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How to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet

How to cook a steak using cast iron cookware.

How to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet.

Cast iron skillets are great to use while camping or simply cooking outdoors.  Cast iron skillets make everything taste better.

Follow the steps below to learn how to cook steak in a cast iron skillet.

Before Cooking Your Steak

Choose a pan that is the same size as your burner.

Know the temperature you would like to cook your steak.

Hot Spots in a Cast Iron Pan?

Although cast iron heats quickly, undersized burners that cannot accommodate an entire skillet will not be able to heat the edges of the pan. Be sure to always choose a skillet that is the same size as the burner you are using to cook the steak, as this helps eliminate hot spots.

Temperature To Cook Your Steak.

While the length of time necessary to cook a steak varies upon the cut and thickness of the meat, there are a few basic temperature guidelines to keep in mind.

For recommended cooking times and temperatures, check out this chart:

Doneness Temp Turning Point 1/2″ 3/4″ 1″ 1 1/4″ 1 1/2″ 1 3/4″ 2″
Rare 125°F First Side 4 min 5 min 6 min 7 min 7 min 8 min 10 min
Second Side 3 min 4 min 5 min 5 min 6 min 7 min 8 min
Medium Rare 135°F First Side 5 min 6 min 7 min 8 min 8 min 9 min 11 min
Second Side 4 min 5 min 6 min 6 min 7 min 7 min 9 min
Medium / Medium Well 150°F First Side 6 min 7 min 8 min 8 min 9 min 9 min 12 min
Second Side 4 min 5 min 6 min 7 min 7 min 8 min 10 min
Well Done 160°F First Side 9 min 10 min 11 min 12 min 13 min 14 min 15 min
Second Side 7 min 8 min 9 min 10 min 11 min 12 min 13 min


Prepare Your Steak for Cooking

Properly preparing your meat is an important aspect of serving up a delicious steak. Season your steak liberally well in advance with salt and pepper. Begin by adding oil to your skillet and heating it on high until it shimmers and begins to smoke slightly. Allow your pan to get good and hot, as this is key to keeping the meat from sticking to the skillet.


With the oil hot, it’s time to introduce your favorite steak to the inviting hot oil and cast iron pan.  Hello, heat.






1.Pick the steak up by the bone.

2.Flip your steak using tongs every few minutes. Make sure to also cook the sides. You can do this by pressing each of the steak’s edges down against the skillet for a few minutes.

3.Use a spoon to baste your steak in the oil and its own juices as it continues to cook.

4.Use an internal meat thermometer to check the temperature of your steak.  This will help you cook your steak to the desired degree of doneness.

5.Spoon your aromatics and generous amounts of butter over the meat. Continue turning the steak as you season it.

6.Remove your steak from the pan and allow it to rest on a plate or cutting board for 10 minutes.

7.If you need to cut the steak into smaller pieces, use a fork to hold it and a sharp chef’s knife to slice from the meat’s center out to its edges.

12 thoughts on “How to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet

  1. mmm.. now I want steak! Great page, very visual.

    1. Thanks for stopping by my site.
      Yes, steaks are always great in a cast iron skillet. Food seems to taste better from cast iron. Yes, I try to keep it visual and simple and to the point. Thanks

  2. I love cooking in my cast iron skillet. However, I have never used it for cooking outdoors. I usually have cooked with it in the oven and on a stovetop! These cook times are perfect. I have almost always been guessing about whether or not my steak is done. Great guide!

    1. Glad you like the site and thanks for stopping by, Melinda.
      I absolutely love cooking with cast iron cookware and recommend it to everyone. We use it while at home and camping out and while at work on our BBQ food truck where I cook almost daily. So glad the cook times guide will work for you. If you see something that is not right, please let me know.
      Happy cooking and please come back soon.

  3. Great advice for cooking steak especially choosing a pan that is the same size as the burner. I hadn’t thought that that would be an issue.

    Also, where is the best place to get a thermometer like that?


    1. Thanks so much for stopping by my site, Owain.
      If you follow these instructions for cooking a steak on cast iron cookware, it will turn out just fine. It is important to use the proper sized pan based on the size of the skillet.
      Good luck with cooking and please stop by anytime for more recipes and directions for cooking more items on cast iron cookware. It is one of my favorites to use.

  4. I love these specific directions of how to cook steak, especially based on the size of the steak. Cooking in a cast iron skillet brings back so many memories of my grandmother cooking with these type of skillets. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by my site, Nate.
      Those steaks turn out so good.
      Seems to me like everything in cast iron taste better.
      I also can remember my grandmother that would cook in her favorite cast iron skillet.
      Hope you enjoyed the site, please come back to check out our cast iron recipes.

  5. Luckily I am reading this just before lunch. LOL. I usually flip once and finish in the oven. I don’t know it the oven is necessary with a cast iron skillet.
    I am going to try it this way. The addition of butter and the aromatics will make it worthwhile.

    1. Thanks for coming to my site, Tony.
      Sometimes reading some of these recipes and other writings with pictures sure will make you hungry. Careful.
      I sometimes have the tendency to place them in the oven as well, but I found out if you follow the recipe it will lead you to a great steak. Trust me.
      Good luck and enjoy your cooking.

  6. Iam not very good at cooking. You have provided a super clear and easy to follow insruction. I normally do ok with simply cooking instructions. The steak looks so yummy, will definitely have to try it out. I feel a ot hungry after reading your post. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I hope you learned something from my site and thanks for stopping by, Hong.
      This recipe is very easy to follow and will provide you with a really nice steak. It sometimes makes me hungry just looking at the pictures of these recipes I have on my site.
      Enjoy cooking and goo luck with the steak.

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