Can You Cook a Steak In a Nonstick Frying Pan?

In restaurants, we often use cast iron and stainless steel cookware for pan-frying steaks. Lately, however, it’s more and more common to see chefs using non-stick pans for searing meats or stir-frying vegetables.

One of my favorite nonstick pans for steak is this HexClad 12 Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Frying Pan. I’ve been using it a lot for searing, stir-frying, and a lot of other things. If you noticed, it’s one of Gordon Ramsay’s favorite pans as well. It can withstand high heat, it performs well, and it’s very durable, unlike most nonstick cookware.

Read along for a detailed guide on cooking steak in a nonstick pan.

Can You Cook Steak in a Non-Stick Pan?

Yes, you can cook a steak in a non-stick pan. To cook a steak, you’ll need to preheat a pan to a 400°F to 500°F. Most nonstick cookware is capable of withstanding such heat. A good nonstick surface can break at temperatures higher than 570°F and above, which is more than needed.

Since most non-stick pans are made from aluminum, they distribute heat well. It’s essential to cook steak evenly. And it’s even more important if you cook more than one steak at once. It makes a non-stick pan an excellent option for steaks.

Cheap non-stick pans can start to wear down and flake when exposed to high heat for an extended period. If you’re planning to use it for searing steak, I suggest buying a thick base high-quality frying pan for steak.

How To Cook a Steak In a Nonstick Frying Pan?

How To Cook a Steak In a Nonstick Frying Pan
Cooking strip steak in a nonstick pan

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook a perfect medium-rare steak in a non-stick pan:

  1. Take the steak out of the fridge at least half an hour before cooking;
  2. Season the steak well with loads of salt and freshly ground pepper;
  3. Leave the steak to absorb as much salt as possible for that half an hour;
  4. Use a paper towel to clean the excess moisture of the steak.
  5. Preheat the nonstick pan to about 450°F. Make sure you add some oil to the pan once the pan is warm but not smoking. The nonstick coating can start to emit toxic fumes if it is left on high heat for too long. I like to use canola or grapeseed oil for searing meats;
  6. Put a steak in a pan. Make sure to put it gently so that the oil does not splash all over your hands;
  7. Cook it on one side for three to four minutes. It depends on how thick the steak is. I’m using an inch-and-a-half ribeye steak;
  8. Turn the steak over;
  9. Put a knob of butter to make a hot baste. Add some herbs. I use thyme, rosemary, and some garlic;
  10. Finish the meat by basting it gently with a spoon;
  11. Take the steak out of the nonstick pan and leave it to rest for seven to nine minutes.

Is Cooking Steak In a Nonstick Pan The Best Option?

No, cooking a steak in a non-stick pan is not the best option. For most chefs and even home cooks, the cast iron skillet is a gold standard for cooking steaks.

Is Cooking Steak In a Nonstick Pan The Best Option
Cooking bone-in ribeye steak in a cast-iron skillet

This Lodge preseasoned cast-iron pan has a thick base which is ideal for cooking steaks. It’s perfect for retaining and distributing heat. The last thing you want is for the pan to drop in temperature when you place a steak on the pan. Plus, cast iron is affordable for most home cooks.

Stainless steel pans are a great choice for steak lovers. Most stainless steel cookware uses multi-ply construction. The bonded stainless steel and aluminum ensure great heat retention and distribution. These pans are excellent for searing and browning meats.

Most non-stick cookware has thin bases that are not ideal for searing steaks. Invest in a high-quality thick base non-stick pan. It will allow you to sear steaks and other meats as well as on any other cast iron or stainless steel pan.

Can You Cook a Steak In a Cast Iron Skillet?

Yes, you can cook a steak in a cast-iron skillet. Most chefs and home cooks prefer searing meats in this pan since it has a thick base, good heat retention, and a natural nonstick coating.

Unlike some nonstick pans, cast iron can retain heat much better. It’s important for the pan not to lose any heat when cooking a tasty steak. If the temperature drops below 400°F when cooking steak, which will happen in a thin pan, the steak will start to boil instead of sear.

One of the most significant downsides of owning cast-iron cookware is that it needs seasoning. You can’t buy one and start searing steak straight out of a box. The nonstick coating builds up over time which gives cast iron its excellent nonstick properties.

How To Cook Steak In a Cast Iron Skillet?

How To Cook Steak In a Cast Iron Skillet
Cooking steak in a skillet

Here’s a simple guide on how to cook steak in a cast-iron skillet. I’ll be using filet mignon:

  1. Make sure the cast-iron pan is seasoned properly. If it’s not, steak can start to stick to the interior surface.
  2. Take out filet mignon at least half an hour before cooking;
  3. Season the steak with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground pepper. Leave at room temperature to absorb as much salt as possible;
  4. Pat the steak dry. It’s best to use a paper towel to clean the moisture.
  5. Place your skillet on the stove and preheat it from 450°F to 500°F. You can use a thermometer like this Etekcity Infrared Thermometer to check the pan’s temperature. Otherwise, just a pan starting to smoke is a good indicator a pan is ready to cook. Before it starts to smoke, add some grapeseed or canola oil;
  6. Place your steak in a piping hot pan;
  7. Since it is a thick steak, it’ll take upwards of ten-twelve minutes to cook to medium;
  8. Usually, I’ll cook for three minutes on each side twice;
  9. Three minutes before the steak is done, add a knob of butter and some herbs of your choice. Thyme, garlic, and rosemary add amazing flavor;
  10. Baste the steak gently with a big spoon;
  11. Remove the steak from the pan and leave it to rest for around ten minutes.

What Other Types of Meat Are Good For Nonstick Pans?

You can cook all types of meat in a nonstick pan: pork, beef, lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, and seafood.

Keep in mind that nonstick cookware is prone to scratches even if the manufacturer claims otherwise. Use wood, plastic, or silicone utensils to do all the cooking. That also includes steaks.


You can cook steak in a nonstick pan as long as the nonstick coating can withstand high temperatures. Make sure you purchase a good pan that has a thick base for good heat retention. A cast iron skillet is more affordable, but a nonstick frying pan offers much easier maintenance for a slightly higher price.


Can you sear meat in a nonstick pan?

Yes, you can sear meat in a nonstick pan. Make sure the manual says that the pan can withstand temperatures up to 500°F or higher. Otherwise, use stainless steel or cast iron pan instead.

Do nonstick pans brown meat?

Yes, nonstick pans brown the meat. If you’re aiming for the nice brown crust exterior, you should sear meat in a preheated pan. Browning starts at around 450°F to 500°F. Most quality nonstick coatings can withstand this heat and even above 500°F.

Do you cook steak with butter or oil?

Always cook your steak with oil first and finish it off with a knob of butter. Butter has a low smoking point; therefore, it will burn quickly, leaving bitter residues on the surface of the pan. Always start with oil and preferably a neutral one that has a high smoking point. It could be canola or grapeseed oil. Add a knob of butter at the end to make a hot baste.

Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas is an accomplished chef with over a decade of experience in the culinary world, having worked in esteemed, high-end restaurants across Europe. With a talent for combining traditional techniques and innovative flair, Renaldas has refined his signature style under the mentorship of respected European chefs. Recently, Renaldas has expanded his impact beyond the kitchen by sharing his expertise through his online platform. Dedicated to inspiring culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, he offers expert advice, innovative recipes, and insightful commentary on the latest gastronomic trends.
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