How to Pan Sear T-Bone Steak

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Even if you’ve pan-seared other steak cuts, tackling the T-bone offers a new set of challenges. Because it’s technically two steak cuts in one and because it has a large bone running through its center, it cooks differently than other steaks do.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to learn how to pan sear T-bone steak. With this easy-to-follow guide, you can discover all the tips and tricks you need to know for a successfully seared steak dinner.


You’ll need to prepare your T-bone steak, the pan, and the oven to cook this delicious cut of meat. Start by salting both sides of each T-bone steak generously. Then, leave them at room temperature for 45 minutes.

About five minutes before this resting time is complete, preheat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan. Just before adding the steak to the pan, sprinkle them with black pepper on each side.

Once you’ve started cooking the steak, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. 

Cooking Time

T-bone steak usually needs to finish in the oven for a thorough cook. Expect this steak to take 3-4 minutes on each side to sear, followed by 6-10 minutes in the oven for medium-rare. Higher doneness levels will need another 5-15 minutes in the oven.

T-Bone Steak Pan Searing Tips

Achieve a successful T-bone pan sear with help from the following tips:

Use the Right Size Pan

T-bone steak is quite a bit larger than others, so it’s important to use a cast-iron skillet that’s large enough to accommodate it to get an even sear. Make sure the steak can lie flat on all edges and that you have enough room to flip it to the other side with tongs easily. If cooking multiple steaks, you may need to sear one at a time to avoid overcrowding your pan.

Heat Up the Oven

You’ll likely need to finish each T-bone steak in the oven for an even, thorough cook, as a pan-sear usually isn’t enough to cook T-bone all the way through. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees once you begin searing your steaks. After searing, transfer the steak to the oven in the cast-iron skillet or move them to a rimmed baking sheet to finish cooking.

Check the Temperature with a Thermometer

The best way to ensure an accurate T-bone steak cook is to use a food thermometer. After searing your steak, check the temperature by inserting the probe into the thickest portion. If your steak still needs cooking time, move it into the oven. Check the temperature again before resting. The final temperature of your steak after resting should fall into the following ranges:

  • Medium-rare: 130°F-135°F
  • Medium: 140°F-145°F
  • Medium-well: 150°F-155°F
  • Well-done: 160°F-165°F

Choosing the Right Cut of T-Bone

T-bone steak is available in various quality levels and sizes. For pan-seared T-bone, one of the most important things to look at is size because your steak needs to fit comfortably in your skillet to sear properly. Then, consider quality by noting the steak’s labels. Premium Angus, USDA Prime, and Wagyu are top-quality cuts of steak that yield excellent results from pan searing and finishing off in the oven. 

T-Bone Steak Pan Searing Instructions

The following instructions teach you how to pan sear T-bone steak in just a few steps.

Step 1: Preparation

Add salt to both sides of the T-bone steaks. Leave them at room temperature for 45 minutes. Preheat your skillet with a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat five minutes before the resting time is up. 

Step 2: Searing

Pat the steaks dry on both sides and sprinkle ground black pepper and your other choice seasonings on each side. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Add the steaks to the preheated pan — you may need to sear one at a time, depending on their size — and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side. 

Step 3: Oven-Cooking 

Transfer the skillet directly to the middle rack of the oven or move the steaks to a rimmed baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray before transferring them to the oven. Cook for 6-10 minutes to medium-rare. There’s no need to flip the steaks during this time. For higher levels of doneness, keep the steaks in the oven for another 5-15 minutes until a thermometer reads about five degrees below the final temperature range for your preferred doneness, as listed above.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Move steaks to a clean plate and tent the plate loosely with foil. Rest for 5-10 minutes. Recheck the temperature with your thermometer before serving.

T-Bone Steak Pan Searing FAQs

How long should I sear a T-bone steak?

A T-bone steak sears for 3-4 minutes on each side. However, it usually needs extra cooking time in the oven, so expect to add another 6-10 minutes of oven-cooking time for medium-rare steak.

Do I need to use a cast-iron skillet to pan sear T-bone steak?

No, you don’t have to use a cast-iron skillet to pan sear T-bone steak. However, this type of skillet is oven-safe, making for an easy transfer to the oven to finish cooking. Still, you can use another oven-safe skillet or move the steaks to a rimmed baking sheet before placing them in the oven.

How do I season a pan-seared T-bone steak?

Salt the steaks generously on both sides before letting them rest at room temperature for 45 minutes before cooking. Then, before searing, add other preferred seasonings, like garlic powder or black pepper.

Is T-bone a good steak for pan searing?

Yes, T-bone steak works just as well as ribeye and other popular cuts for pan-searing. However, the size of the steak can be problematic for small skillets. Use a medium to large skillet that comfortably accommodates a T-bone steak to ensure an even sear.

Summing Up: How to Pan Sear T-Bone Steak

Use this guide the next time you want to enjoy a steakhouse-worthy meal right in your own home. Order T-bone steak online from Chicago Steak Company to get started. Choose between Premium Angus or Wet-Aged T-Bone, either of which are flash frozen and individually wrapped to preserve their freshness and quality en route to your home.