Steak Made Simple

steakThe How to Cook a Steak article in the foodie blog Tastebud Chicago had me at “A $30 restaurant steak can be had at home for less than $8 per steak. We promise. We’ve done it.” Better still is the fact that their recipe uses an iron skillet rather than a grill, which is great for when the weather’s too rotten to barbecue outside or for those of us living in condos.

4 replies on “Steak Made Simple”

Weird – they say the pan you use “absolutely, positively, has to be a non-stick pan”, and then in the same paragraph they use a “cast iron skillet for all our steak cooking needs”
Cook’s Illustrated says that non-stick pans are the worst at forming a yummy brown crust on seared meat – I think they recommend stainless steel. (And I’m a leery at letting non-stick pans get smoking hot.)
The article doesn’t say how to put the thermometer in, but you should stick it in sideways through the meat to the center, not from the top down.


I wrote the article. a) thanks for the link. b) as for the cast iron / non-stick thing. A properly seasoned cast iron skillet “becomes” non-stick, but what I meant by “non-stick” in that case was teflon. Teflon, under high heat creates toxic fumes. For more on cast iron, we just published a follow up article this morning

As for placement of the thermometer, you’re totally right, put it in the side.

Chris McAvoy

Ah, okay, it makes sense now. Although I don’t think I’m the only one who would be confused by the cast iron = non-stick thing.

I’ve heard the smoking hot teflon could emit toxic fumes. I don’t know if that has been proven, but I guess better safe than sorry. I’ve also heard that getting teflon too hot will shorten the pan’s useful life, even if not the chef’s, so there’s more than one reason to not get them too hot. (And they suck at producing “fond”, so there’s no point.)

Kudos to anyone who can successfully do the frying pan to oven technique, like real chefs do. The last time I did it, one minute after taking the pan out of the oven, I absent-mindedly grabbed the handle.

So, now I don’t have any fingerprints! And now when I put a steak or thick chop into the oven to finish off, I transfer it to a pre-heated broiling pan.

Ice Queen – yes, I am the proud owner of an intermittent blog –


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