How to Cook the Easiest Steak Ever

This is a recipe from Rebel Chef Noel Fernando.

When people think of the Paleo Diet, it seems like the first thing that comes to mind is a big, juicy steak. (Okay, so maybe bacon is first. Then steak.)

Many of us do love steak, but are afraid of trying to cook it at home. A nice piece of meat, even at the grocery store, can be expensive, so we don’t want to risk over-cooking or seasoning incorrectly. I understand where your fears are coming from, friends, and I’m here to talk you through it.

Believe me, steak intimidated me for a long time. If you’ve been wanting to try cooking your own steak at home, this recipe couldn’t be any simpler. Get ready to level up your cooking game and make yourself gosh darn proud!

This steak is super easy. It takes 15 minutes and only uses 4 ingredients.

Enough talking. Let’s get to cooking!

Ingredients & Equipment:

Noel_Easy_Steak_001

Basic Steak:

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 3 min
Serves: 2

1 steak (1/2 lb or 226g per person) – if this is your first time cooking a steak, get a ribeye. It’s hard to go wrong with this cut. Ribeyes are well-marbled, tender pieces of meat, with a mid-range price. If you can afford it, spring for grass fed beef. It tastes better.

An ideal ribeye is about an inch thick. Some places give you the option of bone-in or boneless. I usually go with boneless, but this is just personal preference.

1/2 Tbsp (7.3 ml) butter or ghee – ghee has a higher smoke point and is better for searing meats, which is what we’re doing here. But chefs around the world have been using butter to sear meat for a long time. Just make sure your pan isn’t so hot that the butter burns. (You’ll know it’s burning when you put it in the pan and it immediately turns brown and smells a little off. If this happens to you, it’s totally fine. I still do it all the time. Just pour your butter out, rinse off the pan – careful not to burn yourself while doing this – and start over by heating the pan up again.)

Coarse sea salt – using coarse salt for cooking steak changed my world. If you want your world rocked and you’re going to be cooking meats often, get some high-quality coarse salt. You won’t regret it.

Freshly ground, coarse black pepper – the best way to control the coarseness and freshness of your pepper is to buy a pepper mill. This is a pretty decent investment for a new cook. If you like the taste of pepper, nothing beats having it freshly ground. If you don’t have it, regular pepper obviously works too!

Equipment:

  • Frying pan – Please use an all-metal pan (cast iron or stainless steel are great). You’ll be placing it in a hot hot hot oven, and nothing ruins a meal like melted, burned plastic inside your oven. Womp womp.
  • Tongs – One of my favorite pieces of equipment in the kitchen. If you don’t have a pair of tongs, get yourself one. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
  • Cutting Board – Any will do, but plastic is best for staying sanitary when cooking with raw meat.
  • Meat thermometer (optional) – I’ve mentioned this magical little piece of equipment before. If you never ever want to have to worry about over or under cooking your meat, buy this thing. It makes everything so much easier. Your steak, chicken, pork chop, etc. will be cooked to perfection every time.

Instructions:

1. Start by taking your steak out of the fridge and letting it come to room temperature. This helps the steak cook quickly and evenly. Just make sure you put it in a safe place so your dog doesn’t steal it. My dog stole a pound of flank steak one time… it was a bad day (for me…my dog had a great day!)

2. Next, heat your pan and the oven. Set the oven to broil (or high, if that’s an option), and heat your pan on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

Noel_Easy_Steak_024

3. While the pan and oven are pre heating, take your steak out of the package and place it on a cutting board or plate. Pat it dry with some paper towels. Having minimal moisture on the meat will ensure the most contact between the actual meat and the pan. You’re shooting for no liquid in between.

4. Next, sprinkle some salt and grind pepper onto both sides of your steak. Easy enough.

Noel_Easy_Steak_004

If you want to get really fancy and plan ahead, salt your meat and then let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator over night. The salt will break down some of the muscle tissue and re-absorb some of the moisture.

5. This is where things start to happen quickly. Make sure you’ve read through the rest of the recipe so you know what comes next! I suggest you also have a stop watch or timer with you.

Plop your butter or ghee into the pan, and place your steak right on top of it. The steak should sizzle right away. Oh yeah.

Noel_Easy_Steak_010

After 30 seconds, use your tongs to flip the meat. Your steak should have a nice brown caramelization on the side you just seared. This is called the maillard reaction, and it is delicious, beautiful thing.

Noel_Easy_Steak_013

6. Let your beautiful steak cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. Now both sides will be caramelized brown, but the middle will still be raw. That’s okay. Move on to step 7.

7.  Next, take that pan and stick it in the oven. (If you’re using a meat thermometer, this is the time to use it. Set it and stick it in the steak before you put it in the oven please! Remember, medium-rare is 130-135F, medium is 140-145F, and medium-well is 150-155F. Many digital thermometers have pre-settings you can choose from.)

Noel_Easy_Steak_015

8. In order to get a medium-rare steak, it will need to sit in the broiler for approximately 2 minutes. Yes, that’s right. Only 2 minutes.

9. After those two minutes are up, grab an oven mitt and pull your steak out of the oven. But don’t slice into it yet!

10. Remove your steak from the pan with your tongs and place it on a cutting board or plate. If you’re using the same board/plate from step 4 (seasoning), you’ll want to wash it first! No mixing cooked and raw surfaces!

Noel_Easy_Steak_016

Let the steak rest on the plate, covered in foil, for about 10 minutes. This could be the longest 10 minutes of your life. While you’re waiting, fix up a salad, put some veggies on your plate, cut your sweet potato in half, or play some Tetris.

11. Eat up! Congratulations! You just cooked your first steak! 10 points to Gryffindor!

Get Cooking!

Noel_Easy_Steak_021

The weather’s getting warmer, and summer is a time for grilling. Not all of us Rebels have access to a grill, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a big juicy steak every once in a while!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit this makes a pretty plain piece of meat. If you’re buying high quality beef, this is probably all you’ll need to make it taste amazing.

However, some people’s taste buds might want a little more. Feel free to experiment with dry rubs, marinades, herbs, and spices of any kind (more of these higher-level recipes coming soon!). As always, if you’re sticking to paleo, read the labels!

In any case, follow the 10 steps above, use these 4 ingredients, and it’ll be one of the tastiest, prettiest home cooked meals you’ll put on your plate. Be proud of your mad skills!

What’s your favorite way to cook a steak? Marinades? Rubs?

What other recipes would you like to see? 

Let us know in the comments!

-Noel

PS: We’ve been adding these recipes and a few dozen more to our Nerd Fitness Academy, which has recipes, meal plans, workout plans, and the ability to complete quests and missions and level up as you get healthier. Check it out!

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  • DrFeelgood

    I like to use a cast-iron pan on my charcoal grill. It gets hotter than the stove-top (better sear) and keeps the splatter-y mess outside where it belongs, and the pan gives Maillard more surface area to do his thing. Then once the steak is done I can cook up a batch of veggie sides in the same pan while the meat rests.

    When I’m feeling extra fancy I do a reverse sear, but usually I just want to eat. 😉

  • Gladius270

    I don’t need instructions to cook a steak, but this is so applicable, as I’m having steak, salad, and sweet potato for dinner tonight. Definitely using the charcoal grill. You can’t beat the charcoal grill flavor.

  • Gladius270

    I need to snag a cast-iron pan. I’ve balked at it since I have an electric, flat cook top. Never thought about using it on the grill.

  • Jonathan Paul

    +1 for reverse sear! Changed my life 😀 Best steak I’ve ever made. But I agree, usually steak is a quick meal in our house, so it’s for special occasions only. Plus, I like to buy extra-thick steaks when I cook them that way, usually about 1.75″ thick.

  • AlexCold

    The only thing I would change on this is to only salt the steak, then cook, then add the black pepper. The reason I do this is the black pepper can burn, and that doesn’t taste as good as fresh ground pepper. Just something to try!

  • Chris Kelly

    if you use a marinade, how do you handle the need for no liquid between the pan and the steak?

  • Benstafa

    Should always let your steak sit out of the fridge for 20 mins before you cook as well. Otherwise, the outside gets over-done while the inside is cold. This is another good instruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmC9SmCBUj4

  • Noel

    I’ve never thought about using a cast iron pan on a grill! I’ve gotta try it! It sounds awesome. Thanks for the tip!

  • Noel

    Heck yeah! Thick steaks ftw!

  • Noel

    Yum! Sounds delish!

  • Elle

    I usually do mine with a bit of garlic and onion powder in addition to the salt and pepper, but my favorite thing to do is to fry up some shaved carrots, french cut green beans, and some onion in the rendered fat/butter mixture. Caramelize those suckers while the meat’s resting and you’ve got a helluva meal!

  • Noel

    Hmm good tip! I’ll have to test that next time. Thanks!

  • Noel

    Wow. That sounds incredible. I’m coming over to your place for dinner!

  • Noel

    Good tip! Thanks!

  • Courtney

    Don’t forget your pan sauce! While your steak is resting add a splash of red wine to the pan with whatever chopped up herb you have lying around (thyme is my personal favorite with rosemary a close second). Let it reduce for a minute or two and then top it off with a little extra butter/ghee. Once your steak is ready, spoon the pan sauce over top and prepare yourself for steak heaven.

  • Benstafa

    In regard to this, if you use a very coarse grind on your pepper, it will be less likely to burn. But I’ve had it burn like that too, so I get what you’re saying.

  • CJ Pomerantz

    Another quick tip, if you’ve frozen your steak (we buy at Costco, but only eat steak a couple times a month, so we need to freeze some) cook it straight from frozen. It takes longer, but you end up with a much juicier steak.

  • Nat Crum

    You glossed over one of the biggest secrets of a great steak, at a cheap price! (but at least you mentioned it!)
    http://steamykitchen.com/163-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steaks-into-gucci-prime-steaks.html

    That salting process, can be a HUGE cost savings, as well as a HUGE flavor bonus.

    My personal tweak here would be to add rosemary and pepper, to the salt and let sit for an hour prior to rinsing.

    You actually get a REALLY tender piece of meat, with salt and rosemary flavor throughout, rather than just on the outside. I found Kosher salt to work best for it, and a 3lb box of it has lasted me well over a year, and was like $5, if memory serves.

    I did this with a huge flank steak once, and ended up making what all 20 people considered the best French dips ever. BBQ grilled it, and it was still tender!

  • Natasha Sellner

    We always sear on the grill first (gives really good flavor and grill marks) then finish it off in the oven. Even if it’s snowing, we fire up the grill. Just too much flavor there to pass up. Granted we also use a chimney–no lighter fluid—ruins a steak. 🙂

  • Fyrsta

    I definitely second previous comments about adding pepper after cooking, and possibly using the reverse sear. Usually, though, I’m lazy enough to just do the entire thing on the stovetop. Three or four minutes on each side usually does the trick (and lightly covering with aluminum foil if it’s a slightly thicker steak). When doing this, I start cooking with oil and add butter near the end of the cooking process, constantly spooning it over the steak.

    I’ve heard conflicting things on letting the steak come to room temperature before cooking. I read an article the other day that challenged the “cooking evenly” benefit, though I’ve always been led to believe that you bring it to room temperature so that it remains tender when you cook it. This has held pretty well in my personal experience, especially with cuts like flank that can turn tough really easily if you’re not careful.

    Anyway, I now know what I’m having for dinner tonight! Thanks!

  • Elle

    Haha, come on over! I also find that frying in a little olive oil is good, too – that way I can flavor the oil with some herbs if I wanted before frying up the meat. Always a big plus.

  • Bing8258

    This is awesome, thanks so much. I love love love the cooking/recipe articles, keep them coming! I also appreciate the mix of super simple how to’s along with more in depth recipes. I see this steak in my near future. I would love to see some new recipes or ideas for grilling up some tasty veggies while I’m grilling up a meat storm this summer. Thanks Noel!

  • http://www.michaelsmoment.com Michael Mitchell

    Wow that looks really good. “BEEF” it’s whats for dinner!

  • Ryan Romaio

    My favorite steak to date was just converting your pan seared garlic pork chops to using steak instead. Follows most of the steps you labelled above but also adds garlic!

    Thanks again for the tips (Never realized 2 minutes on broil is enough for medium rare) blown my mind! 😛

  • http://erectordesk.com Erector Desk

    Cast iron pans all the way! For anyone else that has to look up the Maillard reaction (vs caramelization) every time…

    “Caramelization is an entirely different process from Maillard browning, though the results of the two processes are sometimes similar to the naked eye (and tastebuds). Caramelization may sometimes cause browning in the same foods in which the Maillard reaction occurs, but the two processes are distinct. They both are promoted by heating, but the Maillard reaction involves amino acids, as discussed above, whereas caramelization is simply the pyrolysis of certain sugars.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

  • Tricia

    My husband proposed to me over steak and sweet potatoes, so they hold a sentimental place in my heart. Also a point of hilarity because I almost ate the engagement ring before I spotted it nestled in my food…. But to this day, a steak grilled to medium rare with sweet potatoes is a special meal for us 😀

  • Jackie Tracey Risk

    I just want to say, THANK YOU NOEL! My husband and I saw this article and decided to make it for supper last night after our workout. The steak turned out so juicy and delicious! We made sweet potato fries instead, but it was such a great and satisfying meal, loved it!

  • Angie Miller

    Trying to lose weight?

    If you’re looking for something that works to lose weight quickly and keep it off, I recently discovered The 3 Week Diet (go to tinyurl.com/the21body ) on our local news and it really helped me. I went from 195 pounds all the way to 145, so I’m glad I made the change to a healthier lifestyle. If I can do it, you can too! Get up off your butt and do something about your health and fitness! Three weeks from now you’ll wish you have started today… good luck and you can do this! I promise 🙂

    Text me if you need some help staying motivated! (313) 744-4235 – I might be a little slow at replying but I’ll do my best to be your free personal trainer. We can be here for each other 🙂

  • Matt

    Put Rosemary between the butter and steak when you first put the meat on…it + S&P is the PERFECT flavor.

    Also, it was said in some of the other comments, don’t cook it straight out of the fridge, leave the meat on the counter 20 min before cooking

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  • Angela

    Someone gave me a sea salt stone to cook my steak on has anyone used one? Would I skip the seasoning?

  • http://www.packweb.net/ Alison Bowling

    Waiting to type a post out due to drool on the keyboard is not so great… steak…mmm. I wish I could eat it more often but it makes me feel bloated and dull for about three days… anyone on here have any idea why? It’s led me to eating chicken, fish and turkey much more as well as some sausage but red meat does numbers on me. I want that steak so badly 🙁

  • Leanne Fenwick

    Thanks for the info re: cooking a steak. For those in Australia / New Zealand / South Africa … we wouldn’t ever put our steak into the oven/broiler – quickest way to ruin a perfect piece of meat! Cook the steak around 2mins each side over a medium high cooktop for medium rare (perfectly cooked) or approx the same amount of time on a barbeque / charcoal burner (?). In a frypan, use only butter and do not season! If you have a cheap piece of meat that you’re unsure of the tenderness of the meat – marinade for approx 20min in a mix of equal parts coconut aminos and whisky (yup!) or you can use soya sauce, garlic and ginger. Enjoy your meat by using the least amount of seasoning – do that afterwards.

  • http://www.courtneyharwood.com/ Courtney Harwood

    This post makes me hungry… and that’s coming from someone who just loaded up on flank steak, rice, and asparagus. Ha! (It looks so tasty, and you can never have too much steak.)

    This is really a fool-proof way to get your steak on at home — if you don’t have a grill. Personally, there’s nothing better than that charcoal flavor you get from grilling the meat, and I generally opt for a light coat of Lawry’s seasoned salt, hot coals, and of course, tongs for the flipping.

  • http://plantthepower.com/ Plant The Power Fitness

    I can smell it here ,simple ingrediants are the best, salt and pepper . All those store marinades and bullseye, diana,etc. stuff are just not needed , this is easy to make and delicious !

  • http://howtobedapper.com/ Edmond

    I cook my steak the same way every time – I get my pan as hot as possible. I add a little light sunflower oil and wait a second for that to get really hot, almost smoking. My ribeye steak is usually just over an inch thick and I place it on one side for two and a half mins and then I turn it over for another 2 and a half mins. I’m doing to get that nice deep brown sear on both sides, without overdoing the middle. Then I let it rest on a chopping board for 3 mins. Then I slice it into thick strips and drizzle a little soy on it. I love it, particularly the fatty bits!

  • Angie Miller

    What if I told you it only takes 21 days to get in shape? Losing weight doesn’t have to take long. Just wanted to share a tip with the guys and ladies here who want to lose weight. Here’s my story:

    If you’re looking for something that works to lose weight quickly and keep it off, I recently discovered The 3 Week Diet (go to TINYURL.COM/QUICKDIET99 ) on our local news and it really helped me. I went from 195 pounds all the way to 145, so I’m glad I made the change to a healthier lifestyle. If I can do it, you can too! Get up off your butt and do something about your health and fitness! Three weeks from now you’ll wish you have started today… good luck and you can do this! I promise 🙂

    Text me if you need some help staying motivated! (313) 744-4235 – I might be a little slow at replying but I’ll do my best to be your free personal trainer. We can be here for each other 🙂

    xo,

    Angie

  • http://howtocookasteakindoors.blogspot.com/ Zerin Akter

    I think It Not Look delicious. Can u add a video Recipe How to Cook a steak indoors Perfectly….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jilmsSlIYTs

  • Sumit Mahawar

    Pan frying is alright, this method is a lot better https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W0m4YEmwKo

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  • Kay Cee

    I made my 1st steak this week, Inside Round, but I salted it with coarse salt, and let the butter carmelize in a grill pan. I did the ‘tsssszzz’ and did it for 2mins, turned 90deg, another 2 mins, then flip and ‘tsssszzzz’ again, 2mins then 90deg turn and 2 mins again. Beautiful. Best trick after, I had some al dente spaghetti left, I tossed it into the pan drippings and got it absorb it all…when craving Chinese lo mein beef noodles in future I’m going to do this instead, so yummy. And I ate the steak in simple strips! Yum! Pepper idea to do after is good idea.