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How To Pan Sear a Steak Like A Boss

If you enjoy a good steak like me, than this blog post is for you. Have you ever tried to sear a beautiful, and often times, expensive cut from your local butcher with less than perfect results? Do you completely avoid this cooking technique altogether? Well, if you have ever had a great seared steak out at a restaurant and are looking to replicate it at home for a fraction of the cost, continue reading below.

Pan Seared Steak

My wife and I recently attended a local “Adult Cooking Class,” where we prepared and enjoyed their Steakhouse Meal. The Menu that evening consisted of the following:

  1. Truffled Mashed Potatoes

  2. Blue Cheese Chopped Salad

  3. Pan Seared Steak with Red Wine Reduction

  4. Molten Mug Chocolate Cake

Now I am not upset with a single item on the menu above, but that evening I fully focused on attempting to master number three. So much so, that I nearly severed the tip of my finger off cutting up potatoes using a “new slicing technique” the teacher had presented to us minutes beforehand.

Finger with band-aid

With a bandaged finger, and a heavy dose of embarrassment, I forged through the rest of the food prep portion of the class. Finally, it was time to sear some meat.

For a serving of 2, our Ingredients were as follows:

  1. 2.25lb skirt or flank steak

  2. 1.5 t kosher salt, per steak

  3. ¼ ground pepper, per steak

  4. 1 t brown sugar, per steak

  5. 2 t vegetable oil, per steak

We did the following……..

  1. Our skirt steaks had been sitting out for about 20 minutes, when we seasoned the steaks on both sides with salt, pepper, and rubbed the oil on before setting them aside.

  2. We put a non stick, semi-heavy bottomed pan on a simple and affordable Portable Induction Cooktop. We heated the pan for 4 minutes (never let it smoke) and then placed the steak directly in the center of the pan for 3.5 minutes. (A dark crust should form on bottom.)

  3. Using tongs (not my go-to fork method), we flipped the steak and cooked another 3.5 minutes until it was medium rare and checked for "doneness." The outside should be firm but the middle should give when pressed on with your fingers. If using an “instant-read” thermometer, it should read in the range of 125 to 130 F.

  4. We then moved the steaks to cutting boards and tented them with tinfoil and let sit for seven minutes.

  5. Last, we sliced the steak against the grain and served. I let my wife handle the knife for this.

Cut against the grain of meat

We went on to create the red wine reduction, which was certainly a great addition to the meal, but the steak stood up on it’s own perfectly.

If the steps seem really simple and straightforward, that is because they are. I prefer my steak to be medium-rare and I found my pan seared steak cooked perfectly, based on the 3.5 minutes on each side. A few people in the class preferred their steaks medium and placed theirs in a conventional oven at 400 degrees for a couple minutes.

I am happy I attended the class and I certainly added a few new skills to my constantly evolving kitchen knowledge-base. Hopefully these cooking tips help you on your quest to pan sear a steak in the comfort of your own kitchen.

P.S. - My finger is healing nicely.


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