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How to Cook Strip Steak




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sliced strip steak

Learn how to cook strip steak in a cast iron skillet on the stove, finished with a simple garlic butter wine pan sauce.  This tender juicy steak is the ultimate 30 minute dinner (perfect for date night and Valentine’s Day, too!)

cooking strip steak in a cast iron pan

Strip steak is my go to cut of beef when I just want a quick and easy steak dinner.  

I choose it because it’s boneless, it’s a nice small size, it’s tender, and affordable.  Above all, it’s super easy to cook.  Since I don’t eat a lot of red meat, this cut is perfect for smaller portions and recipes where I want to make beef the accent, like steak salads or stir frys.  This particular steak is so easy to slice into thin juicy slices, too.

2 New York strips steaks in a cast iron pan with pats of melting butter

What is a New York Strip Steak?

Aka Kansas City Strip Steak, Ambassador Steak, Club Steak, Country Club Steak, Delmonico Steak, Hotel Cut Steak, Shell Steak, Strip Loin Steak, Top Loin Steak ~ it’s got a lot of names because it’s a beloved cut of meat 🙂

  • The strip steak is a tender cut of meat from the short loin section of the cow.  It’s sold bone-in or boneless.
  • Strip steak is a high end cut because it has good marbling (for flavor and juiciness) and it’s tender.  It’s one of the most popular cuts at top quality steakhouses. 
  • Strip steak is more affordable than other fancy cuts like filet mignon.

raw New York Strip Steak

The absolute best way to cook a New York strip steak

Don’t you love it when the best way is the easy way?

  • Strip steak is known to be a great grilling steak, but I feel that the best way to cook it is on the stove top, in a cast iron skillet
  • Why a cast iron skillet?  Cast iron can get screaming hot so you’ll get a good sear on your steak.  After that it cooks nice and evenly, without hot spots.  
  • You can better control the heat on your stove than on a grill, so that’s why I prefer this method.  And you’re not tied to making this great steak during grilling season, which is key!

juicy sirloin strip steak with pats of butter and minced fresh rosemary

How to cook a strip steak on the stovetop in 5 easy steps

  1. Set out your meat at least 30 minutes before cooking. Lightly coat it with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper all over.
  2. Preheat your pan for several minutes over high heat, it should be smoking hot when it’s ready.
  3. Add the meat to the hot pan and LEAVE IT in place so it can get fabulous caramelization.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until the meat is done to your taste.  For a rare steak, cook to 125 degrees F, Medium Rare to 135 degrees F, Medium to 145 degrees F, Medium Well 155 degrees F, Well Done to 160 degrees F.  
  4. Add some butter to the pan and baste the meat a few times.
  5. Remove the meat to a plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you make a quick pan sauce.

pouring a pan sauce on sliced strip steak

My favorite quick pan sauce for steak

Whenever you cook steak on the stove you have the opportunity to make a quick, easy, and insanely delicious pan sauce.  There are so many variations on this, but the basics are the same…

  • After removing the steak from the pan assess the amount of juices and fat remaining.  If it is minimal, melt a few pats of butter into it.  Add minced garlic if there isn’t any in the pan already and saute minute.
  • You now want to add some sort of liquid to the pan to form the base for your sauce, this can be wine (my preference) stock, or even a splash of water.  Stir to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, this is your flavor.
  • Season with fresh or dried herbs if you like, I love to add fresh rosemary. 
  • Let the liquid reduce a little bit, depending on how much you added this will just take a minute or two.  If there are any juices from the plate where the steak has been resting, add them now.  
  • Spoon over the steak as you serve it.

Note: don’t expect a huge amount of sauce…pan sauces are meant to be drizzled judiciously over your meat.  Expect a thin, highly reduced sauce that will give up a punch of flavor as you serve.

Of course if you’re feeling up to it you can always make an incredible chimichurri sauce for your steak…

sliced strip steak

How to slice strip steak

There are only 3 rules:

  1. Slice after the meat has rested 5-10 minutes.
  2. Use a good sharp knife, smooth, not serrated.
  3. Slice against the grain into 1/4 inch slices.  Slicing against the grain makes the meat super tender.  (The grain is the direction of muscle fibers in the meat, so look at the direction the lines are going, and slice the meat across them, not in the same direction.)
sliced strip steak
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4.72 from 14 votes

How to Cook Strip Steak

Tender juicy strip steak cooked in a cast iron skillet on the stove, with a simple garlic butter wine pan sauce.
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet or other heavy bottomed skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs strip steak (2 steaks about 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 Tbsp butter

pan sauce

  • 1/2 cup red wine (drinking wine, not cooking wine)
  • fresh rosemary, minced

Instructions

  • Set your steaks out on the counter for 30 minutes before cooking. This allows the internal temperature to come up slowly, and allows the meat to cook more evenly.
  • Rub the steaks on both sides with olive oil, and season with sea salt and pepper, both sides. Preheat your pan over high heat. This will allow you to get that great outdoor grill sear right on the stove top.
  • Add the meat to the hot pan and LEAVE IT in place so it can get fabulous caramelization.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until the meat is done to your taste.  For a rare steak, cook to 125 degrees F, Medium Rare to 135 degrees F, Medium to 145 degrees F, Medium Well 155 degrees F, Well Done to 160 degrees F.  
  • Add the butter to the pan and baste the meat a few times.
  • Remove the meat to a plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you make a quick pan sauce.
  • Slice the steak, against the grain, into thin slices.

pan sauce

  • After removing the meat, deglaze the pan with the wine. You can use stock or even water if you don't want to use alcohol, but I recommend the alcohol for best flavor. Much of the alcohol will burn off as you cook the sauce, anyway.
  • Add the minced rosemary and boil the sauce until reduced and thickened. Remove the garlic cloves. Taste to adjust the seasonings and serve drizzled over the sliced steak.

how to cook strip steak pin

 

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14 Comments

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  • Reply
    Alexandra
    January 15, 2020 at 2:50 am

    5 stars
    It is the best way to cook a steak and your description makes it easy to follow and understand. Thank you! Is it possible you may recommend a cast iron skillet brand you tested / used and found it to give the best cooking results? I currently have an enameled cast iron skillet but is not wise to heat it up at high temperatures as its coating might be destroyed.
    Thank you again, Sue

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 15, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Yes, and thanks!! I love Lodge cast iron because it’s inexpensive and works perfectly. They make all shapes and sizes and you can find it on Amazon.

      • Reply
        Alexandra
        January 17, 2020 at 2:12 am

        Thank you Sue!

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 13, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    5 stars
    Thanks for the tips about the pan sauce, Sue! I’ve never thought of adding butter! This steak is gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Suzy
    January 13, 2020 at 8:53 am

    5 stars
    Getting steak to come out perfect can be tricky! I love how easy this looks to make and the tip about letting the meat rest! Makes it stay so juicy!

  • Reply
    Heidy L. McCallum
    January 13, 2020 at 8:30 am

    5 stars
    I love using my cast iron skillet for cooking steaks this time of year. I usually do sirloins, but I think I might try a more economical cut such as your recipe using strip steak.

  • Reply
    low and slow
    January 13, 2020 at 8:17 am

    5 stars
    If I plan ahead I`ll cook them sous vide which takes 90 minutes to cook at 128 degrees then sear it off and make a pan sauce just as this recipe does.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 13, 2020 at 8:34 am

      I need to try sous vide this year!

  • Reply
    Shadi Hasanzadenemati
    January 13, 2020 at 8:10 am

    5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe like this, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Angela Allison
    January 13, 2020 at 8:04 am

    5 stars
    Love this tutorial! Can’t wait to try this out. Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 13, 2020 at 8:06 am

      It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day meal 🙂

  • Reply
    Rowena
    January 13, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Sounds simple and delicious. Does the steak, rubbed with olive oil, make a lot of smoke in the cast-iron pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 13, 2020 at 7:49 am

      Whenever I cook steak on the stove it does smoke, that’s part of the deal. I turn the fan on high, for sure!

  • Reply
    Cindy
    January 13, 2020 at 7:42 am

    5 stars
    Your pictures are stunning and your directions are so clear.