Cooking steak in cast iron is a game-changer for thick and juicy steak. Our cast iron steak recipe uses ribeye steak that’s seasoned with homemade steak seasoning and then seared and cooked in a hot cast iron skillet in garlic butter and herbs.
Hello, steak lovers! If you aren’t cooking your steaks in a cast iron skillet, you’re missing out! This method leaves you with a thick, brown crust and juicy tender meat on the inside.
We love this method for cooking steak because your secret weapon is an everyday cast iron pan. Cast iron skillets heat very evenly (unlike a grill, for example) and they can also get VERY hot, which is essential for a good sear.
Plus, we recommend cooking your steak in a herbed butter that is oh-so easy to make and adds so much depth to your steak.
What You Need to Make Cast Iron Steak
- Steak: we’ve used many different cuts of steak in the cast iron and our favorite is ribeye because of it’s marbling and fat content.
- Homemade steak seasoning: some people prefer just salt and pepper on their steak, but we are big fans of taking the flavor up a notch with our homemade steak seasoning. Not only does it add great flavor, but it helps to create a delicious crust on the steak.
- Butter: butter, butter, butter. Though you initially sear the steak in oil, eventually you spoon melted butter over the steak as it sears. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
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Best Types Beef for Cooking Steak in Cast Iron
If you’re wondering what other kinds of steak you can use for this method, check out some we recommend below. We love using a thicker steak with a bit of marbling — a little extra fat adds so much to the flavor.
- Ribeye steak
- New York Strip
- Sirloin steak
- Flank (check out our Grilled Flank Steak recipe)
- Skirt steak
- T-bone steaks
- Tri-tip steak
- Filets mignons
3 Tips Cast Iron Steak
- Don’t sear a cold steak: be sure to remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before searing the steak to bring it to room temperature.
- Don’t overcook: when in doubt, keep an eye on the internal temperature of your steak. We like to keep a meat thermometer on hand at all times while searing a steak to make sure we can sear it to the perfect temp
- Let Rest: always let your steak rest once you’re done grilling so that it can continue cooking 5ºF more. Letting your meat rest also helps make your steak super juicy.
Steak Internal Temp
Everyone is different when it comes to how they like their steak. We are big fans of a medium-rare steak, but check the internal temperature of your steak when it’s almost done.
Medium Rare: 140ºF
Well Done: 165ºF
Remember, as your steak rests after it’s done cooking, the internal temperature will continue to raise around 5ºF.
Cast Iron Steak FAQ
How long do you cook a steak in cast iron?
The amount of time it takes to cook a steak in a cast iron will vary depending on the thickness of the steak. For a thicker steak (1-1.5 inches) like ribeye, start with 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway. Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature at your desired doneness — 155ºF for medium.
How long to cook steak in cast iron for medium rare?
For a 1-1.5 inch steak, we recommend starting with 3 minutes per side. But, always use a meat thermometer and cook your steak until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF.
Do you use butter or oil when cooking steak in a cast iron skillet?
Both butter and oil can be used to cook steak in a cast iron skillet.
Serve Your Cast Iron Skillet Steak with…
PS: we love using the leftover steak in this recipe for our steak salad!
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Cast Iron Steak Recipe
- 1 tablespoon steak seasoning
- 2 ribeye steaks ~1.5 lbs.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Add all of the ingredients for the steak seasoning into a jar or small bowl and mix.
- Season both sides of the steaks with 1 tablespoon of steak seasoning. Massage the seasoning into the steaks and be sure they are completely coated. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- While the steak is resting, add the butter, thyme, and garlic to a bowl and mix with a fork or spoon until combined. Set aside.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat and allow the skillet to become extremely hot, for about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil to the skillet.
- Once hot, sear the steak for 3 minutes. Flip the steak and then immediately place half of the butter mixture in the skillet. The butter should melt immediately. Carefully begin spooning the melted butter over the steak as it sears for 3-5 more minutes, depending on the desired doneness of the steak.
- Remove the steak and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- Wipe the cast iron skillet out and repeat steps 1-5 for the second steak.
Tips & Notes
- We highly recommend using freshly cracked black pepper for this recipe. You can crack it in a pepper grinder or a mortar and pestle.
- You can replace the ribeye with a New York Strip.
- Feel free to skip the butter mixture for a simple steak sear.
- Make sure not to sear a cold steak. Bringing it to room temperature is essential.
- Internal Steak Temperatures
- 135ºF – rare
- 140ºF – medium rare
- 150ºF – medium
- 165ºF – well-done
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.