Pan Fried Steak – A Go-To Cooking Method

Pan Seared SteakOne of the qualities that we at Steak University love most about a gourmet Chicago Steak Company steak is its versatility and ability to accommodate a variety of cooking styles.  From the outdoor BBQ to indoor stovetop grills, a high quality, gourmet steak, such as those found at MyChicagoSteak.com, will retain maximum flavor and moisture as long as you stick to a couple basic principles regarding seasoning and internal temperature.

The best part about starting with high quality gourmet steaks is that you don’t need a lot of extra kitchen gadgets to get a perfectly cooked steak every time.  In fact, sometimes simplicity is best and one of our favorite tried and true methods for no fuss meaty goodness is pan fried steak.  All you need to whip up this easy steak recipe is one run-of-the-mill steak pan and a couple of steaks in the cut of your choice.  If we’ve piqued your interest and you want to learn more about this easy, one pan, steak cooking method keep reading.  We have all the details you need to get you frying steak like a pro in no time.

The Best Pan for Frying Steak

Before we get to the meat itself, we should first devote a few words to steak pan selection.  Walking into your local home supply store you may find yourself overwhelmed with the number of options when it comes to frying pans.  Non-stick vs cast-iron vs aluminum vs copper.  From surface construction to material composition, the choices can seem unending.

Don’t shell out a ton of dough for that high end, diamond plated, titanium infused contraption just yet.  Good pans for frying steak have a few common characteristics, regardless of price or brand.  First, stay away from non-stick surfaces.  While there are quality models out there that are perfect for whipping up your morning eggs, there is just no way to get a good pan seared steak on a non-stick surface.  Next, you want a pan with some heft as weightier pans tend to retain heat better and produce a more even cooking temperature.  While we prefer a nice, thick, well-seasoned cast iron pan for the job, there are a number of variations in material and construction that will get you frying steak like a pro if you follow these basic principles.

Oil, Season and Cook

After you’ve selected a quality steak pan, you’ll want to prep both it and your steak for cooking.  While quality, gourmet steaks require little in the way of fuss, you do have the option of changing things up and adding interesting flavor profiles with the addition of spices and seasonings at this stage.  We’ve written before about steak sauces and seasonings, but frying steak is also a great opportunity to try out a little dredge action for extra crust and crunch.

To give this easy steak recipe a go, try mixing up a little flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and apply a quick dusting to both sides of your steak before placing in the pan.  As a tasty and flavorful bonus, after removing your steak from the pan to rest, deglaze with beef stock, red wine or a combination of both for a quick and easy gravy or a base for a delicious pan sauce.

Whether you choose to dredge, season or leave bare, be sure to use plenty of butter or oil in your steak pan and to pre-heat your pan prior to adding the steak.  A good rule of thumb is that a small drop of water should sizzle and pop when dropped into a pan hot enough to properly sear a steak.  After that, cook 2-4 minutes per side to reach your appropriate level of doneness, then move on to finishing…

Finishing Your Pan Seared Steak

Continuing with our theme of versatility, a pan fried or pan seared steak has a variety of cooking and flavoring options to finish things off.  We’ve gone on in the past about our easy steak recipe that calls for finishing the cooking process in a pre-heated oven.  At the finishing stage, you can also top with a pad of butter, garlic, or some combination of both, to up the richness and compliment the natural meaty flavors of your steak.  No matter if you finish in the oven or stove-top or choose to garnish with butter or not, don’t forget to remove your steak from the heat and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes prior to serving.  This will allow time for the juices of your gourmet steak to congeal and will keep them on the inside where they should be when you cut in for your first bite.

pan frying steaks on iron skillet

The Final Steak U Word on Frying Steak

As you can see, there are a number of options for cooking up a gourmet pan fried steak.  As with other cooking methods, seasonings and finishing can give an easy steak recipe your own, unique spin.  Experiment with a few family favorite flavor profiles to find the recipe that fits your palette the best.  Have a recipe in mind that you know is a sure winner?  Email us at Steak University and maybe we’ll feature it in an upcoming future article.  Until then, remember that whether grilled, BBQ’ed or pan fried, there is no wrong way to enjoy your high quality, gourmet steaks from the Chicago Steak Company.