How To Cook Sirloin Steak In a Frying Pan

Sirloin steak is a steak cut from the back of the cattle. It’s a tender cut of meat with a decent amount of marbling. However, rib-eye or a t-bone steak is more flavorsome because it contains more fat.

As a chef, I do prefer steak with more fat. It packs more flavor, and it’s juicier than a lean cut of meat. Sirloin steak, on the other hand, is a tender cut. However, it’s not as tender as a fillet steak. It has some fat; therefore, it does not lack any flavor. It’s easy to prepare. However, you can tenderize sirloin steak if you prefer a more tender texture.

In this article, I’ll show you how to cook a sirloin steak and how to serve it. I’ve included a section on how to buy a good quality steak and how to determine steak doneness.

How To Cook a Sirloin Steak

how to cook a sirloin steak
Pan-fried sirloin steak

A good quality pan is essential since you’ll be cooking steak in a blazing hot pan. A cheap pan can warp when cooking over high heat. You can use a nonstick pan as well; however, before using it, you’ll need to ensure the nonstick coating can withstand heat over 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

My favorite steak pan is this Hexclad 12-inch pan. It’s excellent for pan-seared steaks as well as other dishes. It’s an expensive pan; however, if you’re on a budget, then you should go for this cast-iron skillet.

Below you’ll find the directions on how to cook a perfect pan-seared steak in a matter of minutes.



  • Sirloin steak;
  • Salt and pepper;
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme;
  • Garlic;
  • Butter:
  • Olive oil or any other oil with a high smoking point.


  1. Take the sirloin steak out of the fridge about an hour before cooking and season it with a generous amount of kosher salt. Leave it to rest at room temperature. Feel free to use steak marinade to enhance more flavor of the meat and make it more tender.
  2. Prepare everything in advance. Ensure all the ingredients are washed, peeled, and sitting on the countertop, ready to be used. Have a chopping board, knife, and probe thermometer within hands reach. You’ll need to act fast because steak cooking time varies from five to twelve minutes.
  3. Preheat the pan. Place the pan over high heat until it becomes scorching hot.
  4. Pat dry the steak. Using a paper towel, remove moisture from the exterior of the sirloin steak. It will help to get a nice crust on the steak’s exterior.
  5. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and put the steak into the pan.
  6. I’ll be cooking my steak medium-rare. Depending on the thickness of the steak, turn it over every two to three minutes. Since my sirloin steak is about an inch thick, I’ll cook it for three minutes on each side.
  7. Use a probe thermometer to check the doneness of the sirloin steak.
  8. Baste the steak. Halfway through cooking the steak, add fresh herbs and butter to the pan. Baste the steak using a tablespoon. It’ll make the sirloin steak juicy.
  9. Leave it to rest. Once the steak is cooked to your liking, take it out from the pan and leave it to rest at room temperature for about eight minutes. Resting will help the steak retain most of the juices. If you cut into the steak after taking it out from the pan, it’ll lose some of its juiciness.

Steak Doneness Temperature Chart

steak doneness temperature chart
Sirloin steak cooked to medium level of doneness
  • Rare steak: 125° F;
  • Medium rare steak: 135° F;
  • Medium steak: 145° F;
  • Medium-well steak: 150° F;
  • Well done, steak: 160° F.

You can check steak temperature using either a probe thermometer or a more conventional “finger test” method.

With a probe thermometer, you can get an accurate internal steaks temperature. It’s also the easiest way to know if the steak is cooked to your liking. However, one downside of using a thermometer is that it loses some juice when you stick it into the meat.

Chefs and some home cooks use a “finger test” method to check steak’s doneness. It’s as reliable as using a probe thermometer when you get a feel for it.

Sirloin steaks are usually between one to one and a half-inch thick. It means they tend to cook fast, unlike thicker steaks. Make sure you check the doneness every 3 to 4 mins.

Keep in mind steak continues to cook for another few minutes after taking it out from the pan. If you want your steak to be cooked medium, then take it out when the internal temperature reaches 140° F.

How To Buy Good Sirloin Steak?

how to buy sirloin steak
Wagyu sirloin steak

Grass-fed and grain-fed beef are the two most common types of sirloin steaks you will encounter. Grass-fed cattle are raised on a diet primarily consisting of grass, while grain-fed cattle consume a diet that includes grains, such as corn or soy.

Grass-fed beef generally has a leaner composition, a distinct flavor profile. On the other hand, grain-fed beef tends to have higher marbling, contributing to its tenderness and juiciness. Both options have their merits, and personal preferences will ultimately dictate which type is best for you.

Marbling refers to the intramuscular fat distributed throughout the meat, visible as white streaks and flecks. A well-marbled steak generally produces a more tender, juicy, and flavorful eating experience. Look for a sirloin steak with even marbling throughout, as this ensures consistent flavor and tenderness across the entire cut.

A high-quality sirloin steak should have a bright, cherry-red color. This vibrant hue indicates that the meat is fresh and has been properly stored. Steaks with a darker, brownish-red color may still be safe to eat, but they could be less fresh or have been exposed to oxygen for an extended period.

Fresh sirloin steak should have a mild, slightly sweet smell. If the meat has an unpleasant, sour, or pungent odor, it may be a sign of spoilage or bacterial growth. Always trust your senses when evaluating the freshness of a steak.

Now you may so, where should I buy steak from? Purchase your sirloin steak from a reputable source, such as a local butcher, a high-quality grocery store, or a specialized meat supplier. These establishments often prioritize sourcing meat from responsible and sustainable farms, ensuring the highest quality product. Additionally, local butchers can provide valuable information about the meat’s origin and the farming practices employed and recommend the best cuts for your specific needs.

In case you want to learn more about buying steak, click on this link which will redirect you to a comprehensive article.

How To Serve Sirloin Steak

how to serve sirloin steak
Sirloin steak served with french fries

Here’re a few ideas on how to serve a sirloin steak. I’ve been using these steak recipes in other restaurants. These recipes are timeless classics and will make any cut of steak delicious.

Here’s how to serve the sirloin steak:

  1. Serve with french fries and some garlic butter (add some lemon juice to the butter for more acidity);
  2. Steak Frites with bearnaise, red wine, or quick pan sauce is another timeless classic recipe;
  3. Serve with some stir fry vegetables and sauce of your choice. I like to use pan juices.


How long does it take to fry a sirloin steak?

To fry an inch-thick rare sirloin steak takes 4 mins. To fry to medium-rare takes about 5 to 6 mins. To fry to medium for about 7 mins. To fry to medium-well takes about 8 to 9 mins. To fry sirloin steak to well-done steaks for about 10 mins.

How do you cook sirloin steak so it’s not tough?

Make sure to season it with a generous amount of kosher salt and leave it at room temperature for about an hour before cooking sirloin steak. Also, leave it to rest for about 8 mins after cooking it to ensure it retains juices.

Can I cook sirloin steak in a regular frying pan?

Yes, you can cook steak in a regular frying pan. Make sure the pan has a thick base and can withstand high heat. To get a perfect pan-seared steak – it has to be scorching hot. Most cheap pans are not designed to withstand such high heat. Cast iron skillet is the gold standard for frying steaks in many households.

How do I cook a sirloin steak without a cast-iron skillet?

You can use high-quality stainless steel, non-stick pan, copper, ceramic, and aluminum pans for cooking sirloin steaks. Make sure it has a reinforced bottom. Check the manual to see if a pan can withstand heat over 400 degrees Fahrenheit required for pan-searing steak.

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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