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How to Perfectly Cook Steak In a Cast Iron Skillet

How to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet. This method works well for cooking Delmonico, Rib-eye, T-bone, Porterhouse, or Flat Iron steaks.

Seasoned Delmonico steaks

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Need an idea for date night? Steak is sure to impress. This is one of our favorite meals to make for a date night at home. You can customize it however you want. Add some grilled shrimp or mashed red skin potatoes and you’ll feel like you’ve brought the steakhouse to your house.

Two seared Delmonico steaks in a hot cast iron skillet

 This is really more of a method than a recipe that you can customize to your own taste. We like our steaks medium-rare but you can increase or decrease the cooking time a little to suit yourself.

What you need to cook steak in a cast iron skillet

-Steak (See more below)
-Salt and pepper
-Cast Iron Skillet big enough to fit your steaks
That’s it!

About the steak

Thick-cut steak: no more than 1″/2.5cm thick, because these cook entirely on the stove (thicker cuts would need to be finished in the oven.)
Ideal steak cuts:  Delmonico, rib-eye, porterhouse, T-bone.  If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option try flat iron.

Delmonico vs. Ribeye

Delmonico: Typical Delmonico steak is often a thick cut of beef that can come from many parts of the steer including the shoulder, the sirloin, the top loin, the short loin, the rib, or the chuck. Depending on where you live, Delmonico steak can be any of these and is usually a more lean cut of steak and very flavorful.
Ribeye: Ribeye steak is from the cow’s rib section and is rich, juicy, and full-flavored with generous marbling throughout. Often sold bone-in.

  1. Bring to room temperature – This enables the steak to be cooked through evenly.
  2. Pat dry and season the steak generously with salt and pepper – this helps form that amazing crust we all know and love about great steaks; Don’t be afraid of the seasoning!
  3. Get your cast-iron skillet SMOKING hot before putting in the steak – this is what will really form that beautiful, brown crust.
  4. Take the steak off the stove BEFORE your desired internal temperature because the internal temperature will continue to increase a little as it rests.
  5. REST your steak for 5 minutes to keep the juices from running out of the meat. Don’t skip this step or your meat will become dry.

How do you like your steak?

  • Rare (125°-130°F) A steak cooked to “rare” is very pink in the middle
  • Medium Rare (130°-140°F) A “medium rare” steak will still be pink and will be warm in the center.
  • Medium (140°-150°F) A steak cooked “medium” will be mostly pink with brown around the edge
  • Medium Well (150°-160°F) Will be mostly brown in the center
  • Well (Over 160°F) …maybe you’d like chicken instead? Just kidding! It will be brown and very chewy in texture

About the cast-iron skillet

  1. It’s important to preheat your cast-iron skillet on medium heat until the handle begins to get hot to the touch, and then turn it up to high heat.  This avoids causing an expansion crack and you can be sure your pan is heated to an even temperature.
  2. Be prepared and don’t worry, your skillet is going to smoke.  That’s good, it’s what you want. Turn on a fan and you’re ready to go!

If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, and you cook at home, get one. They are so versatile and if they are treated properly they will last forever. I’d say it’s in the top 5 kitchen items I wouldn’t want to live without.

If you want a suggestion for a cast-iron skillet I recommend this one:
steak cast iron skillet how to


seared steak

We like to serve these steaks with green beans cooked with garlic, arugula salad with shaved parmesan and balsamic dressing, or oven-roasted potatoes. It’s fast, simple and so delicious.

Stovetop Garlic Green Beans

Here are our favorite potato recipes to serve as a side dish with steak.

RECIPE for steak in a cast iron skillet

Delmonico steak
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5 from 8 votes

Steak In a Cast-Iron Skillet

How to cook steak perfectly in a cast-iron skillet
Servings 4 people


  • 2-4 1" thick steaks
  • Sea Salt enough to coat the steak
  • Cracked black pepper enough to give the steak a good coating


  • If steaks are frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Preheat a cast-iron skillet on medium heat until the handle begins to get hot to the touch, then turn it up to high heat. It is important to preheat the skillet on medium to avoid causing an expansion crack. Be prepared for the skillet to smoke.
  • Pat the steaks with a paper towel until they are dry. Apply a generous coating of fine cracked pepper and sea salt to both sides and press it in.
  • When skillet is smoking hot, place steaks in the skillet. Avoid crowding.
  • Cook time varies by thickness. For a one inch thick steak to medium, seer each side 4 to 5 min. Flip once.
  • To retain juices, allow steaks to rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting them.

Pair It With a Classic Cocktail –

How to Make an Old Fashioned with Simple Syrup

old fashioned with orange peel

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  1. I can honestly say I have never cooked a steak before and I am not great at cooking in cast iron, so I need all the tips I can get!

  2. Barbra-Sue says:

    Really great tip! Most people dont warm the meat.

  3. Yum so delicious!! Great recipe for steaks 😉

  4. Ok, crazy timing because yesterday I was just telling my husband that we needed to learn to cook steak in a cast iron since we don’t have a grill yet. We are definitely going to try this soon! 🥰

    1. That’s amazing, you’ll have to let me know how it goes! 🙂

  5. I will be honest, I have never tried the cast-iron skillet for steak. Emily’s instructions have enticed me to try it!

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