How to Cook a Steak

Amber Bracegirdle | Bluebonnet Baker

Wondering how to cook a steak? We’ll tell you what you need to know!

If you eat beef, you’ve got to love the aroma of steak cooking on the grill or sizzling in a pan. Oh, yeah!

Is it time to eat yet?

We can’t cook the steak for you, but we’re here to make sure you’ve got all the info you need to get ’er done on your own.

Pan Seared Flank Steak Photo

Tips for Cooking a Steak

  • Let the steak sit out on the counter for a half hour or so. It is best to have it come to room temperature.
  • Pat dry the steak with paper towels and brush a little olive oil on the steak before seasoning. The seasoning sticks to the steak best this way.
  • Make sure your grill, pan or broiler is very hot before you start cooking.
  • After the steak is cooked, let it rest on a board for a few minutes before slicing. This will distribute the juices inside.
Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak Picture

How Done Should Your Steak Be?

For juicy tenderness, it’s best not to cook steak past the medium stage. Medium rare is best overall according to the experts, but, you should enjoy steak cooked to your taste!

For accuracy, use an instant-read thermometer to gauge the meat’s internal temperature.

Remove the cooked steak from the heat and insert the thermometer in the thickest part.

Coffee Rubbed Steak Picture

Here’s what the various terms mean.

  • Rare – Bright red in the middle, browned on the outside, and warmed through the center, cooked to 120-125°F
  • Medium rare – Pink in the middle with a hint of red, well browned on the outside, warm through the center; cooked to 130-135°F
  • Medium – A band of light pink in the middle, charred on the outside, firm with a little give, cooked to 140-145°F
  • Medium well – A hint of pink in the middle, charred on the top and bottom, stiff with a little give, cooked to 150-155°F
  • Well done – No pink whatsoever, browned throughout but not burned, will feel solid, cooked to 160°F
Perfect Grilled Ribeye Pic

Grilling Steak (at least 1 inch thick)

  1. Place your seasoned steak over high heat.
  2. Grill the first side for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness.
  3. Flip the steak over and cook the second side for 3 or more minutes, until it’s cooked to your liking.
Grilled Chile Lime Flank Steak Picture

Pan-Frying Steak

  1. Place a skillet over high heat and add some butter, oil or both.
  2. Add seasoned steak (3/4-inch to 1-inch thick) to the pan and cook it on each side for three minutes for a medium-rare result, or until done to your liking.
  3. If your steak is very thick, you can sear it in a cast-iron skillet for 4-5 minutes on each side, then transfer it to the center rack of a 375-degrees F oven. Roast the steak for 15-20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 145°For medium rare.
Pan Seared Flank Steak Picture

Broiling Steak 

  1. Position the top oven rack until it is 3-4 inches away from the top.
  2. Preheat the broiler, allowing 10 minutes for it to heat.
  3. Place the seasoned steak on a foil-lined broiling pan and broil for the recommended time below, turning the steak over at the half-way point.
  4. Broil ¾-inch-thick steaks for 8-12 minutes total, until a meat thermometer reaches 145°F for medium rare.
  5. Broil 1-inch-thick steaks for 14-18 minutes total, for medium rare.
  6. Broil 1 1/2 -inch-thick steaks for 21-27 minutes total, for medium rare.
Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak Image

Leftover, cooked steak should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within four days.

Steak Recipes

    Looking for the best ribeye steak recipe? Try this one from Martha Stewart - plus read our tips for making sure you get perfect results every time
    Learn how to cook rib eye steak in a frying pan with this simple recipe from Martha Stewart
    When I want the best nachos EVER, I reach for the carne asada nachos. With this carne asada, you get all the flavor without hours of work, along with plenty of cheese, veggies, avocado, hot sauce, and MORE.
    Miso Marinated Steak Salad is the balanced blend of Asian flavors with steak, fresh greens, and vegetables. From the marinade to the dressing, all the elements make every bite pop.
    A simple and delicious recipe for Japanese Beef Curry, on the table in only 35 minutes!
    Steak Gorgonzola Pasta is boldly flavorful. This easy supper will be a new family favorite, we're sure of it.
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Amber Bracegirdle

About Amber

Amber is a native Texan, born to a family of fabulous cooks. She shares her love of all things Tex-Mex and Southern both on her blog, Bluebonnet Baker, and here on Food Fanatic. She heavily endorses the use of the contraction "y'all".