Pan-Seared Steak with Butter and Garlic: The Ultimate Steak Recipe

This Steak Recipe will quickly become one of your go-to methods for cooking steak. The process is straightforward, and the resulting dish is uncomplicated but incredibly tasty. When you begin with a high-quality steak, you need only add butter, garlic, and thyme (if you have it) to create a dish that will be talked about for days.  

Skillet Seared Steak with Garlic Butter

Excellent Steak, Pan-Seared

When I was first learning how to cook, steak was one of the most daunting foods I had to tackle. Whatever it was, perhaps the high price and the ease with which they can be overcooked, put people off cooking steak, but with a few simple tips (as mentioned below), it can be a breeze.

Since it's a family favorite, I make it at least once a month, and this method has been my go-to as of late. That golden brown crust and the buttery, garlicky interior are to die for.

I also appreciate that this technique can be used whenever you want, even in the dead of winter when your grill is buried under a foot of snow.

Check Out the Clip

Best Steak to Buy

A Steak Cooking Guide

  • The steaks will cook more evenly if you let them rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before putting them in the oven.
  • Cooking oil of choice should be heated in a cast-iron skillet that measures 12 inches in diameter over medium heat (you want to let it get hot, preheating should take about 3 minutes if using a gas stove, and more if using an electric stove). ) When cooking, I like to have the exhaust fan on high.
  • Salt and pepper the steak on both sides (some people say pepper should be added last because it can burn, but I've never had burnt pepper) and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Steaks should be pressed down with metal tongs from top to bottom to ensure full contact with the pan when cooking.
  • Allow the bottom to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Steak should be cooked for another 3 minutes after being flipped to achieve desired doneness (see temperature notes).
  • Add butter, garlic, and thyme and lower the heat to medium. Steaks can be cooked for an additional minute, or until the internal temperature reaches the desired doneness, if you use an oven mitt to hold the pan and tilt it so the butter pools to one side before spooning it over the steaks.
  • Place on plates, and wait 5 minutes before cutting.

Steak New York Strip or Rib Eye Recipe

How to Cook a Perfect Steak

  • A high-quality steak is the first step. Ribeye or New York Strip, both prime or choice cuts, work well in this recipe (and go boneless, as the NYT recommends; only a small portion will be flavored by the bone, anyway).
  • Cook the steak in a cast-iron skillet. This hefty pan is ideal for browning, searing, and distributing heat evenly.
  • Always make sure to preheat your pan (and the highest setting on your stove) before starting any dish. Let the pan get nice and hot. The steak gets a fantastic sear this way. On my gas stove, preheating a pan takes about 3 minutes, while on an electric stove, it could take as long as 10 minutes. The oil must be smoking hot and shimmering.
  • Use paper towels to pat the steaks dry. In the end, a crisper exterior is the result of a drier exterior.
  • Use plenty of salt, and if you can, try to find Kosher so that everything gets seasoned evenly.
  • As a result of its low smoke point, butter should be added toward the end of the cooking process.
  • Check the core temperature with a digital thermometer. No one likes a rare or well-done steak. You wouldn't want to waste expensive steak on an overcooked meal, so the recipe calls for only 3 minutes of cooking time on each side. The steak can be served in its natural state, saving you the trouble of cutting into it to determine its doneness.
  • Wait 5 minutes after cooking before slicing it at room temperature. This will allow the juices to redistribute so that they aren't all pooled on our plate.

Skillet Seared Steak with Garlic Butter

Guidelines for Cooking Steak:

Here's a quick guide to the temperatures to look for depending on your preferred level of doneness. (Visually, this color chart is fantastic: CLICK HERE )

  • Infrequent (cold red core) - dangerously hot (125 degrees).
  • Rare (135 degrees) means medium (warm red center).
  • Medium (pink in the middle and warm) is 145 degrees.
  • (Slightly pink in the middle) Medium well (150 degrees)
  • Good (no or very little pink) - 160 degrees

What Temperature to Cook Steak Degree of Doneness

Complementary Meals for Steak

An uncomplicated recipe for making a delicious steak with only the essentials. This is one dish the whole family will enjoy. It's up to you whether you use Ribeye or New York strip steak; whichever is cheaper or more readily available. The steak will still be delicious even if you substitute rosemary for the thyme or don't use any at all.
Servings: 4 (One-half steak per diner)
  • 2 (12 oz) Steaks such as ribeyes and New York strips (roughly 1 and a quarter inches)
  • 1 Tbsp edible oil
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 tsp Cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp neutral salt butter
  • 2 sprigs renewed thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced and crushed
  • Marinating steaks for 30 minutes at room temperature
  • Vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet of about 12 inches in diameter should be heated over medium-high heat until it shimmers and is just about to smoke (this takes about 3 minutes on a gas stovetop and a bit longer on an electric stovetop).
  • Use paper towels to pat dry the steak on both sides before seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Steaks should be placed in a hot skillet and pressed down with metal tongs to ensure that the entire bottom surface is in contact with the pan.
  • Leave for 3 minutes or until bottom is browned.
  • Steak should be cooked to an internal temperature of 115 degrees for medium-rare. This should take about 3 minutes after being flipped.
  • Add butter, garlic, and thyme and lower the heat to medium.
  • Holding the pan with an oven mitt, tilt it so the butter pools on one side, then spoon it over the steaks and return to the oven for another minute, checking the internal temperature of the meat every 30 seconds.
  • Move to plates. Hold off on cutting for 5 minutes.
  • Recipe adapted from the website My Recipes.
How well done you like your steak: Medium rare at 135 degrees 145 degrees is considered "medium." Medium-well (150 degrees) Optimal Temperature: 160 degrees The Food and Drug Administration advises cooking food to 145 degrees for safety.  
Steak cooked in garlic butter and seared in a skillet
437 calories Total Fat Calories 297
The Daily Values (DV) presented here are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Values for nutrients are approximations only. To learn more about our disclaimer, click here.

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