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How To Pan Fry the Perfect Steak

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One of my favorite meals to cook for myself is a pan fried steak. Steak is a tricky food to get right, but I have perfected my method for cooking one. This step-by-step instruction will explain in detail how to pan fry a steak for yourself.

This tutorial is for people with prior cooking experience and should not be attempted by anyone who does not feel comfortable in the kitchen. This is a very precise and time sensitive process that could easily turn into a tough, leathery disaster. But this steak is surprisingly easy to prepare as long as you properly prepare and follow each step.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

Here is a list of supplies you will need to cook your steak

Tools:

A Stove
One frying pan suitable for the size of your steak
Tongs
a knife
a plate
A clock or timer

Ingredients:

One steak
Olive oil
Butter
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Garlic (or Garlic Powder)



 
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TimW2317 days ago

Searing (first hot 1 min steps) locks in the juice, not resting...

Resting is to, well, REST the meat. When you put it in the very hot pan you will notice that the muscle fibres tense (like flexing yer bicep) and the steak will shrink. Resting (generally in a warm place) allows the fibres to relax again (your steak should flatten and enlarge to how it was before you seared it).

In reality, searing steak does not lock in juices, contrary to popular belief. I thought so too, but Alton proved me wrong.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/to-sear-or-not-t...

Thanks for the clarification... Gotta love those urban myths!

LeonJ113 days ago
DevanD118 days ago

I have to assume when the instructions say "High", that means the setting on the stove that says "High". 2 minutes of "searing" at "High" heat simply scorched the outside of my steak black. It seems like other people have had better experiences than I have, so I can only assume that "High" does not actually mean "High". Letting it 'rest' right now, but I can already tell that this steak is not going to be tasty. NOTE FOR BEGINNERS: Do NOT crank your stove heat to max!

DevanD1 DevanD118 days ago

Update: It's not -bad-, I guess. The outside is a bit too crunchy. I was shooting for medium-rare and it ended up well done (with only about 4 minutes total of cooking). I guess what I learned is:

When instructions say "High", do NOT cook it at "High". Cook it at like 7 or 8 on your dial.

When you're reducing the temperature back down to Medium, remove the pan from the heat and wait at least 15 minutes for the temperature to actually go down (so you're not just searing the steak twice).

If you're shooting for a certain doneness (i.e. medium-rare), if it looks like it's not quite there yet, it actually is. I decided to cook it for just a minute longer when it looked a bit too rare, and it ended up well done.

I hope my mistakes help someone else who's not very experienced in cooking steaks!

Divergent Reality made it!23 days ago
Mighty tasty!
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LivT2 months ago

Turned out super delicious! It was my first time making a steak in the pan. Thank you!!

KatH42 months ago
no2windowl2 months ago
MatthewS302 months ago
Succulent and perfect. Free from bacteria and flavor.
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MatthewS302 months ago
I simply took my steak and covered it in salt and pepper, beat it handely and threw it in the microwave for 10 mins. Garnished with a sprig of rosemary and a glass of plastic bottle vodka!
shawn.thomass6 months ago

Half right and half wrong. Salt doesn't burn but pepper does. Rub the salt in THEN let it sit and ... cure (not warm0 . Letting the steak sit for a while allows salt, a natural tenderizer, to do it's job as well as it lets the outsides of the steak to cure or seal which helps keep the juices inside. Searing the sides also helps seal in the juices but only necessary to do this once per side ... constantly flipping the steak every minute will toughen the steak so high heat to sear then turn down to medium and cook till blood comes to the surface on first side and then cook the other side for an equal time to first side. . Another mistake made in this persons ideas was in 'how to pick out a steak' and then they never said how to pick out a steak. Pick out one that is lightly marbled with fat throughout. NOW you have a perfectly cooked steak. One more tip: Be careful trusting these how to posts. They can be created by anybody and rarely are experts.

Heston cooks a steak using this exact same method. By allowing the meat to sit and reach room temperature and flipping every minute gives a stronger sear while allowing the interior to slowly reach its desired temperature. This is the proper way to cook a medium rare steak with the best results and best crust. But it is very work intensive and not used as much by non-michelin star chefs. Also not a good technique if you like your steaks well done. Flipping a steak does not make it tough. Over cooking it will make a steak tough. Also cooking a sub-prime cut quickly will make meat tough or prime cuts slowly. Spot on concerning pepper which will burn at high heats.

I believe this myth was busted. Or was is good eats busted? Either way its just a myth and has no merit.

MateoFish5 months ago

Personally I do it a little different. When I buy a steak I like thicker cuts because they are easier to cook (i.e. easier to avoid overcooking). I buy them at least an inch, sometimes an inch and a half thick. I disagree with warming the steak, I actually do the opposite: I put salt/rub on the steak and then put it in the freezer for up to an hour, or just a few minutes if I'm in a hurry. This is because I love medium rare steaks that are also seared on the outsides to the point that they are almost like an outer crust for the steak. Then, when searing the steak, don't use olive oil, use another oil that has a higher smoke point (I use canola oil, but you can experiment). Olive oil doesn't get hot enough to properly sear a steak, it'll start to smoke if it gets too hot (which isn't good for you, so don't do that). I wait until the pan is about 450 degrees (using a laser thermometer, which is awesome and cheap and you should get one if you're serious). Then I leave for about 5-7 minutes per side depending on how thick the steak is. Then I turn down the stove to medium, and using a steak thermometer (also invaluable), cook the steak until its 145 degrees internally. You should try and cook evenly on both sides or else the middle won't be even. I try and guess and if I'm good I can get away with only one more turn, but sometimes I'm off and flip the steak a few more times, which is fine. It sounds tough, but if you do it right you'll have a perfectly cooked steak, with a crunchy outer crust and hot pink center. If all this sounds too technical, you can skip everything and just get a steak thermometer, make sure it cooks until 145 on the inside, and you'll have a good steak every time.

ArtC16 months ago

Searing a steak does NOT "seal in" juices. That's been utterly debunked. What it does do is kick-start the Maillard reaction, which is a good thing. Also you DO want a cool or cold piece of meat, not one at room temperature. This allows you to get a good, flavorful char on the outside, without overcooking the interior.

ChrisLF826 months ago
"Wellness"? I know what you mean, but never heard anyone else use that term...
Wow, it was amazing!!!! I followed your instructions, although I changed them a little bit for a healthier way. But I was glad to have a better understanding of how to pan fry a steak thanks to you. I will highly recommend anyone to try it. I enjoyed the steak chased with a Ginness Blonde American Lager (you should try this beer, it was awesome too). Keep posting!!!
Softneck6 months ago

First time i tried to Pan Fry a steak and it did NOT work out as planned, see i usually cook naked and did not expect all the splattering of the juices and grease. It had burnt me below the belt BAD!! When i went to the hospital they explained to me that I will be fine, BUT apparently have a different problem called "micro-penis syndrome" I was not pleased to find out how small my penis really is. Very embarrasing, but steak came out great.

ArtC16 months ago

Searing has nothing to do with moisture, and everything to do with kick-starting the

Maillard reaction. By all means, do it.

This was amazing to say the least

RobertaA6 months ago

I can't believe I have never pan fried a steak! Only grilled or broiled. This was delicious. The taste makes up for all the splatter, lol. Thank you for posting this.

sassayone7 months ago
First time pan-frying, so delicious!!! Thanks for sharing.
Toniluv7 months ago
MY BEST STEAK EVER! THANKS A BUNCH:)

I like the drinking beer part the best.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

One is never to old to learn! Cute dog you have.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

I am 67 yrs old. never knew how to cook a good steak. I thank U very much for the instructions. I have never bought a good piece of meat and this Xmas I did. I did now want to mess it up. Again thanks.

BennettG made it!8 months ago

Fantastic!

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BennettG made it!8 months ago

Fantastic!

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Warndog219 months ago

Of age be damned. If you can cook a steak good enough for me you've earned that beer at any age!

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