Ultimate Pan-Seared Steak: Master the Perfect Crust

Best Method for Pan-Seared Steaks - Tender & Juicy Steak Recipe

Elevate your steak game with this foolproof method for achieving a mouthwatering crust and juicy interior. Learn the secrets to searing Pan-Seared Steak like a pro!

Steak lovers, rejoice! We’re diving deep into the art of the perfect pan-seared steak. Forget everything you thought you knew – we’re about to revolutionize your steak game with science-backed techniques and chef-approved tips.

The Salting Revelation: Timing is Everything

One of the most hotly debated topics in steak preparation is when to salt. After extensive testing, we’ve cracked the code:

  • Salt immediately before cooking for a clean, hard sear.
  • Salt at least 40 minutes before cooking for enhanced flavor penetration.
  • The sweet spot: Salt overnight for the ultimate in tenderness and flavor.

Avoid salting between 3 and 40 minutes before cooking – this is the danger zone where moisture on the surface can inhibit that beautiful crust we’re after.

Searing Secrets: The Path to Crust Perfection

Forget the myths – here’s what really matters for achieving steakhouse-quality results:

  • Use a heavy-bottomed pan for even heat distribution.
  • Get your oil smoking hot before adding the steak.
  • Flip frequently for more even cooking and faster results.
  • Add butter towards the end for a flavor boost without burning.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to sear the fatty edges! Hold the steak upright with tongs to give that delicious fat cap the attention it deserves.

The Great Doneness Debate: To Poke or Not to Poke?

Contrary to popular belief, using a fork to flip your steak won’t cause significant moisture loss. However, for the most accurate results, invest in a good digital thermometer. The “cut and peek” method can be misleading due to carryover cooking.

Perfect Pan-Seared Steaks Recipe


  • 2 bone-in ribeye steaks, at least 1 1/2 inches thick, about 1 pound (450g) each (see note)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
  • A few thyme sprigs and sliced shallots (optional)


  1. Prep your steaks: Pat dry with paper towels and season generously with salt. Let them rest at room temperature for 40 minutes to 2 hours. For next-level results, salt and refrigerate overnight on a rack, then bring to room temperature 40 minutes before cooking.
  2. Create the perfect sear: Heat oil in a large skillet until it’s smoking hot. Season steaks with pepper, then add to the pan. Flip every 15-30 seconds, searing all sides (including the edges) until you achieve a beautiful brown crust. Cook to your desired doneness: 110°F (43°C) for rare or 130°F (54°C) for medium. This typically takes 6-12 minutes, depending on thickness.
  3. Finish with flair: Add butter and aromatics (if using) to the pan. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes, flipping often to coat the steaks. Transfer to a warm plate and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


While this recipe calls for ribeye, you can use the same technique with porterhouse, T-bone, tenderloin, or strip steak. Aim for steaks at least 1.5 inches thick – thicker steaks are easier to cook to the perfect doneness.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1149 Calories
91g Fat
0g Carbs
84g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1149
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 91g 116%
Saturated Fat 37g 186%
Cholesterol 296mg 99%
Sodium 764mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 84g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 47mg 4%
Iron 8mg 45%
Potassium 954mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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