil to coat
Salt and pepper
- Place 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak to room temperature.
- When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste.
- Immediately place steak in the middle of hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. (Time for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)
- Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil and rest for 2 minutes.
I like to have a heated plate ready so that it keeps the heat of the steak while its resting. Don’t eat it right after cooking! The 2 minutes lets the steak juices seep through to the bottom of the meat and distributes the wonderful fat and flavor all the way through. Tenting the foil allows for the heat to stay in but the condensation from the heat to escape so you don’t get soggy steak.
If you’re working with ½ inch thick steaks like they frequently sell in the grocery stores, searing time stays the same but oven time goes down to about 30 seconds each side for a medium, 15-20 seconds for a medium rare.
The hotter the pan the better to get that golden brown crunch on the outside, so patience is key!
Enjoy it with a bottle of good red wine and you’ve got yourself an experience that costs less than a restaurant and in the comfort of your own home.