Pan Seared Steak

A Pan Seared Steak is a perfect way to celebrate any good day.  Knowing how to cook a steak in a frying pan is something every home chef should learn.  Steaks are not just for the grill or restaurant meals. They are delicious and easy to prepare entrees that anyone can create at home. 

A look at the finished pan seared steak sliced up and ready to be enjoyed.

Pan Seared Steak

Nothing is as delicious as biting into a perfectly cooked juicy steak. 

I like mine medium-rare, but no matter what temperature you like your steak, you know the difference between one that tastes good and one that doesn’t. 

In the past, I thought you could only prepare steak like ribeye on a grill, but I have found that pan-seared steak is a perfect way to make sure the flavor stays in the steak and that every bite is perfect.

Here we see a close up shot of the finished steak after searing, a perfect bite ready to be enjoyed.

How do I Know the Steak is Done?

For this recipe, I recommend using my preferred method.  Using a meat thermometer to determine if the steak has reached the 130F temperature before pulling from the oven, is my tried and true method. 

Especially, when finishing my steak in the oven as directed here. 

Thermometer Method

Steak temperature chart guide

Touch Test Method

Other options for telling when a steak is done cooking without a thermometer is by a touch test.  Don’t laugh because it works well!

Below are common methods to determine if your steak is cooked to your preference by touching the fleshy area on your hand below your thumb and pointer finger. 

  • Rare: A rare steak should feel like this area when your thumb and pointer finger are touching. 
  • Medium Rare:  A medium rare steak will feel like this area when your thumb and middle finger are touching. 
  • Medium Well:  A medium well steak will feel like this area when your thumb and ring finger are touching. 
  • Well Done: A well done steak will feel like this are when your thumb and pinky are touching. 
Adding butter when learning how to cook a steak in a frying pan is a great way to add flavor and keep the steaks from drying out.
Top finished steaks with butter

What if I Don’t Have a Cast Iron Skillet for Cooking Steak?

When pan-searing a steak, you typically want to seal in all of the flavors and juices in a skillet you can then simply put into the preheated oven. 

A cast-iron skillet is a great choice as it is oven safe and perfect for the stovetop. 

If you do not have a cast-iron skillet, you can use any skillet that is oven safe.  A dutch oven is another great option that could work well in this recipe if needed. 

Once your steak is done, serve it with this low carb potato salad or green beans and potatoes recipe as tasty sides to fit any dietary needs. 

How to Cook Steak in a Frying Pan

Follow the directions below for all of the steps for cooking a steak in a frying pan.  Below are a few tips that help make sure your steak turns out absolutely perfectly. 

  • Make sure your steaks are at room temperature before you begin cooking. 
  • Season the steak itself only with salt and pepper. Other seasonings can be added to the skillet with the oil for flavoring. 
  • Sear only to seal in juices and add a nice color to the outside of the steak.  This step isn’t to cook the steak through.  
  • Use a digital oven safe meat thermometer that you can insert into the meat, and keep outside the oven to watch the temperature.  While I recommend 11-13 minutes, those 2 minutes can make a steak go from medium to medium well, and be overly done for some. The thermometer helps considerably. 
  • For added flavor, make a flavored butter for adding right after removing from the oven. 
  • Always let your steak rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This keeps it moist and also allows it to finish cooking a bit more to reach safe temperatures.
A horizontal shot of the finished pan seared steak topped with mushrooms!

Protip:  Make a batch of my mushroom gravy sauce to pour over your pan-seared steak for even more perfect flavor at your meal. 

Adding butter when learning how to cook a steak in a frying pan is a great way to add flavor and keep the steaks from drying out.

Pan Seared Steak

Easy pan seared steak seasoned with salt and pepper, then finished in the oven. Cook the perfect steak by using a meat thermometer or use the hand touch test noted in the post.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main – Beef
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, cast iron, skillet, steak
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 2 Steaks
Calories: 794kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 2 beef steaks 1 inch thick (t-bone or ribeye are favorites)
  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Allow steaks to sit out for 30 minutes prior to cooking. They need to be at room temperature for the perfect flavor.
  • Season steak with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a cast iron pan on the stove until it begins to smoke. Add in olive oil and allow that to get hot as well.
  • Place steaks in hot pan with the rosemary and garlic. Sear for about 2-3 minutes then flip. 
  • Slide the cast iron pan in the preheated oven and cook for about 11-13 minutes. Or until the steak has reached an internal temperature of 130 degrees when checked with an instant read thermometer. 
  • Remove steaks from oven and transfer them from the hot pan to a prepared cutting board and immediately top each with 1 tablespoon butter and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.


The steak will continue to rise in temperature as it rests by about 5 degrees, so if you are looking for a more rare cook, remove them from the oven 5 degrees sooner than 130 degrees.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 794kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 245mg | Sodium: 419mg | Fiber: 1g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.


Simple and delicious pan seared steak seasoned with salt and pepper, then finished in the oven with rosemary and garlic! #steak #castiron #easyrecipe #beef
Hugs Sandra Signature

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