There are a few things you need to make the perfect steak: a good quality cut of meat, aromatic herbs for flavor, and of course, the right pan.
So, what are the best pans for searing steak? The best pans for searing steak are made with high-quality material that can withstand high temperatures for the perfect sear.
Read on for a detailed buyer’s guide on how to choose the best pans for searing steaks and our top picks of the best ones:
How To Sear Steak In A Pan?
Searing refers to the process of browning the meat quickly by subjecting it to very high heat in a pan, skillet, or under the broiler. The reason for doing this is to create a caramelized crust to seal in the meat’s juices.
It can often be a bit challenging to perfectly sear steak at home, but once you learn the basics and have the right tools, it should be a fairly easy process.
Here are step-by-step instructions for searing the perfect steak in a pan:
- Generously season the steak with salt and pepper.
- Add oil to a large pan and heat it over high heat until it starts to smoke a little.
- Place the steak in the pan and turn down the heat to medium-high.
- Add in the herbs and seasonings.
- After 45 seconds, move the steak around the pan and let it cook for a total of 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the steak and repeat the process.
- Remove the steak and let it rest on a plate before slicing and serving.
Note: the total time may vary depending on the type of steak and the level of doneness you want.
Tips For Searing Steak
Here are a few tips to follow to get the perfectly seared steak:
- Use quality meat. Look for well-marbled steak as the extra fat enhances the flavor and promotes tenderness. Some of the best beef cuts include NY strip, T-bone, sirloin, ribeye, flank, hangar, and skirt.
- Dry the steak before cooking. Moisture prevents the steak from developing the perfect brown crust, which is why it is important to dry it with paper towels before seasoning it.
- Season properly on both sides. Use ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper for every pound of meat. For thin steaks, you may add herbs and aromatics before cooking. For thicker steaks, leave the aromatics for later.
- Prepare a nice big pan. Choose a pan that retains heat well in order to brown the steak more evenly.
- Internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to sear your steak to the desired internal temperature based on the level of doneness (rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well-done).
- Rest the steak. When the steak is perfectly brown and cooked to your desired doneness level, transfer it to a plate, loosely cover it with aluminum foil, and let it for 5 minutes for thin steak and 10 minutes for thick steak.
- Slice against the grain and serve. After the meat has rested, cut it against the grain into slices and serve. You may leave it unsliced as well, depending on your preference.
Best Pans For Searing Steak – Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to cooking the perfect steak, the cut of meat is only one factor.
The cookware you use and how much heat it can take play a huge role in how juicy your steal will be on the inside and perfectly brown and crusty on the outside.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying the best pans for searing steak:
Pans come in several different types and styles. When choosing the best one for searing steaks, it is often a competition between two types – grill pans and fry pans or skillets.
You may choose a pan based on your preference and the type of steak you want. For instance, if you want grill marks on your steak, you know which one to choose!
The most common materials for pans used for searing steaks are aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and carbon steel.
Copper pans are also sometimes used due to their quick-heating ability, but they are susceptible to tarnish and need to be lined with aluminum.
Aluminum pans are a good option as they can warm up and cool down quickly, but have to be reinforced with magnetized steel if you want to use them on an induction cooker.
Cast iron pans are perfect for searing steaks since they retain heat very effectively, but they need seasoning and maintenance. A carbon steel pan offers the same benefits and is much easier to maintain.
Heat Distribution And Retention
The best pans for searing steak must have great heat distribution to promote even cooking. It helps eliminate hot spots that make some parts of the steak overcook while others are barely getting enough heat.
The pan you use must be made of a material that heats up evenly and retains the heat. Heat retention refers to the pan’s ability to hang on to heat very well, even when cold food is added to it.
The size of the pan will determine the amount and size of the steak you can cook in it. Ideally, steak pans are more spacious to be able to accommodate both big and small steaks and also make it easy to flip the steak for even cooking.
The size you get also depends on the number of people you will usually be cooking for. If you get a small-sized pan for a large family, you will be spending more time in the kitchen as you cook each steak separately.
It is also important to consider the size of your cooker when choosing the pan size. If you get a pan that is bigger than your cooker, it may take longer to heat up and result in uneven cooking.
Quality cookware can be expensive, which is why it is important to invest in steak pans that are durable and can withstand high heat.
You wouldn’t want to buy a new steak pan every month because the ones you buy get damaged, do you?
For this reason, you must make sure that the pan you buy is durable and can last a long time. Check the material of the pan and its construction to determine how durable it is.
Maintenance And Use
Pans used for searing steak will always collect grease and food residue, both of which can be difficult to clean. Consider getting a pan that is easy to clean without too much effort.
If you are getting a grill pan, keep in mind that their design and construction can often make them tough to clean after searing.
Good quality steak pans should also be easy to handle and must come with a handle to hold the pan while cooking.
Pans used for searing steaks are most commonly used on the cooktop, but there may be instances where you would want to grill or roast your steak in the oven.
Getting a pan that is versatile and can handle both the stove and the oven can get you more use out of one pan.
It is also helpful if the pan can do more than browning and searing. If it has vertical sides, it may be used for sauteing.
If it has slanting sides, it can be used for flipping omelets and pancakes. If it has deep, curved sides, you can use it to prepare a stir-fry.
Best Pans For Searing Steak
When looking for the best pan for searing steak, you have to consider what material the pan is made of, how much heat it can withstand, how big it is, how easy it is to use and maintain, and much more.
To help you choose, we have compiled a list of best pans for searing steak to make sure you always end up with restaurant-quality steak, even at home:
|1.||Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan||Perfect tool to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, and fry|
|2.||Lodge Pre-Seasoned Skillet||Has over 130,000 user reviews|
|3.||De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Frying Pan||Extra-large carbon steel pan particularly good for searing|
|4.||Tramontina Stainless Steel Fry Pan||Triple-ply pan made of 18/10 stainless steel|
|5.||Rachael Ray Cucina Deep Square Griddle Pan||Aesthetically pleasing griddle pan by world-famous TV chef|
|6.||T-fal Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet||Larger and less expensive|
|7.||Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Square Grill Pan||Made of anodized heavy-gauge aluminum with three layers of non-stick coating|
1. Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan
The perfect tool to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, and fry, the Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan is a high-quality pan from one of the most popular cookware brands on the market.
Made with cast iron, which is the best material for a steak pan due to its ability to hold heat for a long time, it is oven-safe and made to withstand high temperatures perfect for searing steak.
You can use it for stovetop frying as well as oven cooking, and it comes with two handles to make it easy to handle and maneuver.
2. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Skillet
Another pan from Lodge, this pre-seasoned skillet has over 130,000 user reviews and is a durable and versatile option when it comes to searing steaks.
Its offers excellent heat retention and comes pre-seasoned and ready-to-go with two handles and a spout for getting rid of excess oil.
It is available in different sizes and comes with add-ons such as covers and handle sleeves.
3. De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Frying Pan
De Buyer is another great brand of cookware and this extra-large one is particularly good for steaks.
It is made with carbon steel, which is a durable option with great heat retention, and is much smoother and lighter when compared to cast iron.
Treated with beeswax to prevent oxidation, it is naturally non-stick and makes for an easier clean-up.
Its size allows you to cook multiple pieces simultaneously and the curved sides make frying, sauteing, searing, and flipping easier.
4. Tramontina Stainless Steel Fry Pan
A triple-ply pan made of 18/10 stainless steel, this Tramontina pan is ideal for a variety of cooking techniques and particularly good for cooking steaks.
The aluminum sandwiched between the two layers of steel transmits heat much faster and more effectively, and the magnetized bottom surface makes it safe to use with an induction plate.
It can withstand temperatures in the oven to 500°F and can be safely washed in a dishwasher. It features a 10-inch-long ergonomic handle and comes with a lifetime warranty.
5. Rachael Ray Cucina Deep Square Griddle Pan
This aesthetically pleasing griddle pan by world-famous TV chef, Rachael Ray, is a great option for searing steaks.
With a silicone grip that comes in blue, orange, or red, not only does this pan give you perfectly char-grilled steaks but also adds a dash of color to your kitchen.
The diagonal ridges on the pan’s surface are arranged in a diamond-shaped pattern, giving your meat a nice crust that is full of flavor.
It is a hard-anodized aluminum pan with smooth and even heating and is oven-safe up to 400°F.
6. T-Fal Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet
The T-fal pre-seasoned cast iron pan has all the features of a good quality steak pan for an incredibly low price.
Compared to other more popular items, it is larger and less expensive and can be used on all types of stoves.
It is made with cast iron, which allows it to heat up evenly and consistently, and is also able to hold heat for a longer time.
It comes with a large, extra-long handle with easy-to-grip side helper handles and a signature thumb rest for easy handling.
Oven safe up to 600°F, it is PFOA and cadmium-free and has a pouring spout that allows easier transfer of contents.
7. Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Square Grill Pan
Another pan with great customer reviews, the Calphalon square grill pan is made of anodized heavy-gauge aluminum with three layers of non-stick coating for increased durability and even heating.
The deep ridges add an authentic grill flavor to your steaks and brown the crust evenly while locking all the delicious juices inside.
It is large enough to accommodate bigger steaks and the long, brushed stainless steel handles are designed to stay cool on the stovetop. It comes with a cover which, along with the pan itself, is also oven-safe.
There are so many different types of pans, but not all are suitable for searing steak. You must look for a pan with excellent heat retention and one that can withstand high temperatures without getting damaged.
A good quality pan is just as important as using a good quality cut of meat for making steak.
Keeping that in mind, we have made a list of the best pans for searing steaks, guaranteed to give you great results and even greater value for money.
The perfect combination of quality, durability, versatility, and ease of use, these pans will make it super easy to make restaurant-level seared steaks right in your home kitchen!