seasoned cooked steak that is sliced on a plate

The Perfect Pan-Seared, Oven-Finished Steak

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Simple steps to make the perfect steak that starts on the stove and finishes in the oven.

seasoned cooked steak that is sliced on a plate

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I struggled for a long time to cook a steak the right way on the stovetop. And then…I did…perfectly. (Oh, that was after setting my kitchen on fire. More on that in a moment.)

Over the years, I tried grilling and frying steak to no avail and after a few tries, I gave up. Part of my throwing in the towel is related to budget. (Who wants to experiment on the most expensive piece of meat?) Part of it is related to the fact that I’m not a huge steak lover. But neither of those excuses stands up to the fact that my husband and oldest son LOVE steak and I love them. 

So, on Valentine’s Day I did my research and planned to cook up my boys’ favorite hunk of meat perfectly this time. (Here is where I get meat that I trust by the way.)

valentine's day menu on chalkboard

I headed to my local Hy-Vee store to talk to the Personal Chef there named Bryan. He helped me select the perfect cut and amount of steak for our occasion. Then, he spent several minutes talking me through exactly how to prepare the perfect pan seared, oven finished steak. Upon Bryan’s suggestion, I went with the New York Strip, since it was on sale and had nice marbling (read: ripples of fat throughout but not too much).

two raw sirloin steaks on a white plate

Friends–IT WORKED! Chef Bryan’s method worked! We enjoyed the perfect pan-seared steak on Valentine’s Day, along with some peel-and-eat shrimp, twice-baked potatoes, broccoli with Homemade Cheese Sauce, strawberries, and brownies. Nothing fancy, but it pleased the little picky minions in my house tremendously. Now, I’m going to share my newly found secrets that even the newest of cooks can undertake!

seasoned cooked steak that is sliced on a wooden cutting board

6 Steps to Cook Steak on the Stove and in the Oven

Step 1: Set Your Steak Out

It’s important to let you steaks come to room temperature instead of cooking them from cold. So, set them on the counter for 20-30 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat Your Oven

For this MONEY recipe, Chef Bryan directed me to create a crust on the steak over the stove and finish cooking it in the oven. So, you’ll preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 3: Pat Your Steak Dry and Season

A dry steak allows for browning to occur in a hot pan. So, pat it dry with a paper towel and season well with salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning.

Step 4: Sear the Steak in a Super Hot Pan

The goal of this step is to create a nice crust on the outside of your steak and seal in the flavor. Place an OVEN-SAFE, large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat for just a few minutes. Sear the steaks on the first side (without moving them!) for 1-2 minutes. When they come away from the pan easily and have sufficient browning on one side, flip the steaks to another part of the pan where it’s really hot (not the same spot it was just in). Sear steaks for 1-2 minutes on this side until browned well.

Step 5: Finish Cooking Your Steak in the Oven

Transfer your oven-safe pan directly to the preheated oven. Let steaks bake for 5-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks and how you like them done (medium-rare, medium, etc). Insert a digital meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak to test for doneness near the end of the cooking time. Remove the steaks about 5 degrees sooner than the optimal finished temp, because they will continue to cook while they rest. (See optimal doneness temperature below.)

Step 6: Let the Steaks Rest

Once the steak is at your desired internal temperature, use oven mitts to remove the hot pan from the oven. Transfer steaks to a plate and cover loosely with foil. LET REST FOR 5-10 MINUTES so it finishes cooking and the juices can redistribute throughout the meat.

Video Tutorial: How to Cook the Perfect Steak on the Stove and in the Oven

How to Cook Your Steak to Desired Doneness

Keep in mind that your steak will continue to “carry over cook” once you remove it from the oven and let it rest, rising another 5 degrees. So, according to Chef Bryan Williams, remove steaks at these temperatures, which is a little lower temp than they were finish at, for the perfect doneness:

  • 115-125 degrees = Rare
  • 125-135 degrees = Medium Rare
  • 135-145 degrees = Medium
  • 145-155 degrees = Medium Well
  • 155-165 degrees = Well Done

After removing your steak, transfer it to a plate or cutting board and cover with foil. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

How Not to Catch Your Kitchen on Fire While Making Steak

Public Service Announcement: Ummm, like I mentioned, I might have caught my kitchen on fire in the process of making this perfect pan-seared steak. Yikes! So, tip #1 is don’t do that!

In this recipe, you’ll be instructed to get your pan extremely hot on the stove-top. My pans are steel with a copper bottom, and I forgot that they get VERY hot over my electric stove. Too hot in fact. When I poured in a little bit of olive oil in, the pan burst into flames. (I will NOT instruct you to put oil in the pan in this recipe, so don’t worry! I don’t think it even needs oil.)

Needless to say, it was very scary! And I may have cussed in front of the kids for the first time. (#oops) What should you do in that situation? Chef Bryan told me to calmly find a lid or sheet pan and set it over the fire to smother it. Another messy option is to douse the pan in baking soda (always have some right by the stove top).

But, DON’T DO WHAT I DID! I ran the pan to the sink and threw the water on…which was the absolutely WRONG thing to do. I learned later that I could have splattered oil and fire everywhere! I’m lucky the flames didn’t travel to our paper towel roll right next to the sink, too! My husband and I made a strong mental note to get our fire extinguisher recharged (they lose their ability to work over time) at the fire department this week, too.

So, now that you know not to catch your kitchen on fire, let’s get on with this easy pan-seared, oven-finished steak recipe that may win over the heart of someone you love.

seasoned cooked steak that is sliced on a plate
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seasoned cooked steak that is sliced on a plate

The Perfect Pan-Seared, Oven-Finished Steak

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 36 minutes
  • Yield: 2 steaks 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop and Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The perfect pan-seared, oven-finished steak isn’t complicated and turns out great every time if you use this chef’s method. It starts on the stove and finishes in the oven.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Pull the steaks out of the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before cooking and let rest on counter.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Pat steaks dry on both sides. Then, season generously with steak seasoning on all sides, rubbing it in with your fingers.
  4. Place an OVEN-SAFE, large, heavy-bottomed pan* over medium-high heat for just a few minutes. To test if it’s hot enough, sprinkle a little water on it. If it sizzles, it’s ready. (Note: Don’t leave your pan over this high heat for long at all or it will get too hot. Mine only took about 1-2 minutes to get to temperature.)
  5. Using tongs, place steaks in pan without letting them touch. You will hear them immediately start to sizzle. Let them sear on this first side (without moving them!) for 1-2 minutes. When they come away from the pan easily and have sufficient browning on one side, flip the steaks to another part of the pan where it’s really hot (not the same spot it was just in). Sear steaks for 1-2 minutes on this side until browned well. The goal of this step is to create a nice crust on the outside of your steak.
  6. Now, you’re going to finish cooking your steak in the oven. Transfer your oven-safe pan* directly to the preheated oven. Let steaks bake for 5-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks and how you like them done (medium-rare, medium, etc). Insert a digital meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak to test for doneness near the end of the cooking time. You want to remove the steaks about 5 degrees sooner than the optimal finished temp, because they will continue to cook while they rest. So, remove the steak at the temperatures listed below for the perfect doneness.
  7. Once the steak is at your desired internal temperature, use oven mitts to remove the hot pan from the oven. Transfer steaks to a plate and cover loosely with foil. LET REST FOR 5-10 MINUTES so it finishes cooking and the juices can redistribute throughout the meat. (This is a very important step!)
  8. Enjoy the perfect steak!

Steak Doneness Temperatures: Remove steaks at these temperatures before resting for the perfect doneness:

  • 115-125 degrees = Rare
  • 125-135 degrees = Medium Rare
  • 135-145 degrees = Medium
  • 145-155 degrees = Medium Well
  • 155-165 degrees = Well Done

Notes

*An oven-safe pan is one that is all metal and does not have rubber or plastic on the handle. If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, then preheat a metal sheet pan (with sides) in the oven. After the steak has been seared, transfer the steak using tongs to this hot sheet pan to finish in the oven. For easy clean up, you may want to cover it with foil.


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5 replies
  1. Bethany says:

    I tried it tonight, Rachel!
    I used my favorite trick from working at my uncle’s steak house as a high school student… Adding some soy sauce and butter to make a little sauce. I remembered just in time to put it on while it rested, but it’s a good baste as well!

    Reply