Steak is one of those polarizing-to-cook foods: either you think you’re awesome at making steak and don’t need to learn anything new or you think only steakhouses can do things right. The truth is, most people tend to be a little nervous and feel they don’t really know how to cook steak. If you’re new to cooking, this is the post for you!

Steak is one of the easiest and most impressive things you can make. With a little bit of knowledge, pizzazz, and finesse, you can make steakhouse chef quality steaks right at home. If you’re already a steak-pro, you probably don’t need to read any further, but if you’re not that experienced at cooking steak and a little bit nervous, don’t be, it’s super easy!

how to cook steak |

This is the all-time best technique for cooking steak: finishing it in a garlic-thyme butter. It’s easy, flavorful, and works with high dollar thick cut bone-in steaks as well as supermarket on-sale steaks. The butter, infused with garlic and thyme bastes the steak giving it a glistening, delicious sheen as well as infusing all the nooks and crannies with a rich garlic-thyme butter flavor.

Steak is always good

I love steak. It’s one of my all time favorite meals. Once, while Mike and I were at REI lining up to pay for some camping gear, Mike said we should grab some stakes too. Of course, me being me, I heard that we should grab some steak. I responded with a very enthusiastic yes then was crushed when I realized he meant that we needed some new tent stakes, not go out for steaks. We ended up getting steak that night anyway so all in all it was good.

steak diane in a cast iron pan |

And doesn’t need to be super expensive

I love all steaks, from weeknight supermarket steak with a multitude of steak sauces to a crazy over the top tomahawk steak. Steaks are juicy and meaty and full of umami and flavor. When you bite into a deliciously seared steak with a caramelized crust that gives way to a blushing ruby pink center, the juices and flavors flood your mouth and it’s pretty much the pinnacle of eating.
Oven roasted steak with Japanese chimichurri, roasted bone marrow, and jammy eggs

The best way to cook steak depends on your steak

Thinner supermarket steaks have the potential to overcook if you’re following a recipe for a thick cut bone-in ribeye and similarly, a thick cut bone-in ribeye would end up charred on the outside and raw on the inside if you used a recipe for a thin steak. Our general rule is: thinner steaks get cooked on the stove or in the air fryer and thick cut or bone in steaks get reverse seared.

  • Thinner supermarket steaks: on the stove or in the air fryer
  • Thick cut and bone in steaks: reverse seared or on the grill (or even in a pizza oven!)

searing tomahawk steak |

Thick vs thin steaks

It’s not always a clear cut choice between thick and thin steaks. The biggest difference between thick and thin steaks (besides the price) is that thick steaks allow you to get a thicker, deeper crust without overcooking your steak. If you prefer your steak on the medium-well side of things, a thin steak might be a cheaper, easier to cook, maybe even tastier choice, since it’ll have more char per bite.

How to cook steak on the stove

For thin steaks: Lightly pat your steak dry with paper towels and season it generously, then let it temper at room temp for at least 10 minutes. Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet up over high heat and add some oil to the pan, swirling to evenly coat. When the oil is hot, shimmery, and on the verge of smoking, add the steak to the pan and let to cook, without moving, for 1-2 minutes (1 minute if you like your steak on the rare side, 2 minutes for medium rare and above). Flip and sear the other side for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat down to medium low and add butter, garlic, and thyme to the pan. Check the internal temp of the steak. Spoon the melted butter over the sauce and when the steak is 5-10 degrees from your desired temp, remove from the pan and let rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes.

For thick steaks: Same directions as above, but let sear for 3-4 minutes a side, then baste with the garlic butter until it hits your desired temp, flipping the steak every 2-3 minutes. This will take a little longer, about 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak. You can also reverse sear as described a little further down, or finish it in a 450ºF oven for 5-10 minutes as well.

sunday roast for two recipe -

The best pan for steak

You probably already know cast iron is the best pan to use for steak (and maybe even the cheapest!) but if you don’t have one, the next best thing is the largest stainless pan you have. Not only does the size mean more thermal mass so your pan doesn’t cool down as much, it’ll catch more splatter too. Try to avoid nonstick unless you have no other choice.

Speaking of splatter, consider investing in a splatter shield. You’ll be glad you did!

How to cook steak in air fryer

Best for thin steaks: Preheat the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes. Lightly oil a tempered, dried and seasoned steak. Air fry flipping halfway through, until the steak hits your desired temp, 5-6 minutes for rare, 7-8 for medium rare. While the steak is cooking, mix together minced garlic and fresh thyme leaves with room temp butter. When the steak is done, remove immediately from the basket and let rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve with the garlic butter.

How to cook steak: reverse sear

For thin or thick steaks:

  1. Lightly pat dry and season generously, then temper your steak. Place the steaks on a rack on a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 200ºF. Cook the steaks the oven until the internal temp reaches 10 degrees below your desired doneness, anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes depending on thickness and size, checking the temp every 10 minutes if you don’t have an oven probe.
  2. When the steak reaches temp, remove it from the oven. Heat up a pan over high heat and sear the steak 1 minute per side if using a stainless steel pan, and 30s per side if using cast iron. In both cases, use a liberal amount of high heat oil and allow the oil to get hot and shimmery.
  3. When brown and crusty, remove the pan from the heat and add some butter, smashed cloves of garlic, and fresh thyme to the pan. Remove the steak immediately from the pan and plate. The butter should melt from the residual heat. Spoon up and over the top of the steak, then serve.

resting steak |

How to cook steak: grill

Best for thick steaks:

Pat your steaks dry and season with oil, salt, and pepper. Let temper while you preheat your grill on one side as high as it will go with the lid covered. When the grill reaches temp (ideally 500ºF or higher), place the steaks in the center of the heated side, 1-2 minutes per side.

Transfer the seared steaks to the unheated side of grill and cook, covered. Flip the steaks every 2-3 minutes until the internal temp of the steak reaches your 5º-10ºF below your desired doneness, about 10 minutes. Let the steaks rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes, then slice and enjoy.

How to cook a tomahawk steak |

Key points when making steak

  • Temper the meat. This is a fancy way of saying take the steak out of the fridge and leave it at room temp for 20-30 minutes so the steak isn’t freezing cold when it touches the hot pan – if it comes straight from the fridge, it’ll drop the heat of the pan and you’ll get less of a flavorful brown crust.
  • Pat it dry. This has to do with the crust again – patting your steak dry removes the moisture from the outside so when it hits the pan, the heat can (almost) instantly evaporate what moisture there is so you get a beautiful sear.
  • Season it well with salt and pepper. Nothing beats the classic combo of salt and pepper, they bring out the beefiness of the beef, accentuating all of the flavors.
  • Use a thermometer. If you are a steak-pro, you already know all this, and if you aren’t, I highly recommend getting a good thermometer, like an instant read thermocouple style meat thermometer. It takes all the guesswork out and gives your perfect steak temp every time.
  • Let it rest. After you take your steak off the heat, let it rest for a bit so the residual heat can do its thing and the juices can redistribute.

Move over steak spice! Take your steak over the top with these 5 steak sauces that you’ll want to eat with a spoon: mustard cream, classic peppercorn, Japanese Chimichurri, coconut curry, and garlic mushroom. #steak #steakrecipe #recipes #dinner #sauce #steaksauce #reversesearsteak #reversesear

How to choose a good steak

  1. Thickness: If you can, find a steak that is at least 1 inch thick. The rule of thumb is, the thicker the better. Most supermarket steaks are cut thinner to save you money and it’s not a bad thing, just know that they cook a lot faster.
  2. Marbling: The white streaks you see running through steak is fat, also called marbling. It’s what provides tenderness and flavor. Look for a well marbled piece, meaning lots of thin streaks of white evenly distributed throughout the steak.
  3. Cut: The right cut for you depends on what you want in a steak:
    • Least expensive (but still good): Supermarket sirloin
    • Big beefy flavors: Striploin
    • Tender melt in your mouth-ness: Filet or Ribeye
    • Butteriness: well-marbled wagyu sirloin
    • A little different: tri tip (it’s beefy and lean, if you live on the west coast, this is a pretty normal cut)
    • Rare and expensive: whole ribeye cap, aka spinalis – you’ll need to find a butcher for this, tender and beefy
  4. Source: A good steak comes from a happy cow. If you’re buying a more expensive cut, look for steaks from free range, grass fed cows. If you’re getting a supermarket steak, consider upgrading to an Angus or something from a farm proud enough to label its steaks.

seasoning steak |

Steak temps

For a quick and easy reference, steaks are roughly done at:

Rare: 125ºF
Medium-rare: 135ºF
Medium: 145ºF
Medium-well: 155ºF
Well done: ?‍♂️

sunday roast for two recipe -

To pre-slice or not

This is a preferential thing. Most classic American steakhouses give you a whole steak and a sharp knife and let you go to town, but fancier places around the world like to preslice your steaks into easier to handle 1/2″ strips against the grain for you. You still get a knife and get the slicing experience, but it’s easier to work with. It’s also a much prettier presentation.

steak done rare |

Whatever you do, be sure to cut the steak against the grain.

What to serve with steak

Steak sauce! Steak sauce makes any steak taste better. If you’re a purist, serve it on the side. Even if it’s the greatest steak in the world, if it’s on the larger side, something to dip once in a while is always a welcome change.
sauce on Steak Diane |

And of course you need sides!

Hope all of your steak dreams come true!

how to cook steak |

How to Cook Steak

Steakhouse chef quality steaks right at home, perfect every time!
Serves 2
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 16-24 oz steaks 8-12oz each, steak of choice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic or more, if you love garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Special Equipment

  • Meat thermometer


  • Lightly pat it dry with paper towels and season it generously. Temper for 10-20 minutes if possible.
    seasoning steak |
  • Heat a cast iron pan up over high heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of a high smoke point oil such as grapeseed oil to the pan, swirling to evenly coat. When the oil is hot, shimmery, and on the verge of smoking, add the steaks to the pan and let to cook, without moving, for 1-2 minutes
    High smoke point oils: canola, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, and peanut.
    searing steak |
  • Flip and sear the other side for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board or plate. Using a pair of tongs and working with one steak at a time, sear the edges of the steak for 20-30 seconds each until all the edges are cooked.
    sunday roast for two recipe -
  • Reduce the heat down to low and add butter, garlic, and thyme to the pan. The residual heat of the pan should melt the butter almost immediately.
    Make your cajun butter peppercorn sauce |
  • Add the steaks back to the pan, then spoon the melted butter over the steaks, checking the temp every minute or so. When the steak is 5º-10ºF from your desired doneness, remove the steaks from the pan and let rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes.
    Rare: 125ºF
    Medium-rare: 135ºF
    Medium: 145ºF
    Medium-well: 155ºF
    Well done: ?‍♂️
    dashi butter steak -
  • Slice the steaks if desired, then plate and enjoy!
    dashi butter steak -

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Steak
Amount Per Serving (8 oz)
Calories 528 Calories from Fat 231
% Daily Value*
Fat 25.7g40%
Saturated Fat 12.6g79%
Cholesterol 233mg78%
Sodium 232mg10%
Potassium 929mg27%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 0.1g0%
Sugar 0.01g0%
Protein 69.1g138%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Sabrina says:

    agree with all, especially cast iron, which a la Alton Browns technique, I super heat in the oven and on high burner before dropping the steaks, but haven’t tried reverse sear before, thank you for that!

  2. Kara Marx says:

    5 stars
    We’re going to try to cook our steak in the air fryer with garlic butter! Sounds delicious.

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