How To Cook Steak In Stainless Steel Pan

steak in stainless steel pan
Steak for cooking in a stainless steel pan

If you’re looking for an easy way to cook steak, look no further! In this step-by-step guide, I will teach you how to cook steak in stainless steel pan. You will need a thick cut of steak (ribeye or New York strip are ideal), salt and pepper, olive oil, butter, and fresh herbs (optional).

In restaurants using stainless steel pans for cooking meat is very common. In many places where I worked, stainless steel and cast-iron skillets are used for cooking steaks. The cooking process is the same as with any other heavy pan.

american wagyu ribeye steak
The best steak cut for stainless steel pan

Ribeye steak

How to Cook Steak in a Stainless Steel Pan

Here’s a list of ingredients and equipment you’ll need to cook a perfect steak. The cooking method described below will require to have a stainless steel pan.


  • Rib-eye steak (here’s a list of best steaks for pan-frying if you want to cook a different steak cut);
  • Kosher salt;
  • Freshly ground black pepper;
  • Butter;
  • Fresh thyme;
  • Fresh rosemary (optional);
  • Light olive oil (here’s a list of best oils for pan-frying if you want to use different oil).


cooking steak in stainless steel pan
Pan-frying bone-in ribeye steak

Bring Steak To Room Temperature

Take the steak out of a fridge at least half an hour before cooking and season with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Leaving steak at room temperature will help the steak cook evenly and prevent it from drying out. If using a thick cut of steak, leave the steak to rest for an hour before cooking. If cooking tough steak cut then marinade or dry brine for at least 4 hours before cooking. It will make meat tender when pan-frying.

Preheat Stainless Steel Pan

Place stainless steel pan over high heat. Add a little bit of light olive oil and let it heat up for about a minute until the oil starts to smoke. If you don’t have light olive oil, any other neutral cooking oil will work just fine.

Cook The Steak

Before placing the steak in a hot pan, make sure to remove moisture from the steak’s exterior with a paper towel. It will help the steak to form a nice and crispy crust. Sear the steak on both sides for one minute on each side or until brown crust forms (it should not take more than 2 minutes on each side). Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking to the desired doneness.

Check Steak’s Internal Temperature

About 4 minutes into cooking the steak, check its internal temperature. Check steak’s doneness level using a meat thermometer or a finger test method. Keep in mind to remove steak from the heat source when the internal temperature is 5° Fahrenheit below the desired doneness. Steak continues to cook even after it’s removed from the pan, so it will reach the perfect doneness level when you’re ready to eat. I’m cooking my rib-eye steak to medium-rare; therefore, it should take around 6 minutes (for a one-and-a-half-inch thick steak).


Finish cooking the steak with a knob of butter (around two tablespoons) and fresh herbs. Two to three minutes before finishing cooking your favorite steak, add butter, fresh thyme, and rosemary to the pan. Create a butter pool and, using a tablespoon baste the steak. It should make the steak juicy and packed with fantastic flavor.


After removing the steak from the heat source, it’s important to leave it to rest for at least 5 minutes, depending on the steak size. Resting will help steak juices redistribute evenly throughout the meat and make the steak more tender.

Steak’s Internal Temperature Chart

steak temperature chart
  • Rare steak: 125° F;
  • Medium rare steak: 135° F;
  • Medium steak: 145° F;
  • Medium-well steak: 150° F;
  • Well done, steak: 160° F.

Stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and check the internal temperature. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, use your finger to check how cooked the steak is. It may look complicated for a beginner home cook; however, trust me, the finger test method is reliable and straightforward.

Here’s a quick video explaining how to use the finger test method:

List of Steaks To Cook On A Stainless Steel Pan

Here’s a list of steaks perfect for pan-frying on a stainless steel pan:

best steak cuts for pan-frying in stainless steel pan


Will steak stick to stainless steel pan?

No, steak is not going to stick to the stainless steel pan if you let it cook for at least a minute before flipping it. If you try to flip it too soon, it can stick to the cooking surface.

Can you cook steak in stainless steel pan without oil?

You can cook steak in a stainless steel pan without cooking oil; however, it’s best to use oil. Oil will create a brown crust on the steak’s exterior, locking in all of that fantastic juice and flavor.

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