Steak is one of a beef lover's favorite things. A well-prepared steak is richly flavored, tender and aromatic with the smell of well-browned beef. Normally, steaks would be barbecued or grilled for home consumption, but that isn't always an option. Indoor electric grills or stove-top grill pans can give a good result, but if you have no other options, a plain old skillet or electric skillet will also do the job.
Preheat the electric skillet to its highest temperature, usually 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the steaks dry with paper towel. Season lightly with salt and pepper, or other dry seasonings if desired.
Oil the skillet lightly, unless it has a nonstick coating. When the skillet has reached its highest cooking temperature, position the steaks in the pan. They should not be crowded, so if necessary cook the steaks in two or more batches.
Turn the heat down to 425 degrees F once the steaks are seared. Cook until the line of "cooked-ness" along the edge of the steak reaches halfway, then turn. Use tongs, not a fork, to avoid losing any of the steak's juices.
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Continue cooking until the desired doneness is reached. Remove the steaks from the skillet to a large plate or serving tray, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Choose tender, well-marbled steaks for pan-frying. Rib or rib eye, T-bone, strip or top sirloin are all suitable.
Clean and sanitize any utensils or surfaces that have come in contact with uncooked beef.
- "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Revised Second Edition"; Harold S. McGee, 1984
- "Professional Cooking, 5th Ed."; Wayne Gisslen; 2003
- Martha Stewart: Pan-Fried Steak
Fred Decker is a trained chef, former restaurateur and prolific freelance writer, with a special interest in all things related to food and nutrition. His work has appeared online on major sites including Livestrong.com, WorkingMother.com and the websites of the Houston Chronicle and San Francisco Chronicle; and offline in Canada's Foodservice & Hospitality magazine and his local daily newspaper. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.