To cook the perfect steak you always wished for, one of the things you need is the right appliance. Specifically, you require a high-quality skillet that will give a pan-seared steak that's delicious, leaving you craving for more. With the best skillets for steak, they will offer you the meat's natural flavors. Furthermore, when looking for the best option, ensure it can cope with the high temperature needed to sear your steak correctly.
Why Would You Need Skillets for Steak?
A skillet, fry pan or frying pan is a flat-bottomed pan you use for searing, frying or browning foods. It's 8 to 14 inches in diameter with low sides that usually flare outwards and a long handle. Larger pans may have a small grip handle besides the main handle.
Your pan cookware option and how hot it can get usually play a vital role in helping the steak you're cooking retain its juices and result in your desired level of doneness. Therefore, the best skillet for steak will reach high temperatures and maintain there throughout the cooking process. However, that also depends on the material.
Now that we understand the importance of skillets for steaks, let's check out the best skillets for steak.
1. Lodge 1/4" Pre-Seasoned Skillet, L8SK3 10
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill
- Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire
The Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet comes with an assist handle for better usability and long life. With this frying pan, you won't have to look for different pans for bake, sear, braise, saute, and fry; this pan got you for all cooking types. Additionally, the pan is perfect for cooking steak as the cast iron is evenly seasoned with a naturally non-stick surface.
Looking at the thick cast iron base, you won't expect anything less of durability and reliability. Under proper maintenance, this pre-seasoned pan will last decades. The quality also ensures that longevity. You can place it on the grill, on the stove, over the campfire or in the oven. Besides, it offers high heat retention as well as smoothly distributed heating.
2. Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan
- Foundry seasoned, ready to use upon purchase
- Use on all cooking surfaces, grills and campfires
- Oven safe
- Sauté, sear, fry, bake and stir fry to heart's content
- Made in the USA
If you're looking for one of the best skillets for steak that can perform sear, bake, fry and saute, count on the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. This cast iron pan comes fitted with a sturdy, strong assist handle that allows you to cook your steak distant from the heat source. The general structure also ensures long life and enhanced usability. Although different cooking styles usually require frying pans, this cast iron pan ensures virtually all cooking genres, including roast, braise, saute, bake and sear.
Furthermore, if you want a pan for searing steak, the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet got you. The cast iron material helps in delivering even heat distribution and retention. Also, the finish of the non-stick coating usually helps clean cooking with no leftovers on top of the surface left.
The cast-iron frying pan is durable since the material is thick enough to withstand higher temperatures. Therefore, you can use it over the oven, over a stove, in a campfire or on the grill. Besides, grilling on the pan is exceptional compared with other models.
3. De Buyer - Mineral B Carbon Steel Pan - Nonstick Pan
- Carbon Steel Pan: 99% iron and 1% carbon, slippery with better sear, without any synthetic coating
- The Darker The Better: Signature beeswax finish protects against oxidation
- Nonstick Kitchen Essentials: Has natural nonstick once seasoned; Follow seasoning care instructions
- Made in France: Engineered and manufactured following the most stringent quality requirements
- About de Buyer: French maker of premium kitchen accessories, pastry equipment, and cooking utensils
This carbon steel pan by De Buyer is made from natural materials making it PTFE and PFOA-free, so it doesn't contaminate your food with toxins. Although this pan doesn't impress its appearance, it uses beeswax as an extra layer of protection against rust. Additionally, it enhances the seasoning you will have to do if you want a non-stick surface since it doesn't come pre-seasoned.
This carbon steel frying pan cooks well and fast at high temperatures and distributes heat equally at all times. Also, you can use the pan in the oven for shorter periods at about 400 F. However, you will need to get rid of the beeswax coating that covers it during seasoning, which can be challenging to some people.
4. T-fal Professional Total Nonstick Stainless Steel Pan, E93805
- TITANIUM NONSTICK INTERIOR: Durable nonstick coating that stands up to rigorous usage; Designed for everyday chef looking to create...
- THERMO-SPOT TECHNOLOGY: Unique heat indicator that turns solid red to show when pans are properly preheated to start cooking
- THICK INDUCTION BASE: Distributes heat evenly resulting in no hot spots for reliable cooking results
- RIVETED SILICONE HANDLES: Provides comfortable and secure grip
- DISHWASHER AND OVEN SAFE: Up to 400°F
The T-fal Professional Nonstick Stainless Steel Pan features a Thermo spot heat indicator that indicates whether the skillet is equally and adequately heated or not. In addition, the pan's base usually helps distribute the heat evenly so your steak will cook equally. Besides, the base is thick and features no hot spots iron sheet ensuring better cooking results.
Furthermore, the stainless steel pan comes with a high-quality silicone handlebar that ensures you don't burn your hand when cooking steak or other meals. It also enables a firm and comfortable grip. The handle is tested to endure a temperature of 400 F.
This stainless steel material makes the pan durable. It's compatible with virtually all cooktops, including induction. Also, the skillet is safe to wash with a dishwasher or by hand hence stands out as one of the best skillets for steak.
What Are the Tips for Cooking Steak?
1. Allow the steak to rest for a longer time over a skillet. Cook both sides equally at least twice.
2. Seasoning the steak usually makes it much more appealing. It also enhances the texture and taste of the steak.
3. Ensure you sear your steak on a very hot cast-iron frying pan. If you want juice and flavors, we recommend you use a non-stick frying pan.
4. Garnish your steak with different topping options like a slab of butter
5. Always measure the internal temperature of your steak or meat using a meat thermometer.
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Skillets for Steak
Before settling for the best skillets for steak, pay attention to the size since the skillet size limits the amount of food you can prepare on it. In addition, steaks usually require frequent turning when preparing on an open plan to allow all the sizes to cook equally. Therefore, the size of the pan you pick for use should hold enough steaks for the number of people you are preparing for. Otherwise, having a small-sized skillet to cook steaks makes you spend a long time in the kitchen since you have to cook every steak separately.
So choosing the size of the pan will depend on the number of people you are cooking the steak for. If you're cooking for a big crowd, consider going for a large-sized skillet that fits many steaks at once and leaves space for turning it to enable even cooking.
2. Heat conductivity
Of all the metals, copper is the best heat conductor. Carbon steel and cast iron are poor in conducting heat. As a result, they can't sear as perfect as pure copper. Also, thick aluminum pans usually outperform cast iron. Though not good as copper, it's still miles better than carbon steel or cast iron. Therefore, consider the material when looking for the best skillets for steak since it affects the heat conductivity.
Another thing that people usually overlook is the capability to recover temperature. Though cast iron offers excellent heat retention, what happens if the heat drops too low? The pan will remain cold unless you remove the steak and wait for another 5 to 7 minutes. An aluminum and copper pan can recover much quicker and sear better.
3. Weight and heat retention
Weight is a crucial consideration since it's a good measure of the quality of a skillet. The more weight it has means it can store heat. So, we don't recommend non-stick pans for cooking steaks because most non-stick pans are light, less than one pound. So when you throw a piece of steak on it, all the heat will be sucked out. So, instead of frying your steak, you will be steaming it. Besides, weight is the main reason many choose cast iron for steak. Though they take a while to get hot, they stay hot through cooking.
4. Ease of use & maintenance
You want a skillet that won't stress you out when using it. Steak pans usually collect grease and leftover food particles that can be tricky to remove. Therefore, you should consider cleaning and ease of use when choosing a steak skillet for your kitchen.
Furthermore, steak skillets with a helper handle are convenient for transferring the pan together with food contents. Also, it would be best to look at skillets with precision pouring notches to avoid messing up when serving the steak.
When shopping for the best pans for steak, consider the material that makes the pan's body. As mentioned earlier, the material also affects the pan's weight and determines how the pan performs during use. Also, different materials require you to follow different care and cleaning methods. Below are the common materials used in making steak skillets.
i). Cast iron
Cast iron skillets are ideal for searing steaks since they can withstand high temperatures without releasing harmful fumes from the cooking surface or warping. In addition, iron is usually a good conductor of heat which gives the skillet a practical heat distribution ability that gets rid of hotspots. A cast-iron skillet also has great heat retention meaning it keeps the contents hot.
Furthermore, cast iron pans require seasoning before you can use them. Although some manufacturers make pre-seasoned cast iron pans, doing it again at home makes the seasoning much better and more durable. Additionally, the cooking surface on a cast iron pan develops non-stick capabilities the more you use it, meaning the pans usually get better with age.
However, cleaning cast iron cookware is done with only warm water, and the pans are not dishwasher safe to clean. Also, you are recommended not to use soap and detergents.
ii). Stainless steel
Stainless steel cookware is usually lighter and can heat up quickly. The stainless steel surface of a steak pan is non-reactive, meaning that you can prepare meat and steaks on it using spices and additional flavoring items like wine and beer. Besides, stainless steel pans rely on various core materials like copper and aluminum, which are better conductors of heat than steel.
Conversely, the stainless steel pans are easy to clean and maintain. With a stainless steel pan, you won't require seasoning, and you can clean it with soap or detergents in the dishwasher.
iii). Carbon steel
Carbon steel skillets are also ideal when it comes to cooking steaks. The pans are usually lighter compared to the cast iron skillet models and have thinner bodies. The carbon steel body also heats up fast though it cools down faster than cast iron does. Like cast iron skillets, carbon steel pans also require seasoning before using them because they are vulnerable to rust. Furthermore, you can clean the carbon steel pan using mild soap and water. Also, it would be best if you seasoned it regularly when it wears off.
6. Grill marks
Skillets that come with grill lines on the cooking surface cook crispy steaks and meat-free from fat. So, depending on how you like to cook your steak, you can also go for a covered grill pan that helps trap the steak's flavor and moisture.
When shopping for the best pan, consider the structure since it determines how well the pan cooks the meat. Pans with a multi-clad structure usually give it more capability. Also, all clad skillet combines stainless steel with aluminum layers meaning that it heats up fast due to the excellent heat transfer and can cook healthy food because of its stainless steel layers.