Introduction: How to Pan Fry the Perfect Steak

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.


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


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

Step 2: Shopping for a Steak

The first step is to locate the steak that you wish to cook. I always buy my steak at Tacoma Boys. They have a quality meat selection. It is a bit more expensive, but in my opinion, it is worth it.

The steak I chose was a 8oz Kobe Petite Sirloin steak. It is small enough for one person and a relatively inexpensive cut of meat. Find a steak that looks tasty to you! If you have the money for a nice New York Steak go for it, but for this tutorial we will be working with a petite sirloin steak.

While you are at the store, make sure you have the rest of your ingredients such as olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic. A grocery store is a perfect opportunity to pick up some fresh garlic if you prefer that to garlic powder.

Step 3: Preparing the Meat

When you get home you must get the meat out and let it warm up. When it is sitting in the grocery store, it is very cold and you do not want to cook a cold steak.

First pull the steak out of the butcher paper and let it rest on a plate. While it is sitting, use the salt and pepper to season it. Cover all sides with a good amount of seasoning.

Usually give the steak about 20 minutes to warm up. It is important to let the meat warm because when you cook it in the pan it will cook more evenly. You do not want a cold center.

While the steak is warming up, this is a good time to get the rest of your tools and ingredients ready. Place the pan on a burner and put it on high heat. Before heating, poor enough olive oil in the pan to coat the entire bottom. You want plenty of oil in the pan for the next step of the process.

Step 4: Seering the Steak

This next step is very crucial and can be dangerous. At this point, the pan should be very hot. You will use the tongs to place the steak into the hot oil. At these high temperatures there will be a lot of oil splatter so be careful when maneuvering the steak around in the pan.

When you place the steak in the pan begin timing the cooking for 1 Minute.
After a Minute has passed, flip it to the other side for 1 Minute.

After that minute has passed, flip the steak on its side and sear the edge until it is colored like the rest of the meat. do this for both sides. Tilt the pan so that the oil and juices run down to one side and use that to cook the edge of the steak. Refer to the photo for an example.

You will continuously be turning the steak for 1 Minute intervals until you feel that it is well done enough. This is all dependent on your wellness preference and the thickness of your steak. This will bring us to our next step.

Step 5: Cooking the Steak

At this point, the steak has been seared on all sides, locking in the juices of the meat. Turn down the heat of your stove to medium.

Now comes the process of cooking through the meat to your preferred wellness. There is no exact science to this because of the variables of thickness and stove heat so you will just have to check the meat often to make sure it is not over or under cooked. For this demonstration, I cooked my steak to a medium wellness with some pink left in the middle.

Now that the heat is backed off, continue cooking the steak on each side for 1 Minute intervals.

Now it is time to add the garlic and butter. Cut off a nice healthy chunk of butter and throw it in the pan along with a generous amount of garlic. I used garlic powder because I didn't have any fresh garlic at the time. Allow the meat to soak in the greasy tasty goodness as you continue turning it. Keep in mind this is how to make the Perfect Steak, not a healthy steak.

I cooked my steak for 8 total minutes, flipping each minute, to get a medium wellness. Again, I have to be clear that variables in steak size and stove heat means that this may not give you the same result. Use the tongs to check the firmness of the meat. If it feels like it is beginning to firm up, then it is probably reaching a medium wellness.

After you have cooked it long enough, it is time to pull it from a pan and place it on a clean plate.

Step 6: Resting the Meat

You have finished cooking the steak and are about to devour it but RESIST!

You must let the meat rest before cutting into it. The process known as resting, allows for all of the juices of the meat to lock inside the steak. This gives your steak better flavor.

Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes. If you become impatient, find a beer of your choice (if you are of age), and have a drink!

Step 7: Eat and Enjoy

You have been patient. You have waited five minutes. You are now ready to consume your amazing, and surprisingly inexpensive steak!

This steak requires no sauces. Sauce would only ruin the great flavors that you have created today in your pan.

Steamed vegetables and a cold beer also work as great sides to your meat masterpiece. Enjoy!