If you don’t have cast-iron cookware, here’s how to cook steak in the oven without a cast-iron skillet. You can cook steak in any other pan capable of withstanding high heat. The other option is to use a baking sheet and the oven rack. Season steak with simple ingredients like olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Sear steak in the pan over high heat for 1 minute on each side and transfer the steak onto the oven rack with a baking sheet below. Fat from the steak will drip onto the baking sheet rather than onto the bottom of your oven.
Often I use HexClad 12 Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Frying Pan for the stove to oven cooking. A good pan is capable of withstanding high heat. Even a nonstick pan can be used in the oven. A cast-iron skillet is not the only option for cooking steak. We often use aluminum and stainless steel frying pans for finishing off steaks in the oven in restaurants.
Cooking steak on the oven rack is the easiest way to cook steak if you do not have a pan suitable for steak cooking. Still, before placing steak in the oven, you’re going to need to sear it.
In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of cooking steak without a cast-iron skillet. I’ll show you how to choose the steak and check the steak’s internal temperature.
How to cook steak in the oven without a cast-iron skillet
There are three different ways to cook a steak in the oven. One is called a reverse sear. First, season the steak and cook it in the oven until 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit below the desired temperature. Then you need to take the steak out from the oven straight to a scorching hot pan and give it a sear. When searing a steak on a hot pan, it develops a nice golden brown crust. Sear for about a minute on each side. Leave it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Another way of cooking the steak is by broiling it in the oven. Set oven to broil at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the steak 40 minutes to an hour before cooking it. Place the steak on a wire rack on a baking sheet and put it in the oven about 5 inches away from the heat source above. Turn the steak every 3-4 minutes. It can take around 15 minutes to broil, depending on the steak size. Once cooked to the desired doneness – leave it to rest.
The last method involves searing the steak and transferring it to the oven. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it:
- Frying pan;
- Meat thermometer;
- Sharp knife;
- Wire rack (optional);
- Baking sheet (optional) you can use oven rack instead;
- Cutting board;
- Paper towels;
- Oven mitts.
- I’m using a rib-eye steak. All steak cuts work with this method;
- Olive oil;
- Kosher salt;
- Freshly ground black pepper;
- Fresh thyme.
- Bring steak to room temperature. Take the steak out of the fridge. Season it with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Leave it at room temperature for about 40 minutes to an hour. Salt will help to tenderize the meat. It’s called a dry brine method. It’s helpful if you’re using tougher cuts of steak like rump;
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit;
- Pat steak dry. Remove excess moisture from the exterior of the steak using a paper towel.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit;
- Place pan over medium-high heat. Make sure your pan is smoking hot before adding steak to it. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil (use any other oil that does not burn on high heat);
- Lay the steak away from you and sear it for 1 minute on each side. Render the fat from the side of the steak. Take the tongs, grab your steak, and press it hard onto the pan surface.
- Insert the leave-in thermometer through the side of the steak towards the middle. If you do not have a leave-in thermometer, take temperature manually every 5 to 7 minutes using a regular meat thermometer;
- Transfer steak to the oven. If you have an oven-proof pan, transfer steak into the oven with a pan. Otherwise, put the steak on the oven rack. Make sure to put a baking sheet underneath the oven rack. It’ll help to collect the fat drippings from the steak.
- Halfway through cooking, check internal steak temperature. Check the reading on the thermometer. Continue cooking until it’s 5 degrees Fahrenheit below the desired temperature;
- Leave the steak to rest. Using oven mitt take the steak out of the oven. Resting is essential since it allows for the steak juice to redistribute throughout the steak’s interior. If you cut into the steak right after it’s removed from the heat source – steak juices will end up on your plate.
Steak Temperature Chart
Here’s steak temperature from rare to well done:
- 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 the steak’s internal temperature by using your hand or a meat thermometer.
Checking the steak’s doneness with a meat thermometer is easy and accurate. However, if you want to avoid steak leaking juice, try to stick a probe into the meat only once. Sticking it often will result in steak losing its juiciness.
In restaurants, we use a “finger test” method to check the doneness of the meat. It’s as accurate as using a meat thermometer.
Here’s a video explaining how the “finger test” method works:
How Long To Cook Steaks In The Oven
Below you’ll find times for different steak doneness. However, since thin steaks cook faster than thick ones – I included approximate times for 1-inch thick steak and one and a half-inch thick steak.
Cooking times for 1-inch thick steak at 450 degrees Fahrenheit:
- Rare steak (125° F): 3-4 minutes;
- Medium rare steak (135° F): 4-6 minutes;
- Medium steak (145° F): 6-9 minutes;
- Medium-well steak (150° F): 9-11 minutes;
- Well done, steak (160° F): 11-14 minutes.
Cooking times for one and a half-inch thick steak:
- Rare steak (125° F): 8-10 minutes;
- Medium rare steak (135° F): 14-16 minutes;
- Medium steak (145° F): 16-18 minutes;
- Medium-well steak (150° F): 18-20 minutes;
- Well done, steak (160° F): 20-23 minutes.
Note: The times above are only estimates. Steak cooking times may vary from oven to oven. Old oven tends to be less reliable. In comparison, new ovens are more accurate.
What Steak To Choose?
When buying a steak, it’s best if you pick a grass-fed one. It’s more nutritious, and it packs more flavor.
Grain-fed beef is less flavorful and less nutritious. It lacks marbling compared to grass-fed beef.
Go to your local farmer’s market or butcher shop to buy a good quality steak. Remember to ask about the conditions the beef was raised. Now you can buy good quality organic meat in the Whole Foods market.
It doesn’t matter which steak cut you choose for cooking in the oven. However, it’s best to use thick cuts of steak for a stove to oven finish.
Here’re steak cuts that are best for cooking in the oven:
The T-Bone Steak
T-Bone steak is a cut from the short loin section of a cow. It’s a combination of strip steak and filet mignon. T-Bone is a thick-cut steak with a rich beefy flavor due to its large amount of marbling. It’s an excellent cut for cooking in the oven.
The Porterhouse Steak
Another cut from the short loin section, Porterhouse steak, is similar to T-Bone, and both steaks are made up of the same meat sections. The only difference between those two steaks is that Porterhouse has a bigger portion of tenderloin than T-Bone. Porterhouse steak is a thick cut full of marbling, and it’s an excellent choice for cooking in the oven.
The Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon is cut from the tenderloin section of a cow. It’s leaner than other steak cuts; it has no marbling and a very mild beefy flavor. Filet mignon comes in many thicknesses. The most common ones are one-inch thick and 1.5 inches thick steaks, which are perfect for cooking in the oven.
Is it better to cook a steak in the oven or stove?
Both cooking methods are excellent. However, thin steak cuts like sirloin, rib-eye, or new york strip steak are best when cooked on a stove. Thick cuts of steak like t-bone, Porterhouse, or tomahawk are best when finished in the oven.
Can you cook steak in a nonstick pan?
Yes, you can cook steak in a nonstick pan. The pan should have a thick heavy bottom. The nonstick coating should be heat resistant upwards of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Steak cooking requires a high temperature; therefore, the pan should be capable of withstanding high heat; otherwise, it can warp.