Cast-Iron Steak…

My new favorite way to make juicy mouthwatering steaks…Simply put… Cast-Iron Steak! That’s it! Nothing complicated here, just an old fashion cast-iron skillet, great salt and very high heat. No oil is needed to sauté these steaks—the juices from the meat mix with the salt which forms a delicious crusty coating that prevents them from sticking to the pan and knock-out delicious! 

This isn’t steakhouse steak, it’s home cooked steak, ideal for home cooks who want fast weeknight meals. The rules are simple: buy boneless cuts (they cook evenly), thinner steaks (they cook through on top of the stove), dry them well (to maximize crust), then salt and sear them in an insanely hot, preferably cast-iron pan. The recipe here is a radical departure from the conventional wisdom on steak, which commands you to salt the meat beforehand, put it on the heat and then leave it alone. Instead, you should salt the pan (not the meat) and flip the steak early and often. This combination of meat, salt, heat and cast-iron produces super-crusty and juicy steak — no grilling, rubbing, or aging required.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you need to get one. Seriously, a cast iron skillet is a beautiful thing, and you’ll find yourself using it to brown meat for stews, fried chicken, frittatas, whatever. Really they’re great to have. First things first, always take your meat out of the fridge about a half an hour before cooking, and always salt generously. This salting will bring amino acids to the surface, and this will help you to get that beautiful steak house quality browned sear. The old truism that salting meat prior to cooking it will dry it out is, well, an untruism. Salting will make it juicier.

The secret to a great steak is all about the achieving a great brown crust, and the only way to do this is with a seriously–get ready for the smoke alarm–hot pan. Get your cast iron on the burner, and let it get as hot as you can…and then let it get hotter! This is the make or break step to a great steak, so really get that pan red hot. Open the window, and crank up the vent, and still be ready for billowing clouds of smoke…it’s the price you pay for a great steak. When the meat is cooked to your liking, let it rest covered with foil for about 10 more minutes. This step is very important, and too often overlooked.

Trust me, if you want a beautiful perfectly cooked steak, let the meat rest before cutting it…

I’m striving to have more patience in my life…lol!

Ali in the Valley

Cast-Iron Steak...

Cook Time1 hr

Total Time1 hr

Servings: 4 to 6

Author: Alison Ball


  1. Coarse salt such as kosher salt or Maldon sea salt

  2. 1 or 2 boneless beef steaks 1 inch thick (about 2 pounds total), such as strip, rib-eye, flat iron, chuck-eye, hanger or skirt (preferably “outside” skirt)

  3. Black pepper optional

  4. Garlic Mushrooms Ingredients:

  5. 1 pint of Mushrooms

  6. 3 cloves of garlic minced


Remove packaging and pat meat dry with paper towels. Line a plate with paper towels, place meat on top and set aside to dry further and come to cool room temperature (30 to 60 minutes, depending on the weather). Turn occasionally; replace paper towels as needed.

Place a heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, on the stove and sprinkle lightly but evenly with about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn heat to high under pan. Pat both sides of steak dry again.

When pan is smoking hot, 5 to 8 minutes, pat steak dry again and place in pan. (If using two steaks, cook in two batches.)

Let steak sizzle for 1 minute, then use tongs to flip it over, moving raw side of steak around in pan so both sides are salted. Press down gently to ensure even contact between steak and pan. Keep cooking over very high heat, flipping steak every 30 seconds. After it’s been turned a few times, sprinkle in two pinches salt. If using pepper, add it now.

When steak has contracted in size and developed a dark-brown crust, about 4 minutes total, check for doneness. To the touch, meat should feel softly springy but not squishy. If using an instant-read thermometer, insert into side of steak. For medium-rare meat, 120 to 125 degrees is ideal: Steak will continue cooking after being removed from heat.

Remove steak to a cutting board and tent lightly with foil. Let rest 5 minutes.

Serve in pieces or thickly slice on the diagonal, cutting away from your body and with the top edge of the knife leaning toward your body. If cooking skirt or hanger steak, make sure to slice across the grain of the meat.

Garlic Mushrooms:

After steaks remove from skillet. Add Mushrooms and garlic and saute for 3 minuters. Serve alongside Steaks.

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