Any meal is enhanced by a juicy, well-cooked steak. When most people think about cooking a steak, they think about firing up the barbecue on a summer afternoon. However, another great method is by using a frying pan for cooking steak. This is especially a great option for anyone who doesn’t have access to a barbecue grill, for instance, those in apartments or urban areas. Plus, pan-fried steaks are simply delicious!
Certain types of pans are ideally suited to fry steaks. This article will cover the top five best frying pans for steaks. We’ll look at the merits of each frying pan, what distinguishes one from the other, as well as some critical points to consider. Finally, a short guide to help you select the perfect pan for your needs will be covered. To further assist you’re shopping, a few of the most frequently asked questions will be answered. Ultimately, any good meal can be made great with a pan-fried steak—even the most underskilled chefs can take their meals up a notch using this method!
1. Best Overall – Lodge 8 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Small Pre-Seasoned Skillet for Stovetop, Oven, or Camp Cooking
Lodge’s eight-inch cast-iron skillet is a sturdy pan that will last you a lifetime of delicious cooking. Since cast iron needs to be specially treated before use, Lodge has gone ahead and pre-seasons the skillet, and so it’s ready for use as soon as you get it. It is also a good size, and at eight inches, it’s perfect for cooking a couple of steaks at a time.
As mentioned, it is made of cast iron which is a superior material for cooking since it has incredible heat rendition and even cooking. Plus, cast iron lasts for a very long time. The whole skillet is a single piece of cast iron, the handle is shaped to make handling easy, and there is a hole in it to hang when not in use.
This all-American company delivers high-quality craftsmanship to your kitchen. One of the benefits of this cast iron skillet is that it can be used on virtually all heat sources (except microwaves). You can use it in the oven, on the stove, on a grill, or over a campfire. The best part still is that the more you use it, the better the seasoning becomes. The care and maintenance are easy too, just a simple wash with mild soap and then hung to dry – it’ll be waiting and ready for your next delicious meal.
The only drawback is that cast iron tends to require a few extra care steps in the beginning. This skillet comes pre-seasoned, but generally, a few rounds of seasoning are required. Nevertheless, this also happens to be an asset to this frying pan because you’ll get delicious meals for generations, with only a little extra work upfront. It’s well worth it!
|Can be used in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire|
The more you use it, the better the seasoning becomes
|Cast iron can require some extra maintenance, especially in the beginning as it needs to be seasoned a few times before it’s fully functional.|
2. Best Iron Grill Pan – Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan. Pre-seasoned Grill Pan with Easy Grease Draining for Grilling Bacon, Steak, and Meats.
If you’re looking for the grilled effect for your steak, but want to cook using a frying pan, then Lodge’s 10.5-inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan is your best choice. It gives you the best of both worlds: the great grilling effect loved on steaks with the convenience and simplicity of cooking on the stove. The grill ribs in the pan raise whatever you’re cooking and let any drippings pool underneath, ensuring a more even cooking process.
Similar to other Lodge pans, this comes pre-seasoned but may require some extra work seasoning and cleaning upfront. Nevertheless, like all of their products, you’ll have this pan for decades to come—it’s well worth the investment. This family-owned and all-American product is built on the principles of quality.
On top of being the perfect indoor grill on the stovetop, this pan also uses the same pre-seasoning method that produces a natural, non-stick finish that lasts for years. While cast iron may rust with improper care, the small extra effort is worth the convenience of having a 100% natural, non-stick pan.
You can rest assured that your food will be kept free from unhealthy chemicals that you can find on other frying pans. All this, plus a beautifully grilled steak—there’s no comprising that!
|Get the grilled effect on your streak on the stove top|
Natural, non-stick finish that lasts for years
|Cast iron can rust quickly without the proper care and maintenance |
3. Best Budget – Cuisinart 630-30 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Round Grill Pan, Black
There are many reasons to want a cheaper frying pan, but there’s no reason why your steak should have to taste cheap. With Cuisinart’s Chef’s Classic 12 inch Round Grill Pan, you won’t have to compromise a delicious, perfectly cooked steak for your budget. This pan has a highly durable exterior, and it is designed with a cool grip handle. It makes it easy to use and ultimately safer to use. In addition, it has a drip-free rim that is carefully tapered to make sure you can easily pour the drippings without making a mess.
Despite being a low-cost frying pan, you won’t be sacrificing quality. This pan has grill ribs, which makes it ideally suited to giving you the barbecued-steak effect with the ease of stovetop cooking. Plus, it is engineered with a quantum non-stick material that will give you the perks of a cast iron grill pan—without the extra cleaning and maintenance requirements.
One downside to this pan is that it can be scratched more easily than true cast iron. It will require extra careful handling, and you shouldn’t experience any major issues. Cuisinart is a trusted brand in the kitchen, and this pan is another example of their high-quality products.
|Best low-cost frying pan for steaks|
Engineered with a quantum non-stick pan
|Can scratch more easily than true cast iron pans |
4. Best Versatile Pan – Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan, 15 Inch ASIN: B073Q8P6CQ
AmazonBasics has designed a solid cast iron pan that is large enough to cook your full meal at one time. It’s a full 15 inches of cooking space – which is massive compared to other cast iron skillets on the market.
This pan can be used to cook your steak to perfection, as well as any other accompanying dishes. It delivers an even heat distribution and can be used in virtually any heat source. They’ve also added in a sturdy ergonomic handle and an extra lip to grip the pan easily and safely. They’ve also pre-seasoned the skillet to let you get started as soon as possible.
On top of being a large and highly versatile cast iron frying pan, it is also quite a bit cheaper compared to other similar items. If you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to enjoy a cast iron to the most of its abilities, then it may be a good idea to spend a little less and test the cast iron handling with this trusted pan.
The main drawback to this pan is that the pre-seasoning isn’t as effective as other brands. This means that you’ll need to season the pan, likely before its first use. This minor hassle will be paid off because once done, you’ll be able to enjoy it with minimal effort. This pan will give you the perfectly cooked steak and dish that you’re looking for, cheaper than other cast iron pans.
|Can be used to cook a whole meal at one time|
Inexpensive compared to other cast iron pans
|Pre-seasoning treatment will likely need to be redone upon arrival|
5. Best Large Skillet – Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with 2 Loop Handles – 17 Inch Ergonomic Frying Pan
If you enjoy frequently cooking large meals, then Lodge’s pre-seasoned, 17 inches wide and two-inch deep, cast iron skillet is perfect for you. It is one of the largest cast iron skillets that you can purchase. It comes with two loop handles so you can easily and safely pick it up and move it while cooking or storing it.
As is true for other cast iron pans, this skillet can be used on virtually all heat sources. This fact combined with the size makes this ultra-versatile. You’ll also get Lodge’s special pre-season treatment so you can essentially put this frying pan to use straight away.
One challenge that large frying pans often face is heat retention and distribution. Most large pans cannot hold onto heat or distribute it evenly. However, this isn’t an issue for Lodge’s extra-large cast-iron skillet. Their careful contraction ensures craftsmanship quality, which means a perfectly heating cooking pan regardless of whether you use it in the oven, on induction or electric stovetop, or even over a campfire.
The main setback to this skillet is that Lodge’s pre-season mixture leaves a relatively rough surface compared to some other cast iron products. This is a minor issue and doesn’t impact the cooking quality. Plus, the surface evens out over time and with use. Overall, this is a one-stop skillet that can fit all of the steaks you need.
|A large and versatile skillet (17 inches wide and 2 inches deep) that is perfectly built for steaks, veggies, potatoes, or whatever other delicious recipes you can cook up!|
Incredible heat retention and distribution
|The seasoning coating is a rough texture that covers the entire skillet|
Every great chef knows that the right cooking equipment can take any mediocre meal and make it fantastic. This is especially true when it comes to cooking a steak on a frying pan. When you’re in the market for a new frying pan for steaks, you’ll find a range of options. There are a few points to consider when you’re shopping, which will help you narrow down your options and ensure you get the perfect pan for many delicious meals.
First, consider whether you’re willing to do the upkeep required for a cast iron pan. Cast iron is a pan that you’ll keep for decades of brilliant meals. However, it does require some extra maintenance effort, particularly upfront. It’s worth the effort though, so long as your willing to put it in.
Second, think about the size of the skillet you’d prefer. If you’re making large meals or enjoy using a single pot or pan, then one large frying pan would be ideal. A large frying pan is also a good choice because the juices and flavor from the steak can spread to the veggies or potatoes that you throw in with it. A simple and delicious meal.
On the other hand, a large pan takes some more effort to clean and maintain and requires more space for storage. If there isn’t a good reason for buying a large pan, then picking out a smaller one that is suitable for one or two meals is a great compromise.
Finally, determine whether you preferring the grill ribs on the pan, or simply a flat surface. There are some pros and cons to either option. For the grill ribs, the pros are that you get a grilled effect on your steak, and it also allows the juices to sit under the steak while cooking.
On the other hand, a flat surface is more versatile, allowing you to cook not only steaks and veggies but also eggs and bacon. Knowing your ultimate use for the frying pan will help you make this choice.
Overall, cooking a steak on a frying pan is a fantastic method that will upgrade any meal. Using a frying pan also makes cooking steaks accessible to people in urban areas or at times when a grill isn’t available.
There’s a variety of sizes and styles. The main differentiator lies in two features. First, the difference is between cast iron and regular frying pans; the former requires some more work but is well worth it because you’ll have years of high-quality meals. The second differentiator is between a flat or grilled surface. For steaks alone, the grill is ideal. However, this isn’t as versatile, so if you want to be able to also fry eggs or other meals then a flat surface is preferable.
What is the difference between frying and grilling a steak?
In general, when you fry a steak you’ll get a better crust because it is directly touching the heat source, namely the pan. On the other than, a steak on the grill will deliver the classic flavors we associate with steaks. Especially if you use a charcoal-based grill, which can give you a delicious smokey flavor. There are benefits to both styles, depending on your preferences.
What is the most tender steak to pan fry?
The best steak to pan-fry is a very tender cut of meat. Typically, this is a rib or loin section. For example, a rib-eye steak, tenderloin, porterhouse, T-bone, skirt steak, top sirloin, or filet mignon, just to name a few. There are many different steak options, and so it all comes down to preference.
How long should I cook a steak on the stove?
For an inch thick piece of steak cooked to medium-rare, you should aim to cook it between 3-4 minutes soon either side on a fairly high heat gas stove. Place the steak on the pan and do not touch it while it cooks. This will make sure an even heat distribution is transferred and you will have a perfectly done steak.
Can I cook a steak in a non-stick pan?
Unless it is cast iron, you should never cook a steak in a non-stick pan because the pan cannot read high enough temperatures that are required to sear the meat. It can make a difference in flavor because searing the steak locks in the juice and flavor we all love.