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Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Strip Steaks

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America's Test Kitchen pan-seared strip steak
America's Test Kitchen
RATE THIS RECIPE
(83)

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless strip steaks (1½ to 1¾ inches thick (about 1 pound each) (see note above)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Chef notes

Here’s why this recipe works: The key to our ideal pan-seared steak recipe was to start the steaks in a cool oven and then to sear them. And by searing the steaks quickly, we kept the meat directly under the crust from turning gray. Cooked this way, the steaks developed a beautiful brown crust in less than four minutes, while the rest of the meat stayed pink, juicy, and tender.

Rib-eye or filet mignon of similar thickness can be substituted for strip steaks. If using filet mignon, buying a 2-pound center-cut tenderloin roast and portioning it into four 8-ounce steaks yourself will produce more consistent results. If using filet mignon, increase the oven time by about 5 minutes. When cooking lean strip steaks (without an external fat cap) or filet mignon, add an extra tablespoon of oil to the pan. If desired, serve with a pan sauce, relish, or butter; see related recipes.

Preparation

1.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Pat steaks dry with paper towel. Cut each steak in half vertically to create four 8-ounce steaks. Season entire surface of steaks liberally with salt and pepper; gently press sides of steaks until uniform 1 1/2 inches thick. Place steaks on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet; transfer baking sheet to oven. Cook until instant-read thermometer inserted in center of steak registers 90 to 95 degrees for rare to medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes, or 100 to 105 degrees for medium, 25 to 30 minutes.

2.

Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until smoking. Place steaks in skillet and sear steaks until well-browned and crusty, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, lifting once halfway through to redistribute fat underneath each steak. (Reduce heat if fond begins to burn.) Using tongs, turn steaks and cook until well browned on second side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer all steaks to wire cooling rack and reduce heat under pan to medium. Use tongs to stand 2 steaks on their sides. Holding steaks together, return to skillet and sear on all sides until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 steaks.

3.

Transfer steaks to wire cooling rack and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes while preparing pan sauce. Arrange steaks on individual plates and spoon sauce over steaks; serve immediately.