When it comes to cooking steak in a skillet, all you need are the four Ss—stove, skillet, steak, seasoning. And honestly, you could omit the S for seasoning if your steak is flavorful enough. Here’s our best process for how to cook steak in a skillet.

By Sheena Chihak

If colder weather has you stuck inside, or you don't want to take the time to fire up the grill and wait for it to preheat, it's helpful to know how to cook steak on the stove using a skillet. It couldn't be easier. Simply season your steaks and cook them 7 to 17 minutes (depending on the cut), and you've got a juicy steak entrée ready to serve.

Adding seasoned steaks to a skillet and turning steaks during cooking
Adding seasoned steaks to a skillet and turning steaks during cooking

Skillet-Cooked Steak, Step-by-Step

First, be sure you're using a proper skillet. Use a skillet that is heavy and the right size for the amount of steak you're cooking. A skillet that is too large will cause pan juices to burn. (These directions also apply to how to cook steak in a cast-iron skillet.)

  1. Lightly coat the skillet with nonstick spray, oil, or butter.
  2. Preheat the skillet over medium-high until it's very hot.
  3. Meanwhile, season your steaks as desired. A little salt and pepper is good enough for us.
  4. Add steaks to the hot skillet and reduce heat to medium.
    • Do not add any liquid and do not cover the skillet—you don't want to steam the steaks.
  5. Cook for the time specified below in our section on how long to cook steaks in a skillet, turning occasionally. 
    • Cooking steak tip: If the steak is browning too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low.
Tenting steak with foil and finished steak served on top of a salad
Tenting steak with foil and finished steak served on top of a salad

6. Once your steak is cooked to the proper temperature as tested with a meat thermometer, remove from the skillet, tent with foil, and let stand 5 minutes. 

That's it! Your skillet-cooked steak is ready to eat.

How Long to Cook Steaks in a Skillet

How long to cook your steaks depends on the cut and thickness. Always check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Here are the time and temperatures you'll need to cook your steak:

  • Boneless chuck-eye steak: ¾-inch-thick, 9 to 11 minutes; 1-inch-thick, 12 to 15 minutes (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Boneless top sirloin steak or top loin steak (strip): ¾-inch-thick, 10 to 13 minutes; 1-inch-thick, 15 to 20 minutes (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Boneless tri-top steak (bottom sirloin): ¾-inch-thick, 6 to 9 minutes; 1-inch-thick, 9 to 12 minutes (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Cubed steak: ½-inch-thick, 5 to 8 minutes (160°F medium)
  • Porterhouse or T-bone steak: ¾-inch-thick, 11 to 13 minutes; 1-inch-thick, 14 to 17 minutes (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Ribeye steak: ¾-inch-thick, 8 to 10 minutes; 1-inch-thick, 12 to 15 minutes (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Shoulder center steak (ranch): ¾-inch-thick, 9 to 12 minutes, turning twice; 1-inch-thick, 13 to 16 minutes, turning twice (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Shoulder top blade steak (flat iron): 6 to 8 oz.; 8 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Tenderloin steak: ¾-inch-thick, 7 to 9 minutes; 1-inch-thick, 10 to 13 minutes (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
  • Top loin steak: ¾-inch-thick, 10 to 12 minutes; 1-inch-thick, 12 to 15 minutes (145°F medium rare to 160°F medium)
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