This easy Skillet Steak recipe will become a new favorite! The exterior crust and the Barbecue-Butter Sauce will have you day-dreaming about it all day. So simple, yet so fantastic!
A good grilled or skillet steak is by far one of Paul’s and the kids’ favorite foods, right up there with baby back ribs and hamburgers. If I made them choose, they would have a really hard time.
I use sliced sirloin and flank steak a lot for stir fry recipes, which are requested often, but there’s just nothing quite like serving a whole pan-seared New York Strip steak with that crispy exterior and juicy center.
Cooking steak in a skillet is also a wonderful way to satisfy that craving all year round, especially if you live in a climate where snow in the winter makes grilling outside impossible, or at least undesirable. I remember those days in Minnesota well!
Tips for the Best Skillet Steak
1. Buy a really good quality steak. Forego your Starbucks for a week to save up. It’s worth it! Ribeye or New York Strip are my recommendations, and I prefer boneless because it cooks more evenly, which IMHO outweighs the importance of that tiny meat portion being flavored by the bone.
2. Using paper towels, blot both sides of the steak dry. This helps get that cooked crispy exterior.
3. Let the raw steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, which helps them cook more evenly.
4. Be pretty liberal with the Kosher salt.
5. Use a 12-inch cast iron skillet. This heavy pan holds heat so well, produces that nice brown crust, and cooks the steaks evenly.
6. Utilize the largest stovetop burner and heat your oil over medium-high. Let it get super hot to the point where it’s shimmering and almost smoking. This gives the steak that beautiful sear.
7. Rely on an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. This prevents you from having to cut into the steak to check. (See the guide below for cooking times.)
8. And you’ve heard this a million times – let your cooked steaks rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, lending more flavor.
Temperatures for Steak Doneness
Get out your instant read thermometer and use this guide to reach desired doneness. (And if you need a visual, check out this chart from Certified Angus Beef. And for cooking times, you can check out this chart from Omaha Steaks)
- Rare (cool red center) – 125°F (not recommended)
- Medium rare (warm red center) – 135°F
- Medium (warm pink center) – 145°F (this is perfection IMHO!)
- Medium well (slightly pink center) – 150°F
- Well done (little or no pink) – 160 degrees (Gordon Ramsay would not approve. Lol.)
For safety the FDA recommends cooking to at least 145°F, but I’ll leave that up to you. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life. HA.
It’s also important to note that steaks will cook another 5° after you remove them from the heat and are resting, so pull them a little earlier than your desired temperature.
What side dishes go with this skillet steak?
Rice, potatoes, and vegetables are all great side dishes for steak. Really anything goes! But these are some of my favorites:
Skillet Steaks with Barbecue-Butter Sauce
- 4 1-inch thick New York Strip Steaks , fat trimmed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 6 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- cooked vegetable of your choice , for serving
- Blot steaks dry with a paper towel and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add butter to the bowl; set aside.
- Add oil to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. When it just begins to smoke, add steaks.
- Sear steaks (in batches, depending on how they fit), for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4 minutes (for medium and an internal temperature of 140°F)
- Transfer to a plate; cover loosely with foil. (Steaks will continue to cook slightly as they rest.)
- Pour broth mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, until liquid has thickened slightly and reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, 6-7 minutes. Add any accumulated meat juices from the plate; stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
- Serve steaks (whole or cut across the grain into thin slices) with the sauce and your favorite green vegetable. Swoon!