How to Cook Steak on the Stove

LAST UPDATED: Oct 01, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Feb 25, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Cooking steak in a pan is the easiest way to achieve a juicy, decadent steak without a grill. Learn how to cook an incredible steak on the stove with this easy steak recipe – no grill required for this pan fried steak! 

A flank steak after being pan fried.

Believe it or not, we don’t do a lot of grilling around here. I know my husband would enjoy doing more on the grill, but his work schedule rarely allows for experimentation in that area of our lives! 

While I agree that the flavor a grill imparts can add a certain distinctive char you can’t get anywhere else, I often think that grilling results in less than desirable results… or maybe that’s just us?!

Regardless, if you’ve ever eaten dried out steak or chicken from your grill, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We love steak for a delicious, filling high-protein entree. Check out these steak tacos and carne asada for my delicious steak dinner ideas!  

That’s why I have a tendency to lean on my workhorse of a range in the kitchen. When I know I can easily control the results, and I know how simple it can be to accomplish a delicious steak right in my kitchen, why not?

A closed up of pan fried steak, sliced.

I’m a fan of easy weeknight dinners that can be made in minutes, and this recipe is no exception. You know I’ve shown you a wide variety of easy dinner ideas over the years!

Just recently I’ve brought you these delicious steak sliders, incredible burgers, delicious zesty blackened chicken, and sweet and spicy chorizo tacos. We love when steak joins in the fun, too! 

A close up of sliced flank steak after being cooked on the stove.

Cooking Steak in a Pan

This pan seared steak is perfectly seasoned and can be used in a variety of ways for flavorful weeknight dinners your family will love. 

We love using this steak for my favorite carne asada tacos, but you can also add a simple side of roasted vegetables or Italian salad and make a filling, low carb dinner that feels decadent and yet full of protein.

A flank steak after being pan fried on the stove, sliced.

I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” right under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there!

What’s the Best Steak to Cook on the Stove?

For this method of cooking steak, I prefer to use flank steak because we like to slice it on the diagonal for things like tacos, sandwiches, etc. 

A flank steak after being pan fried on the stove, sliced, knife to the side.

Flank steak is very lean, so it marinates well, and we always like to cut it thin, which I think is the secret to a tender flank steak.

However, you can use any steak that you like as long as it’s a little thicker cut, which allows it to sear well on the exterior before cooking too far into the center! A few more options? 

  • skirt steak 
  • hanger steak
  • flatiron steak
  • NY strip steak 

A white platter with a pan fried flank steak.

Pan Fried Steak Seasoning or Marinade

It’s all about the marinade or seasonings from there, but this recipe isn’t really a recipe at all – it’s instructions for making your own pan fried steak. Season the steak however you’d like! 

Personally, we love to marinade our steaks for an extra way to lock in juices (simply blot with paper towels before throwing them into the pan), but many people like to season their steak dry… meaning it’s just a liberal coating of spices on the exterior without the addition of oil, vinegar, Worcestershire, etc.

You can use any kind of seasoning you like- but even a simple addition of salt and pepper will help create an incredibly simple, delicious finished steak.

A cast iron pan on the stove, cooking flank steak.

How to Cook Steak Steak in a Pan

  1. If you choose to marinade your steak, do that up to 24 hours in advance. If you’re adding a dry rub, you can coat the steak just before cooking.
  2. Heat stove top to medium high. 
  3. If you marinated, pat dry prior to adding to the pan.
  4. Add steak to skillet over medium high heat and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook four minutes on each side for medium rare, or go longer until it reaches your desired temperature. 
  5. Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest at room temperature 10 minutes.
  6. Slice thin across the grain.

A cast iron pan on the stove, cooking flank steak.

How Long Should You Let a Steak Rest?

There’s some debate about this question! Ask any chef and you’ll probably get a slightly varied answer from each one.

We like to leave our steak to rest for anywhere from 5-10 minutes. This allows the steak to continue cooking a little longer, and it lets the juices settle. 

A white platter with a pan fried flank steak.

What’s the Best Pan for Steak?

One of the most important secrets to learning how to cook steak on the stove? A quality cast iron skillet! That’s right… add steak to a sturdy cast iron pan, and your results are nearly guaranteed.

You might be wondering what makes this kind of pan so special! Well, cast iron is considered the best type of metal for even distribution of heat. It holds heat exceptionally well and prevents you from constantly turning your pan and messing with your steak while it cooks.

What this means for your steak is that it browns more evenly, creating a crust that can’t be replicated in any other pan!

I also love that my cast iron skillets so easily transfer from stove top to inside the oven. Find my favorite cast iron pieces in my shop

A cast iron pan on a French range, preparing to cook steak in a pan.

How to Cook Steak in a Pan: More Tips

  • Allow time to marinate the steak if that’s what you’re doing for added flavor. Set aside at least four hours or up to 24. This will really help to tenderize the steak and make it full of flavor.
  • Want to do a traditional dry rub? Check out my blackened seasoning or Cajun seasoning blend. So easy and so much flavor with no added fat or calories!
  • Once you have cooked the steak, allow it to rest for up to 10 minutes before slicing it across the grain.

A close up of sliced flank steak after being cooked on the stove.

Who’s the grill master in your house? (or are you like us, and it might not be your favorite?) I’d love to know! 

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If you try this pan fried steak recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too!

A flank steak after being pan fried.

How to Cook Steak on the Stove (Incredibly Juicy Pan Fried Steak)

Julie Blanner
Cooking steak in a pan is the easiest way to achieve a juicy, decadent steak without a grill. Learn how to cook an incredible steak on the stove with this easy steak recipe - no grill required for this pan fried steak! 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 207 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • marinade, salt and pepper, or spice rub

Instructions
 

  • If you choose to marinade your steak, do that up to 24 hours in advance. If you're adding a dry rub, you can coat the steak just before cooking.
  • Heat stove top to medium high. If you marinated, pat dry prior to adding to the pan.
  • Add steak to skillet over medium high heat and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Flip and cook four minutes on each side for medium rare, or go longer until it reaches your desired temperature. 
  • Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest at room temperature for up to 10 minutes.
  • Slice thin across the grain.

Notes

  • Allow time to marinate the steak if that's what you're doing for added flavor. Set aside at least four hours or up to 24. This will really help to tenderize the steak and make it full of flavor.
  • Want to do a traditional dry rub? Check out my blackened seasoning or Cajun seasoning blend. So easy and so much flavor with no added fat or calories! 
  • We like flank steak for cooking on the stove, but you can use a variety of other steak options! 
  • Once you have cooked the steak, allow it to rest for up to 10 minutes before slicing it across the grain.

Nutrition

Calories:207kcalProtein:32gFat:8gSaturated Fat:3gCholesterol:91mgSodium:80mgPotassium:516mgCalcium:32mgIron:2mg
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
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