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How To Cook Steak In a Pan

Beef, Cooking Times, Steaks -

A simple guide on how to cook steak in a pan, including cooking times. From medium rare sirloin, to rare fillet, to well done rib eye, this blog post should have everything covered. 

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two sirloin steaks cooking in a pan

Being a butcher, we tend to get asked this one a lot. In my opinion, the best way to cook a steak at home is on a cast iron griddle, or skillet. Having said that, if you don't have access to either of those, a good nonstick frying pan will provide you with equally as good results. I personally like cooking on cast iron because I'm a bit of a neanderthal and I like the way it sears the meat. Anyway we've put our heads together and come up with a simple guide, with cooking times, to help you cook perfect steaks at home.

  1. Right, first thing's first, unpack and remove your steaks from the fridge 1 hour before cooking to bring them up to room temperature. Throwing a cold steak into a hot pan can result in seriously uneven cooking and the loss of all those delicious beef juices. We do not want that.
  2. Make sure your pan/griddle/skillet is very hot before starting to cook. This is important for that initial searing of the meat. We want to lock those flavours inside the steak.
  3. Season your steaks generously with salt (preferably sea salt) and freshly ground black pepper right before cooking. Seriously, don't leave the salt on for more than a couple of minutes before starting to cook, otherwise the salt starts to draw the juices out of the steak. We want the juices in the steak. It will also make it more difficult to get the perfect sear on the outside of your meat.
  4. Be brave, only turn your steaks once halfway through cooking. Trust me, this is the only way to get that delicious sear. Also, never turn your steaks with a fork, or anything that will puncture the meat, otherwise you're going to lose those juices, and guess what? We want the juices in the steak. We want our steak succulent.
  5. Remove your steak from the pan to a warm plate. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest before serving. The idea here is to let the steaks rest without getting too cool too quickly, hence the warm plate and foil. It is important to rest the steaks in order to allow the meat to relax and the juices in the centre of the meat to redistribute throughout the whole steak.I know it's hard, especially when you're hungry, but be patient here and you will be rewarded. It's all about those juices. A good rule of thumb here is to rest the steak for as long as you cooked it. 
  6. You can test the resistance of your steak to check if it is cooked as required - A medium steak should feel slightly soft when pressed using the back of your tongs/spatula.

Cooking Times

Steak Method Time
minute steak Fry  1-2 minutes on each side
fillet steak (2-3cm thick) Grill/Fry

For each side allow: rare 3-4 mins; medium 4-5 mins; well done 6-7 mins

Denver steak (2cm thick) Grill/Fry

For each side allow: rare 11/2-2 mins; medium 2-21/2 mins

sirloin/rump/rib eye (2cm thick) Grill/Fry

For each side allow: rare 2 1/2 mins; medium 4 mins; well done 6 mins

flat iron steak (2cm thick) Grill/Fry

For each side allow: rare 2 mins; medium rare 3-4 mins; medium 5-7 mins. For best results cover with foil and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

sirloin/rump/rib eye cut into strips Stir Fry

2-4 mins + 2 mins with vegetables 


If you have any questions or comments please fire away in the comments section below. 

Written by Matt Rhoades

Matt is our full time tea maker/web designer/delivery driver/butcher/accountant/social media man who you'll often find bickering with Dennis. Our MD with a passion for great meat and great customer service. When he's not at work he'll be creating recipes and probably barbecuing something somewhere, or making bacon jam. He loves it!!

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