How to Pan-Grill Steak


There is something special about a steak hot from the grill, glistening and filling the air with savory smells. Both gas and charcoal grills give excellent results, but unfortunately it's not always practical to use one. For occasions when steaks must be cooked indoors, a cast iron or cast aluminum grill pan can be a perfectly acceptable substitute. These are essentially skillets with parallel rows of heavy ridges running along their width. The ridges allow fats to drain from the meat, duplicating the healthiness of grilling, while also providing the dark grill marks that make a steak attractive to the eye.

Things You'll Need

  • One steak per person
  • Grill pan
  • Paper towel
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Other seasonings, if desired
  • Serving platter
  • Aluminum foil
  • Select suitably tender steaks, such as sirloin, rib or strip. Pat the surfaces dry with paper towel. Season lightly with pepper or other seasoning mixture, as desired. Do not use salt yet, as it will draw moisture to the surface of the meat.

  • Preheat the grill pan on a hot burner until it begins to smoke. Place the steaks on the grill pan, angled so that the ridges in the pan will make diagonal marks on the steak. Do not crowd the steaks. Use more than one pan if necessary.

  • Sear the steaks until the ridges have made clear grill marks on their surface. Rotate the steaks 90 degrees on the cooking surface, to create a restaurant-style grid of grill marks. This usually done by starting the steaks angled toward the grill's 7 o'clock position, then rotating them to the 11 o'clock position.

  • Cook until the first side is well marked, and the surface of the steak is browned between the grill marks At the side of the steak, there will be a line showing where the cooked portion meets the raw portion. The steak is ready to turn when the cooked line reaches the halfway mark.

  • Turn the steaks, and season lightly with salt. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until they have reached the desired degree of doneness. Remove the steaks to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Rest the steaks for 2 to 5 minutes before serving, depending on thickness. Some cooking juices will remain on the platter. These may be spooned or poured over the steaks as they are served.

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