How to Sear Steaks

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 steak, 1-inch thick

  • Oil

  • Coarse salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Grill (gas or charcoal)

  • Cast-iron skillet

  • Tongs

  • Oven mitts

Without a good sear, steak is just another piece of cooked meat, devoid of texture and strong flavor. The sear is what makes a good steak into a great steak. Searing helps to caramelize the natural sugars in the meat, which enhances the flavor. It also browns and crisps the outside of the meat, adding color and texture, as well as sealing in the steak's juices.Whether you cook your steak on the grill, or in a pan on the stove, searing will make your steaks flavorful and juicy.

Grilling Method

Step 1

Prepare the grill for high heat and close the lid to maintain the heat.

Step 2

Coat the steak with olive oil, then season with the salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 3

Place the steak on the hottest part of the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill and the flames flare up, move the steak with tongs away from the flame until it dies down.

Step 4

Sear on one side for two to three minutes, then flip over and sear the other side for the same amount of time. This will give you a rare steak. Add two minutes on each side for medium-rare, four minutes for medium and so forth.

Step 5

Remove the steak from the heat and let it rest for three to four minutes to allow the juices to distribute throughout the meat.

Pan Sear Method

Step 1

Place a casket-iron skillet in the oven and turn the oven on to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Rub oil on the steak and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven with oven mitts and place on a burner on the stove, turned on high.

Step 4

Place the steak in the hot pan using tongs and cook for one to two minutes on each side.

Step 5

Place the cast iron skillet back into the oven to finish the steak and cook for another three to five minutes for medium-rare. Add an additional two minutes for medium, and another two minutes for well-done.


Always bring steaks to room temperature before cooking.

Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate way to measure the temperature of the steak.

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