One of my favorite summer meals is steak from the grill. But many of us simply do not have access to a grill, at least not on a daily basis. If you're craving that quintessential taste of summer cook-outs, the taste of a juicy steak with crisp, peppered crust, we have you covered. No, you don't need a grill; yes, you can make a perfect steak indoors.
Here is an absolutely foolproof, easy, and quick way to make a steak indoors, in the oven. Add a loaf of bread, a salad, and a bottle of wine, and you have an easy and delicious meal. No grill required.
What Steak to Buy?
The first, and most important, step in cooking a great steak is to buy a great steak. The best way to do this is to go to a local butcher, preferably one who either raises the animals himself or sources them from a local farm. The beef should be at least partially grass-fed and humanely butchered. Look for steaks that have been dry-aged to intensify the flavor, too. I buy my steak from a butcher at my local market; they raise the animals on a farm nearby and dry age the beef for at least a couple weeks. (I love Bluescreek Farm Meats, my local butcher! There is always a difference in taste when buying from good folks like them.)
Buy a rib eye steak. It should be at least 1-inch thick and have some fat marbling around the edges. Again, buy the best you can. No matter how expensive it is, it will still be cheaper than eating out on Valentine's Day! Expect to pay at least $10 to $15 for a pound of steak. If it is less than that, pass it up. I live in the Midwest, so prices aren't too bad here. If you're in the city, you should probably expect to pay at least $20 per pound. 1 pound of steak will easily feed two, and can be stretched to three or even four people.
Our 15-Minute Oven Method
This method takes 15 minutes, tops. Have the rest of your meal ready, the candles lit, and the wine poured before you start cooking. (Although you should probably heat the broiler at least 20 minutes before you need to cook.) It turns out a beautifully juicy, medium-rare steak, with crisped and crunchy edges, and so much flavor! This is probably our favorite way to cook a steak, honestly; it is even easier than grilling.
Brush the steak with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper: Brush the oil all over the steak, coating it generously on both sides and on the ends.
How To Cook Perfect Steak in the Oven
This method is adapted slightly from Alton Brown's Pan-Seared Rib Eye recipe.
One pound of steak is plenty to feed two people. In fact, I've served four people on just one pound of boneless rib eye. One pound of bone-in ribeye is enough for a feast for two, with a little left over for lunch the next day.
What You Need
One approximately 1-pound ribeye steak, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
Canola or vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Cast iron skillet
Very thick or well-padded oven mitt
Let the steak come to room temperature: open the package and drain out any juices. Blot the steak dry with paper towels or a rag. Let the steak come to room temperature, if it isn't already.
Heat the skillet under the broiler 20 minutes before cooking: Turn on your oven's broiler and place an oven rack 6 to 8 inches below the broiler element. Put a cast iron skillet on the rack to heat up with the oven.
Prepare the oil and salt and pepper: Pour a little canola or vegetable oil (about 2 tablespoons) into a small bowl. Put about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt into a ramekin and mix in a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
Brush the steak with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper: Brush the oil all over the steak, coating it generously on both sides and on the ends. Sprinkle the salt and pepper mix generously on both sides of the steak, patting it into the steak so it sticks.
- Turn on a stove burner to high heat.
Transfer the hot skillet from the oven to the stovetop: Very, very carefully remove the hot cast iron skillet from the oven, using your thickest and most reliable oven mitt or pad! Place it over the stovetop burner.
Place the steak in the pan: Use long, sturdy kitchen tongs to place the steak on the hot pan. It should sizzle immediately.
Cook the steak for 30 seconds on each side: Cook the steak for 30 seconds, then flip it over. Cook the steak for an additional 30 seconds on the other side.
Transfer the skillet with the steak back to the oven: Carefully put the skillet and steak back in the oven. (Don't forget to turn off the burner.)
Roast the steak in the oven for 2 minutes per side: Cook the steak for 2 minutes. Open the oven and carefully flip the steak, using the long tongs. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 2 minutes. At this point your steak will be medium-rare (as seen in the photos). If you prefer your steak closer to medium, add 2 minutes to the oven time.
Rest the steak: Take the steak out of the oven and turn off the oven. Remove the steak from the pan and put it on a large cutting board. Cover it with aluminum foil and let the steak rest for about 5 minutes.
Slice the steak and serve: Slice the steak against the grain and fan slices out on each plate. Serve immediately.
This recipe was originally published June 2012.
5 Easy Sauces to Dress Up a Steak
This steak is so quick and easy that it leaves you time for making a little special sauce to go along with it. This can be as simple as great guacamole, or as special as a mustard-shallot sauce.
(Image credits: Faith Durand)