Pan Broil a Steak

How To: Pan-Broil a Steak

When you start with a great raw steak, any way you choose to do it, you’ll wind up with a great tasting cooked steak.

And great tasting steaks aren’t relegated to those cooked only on a grill.

Pan broiling is a two-stage method that uses your broiler for searing and finishing to your preferred degree of doneness.

Steaks cooked indoors take on a different personality. The unique flavor of cooking over an open flame is the realm of grilling. However, a steak seared in a hot pan develops an intensely flavorful caramelized crust that seals in juices that simply burst in your mouth with every bite.

And if you want more flavor, a simple prepared steak is a delicious blank canvas. Try adding a finishing or compound butter or a sauce to enhance the entire presentation to bold new heights or to a sublime nuance. You ll be amazed at how a simple steak preparation can take on any style or personality depending on the sauce or butter that serves as a finishing touch.

Any cut of steak or chop will work with the technique shown here. Then choose a sauce or compound butter that suits your fancy.

For a similar method that involves searing on the stovetop, see our How To: Pan-Roast a Steak tutorial.

To watch a video of this tutorial, click here.

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The Steps

  • Step 1 Remove the steaks from the refrigerator, allow them to come up to room temperature—about 30 minutes. Assemble with olive oil, sea or kosher salt, and pepper just before beginning to cook.
  • Step 2 Place a dry cast-iron skillet in a pre-heated broiler on high heat about 6 inches from flame or heating element. Heat pan for about 20 minutes.
  • Step 3 Brush the steaks with olive oil and rub with coarse kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Step 4 CAUTION: Pan handle will be extremely hot. When the pan is heated, pull the oven rack out to give yourself clear access to the pan and lay the steaks carefully into the skillet to avoid splatters. Your vent or fan should be set on high because this method creates a fair amount of smoke as the steak is seared.
  • Step 5 Sear the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • Step 6 After the steaks are seared, reduce oven to moderate heat (350–375°F) and continue cooking the steaks to a desired doneness (130°F internal temperature for medium-rare).
  • Step 7 Transfer the steaks to dinner plates or a platter, and let rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.