A perfectly cooked steak in a cast-iron skillet.

How to cook the perfect steak in the oven

The perfect way to cook a steak in a pan.
Despite all the hype over grilled steak, cooking it in a cast-iron skillet on the stove creates amazing results. Try it.

It’s raining or you don’t have a grill. No worries! Try this incredible recipe to cook the perfect steak in the oven. It comes from my husband, Mike – truly the expert when it comes to steak.

How much does my husband like meat? Well, let’s just say that I gave him a set of business cards one Christmas with the title “King of Meat.” Mike loves all meat, and he’s a master cook — beef, pork, chicken, you name it. But his ability to cook the perfect steak is legendary.

Mike honed his craft as a teenager, when he worked as a cook at Bonanza (remember those?). He learned to pick the right cut of meat, cook it perfectly and to tell just by touch when it’s perfectly ready. Then he just spent the next 35 years perfecting those skills and knowledge.

Grilled steak and oven-cooked steak are both amazing. You can get his grilled steak tips here. Below are the best tips for the perfect oven-cooked steak.

A perfectly cooked steak in a cast-iron skillet.
Using a cast-iron skillet is the best way to cook a great steak in your oven.

The King of Meat’s steak recipe and tips for oven-cooked steaks

  1. Let the steak sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you begin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add a few drops of olive oil to each side of the steak, rubbing it lightly across the entire steak.
  4. Add a liberal amount of Montreal steak seasoning. (We used McCormick’s brand) 
  5. In a cast-iron skillet, swirl about 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  6. When the olive oil starts to shimmer, add the steak to the pan using tongs. Watch out for splatters, and don’t let the oil get so hot that it begins to smoke.
  7. Loosely cover the pan with a square of aluminum foil.
  8. Leave the steak alone for 3 minutes. Seriously! Don’t touch it!  
  9. Flip the steak and sear the other side for 2 minutes.
  10. Remove from stovetop and place in the oven, uncovered. Cook 2 minutes for medium rare, 3 minutes for medium or 4 minutes for medium well.
  11. Take the pan out of the oven and remove steak from pan, placing the steak on a plate or platter and loosely tenting the foil over it.
  12. Let it rest for 2 minutes — don’t touch it!
  13. Add a tablespoon of herb butter for an even richer flavor
  14. Devour!
Testing the steak to see if it's ready.
Mike tests the steak to see if it’s ready.

Elevate your steak with this amazing herb butter

Adding a flavored butter to your still-steaming steak is a fabulous way to make a great steak even better. Try Mike’s recipe for Amazing Herb Butter.

How to pick the right cut of meat

This guide from Dorothy Lane Market, my favorite Dayton-area grocery store, is a great resource for finding the right cut of meat.

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