Pan Seared Strip Steaks
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Pan-searing a strip or rib-eye steaks usually leads to a smoky, grease-splattered kitchen—but it doesn’t have to. To devise a fast, mess-free method for achieving deeply seared, rosy meat, we started the steak in a “cold” (not preheated) nonstick skillet over high heat and flipped it every 2 minutes; that way, the meat’s temperature increased gradually, allowing a crust to build up on the outside without overcooking the interior. Because we were cooking in a nonstick skillet, it wasn’t necessary to lubricate the skillet with oil; plus, the well-marbled meat exuded enough fat to achieve a good sear, and adding more simply
encouraged splatter. We started cooking over high heat to burn off moisture and prevent the steak from steaming but quickly lowered the heat to medium; at this temperature, the meat kept sizzling, but there was no risk of the fat smoking. Before serving, we sliced the steak and sprinkled it with coarse sea salt so that every bite was well seasoned.
2 (12- to 16-ounce) boneless strip steak, 1½ inches thick, trimmed
1 teaspoon pepper
- Pat steaks dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with pepper. Place steaks 1 inch apart in cold nonstick skillet. Place skillet over high heat and cook steaks for 2 minutes. Flip steaks and cook on second side for 2 minutes. (Neither side of steaks will be browned at this point.)
- Flip steaks, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook, flipping steaks every 2 minutes, until browned and meat registers 120 to 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 4 to 10 minutes longer. (Steaks should be sizzling gently; if not, increase heat slightly. Reduce heat if skillet starts to smoke.)
- Transfer steaks to carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice steaks, season with coarse or flake sea salt to taste, and serve.
Photo Credit: Carl Tremblay