Have you bought a high-quality strip steak and are now deciding what to do with it? We suggest using this delicious cut of beef to make a pan-seared strip steak dinner. Strip steak stays tender and juicy when seared quickly to medium-rare, and that perfect sear helps bring out its best flavors.
Learn how to pan sear strip steak using our step-by-step guide and tips.
Start by preparing the strip steak for pan searing. About 30-45 minutes before cooking, salt the steak on both sides and leave it at room temperature. Near the end of this resting period, drizzle some oil in a pan and preheat the pan over medium-high heat. Just before searing, sprinkle the steak on both sides with pepper and your other desired seasonings.
Strip steak needs 2-3 minutes to sear on each side, followed by 5-10 minutes of cooking on low heat, depending on your preferred level of doneness. With resting time, expect strip steak to be ready in about one hour.
Strip Steak Pan Searing Tips
The following tips can help you get an excellent pan-seared strip steak every time.
Flip It Once
It can be tempting to flip the steak over a few times to keep it searing evenly. However, it’s better to let it sear completely on one side before flipping it to the other side. When you flip the steak too often, it actually may cook more unevenly. Leaving it alone for a couple of minutes gives the inside more time to cook, allowing it to reach your desired temperature more quickly.
Use Butter While Cooking
Strip steak is quite tender, but you can make sure it stays that way by using a little butter in the pan when cooking. Butter is ideal for basting steak while adding some buttery flavor. Simply spoon a little butter from the pan over your steak as it sears to keep it moist on top. Flip the steak, and spoon butter over that side, too.
Use a Thermometer to Check its Doneness
We always recommend using a reliable thermometer to accurately check whether your steak is cooked to your likeness. After resting, strip steak should reach the following temperature ranges:
- Medium-rare: 130°F-135°F
- Medium: 140°F-145°F
- Medium-well: 150°F-155°F
- Well-done: 160°F-165°F
To avoid overcooking, use a thermometer to check the temperature of the steak before resting. Its temperature should be about five degrees below the final temperature range. For example, remove the strip steak from the heat when it reaches 125-130 degrees using your thermometer.
Choosing the Right Cut of Strip Steak
Here are a few considerations to think about when choosing a cut of strip steak for pan-searing:
- Thickness: Look for steaks that are 1-1 ½ inches thick for best results when cooking in a pan.
- Label: The highest quality of strip steaks are those you’ll find with Chicago Steak Company: Premium Angus, USDA Prime, and Wagyu. These three labels denote steaks with the best marbling, coloring, and overall quality your money can buy. USDA Prime and Wagyu strip steaks may also be available at your local butcher.
- Fat: Look for strip steaks with a moderate amount of marbling, which is the white strips of fat that run through the meat. Too much fat could make the steak difficult to chew, but thin strips of marbling are just right for flavoring and adding tenderness to strip steak when searing.
- Aging: If possible, choose strip steaks that have undergone the wet-aging or dry-aging process. They tend to have better flavors and textures than non-aged steaks.
Strip Steak Pan Searing Instructions
Here’s everything you need to know to pan sear strip steak.
Step 1: Preparation
Salt both sides of the strip steak generously. Then, let the steak sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat a skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil.
Step 2: Searing
Sprinkle pepper and your other choice seasonings on both sides of the steak. Then, transfer them to the preheated pan. If desired, add one tablespoon of butter to the pan for added flavor. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side. Spoon butter over the steak as you sear it. If needed to reach your desired doneness level, lower the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes until a thermometer reads five degrees below the temperature range for your preferred doneness, noted in the list above.
Step 3: Finishing Up
Move steaks to a clean plate tented with foil. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Strip Steak Pan Searing FAQs
After salting and resting the steak at room temperature, sear strip steak in a preheated skillet with oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. If it needs more time to come to the right temperature, turn the heat to low and continue cooking for another 5-8 minutes.
Strip steak takes about 2-3 minutes on each side to sear, or 4-6 minutes total. Depending on how well done you like your steak, you may need to cook it for another 5-8 minutes on low until the inner temperature reaches your desired doneness.
Either cooking method works very well for strip steak, so it comes down to your taste preferences. Grilled strip steak tends to be a little smokier in flavor than pan-seared strip steak.
A cast-iron skillet is one of the best there is for searing steaks, but you can use any pan that doesn’t stick to sear strip steak. Be sure to use a drizzle of oil in the bottom to help prevent sticking.
Summing Up: How to Pan Sear Strip Steak
Browse our selection of gourmet strip steaks that are ready for online ordering. We offer bone-in and boneless strip steaks, both of which work for pan searing. Order your steaks from Chicago Steak Company today and have them delivered to you within a few business days. Don’t forget to visit Steak University for more cooking tips, helpful guides, and delicious recipes for steak dinners.