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How to Cook a Thick Steak on the Stove(1)

How to Cook a Thick Steak on the Stove

Not everyone has the patience to cook a steak on the grill or in an oven, so the stovetop becomes a viable option. But this technique is renowned for thin steaks since it cooks fast and requires high-heat searing. Still, you can prepare a thick steak using a stovetop if you know what to do. And your guests and families won’t even know the difference, as it’ll offer a similar juicy result with an outstandingly flavored crust.

How to Cook a Thick Steak on the Stove

Steak Nutrition Facts

How to Cook a Thick Steak on the Stove

What Is Considered a Thick Steak?

You’ve probably found many steak recipes that suggest thick cuts be cooked on the stovetop. But you may also wonder what passes as a ‘thick’ steak. However, while most steak cuts range from half to one inch, thicker cuts boast a full 1.75 to two inches! And the best options to select at this thickness include the regular thick cuts like T-bone, ribeye, or strip steaks.

Steps for Thick Steak on the Stovetop

Like any other recipe, you’ll need the proper procedures to ensure a thick steak cooks well on the stovetop. And it helps to pay attention to the instructions set from start to finish if you want to end up with the tastiest recipes.


Ensure that the steaks are patted dry before you season them for cooking. Water causes the oil and pan temperature to rapidly, and this will affect how long the steaks cook, plus cause cool spots in the area affected. So, start by taking the meat out of the fridge and letting it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to lose its chill, then blot it with paper towels.


A thick steak will take time to cook on the stovetop, which is why you should use a rich coating of seasoning. And you can select between the dry rubs and wet seasoning mixes for this purpose. But because the meat’s thickness may cause the flavors to only sit at the surface, it helps to let the steaks brine or marinate in the seasoning and spices before cooking.

If you use a dry rub, let the meat sit wrapped in foil for a few hours in the fridge before cooking. But marinades should be allowed for at least eight hours to overnight, so the maximum flavors seep into the meat. You can still choose to cook the steaks a few minutes after dusting or rubbing them with herbs and spices, but letting them sit in the ingredients for a while guarantees a better flavor.

Cooking Time and Temperature

Two-inch thick steaks are best cooked in a cast-iron skillet over the stovetop, as this retains the heat needed to penetrate the tissues. The skillet is placed over high heat, and when it grows hot, oil is added. Once the oil grows hot, the steak is seared for eight to 12 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark. And you can baste the steaks with butter and aromatics added to the pan at the final two minutes of cooking.

Your doneness for thick steaks depends on how you like them, and as such, keep an eye for the following temperatures;

  • 120F for medium-rare
  • 130F for medium

Because of its thickness, the medium is the highest doneness to cook thick steaks on the stove, so maximum juiciness is retained.


When meat is cooked at a high temperature, the tissues contract and force moisture outwards. And if the meat is cut too soon after cooking, the juice will flow freely, and the tissues are left firm and dry. But allowing the meat to rest for a few minutes before cutting will give it time to reabsorb the juice. So, for the juiciest thick steaks cooked on the stove, let them rest tented in foil for at least five to 10 minutes. And when serving, slice thick steaks against the grain for tender chewiness.

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Stovetop Steak (2 Servings)

  • Author: Bobby




  1. Bring the steaks from the fridge and let them lose chill on the counter for 10 to 20 minutes, then dry them with paper towels.
  2. Generously season the steaks with black pepper and salt, and let them sit for 30 minutes at room temperature so the flavor penetrates deeper.
  3. Place a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat and let it grow very hot. Then, add the oil, heat until it gets smoky, and add the steak.
  4. Sear the steak for two minutes or until a crisp surface forms and flip it. Then cook the other side until the internal doneness reaches 100F.
  5. Add the butter to the pan and let it melt, then add the fresh thyme and minced garlic. Saute the mixture besides the steaks until fragrant, and baste it all over the steak. Repeat a couple more times until the desired internal doneness is achieved.
  6. Transfer the steak to a serving plate, cover with foil, and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Cut the steak against the grain and serve in slices, with an optional spooning of the herb butter mix.

This video can also help with more suggestions.