Steaks make a perfect main course for any weeknight or a special occasion. A nice steak dinner can be as special as a birthday treat or just a quick dinner on a Monday night. Whatever reason might be, pick your favorite steak and learn to make it in the oven. Making steak in the oven is quick and easy, no grill needed.
If you like steaks with sauces and special toppings for steaks, make sure to check out my Rib Eye Steaks with Mushrooms and Onions and Steaks with The Best Cream Sauce. After you perfect making steaks in the oven, learn how to make your best steaks on the grill.
STEAK FOR DINNER
If it was up to my husband, we would have steaks for dinner every single day. On our honeymoon, he actually did have steak for lunch and dinner every single day. So naturally, every Father’s day and/or his birthday, I make a point to cook him his favorite steak.
Because of how fast and easy it is to make a gorgeous and the best tasting steak in the oven, you can actually make it any day or the week. No need to go out to a fancy restaurant and it doesn’t have to be a special occasion. What makes the steak special above all, is the meat itself. The rest is up to the preparation.
So the first thing to do when planning a steak dinner is to pick your favorite cut of beef. Everyone in my family prefers a different cut of steak. Some like ribeye, some like tenderloin steak, and others prefer a strip steak. (Pictures in this article are of the strip steak.)
I usually ask my butcher to cut me thicker cuts of strip steak and ribeye but when getting a pre-cut steaks, those tend to be thinner. Feel free to ask the butcher in your grocery store’s meat department and most of them will be happy to cut you a new piece to your specifications.
No matter which steak you are choosing, try to pick out the piece with more fine marbling of fat throughout the piece.
WHAT STEAK TO CHOOSE
There are many, many cuts of steaks out there but when it comes to a simple cooked steak, these are our top four. These steaks are beautiful on their own and don’t require any excessive seasoning or sauces. Simply cook the steak and serve it with your favorite side.
Ribeye steak – juicy and tender steak that is sliced from from the primal rib section. This cut of steak has a good amount of marbling throughout and can be served on bone or without bone. For best tasting steak, you are looking for a lot of fine marbling of fat throughout the slice as opposed to thick fat lines concentrated in certain areas.
Top Sirloin – also known as sirloin, this cut comes from the primal loin section located in the upper middle part of the cow. It’s a flavorful and juicy cut of beef that is as good cooked whole as it is cut into pieces and cooked as a kebab. This cut of steak is leaner than a ribeye cut and therefore, not quite as tender when cooked. Top sirloin is also much more tender than bottom sirloin so don’t mistake the two.
New York Strip – also knows as strip steak, it’s one of the more tender cuts of beef that comes from the area below the backbone. Same area as other tender cuts like tenderloin, T-Bone, and Porterhouse steaks come from. If you’re familiar with a T-bone steak, strip steak is the larger piece of meat on the side of the T-bone. One side of the T-bone is the strip steak and the other side is the tenderloin.
Filet Mignon – also known as a tenderloin steak. A true Filet Mignon comes from the smaller, narrower end of the tenderloin. This is the leanest and yet, the most tender piece of steak. And for that reason, it’s usually the more expensive one.
HOW TO COOK STEAK IN THE OVEN
Cast Iron Skillet – the best pan for cooking the steak is the cast iron skillet. It is easy to go from stove-top to the oven, hold the heat very well, and cooks evenly throughout.
Leave-in Thermometer – if you’re cooking meats in the oven or grill on regular bases, invest in a leave-in thermometer. It’s actually not very expensive at all but a great thing to have. The meat temperature is measured the whole time it’s cooking and the timer will alert you when the temperature is reached. No need to open the oven and let the air out just to check the temperature.
If you do not have a leave-in thermometer, use a regular meat thermometer to take the temperature of the steaks. Just make sure to take the skillet out of the oven to take the temperature and close the oven door to keep the heat in.
Metal Tongs – tongs are best to use to flipping the steaks and holding it in place while inserting the meat thermometer. Use metal tongs to hold the steak in place while cutting it as well.
Prepare The Steak
Take the steaks out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Cold meat will seize if it hits high heat suddenly so for the best results, remember to take out the steaks and let them warm up.
Simply leave the steaks on the cutting board for about 30 minutes. When ready to start cooking, pat each steak dry with a paper towel all around and season steaks generously with salt and pepper on all the sides.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
So much wonderful flavor is going to come from searing the meat at high heat.
Make sure that your cast iron skillet is seasoned well before every use. Preheat skillet on stove-top over medium-high heat and add a little bit of oil to the bottom.
Add steaks to the hot skillet and sear for 30-45 seconds on each side.
Finish steaks in the oven
Once both sides have been seared, insert the leave-in thermometer through the side of the steak, towards the middle. Move the skillet into the pre-heated oven.
Set the thermometer to the desired temperature. If you are not using a leave in thermometer, you will need to manually take the temperature of the steak. Take the skillet out of the oven and close the oven door. Take the temperature by inserting thermometer through the side of the steak, towards the middle.
Once steaks reach desired temperature, take them out of the skillet immediately and let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it. Add a couple of thin slices of butter on each steak while it’s resting.
NOTE: It is impossible to tell you how long it will take for the steak to reach the temperature because every steak is different size and different thickness. Time can vary so much, it could take as fast as 5-6 minutes or as long as 15 minutes. It depends on desired temperature as well as the steak itself.
125°-130° = Rare
135°-140° = Medium-rare
145°-150° = Medium
150°-155° = Medium-well
160°-165° = Well
(*First number is when to take it out of the oven.)
SIDE DISH RECIPES TO SERVE WITH STEAK
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Cooking Steak In The Oven
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Leave-in Meat Thermometer
- Metal tongs
- 16 oz steak - ribeye, top sirloin, strip steak, or tenderloin filet
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp canola oil for cooking
- 1 tbsp salted butter
Prepare the steak
- Take the steaks out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Cold meat will seize in it hits high heat suddenly so for the best results, remember to let it warm up.
- When ready to start cooking, pat each steak dry with a paper towel all around.
- Season steaks generously with salt and pepper on all the sides.
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
Sear the steak
- Make sure that your cast iron skillet is seasoned well before every use. Preheat skillet on stove-top, over medium-high heat and add a little bit of oil to the bottom.
- Add steaks to the hot skillet and sear for 30-45 seconds on each side.
Finish in the oven
- Once both sides have been seared, insert the leave-in thermometer through the side of the steak, towards the middle. Move the skillet into the pre-heated oven.
- Set thermometer to the desired temperature. *If you are not using a leave in thermometer, you will need to manually take the temperature of the steak. Take the skillet out of the oven and close the oven door. Take the temperature by inserting thermometer through the side of the steak, towards the middle.
- Once steaks reach desired temperature, take them out of the skillet immediately and let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it. You can let steaks rest on the cutting board or on the plate.
- Add slices of butter to the top of each steak while it's resting.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on June 7th, 2019. Updated May 11, 2020.