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How to Cook a Steak on the Stove with Butter

So, imagine this; you’ve got guests around, and some of them are steak lovers. But you don’t want to use either the grill or oven. Don’t worry because you can still prepare a mouth-watering serving of steak on your stove with only your skillet and butter! Of course, you need to follow some basic rules, but the method is so simple, you won’t even break a sweat.

Handy Tips for Cooking Stovetop Steaks

Cooking steak on the stove with butter is a simplistic way to enjoy this meal. And it helps to observe some general guidelines for the recipe.

Selecting the Best Steaks

The best types for stovetop are steaks with lots of marbling and a thickness of about one to one-and-a-half inches. It’s also preferable to consider boneless steaks like boneless ribeye or NY strip steak. But so long as the meat is boneless and has enough marbling of fat, even other cuts like flat-iron or flank steaks can be pan-seared.

Prepare the Steaks

Allow the steak to sit at room temperature for at least 40 minutes before you season. A cold slab of meat won’t allow the salt to infuse and take longer to cook on the stovetop. Afterward, pat the steak with paper towels to dry, so the crust can form better when you sear.

Seasoning Techniques

You can season your stovetop steak in two ways. If you’re in a hurry, season the steak 30 minutes before cooking. But if you can afford the wait, season the steak and leave it in the fridge for about 18 to 24 hours. The second option will create a drier steak after searing but with an extra dose of flavor.


Put the heaviest cast-iron pan in your kitchen over a stove at high heat. Leave it to get very hot and once you observe a bit of smoke rising from the pan, add your steak. You want to get a nice, crisp surface that adds flavor to your steak, so allow it to sear well before you flip it.


Add some butter and spices into the pan at about halfway through the allotted cooking duration. The mixture will form a baste you can now bathe your steak in and will infuse deeply into the meat as it cooks.

How to Check for Doneness in Stovetop Steak

An instant thermometer remains the best way to check how done your steak is, as it’s more accurate and safer than trying to use your hand. And these are the various doneness temperatures;

  • 125°F for rare (around 6 minutes of cooking)
  • 130°F for medium-rare (about 8 minutes of cooking)
  • 140°F for medium ( 9-10 minutes of cooking)
  • 150°F for medium ( 12 minutes of cooking)

Make sure to probe the steak about halfway through the required time, to know how much more time you should cook it. Also, take the steak down around 5° lower than the required temperature for doneness. While it rests, the heat inside the steak will cook it to the proper level.

Resting and Cutting

If you’d prefer to rest your stovetop steak once it’s ready, 5 minutes is enough time. You can also serve it hot, as the crust is crispier when served straight from the pot. The butter bastes also add to the meat’s fatty juiciness, so you don’t get to miss out on much. Plus, you may like to drip pieces of their meat in the runny juices from a hot steak as you cut.

When cutting up the steak, you’ll want to do it across the grain instead of through it. This method makes sure the meat is easier to chew as you’ll get lesser fibers with each piece.

To get a complete idea of all these tips, check out this delicious butter-basted, pan-seared steak;

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How to Cook a Steak on the Stove with Butter

Stovetop Steak (4 servings)

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  • 2 NY steaks, 1-inch thick
  • Three tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Three cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • One teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Bring the steaks from the fridge and allow them to sit at room temperature for 40 minutes. Pat it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Season the steaks generously with salt. Heat a large, thick cast-iron skillet for about 11 minutes and place the steaks on the surface.
  3. Cook the steak for up to a minute to form a crust. Flip it and cook for another 1 minute. Repeat this for about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the butter, garlic, and thyme to the skillet and allow it to melt. Tilt the pan, so the butter gathers at the edge, and baste the steaks using a wooden spoon. Flip the steak, tilt the pan again and repeat the basting process. At 6 minutes into cooking time, check the steaks for doneness.
  5. Once it’s done, transfer the steaks to a plate and rest for about 5 minutes before you carve. You can also serve the steak at once if you wish.
  • Author: Bobby