Introduction: The Importance of Cast Iron for Steak Cooking
Cast iron skillets have been a staple in kitchens for centuries and are particularly useful when it comes to cooking the perfect steak. Cast iron is known for its ability to distribute heat evenly, which means your steak will cook evenly too. Additionally, cast iron skillets can be used on any heat source, making them a versatile tool for any home cook.
When cooking steak on a cast iron skillet, you can achieve a delicious sear and crust on the outside, while still keeping the inside juicy and tender. In this article, we will go through the steps needed to cook the perfect steak on a cast iron skillet.
Step 1: Preparing Your Cast Iron Skillet
Before you start cooking your steak, you need to make sure your cast iron skillet is properly prepared. First, wash your skillet with soap and water, and then dry it thoroughly. Once it is dry, coat the skillet with a thin layer of oil and place it on your stovetop over medium heat for a few minutes. This will help to remove any excess moisture that could cause your steak to steam rather than sear.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Cut of Steak
When it comes to cooking steak, the cut of meat you choose is just as important as the cooking method. For cast iron skillet cooking, it is best to go for a steak that is at least 1 inch thick, as this will give you a nice sear on the outside while keeping the inside juicy. Good options include ribeye, sirloin, and filet mignon.
Step 3: Seasoning Your Steak
To really bring out the flavor of your steak, you need to season it properly. Generously sprinkle both sides of your steak with salt and pepper, and any other seasonings you prefer, such as garlic powder or rosemary.
Step 4: Preheating Your Cast Iron Skillet
It is important to preheat your cast iron skillet before adding the steak. Heat the skillet over high heat until it is very hot. You can test the temperature by sprinkling a few drops of water on the skillet – if they sizzle and evaporate immediately, the skillet is ready.
Step 5: Cooking Your Steak
Once your skillet is hot, add your steak. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side, then flip it over and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. For a medium-rare steak, cook for a total of 6-7 minutes. If you prefer your steak more well-done, cook for a few minutes longer on each side.
Step 6: Checking for Doneness
The best way to check if your steak is cooked to your liking is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak – for medium-rare, it should read around 135°F (57°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, you can also use the touch test: press the center of the steak with your finger – it should feel soft and springy for medium-rare.
Step 7: Resting Your Steak
After cooking, remove your steak from the skillet and let it rest on a cutting board for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, resulting in a more flavorful and tender piece of meat.
Step 8: Slicing and Serving Your Steak
Once your steak has rested, slice it against the grain and serve it with your favorite sides. A classic steakhouse side dish is mashed potatoes, but you can also opt for roasted vegetables or a simple salad.
Conclusion: Perfecting Your Cast Iron Steak Cooking Technique
By following these steps, you can achieve the perfect steak cooked on a cast iron skillet. Remember to prepare your skillet properly, choose the right cut of meat, season it well, preheat your skillet, and cook to your desired level of doneness. With a little practice, you can become a master of cast iron steak cooking.