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How to Cook Steak in the Oven

Lots of people cook steak on the grill, but you can also prepare a delicious piece of steak in the oven. The key is to prepare the steak in advance and cook it at the perfect temperature.

IngredientsEdit

  • Steak
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Part One of Two:
Preparing the Steak
Edit

  1. 1
    Preheat your oven to 450° F (232° C). You'll want a very hot oven to cook the perfect steak.
  2. 2
    Start off with relatively thick steaks. Steaks that are an inch to an inch and a half thick work best for this method. That's because thicker steaks get more time to develop a wonderful outer crust before the inside is drier than a duck's feather. Pretty much, the thinner the steak, the quicker it becomes as dry and hard as it cooks.
    • It's just as easy to buy and eat two big steaks than it is four small steaks. If your steaks are behemoths, don't be afraid to slice them up (after cooking, of course) in order to serve them. Once they taste these steaks, your guests won't care that two pieces started off as one steak. Because taste is king!
  3. 3
    Wipe away any moisture from all sides of the steak. Excess moisture left on steaks will cause them to steam, not sear. Steamed steak doesn't sound too appetizing, does it? Be sure to take a paper towel and wick away any moisture that's present on your steak before committing it to the glorious fire.
  4. 4
    Salt your steak. There are several opinions about how and when to salt your steak. And depending on how you salt your steak, obeying them can be the difference between a really beautiful culinary treat and a tired, dry, excuse for nutrition.
    • If you don't have a lot of time on your hands, salt your steak immediately before you place it in the piping hot pan. Why? Because, given time, salt draws moisture from the inside of the steak to the outside. And as noted earlier, moisture on the outside of the steak is not great.
    • If you have more than 45 minutes to spare, try salting the steak three quarters of an hour in advance. The salt will draw salt out to the surface of the steak, but after 30 to 40 minutes, the steak will draw back the salted moisture in a process called osmosis. This gives the steak a wonderful taste and, some say, actually tenderizes it.[1]
  5. 5
    Oil a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan with a nice coating of neutral oil and begin to heat it on a burner over high heat. Yes, your steak will start off over the burner, but the bulk of the cooking will be done in the oven. This method is used by chefs, cooks and restaurateurs the world over. Try it before you knock it!
    • Use a neutral oil such as pine nut or canola oil instead of a pungent oil like olive oil. This helps respect the natural intensity of the steak's flavor.
    • You'll know the pan is ready to cook with when the oil starts steaming.
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Part Two of Two:
Cooking the Steak
Edit

  1. 1
    Pat off any excess moisture from your steak a final time and carefully place it in the cast iron skillet. To avoid any oil splatter, tip the bottom of the pan up slightly by lifting the skillet's handle up in the air. The oil should gather in a small reservoir near the very tip of the pan. Place the steak gingerly inside the pan and lower the skillet's handle back down.
    • Adjust the steak with tongs to ensure that it's getting equal coverage on the pan (for a better crust), but don't press down on the steak with your tongs in an attempt to "sear" the steak. The steak will sear perfectly well on its own, given time. Pressing down just robs your steak of more juicy goodness.
  2. 2
    Continue cooking the steak on high for 2-3 minutes. Cook the steak just long enough to develop some nice color (i.e. flavor) on the first side.
  3. 3
    Flip the steak and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes over high heat. You won't need as much time on the second side of the steak because it will continue to develop color (from contact with the bottom of the pan) in the oven.
  4. 4
    Add a little butter to the pan right before you're ready to put the steak into the oven (optional). This step is optional, but a tablespoon or two of butter right before the steak goes into the oven gives the steak a wonderfully rich, nutty taste, along with a richer jus to serve alongside the steak in the end.
  5. 5
    Keeping the steak in the same cast iron skillet, place it in the oven and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Of course, the time spent in the oven depends on the thickness of the steak (the thicker the steak, the longer cooking time it will require) and your desired level of doneness (after 6 minutes, the steak is probably still medium-rare; after 8 minutes, it's about medium).
  6. 6
    Use a cooking thermometer to exactly time the steak's escape from the oven. A cooking thermometer is your friend. They're cheap, handy, and exact. With a cooking thermometer in hand, your does or under- and overdone inexactitude are over! Just stick the thermometer into the middle of the steak, and voilà! Here's a little temperature chart you can use to tell whether your steak is done.
    • 120° F (48.8° C) = Rare
    • 130° F (54.4° C) = Medium rare
    • 140° F (60° C) = Medium
    • 150° F (65.5° C) = Medium well
    • 160° F (71.1° C) = Well done
  7. 7
    Be sure to let your steak rest for 7 to 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. As the outer layers of the meat cook, they contract. This sends the juices of the steak further into the center, where they accumulate. If you choose to cut up your steak immediately upon removing it from the oven, the juices will run all over the place because they've been trapped in one place. If, however, you let the steak "rest" for about 8 or 9 minutes after it's done cooking, the outer layers of meat will relax, allowing the remaining juices to travel back into the entire piece of meat. This creates a much juicier piece of steak.
    • Rest your steak under a lightly wrapped piece of aluminum foil to help keep it warm while it rejuvenates. Be mindful that the steak will continue to cook during this time.
  8. 8
    Enjoy your perfectly cooked steak. Serve with classic steak fare, such as a roast potato, steamed asparagus, and a simple salad on the side.
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Community Q&A

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  • Should I cook steak with water or oil?
    Answered by John Damico
    • The real answer is, "It depends." There are many ways to cook any food. Pan-frying a steak on the stove would work best with oil or pan spray. Depending on the cut of meat, you may need more or less oil to compensate for what may render out of the steak; this technique is called sautéing. If you use water, you are poaching or stewing the steak, usually this technique is for tougher cuts of meat. The third technique is called braising: you brown the meat in hot oil, then add a liquid, cover the pan, and place it into the oven until the meat is cooked and tender (very nice for short ribs or a brisket).
    Thanks! 28 15
  • If I don't have a cast iron pan, what can I use?
    Answered by John Damico
    • Any pan will work. You can cook on a sheet of steel if that is all you have. Cast iron holds heat and distributes the heat well (no hot spots); thicker aluminum or composite pans work just as well, and are lighter and are easier to maintain than cast iron.
    Thanks! 36 21
  • How long do I cook a full fillet steak if I want it rare?
    Answered by John Damico
    • By definition, a rare steak is cold in the center ("blue rare" is pretty much raw with just the surface warmed up a bit). So your steak is rare the second it touches the heat source and you turn it once. To answer your question, try one minute on each side and see if you like that degree of doneness. You can always cook it more, but never less!
    Thanks! 23 12
  • Can I substitute the oil and sear the steak with butter?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes! The reason many choose to use oil is for its higher smoking point. Personally, I've never had a problem with the butter beginning to smoke, but you may want to have a spoon ready to baste the meat in case of it getting close.
    Thanks! 7 1
  • How do I know when hamburger patties are done cooking?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • 5 - 6 minutes per side. Don't smash them with a spatula, you're wasting good juices/flavor by doing that. Flip them the one time only. To cook them a bit quicker, make a small indentation in the center with your thumb. It helps to ensure complete cooking, and the hole will disappear while cooking.
    Thanks! 19 7
  • Can I cook a steak with onions and bell peppers in the oven?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Sure! However, it might be a better idea to cook the onions and bell peppers in a different pan.
    Thanks! 39 25
  • Does turkey gravy go with steaks?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • If you like it, feel free to eat it. Most people wouldn't pair those, though. Steak sauce, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, sauteed mushrooms, and horseradish are a few popular options.
    Thanks! 17 9
  • Do I have to use a cast iron skillet or can I use a regular skillet?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You should use a cast iron skillet. They can get much hotter than a regular skillet, they are healthier (others may have aluminum or nonstick coatings which may be harmful to your body, while your body needs iron for the hemoglobin in your blood cells), they are virtually indestructible, will last for generations, and are very cheap. Finally, some cast iron skillets have ridges, if you want those markings on your steak. In my opinion, cast iron is definitely the way to go.
    Thanks! 38 29
  • Can I cook more than one at a time with this method?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, just use a pan big enough for two but ensuring that it will still fit in the oven. Time on the top is the same, and still use a thermometer to test the internal temperature.
    Thanks! 23 17
  • Do I cover steaks with foil in the oven?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You can, it will make the steak juicer. However, you may need to increase the cooking time. I suggest broiling the steak for about 5 minutes once it's finished cooking.
    Thanks! 2 0
Show more answers
  • Can I bake my steak in a foil pan if I don't have a cast iron skillet? Will it come out tender?
  • Where does your lap go when you stand up?
  • Can I cook sirloin tips in a crockpot?
  • When in the oven do I split the time by flipping it or do I leave it on the side I start with cooking in the oven?
  • What temperature and bake time do I need to cook well done steaks in the oven?
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Quick Summary

While you're preheating your oven to 450 °F (232 °C), heat cooking oil in a cast iron skillet on high heat. Cook one side of the steak in the skillet for 2-3 minutes. Then, flip the steak and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Finally, put the cast iron skillet in the oven and cook the steak for 6-8 minutes.

TipsEdit

  • You may need to experiment with temperature in order to get the perfectly cooked steak for your oven. Many ovens run hot or cold, so use your thermometer (and discretion) while cooking.
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About This Article

19 votes - 84%
Co-authors: 38
Updated:
Views: 2,699,013

Reader Success Stories

  • SF

    Sam Finfrock

    Feb 19

    "Follow the cooking instructions. Eat a great steak."
  • MB

    Mary Bartron

    Jan 14

    "Simple, easy to follow step-by-step directions. I am in cancer treatment & trying to eat nutritious meals but get tired of chicken. I found a good cut of top sirloin steak but needed help cooking it. This article was perfect for me."..." more
  • A

    Anonymous

    Jan 6

    "Great tips! Can't wait to try it."
  • FB

    Felicia Bracken

    Dec 7, 2017

    "Didn't have to talk on the phone. This made gaining knowledge easier and to the point."
  • KK

    Kim Kowalishen

    Dec 3, 2017

    "What I could do if I don't have a iron skillet."
  • AC

    Angelinr Christensen

    Aug 3, 2016

    "Helpful step-by-step instructions and my steaks turned out delicious! A thermometer is definitely helpful. Going to try it again tomorrow, but will saute some mushrooms in the same pan after while the steaks are doing their final "resting.""..." more
  • ML

    Marylou Lee

    Jan 18, 2017

    "I was looking for a recipe to make steak like you would get at a restaurant, and this one was perfect! The steak I used was Beef Sirloin and it came out juicy and tender. I even used the juices in the pan like a gravy."..." more
  • MA

    Marion Anderson

    Mar 20, 2016

    "Great advice re: salting the steak and using a meat thermometer. Also very interesting info about what's happening to the steak during the process of cooking."..." more
  • RJ

    Robert Jeffers

    Sep 6, 2016

    "The explanation that sear traps the juices in the steak and the step for when to salt the steak was very helpful!"
  • JC

    J.W. Carney

    Jul 5, 2016

    "Great way to cook steak if you don't want to fire up the grill. I use seasoning instead of just salt and pepper."
  • AT

    Allison Turner

    Jul 8, 2017

    "The article and other questions with tips covered all of my own questions! Getting the steak ready to cook now!"
    Rated this article:
  • DT

    D. Thompson

    Jul 18, 2016

    "I have never been able to cook a steak that was tender. This was a first, and it was easy."
  • LC

    Linda Coppock

    Jan 21, 2017

    "I needed to know the oven temperature and how long to keep in the oven. Great help."
  • TM

    Terressa Miller

    Apr 25, 2017

    "It helped me a lot, because now I know how to do mine in the oven with salt."
  • CO

    Cynthia Ortiz

    Aug 23, 2017

    "Steaks always come out like shoe leather, this was much better."
  • AP

    Aj Particular

    Apr 13, 2016

    "Patting the steaks dry, allowing time, resting. Delicious! "
  • MG

    Molisa Gill

    Mar 21, 2016

    "Makes perfect sense. I'm pleased with how it turned out."
  • RP

    Rachel Paynter

    Jun 9, 2017

    "I learned so much from this article. Thank you."
  • AA

    Ameer Ahmad

    Aug 5, 2016

    "Instructions was awesome to cook steak at home."
  • BW

    Barb Woodward

    Apr 18, 2016

    "Easy to follow. The best steak I've ever made!"
  • MB

    M. Chas B'ell

    Feb 19, 2017

    "The saute or braising methods are phenomenal."
  • SR

    Stanley Renty

    May 21, 2017

    "Basically just reminded me what to do."
    Rated this article:
  • TS

    Tanner Starkey

    Aug 4, 2017

    "This helped a lot!!"
    Rated this article:
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