How to cook NY strip steak in a cast iron pan?


Cooking a NY strip steak in a cast iron pan is a classic way to enjoy a juicy and flavorful steak with a crispy crust. Cast iron pans are known for their ability to evenly distribute heat and retain it, making them ideal for cooking steaks. However, getting a perfect steak can be tricky if you don’t follow the right steps. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to cook a perfect NY strip steak in a cast iron pan.

Choosing the right steak

The first step to cooking a great steak is to choose the right cut of meat. For a NY strip steak, look for one with a marbled texture, which means it has a good amount of fat running through the meat. This fat will help keep the steak moist and flavorful during cooking. The thickness of the steak is also important – aim for a steak that is at least one inch thick. This will allow you to get a nice crust on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender.

Preparing the steak

Before cooking the steak, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will help the steak cook more evenly. Pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides. You can also add any other seasonings or herbs at this point, like garlic or rosemary, to enhance the flavor of the steak.

Preheating the cast iron pan

Place the cast iron pan on the stove and preheat it over high heat for about 5 minutes. You want the pan to be very hot before adding the steak. Test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water on the pan – if they sizzle and evaporate immediately, the pan is ready.

Adding oil to the pan

Once the pan is hot, add a high smoke point oil like vegetable or canola oil to the pan. Swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of the pan. Be careful as the oil may splatter due to the high heat.

Searing the steak

Carefully place the steak in the hot pan, laying it away from you to avoid any splatters. Cook the steak for about 3-4 minutes on each side, without moving it around too much. This will allow a nice crust to form on the outside of the steak. If the steak is sticking to the pan, it is not yet ready to be flipped – wait another minute or two before trying again.

Checking the doneness

To check the doneness of the steak, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature. For a medium-rare steak, aim for a temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C). For medium, aim for 140-145°F (60-63°C). Remember that the steak will continue to cook as it rests, so take it off the heat a few degrees below your desired temperature.

Resting the steak

Once the steak is cooked to your liking, remove it from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Let the steak rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute and the steak to become more tender.

Making a sauce (optional)

While the steak is resting, you can make a simple pan sauce to serve with the steak. Add some chopped garlic or shallots to the pan and cook for a minute or two, then add some beef broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly. You can also add some butter or herbs to the sauce for extra flavor.

Slicing and serving

After the steak has rested, slice it against the grain into thin strips. Serve the steak with the pan sauce and any other sides you like, such as roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.

Cleaning the cast iron pan

To clean the cast iron pan, let it cool down completely before washing it with warm water and a soft sponge. Avoid using soap or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the seasoning of the pan. Dry the pan thoroughly and rub a small amount of oil on the surface to prevent rust.


Cooking a NY strip steak in a cast iron pan is a simple and delicious way to enjoy a steak at home. By following these steps, you can achieve a perfectly cooked steak with a crispy crust and juicy interior. Remember to choose a good quality steak, preheat the pan, and let the steak rest before slicing. With a little practice, you’ll be cooking restaurant-quality steaks in no time!

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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