How to Perfectly Sear a Steak

December 15, 2014

This article is brought to you by our friends at Electrolux as part of an ongoing series focusing on seasonal ingredients for the holidays. This month we're talking chocolate.

Today: Get the best sear on your steak -- here's how.


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There are few things as satisfying as a perfectly seared thick-cut steak with a browned, crisp crust. And few things that taste as good: That caramelized crust is where a lot of your steak’s flavor is hiding. Getting a good sear is simple if you remember just a few tips. First, always use enough fat, and make sure to get your pan screaming hot before you drop the steak in. And open a window: It will smoke, but isn’t that what makes cooking fun? 

Watch how to get it right, and then apply the technique to every steak you make from this day forward -- your future dinners will thank you. 

This article was brought to you by Electrolux, who's all about great taste and the appliances to help you make beautiful meals in your own kitchen. Learn more here.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Nancy September 10, 2016
I have a glass cook top and can't use cast iron on it. Could I use my cast iron under the broiler to sear, would that work?
William K. June 4, 2015
PS, No need to let it rest after searing also.
William K. June 4, 2015
My favorite way to sear steak is to roast it on low temp in the oven first at 225 degrees in a pan, time varies with thickness of course. Then let it cool. Heat up your cast iron pan very hot then sear. Will be beautifully evenly med rare red throughout the steak with that crispy sear we desire.
I U. June 4, 2015
The article is sponsored by ELECTROLUX - aren't they known for vacuums? Maybe that's the problem here, housekeepers aren't chefs...
Floyd F. June 4, 2015
Darn. You guys are brutal.
Lindsay-Jean H. December 16, 2014
This is a reminder to everyone that we consider ourselves to be a "constructive community." That means, among other things, that while we welcome constructive feedback, we also expect comments to be kind and fitting of the tone of our supportive community.
I U. December 16, 2014
I guess that's why he's doing videos instead of working in a restaurant...
arcane54 December 15, 2014
That's not rust KDH9966; I believe those are carbon steel utensils and the discoloration is part of their charm (aka patina).
KDH9966 December 15, 2014
And the rusty utensils didn't make it anymore appetizing lol
Mike V. December 15, 2014
Yea, that video was pretty lame for a variety of reasons..
First of all - pan seared steak should be in a cask iron skillet - properly seasoned, no oil added.
Steak for two -
Inch and a half thick porterhouse
the hottest possible pan - I do it outside on the side grill of my weber.
4 minutes/4 minutes pop in a 225f warm oven for 10 while you finish dinner.
Ellen G. December 15, 2014
Is a cask iron skillet anything like a cast iron skillet?
Mike V. December 15, 2014
I always have bourbon on my mind.
B S. December 15, 2014
Looks like a terrier to me!
Mike V. December 17, 2014
We think he's part Pappiollon and Jack Russell.. :)
Mike V. December 17, 2014
Papillon. Not sure what my fingers were doing there..
irina December 15, 2014
that was incredibly stupid! LOL
Tammi December 15, 2014
Are you serious?
Joe L. December 15, 2014
Thank you for the info, I've never turn the heat on, I guess that's what I've been doing wrong.
nancy E. December 15, 2014
you crack me up Joe. It was pretty infantile