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Cooking Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet

You may have heard that cooking steak in a cast iron skillet is an excellent alternative to grilling, and it is. But are you wondering how to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet? Everything you need to know is right here.

Cooking steak in a cast iron pan is ideal because cast iron heats very evenly and retains heat exceptionally well. A pre-heated cast iron skillet provides the intense heat needed to sear the exterior of a steak to a crispy, flavorful golden-brown while also cooking the interior to perfection. This method works very well with steaks 1–1½ inches thick.

You can also cook steak in a cast iron skillet and oven. This is especially useful when using the Reverse Sear technique, which is terrific for thick-cut steaks, including Filet Mignon Steaks over 2 inches thick and Extra-Thick Cut Bone-In Ribeye Steaks, also known as Cowboy-Cut Steaks or Tomahawk Steaks.

Follow the instructions below, and soon you'll be a pro at cooking steaks with cast iron. We've also included a chart that will tell you the cooking temperatures and times required. Be sure to use a meat thermometer for the best results. The steak of your dreams is a cast iron pan away.

If you know what specific cut of steak you are cooking, visit our How to Cook Steaks page and select the cut of steak for more specific instructions!

Thawed Steaks

Thaw steak before cooking

Be sure your steak is completely thawed before cooking. We recommend thawing in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Once thawed, remove your steak from the refrigerator approximately 30–40 minutes before cooking to allow the steak to come to room temperature.
Seasoned steak

Season your steak as desired

Season your steak based on preferences; we recommend a generous serving of our Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
Preheat skillet.

Preheat the cast iron skillet

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until hot, for about 5 minutes. A scorching skillet delivers the best sear when cooking steak in a cast iron skillet.
Steaks in skillet.

Place steaks in coated, hot skillet

Add 1–2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to the pan (enough to coat the bottom) and immediately place your steak in the hot skillet.
Cook steaks.

Cook steaks based on the desired doneness

Cook the steak until the internal temperature reaches 5°F lower than the temperature recommended based on your desired doneness, as listed in the Cooking Times Chart below, turning once for 1-inch-thick steaks and occasionally for thicker steaks.
Rest steaks.

Remove and rest the steak for 5–10 minutes

Remove and rest the steak for 5–10 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking").

Resting your steak is important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface; if you slice into it immediately after cooking, those flavorful juices will end up on your plate, not in your steak. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.

The final internal temperature of your steak should match your desired level of doneness, as listed in the cast iron Cooking Times Chart below. We recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure your steak is cooked to perfection.

Carved steak.

Carve your steak and serve!

Once the steak has rested, it's time to carve. Ensure your carving knife is sharp. See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert Tips for Carving a Steak.

Steak Cooking Times Chart in Cast Iron Skillets

Cooking times for Cast Iron Steaks are provided in the chart below. Stick to the specified steak cooking times and use a meat thermometer and the Measuring Doneness Chart below to achieve the perfect steak doneness. Additionally, you can find cut specific steak cooking recommendations for each cut on our How To Cook Steaks page.


Cast-Iron Skillet on the Stove
6–11 mins
1½ inches
12–14 mins
8–13 mins
1½ inches
14–16 mins
9–14 mins
1½ inches
15–17 mins
11–16 mins
1½ inches
17–19 mins

How to Cook Steaks by Cut

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