5. Heat up the skillet. Get the stove top running and heat it up. How long do you need to heat up the skillet for? I recommend you do it until you see gentle fumes coming off the pan. This happens 95% of the time, even if you think you had your skillet cleaned really well.
However there are times when no gentle smoke is coming off the skillet. What shall you do?
First of all – wait a bit longer. If you know your stove top takes ages to heat up, be patient and wait longer. It may take good 5-8 minutes.
But to really make sure you don’t miss the point, I suggest you add a teaspoon of olive oil or better still – coconut oil (both NOT extra virgin) right at the start of the heating up process. This extra bit of oil will definitely start smoking when heated up to appropriate temperature.
Once the skillet starts smoking lightly, wait for another 20 seconds and place the steak inside. Watch out for any hot fat splashing – it hurts a bit.
6. Sear both sides. The thing to remember – we only sear the steak on the stove in order to develop the browning of the surface. We don’t want to cook it completely, so there is no need to sear it for 5 minutes per side.
Once you put the steak inside the skillet, you will hear the sizzling sound. This is juices quickly evaporating from the surface of the pan after being released by the steak. You don’t need to reduce the temperature – keep it there.
Sear the steak for 1 minute on one side. Lift it up with the tongs and see whether it has browned sufficiently.
With steaks like rib eye, filet mignon, NY strip, sirloin, strip loin and chuck eye, it is very easy to develop good browning.
With cheaper cuts like round, flank, skirt and flat iron, you will need another minute.
Sear both sides for 1-2 minutes.
Now, the optional bit. When you have nearly seared the second side, that is – 40 seconds left – bring the heat down by 1/4 (e.g. from 12 to 9) and add a knob of organic grass-fed butter.
You will see it melting quickly and some extra smoke/vapor will take off the skillet.
Once those final 40 seconds are gone, flip the steak again for another 45 seconds on the first side.
You can use a teaspoon to baste the steak for the time remaining.
You will notice that butter helps to develop a better browned surface, so I highly recommend to use it. Why organic grass-fed? Read here.
7. Steak in oven. Once the remaining time runs out, remove the steak from the skillet and place it in the oven tray already covered with tin foil.
Pour the remaining pan drippings all over the steak. Or you can use them for red wine sauce later on.
Now, how long to bake steak in oven after you have seared it on the pan?
It depends on things like steak size, type and the level of doneness you are looking for.
A perfect steak needs perfect attention, that’s why I recommend you use a meat thermometer (go get it on Amazon if you still don’t have it) to find out the temperature inside after 10 minutes of cooking in the oven.
Given that we are using a relatively low oven temperature, it will take more time to get the steak to the desired level of doneness, but it’s totally worth the time – the meat will be much more juicy and tender.
Check out this level of doneness guide to get an idea of internal temperatures you should be looking for inside the steak.
If the temperature is not there yet, close the oven and set the timer for another 10 minutes. Check again.
Pro Tip: If you are looking for a more cooked steak (e.g. medium and medium-well), you might notice that after a while the internal temperature inside the steak doesn’t rise anymore. In that case, increase the oven temperature by 15C / 27F (i.e. from 130C / 265F to 145C / 293F). The doneness level will then continue increasing.
8. Rest the steak. Take the steak out from the oven and put it on a plate. Now is the time for freshly ground black pepper – season the steak with it. If you used butter, you will notice the aroma combining. It is beautiful.
Rest the steak for 5 minutes and cut it across the fibers. You can show off and do it at 45-degree angle!
Pro Tip: While steak is being finished in oven, insert the serving plates inside as well. Hot plates will help to keep the steak warm for longer.
Pro Tip #2: Guests are late and you don’t want the steak to cool down? Set the oven to 50C / 120F and insert the plate with the steak on it right inside – it will stay nice and warm, so you don’t need to worry anymore.
I hope now you know how to sear steak on stove and then bake it in the oven! If you still need any clarifications or details, drop me a line in the comments below.
To the perfect steaks!