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How to Cook the Perfect Steak at Home

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How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Unless it includes a free voucher for more steak, it’s rarely worth it to pay 50 bucks for any cut of meat, especially when it’s this easy to cook one at home. I bought this prime ribeye steak for $25, and cooked it in a skillet to medium-rare perfection in the time it takes to even get noticed by a maître d’. 

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Choose your cut

This is a 16-ounce prime ribeye steak, cut ½-inch thick. You want to choose the freshest, best quality beef you can find. Marbling means it's fatty and full of flavor, so white stuff is good. Let your steak come to room temperature. This will ensure it cooks through evenly.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Render fat

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place the steak upright on its fatty edge to render fat into the pan. You may have to use tongs to hold it in place.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Brown the edges

Rotate the steak in various positions to get a uniform, browned crust. There should be enough rendered fat to cover the bottom of the pan after 5-10 minutes. If there’s more, drain out the excess fat.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Brown the flat side

Lay the steak on one of its flat sides and cook for 5 minutes.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Flip and brown some more

Ditto for the other side, 5 minutes.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Remove the steak

Turn off heat and transfer steak to a plate.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Discard fat

Carefully pour the rendered fat into a small dish and discard.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Add butter and garlic  

Return steak to the pan and add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Salt it up

Don't be shy, make it snow, baby!

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Baste it

Using a spoon, constantly baste the steak with melted butter, for 10 minutes.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Flip and finish cooking​

Flip the steak, sprinkle more salt on it, and cook for 10 more minutes.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Rest it

Transfer the steak to a plate and rest it in a warm spot for 15 minutes (you can stick it in the oven at 150℉).

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Cut it up

Cut it into slices, against the grain, and eat immediately with your bare hands. Or a fork and knife if you must, but something about eating meat with your hands makes it better.

How to make the perfect skillet steak — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Stand for applause

Even if it's coming from your own greasy hands.