Once you learn how to cook cast iron skillet steak at home, you may never want to go out for steak again. It's just so easy and only takes a few minutes!
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Some people are intimidated by the thought of how to cook cast iron skillet steak at home. But all you need are a few tips and you can have restaurant quality steaks without leaving the house.
Ribeye steak works really well for this preparation. The wonderful marbling throughout the steak provides loads of flavor. And since it's a fattier, thicker steak, it's a little more forgiving, with less danger of overcooking.
The entirety of the cooking takes place in the cast iron skillet, there's no need to turn on the oven. At the end, we are going to butter baste the steak with a little rosemary and garlic butter. Just a kiss of those flavors is all you need.
- Ribeye steak: It's important to start with a good quality steak. I ordered this ribeye from Snake River Farms. It's their American Waygu - the same steaks served in Michelin-starred restaurants like The French Laundry. We don't eat red meat every week, so when we do, I like knowing I'm buying from a company that engages in responsible and sustainable farming practices. And the flavor of their meat is 100 times better than what you can get in the grocery store.
- Unsalted butter
- Whole garlic cloves: Peeled and smashed so all that flavor can get into the butter.
- Rosemary: I love Rosemary here, but you could also use thyme. Or both!
- Kosher salt
How to cook it
About an hour before cooking, remove the steak from the refrigerator and pat dry. Isn't it gorgeous?
Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Allow steak to come to room temperature, but do not let it sit at room temp longer than two hours.
Place a deep cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Ribeye steaks have so much marbling that you shouldn't need any oil in the pan.
Once the skillet is very hot, pat the steak dry with paper towels (you're just absorbing the moisture, not removing the seasoning). Place the steak in the skillet and let sear for about 3-4 minutes. Flip to the other side for another 3-4 minutes and check the temperature with a good thermometer.
Continue flipping until the steak is about 5 degrees from the desired temperature.
Now let's baste that baby with some butter!
How to butter baste a steak
Just before removing the steak from the skillet, add 4 tablespoon butter, a few peeled and smashed garlic cloves and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Once butter melts, carefully tip the pan just slightly so the butter pools, then spoon up the butter and baste the steak a few times.
Remove the steak from the heat and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.
- DO NOT LET MEAT SIT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE LONGER THAN TWO HOURS. Longer than two hours and you enter the danger zone when bacteria can start to form and make you very sick.
- Use a deep skillet. You'll need enough depth in the pan so that you can safely tip it to get the butter to pool so you can baste the steak.
- If you don't like rosemary, you can use thyme or sage. But don't use soft herbs like basil or parsley, as they are too delicate to stand up to the searing hot butter.
How long do you cook a steak in a cast iron skillet?
Cooking time depends on the type of steak and the thickness. For a medium-rare ribeye steak that is at least one inch thick, start with 3-4 minutes on each side. Check it with a good meat thermometer and keep flipping until it comes to the desired temperature.
What temperature is a medium rare steak?
Medium rare steak is 130 - 135 degrees F.
How long should a steak rest before slicing?
Most people would say to let a steak rest for at least 5 minutes. Some would say 10 minutes, some would say 10 minutes per pound, some would even say let it rest for as long as you cooked it. But 5 minutes should do the trick.
What to serve as a side dish
- Romaine Hearts with Blue Cheese, Pears, and Pecans is a twist on a classic steakhouse salad.
- Strawberry Arugula Salad with Basil and Mint is perfect in summer when you want something lighter.
- Crispy Roasted Potatoes because steak and potatoes. Need I say more?
- Charred Broccoli with Calbrian Chile Paste and Lemon Yogurt Sauce is full of complex, bright and smoky flavors.
Try these quick-cooking meat recipes.
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce is a taste of Argentina.
- Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Quick Pickles has a spicy lemongrass marinade.
Cast Iron Skillet Steak
- 16 ounces ribeye steak
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 5 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- About one hour before cooking, remove the ribeye from the fridge and pat dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper and allow to come to room temperature. DO NOT LET STEAK REMAIN AT ROOM TEMP LONGER THAN TWO HOURS.
- Place a deep cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Peel and smash the garlic cloves.
- Once skillet is hot, pat the steak dry one more time - just removing any moisture, not the seasoning. Then place the steak in the hot pan.
- After about 3-4 minutes, a nice crust should form on the steak, flip it over for another 3-4 minutes and check the temperature.(Medium rare is 130-135 degrees F.) If steak has not reached the desired temperature, keep flipping it over and checking temperature every 2 minutes or so. Total cook time will depend on the thickness of the steak.
- Just before steak reaches the desired temperature, add butter, garlic and rosemary to pan. Let rosemary and garlic sizzle in the butter for a bit. Then carefully tip the pan toward you so the butter pools, and spoon it over the steak a few times.
- Remove the steak from the hot pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Get a really good steak for this recipe. It's all about the meat, you're not adding sauces, etc, so it should be the best meat you can get! I love the ribeyes from Snake River Farms. I made this recipe with their American Waygu ribeye. Their meat is sustainably farmed and tastes so much better that what you get in the grocery store.
- Total cook time will depend on the thickness of your steak. If it's less than 1" thick, you will probably want to flip after 2 minutes. Use a good meat thermometer to check on it throughout cooking and don't be afraid to just keep flipping it over.
- Use a deep cast iron skillet for this recipe. You'll want enough of a pan depth to be able to tip it safely in order to baste the steak with butter.