How to Cook a Steak

Let’s face it, every man should know how to cook a steak. It should be no surprise either because after all men have been loving red meat as long as the sun has been shining. You would think perfecting the steak would be already ingrained in our DNA, but it isn’t. But fear not my friend, Ploomy’s got your back. Here are the basics on how to cook a steak.

Step #1

Prepare your steak by seasoning it (at room temperature) with a nice rub of salt and pepper. Be sure to coat the steak with a healthy bit of olive oil.

Remember: Know your cuts. How you cook a rib eye will be different than how you cook a filet mignon, porterhouse or top sirloin. If you plan on finishing off your steak in the oven, then preheat it to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit now.

Step #2

Heat up your pan on high for a couple minutes and then add your steak. It should sizzle instantaneously. Don’t be alarmed if it sounds like there’s too much crackling going on. This is a good thing and lets you know a nice crust is forming underneath.

Remember: Whatever you do, do not move the steak around like a puck (you’re not playing hockey). Using a stainless steel skillet is better since non-sticks don’t achieve the higher heat temperatures as well.

Step #3

After a few minutes, use some tongs to check that the underside is cooked. You should see some nice golden brown action going on. If you don’t see it, then leave it alone for another minute or so.

Remember: The amount of time you cook the steak will depend on the cut, the type of pan and whether you’re using an electric or gas stove.

Step #4

Turn the steak over and allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Or if you wanted to finish off your steak in the oven, this is where you would do that. Just make sure your pan is oven safe or use a baking dish.

Remember: If you’re going for medium rare then you’re looking for a warm red or pinkish center which registers about 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Here is a great temperature chart to refer to if you want to get it just right.

Step #5

Take the steak off the pan and allow it to rest for at least 5-10 minutes. This is very important.

Remember: Once you remove the steak from the pan or oven, it is still cooking on the inside. It is imperative that you don’t cut right into it and allow all the heat and moisture to escape.

If you’d like to add some of your helpful tips, be sure to leave a comment. Just don’t go all Alton Brown on us.


15 Responses to “Manducation: How to Cook a Steak”

  1. James B on June 24th, 2008 7:48 pm

    Well timed stergeron.

    I just picked up a few sirloins and am going to grill them up this week. This is pretty much exactly how I do it. The only thing I would add is to try using a grilling pan, the kind with the ridges, to simulate those tasty looking grill lines.

  2. Gemini Pinai on June 24th, 2008 7:49 pm

    Sounds delish. I like me a man who can make a good steak. (It puts less pressure on me to cook it!)

  3. LC on June 24th, 2008 9:07 pm

    This is just how I cook my steak. With the leftover drippings from the pan, you can make gravy – just add some flour, milk, and mushrooms!

  4. msegreto on June 25th, 2008 8:12 am

    Sometimes I simmer some garlic in olive oil, add salt and pepper, add some other spices like oregano and then pour it on top of the steak when it’s done cooking. Gives it some nice flavor.

  5. reegsta on June 25th, 2008 9:55 am

    damn i’m hungry. another thing is prior to seasoning it, you should pat dry the steak to remove excess wetness. not sure why, but i just heard it somewhere haha

  6. MrBrOCCOLI on June 25th, 2008 12:02 pm

    i season the steak with salt when transferring the steak to the oven (after the pan-frying each side) or when i’m RIGHT about the cook the steak, since salt tends to dry out the meat (osmosis)

  7. stergeron on June 25th, 2008 12:11 pm

    @James – Good point. Grill marks do definitely add a nice touch.

    @LC – Nice tip on using the drippings for gravy.

    @Reegsta – I believe you don’t have to wash the steak out of the package, but does anyone know what the rule on that is?

    @MRBroccoli – Interesting, I’ve never tried that.

  8. share-bare on June 25th, 2008 1:19 pm

    too bad u didn’t write a tutorial on how to bbq! men who know how to bbq and use the grill are HOT to the ness! major turn on for me….

  9. BF on June 25th, 2008 4:42 pm

    I am going to try this out this weekend. I really like garlic so I may incorporate that somehow into the recipe. I think adding your own personal flavors into the recipe is good as long as it doesn’t over power the natural flavor of the steak itself.

  10. Andy on June 30th, 2008 9:03 am

    This is a good overview. Don’t be afraid of almost charring the underside of the steak a bit. I prefer mine that way and the middle medium rare. If you finish off the oven be careful not to leave it in there too long since it is still cooking. You really don’t have to put it in that long.

  11. Marie on July 9th, 2008 2:26 pm

    opps..i know i don’t follow step 5…ever! i cut into in the pan to see if it’s ready and forget about it, i cut into it an start plating it the second its done.

    i think i’ll print out that temperature chart too.

    thanks for this article…now i can cook my man a mean steak!

  12. Celticdawg on August 5th, 2008 6:44 pm

    Good Article! If you want some more references for cooking steak, buy the Barbeque Bible by Steven Raichlen. He also has a website:

    He explains things in simple terms and everything I have tried of his has been fantastic…especially the Beer Can Chicken!!

  13. Celticdawg on August 5th, 2008 6:47 pm

    Oh… and no. Do not wash the steak. No need.

  14. Another 15 Songs to Get You Pumped Up : ploomy - what men need to know on August 14th, 2008 9:17 am

    [...] this track will help you do any stunt or trick. Mike Shinoda’s track might not help you learn How to Cook a Steak, it will probably be a perfect background track for firing up the barby and sizzlin’ that [...]

  15. Read This Link » Manducation: How to Cook a Steak on January 9th, 2010 4:54 pm

    [...] Manducation: How to Cook a Steak [...]

NOTE: We'd rather not moderate, but off-topic, blatantly inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate comments may be removed. Let's add value. Thank you.