The secret to cooking restaurant-quality steaks at home? A cast iron skillet! This Herb Butter Basted Cast Iron Steak recipe will teach you how to use a cast iron skillet to cook the perfect steak every time – juicy & melt-in-your-mouth tender with a beautifully browned & crusty sear, & finished with a rich, flavorful herby garlic butter baste. A go-to stovetop steak method!
- one (1) 1 1/2 – 2-inch steak of choice – ribeye, New York Strip, T-bone, etc. (see Recipe Notes, below)
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- 1–2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil of choice)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed open
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 8–10 sprigs fresh thyme
- Steak prep: At least 2 hours (or up to 2 days) before you’d like to make your steak, prep the steak. If your steak has a nice fat cap, use a paring knife to cut score marks into the fat cap. Liberally season all sides of the steak with kosher salt. A good rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon per pound. Loosely wrap the steak in paper towel. Place on a rack fitted in a rimmed baking sheet. Set in the coldest area of your fridge. 30 minutes before cooking the steak, remove from the refrigerator & set on the counter to come up to room temperature.
- Preheat the cast iron: Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat. Preheat for 5-7 minutes, until the cast iron is very hot. Meanwhile, pat the steak completely dry with paper towel. Season with ground black pepper, as desired.
- Sear the steak, utilizing the frequent-turning method: If your steak has a nice fat cap, you can begin by rendering it slightly. Use long tongs to hold the steak upright, placing the fat cap in direct contact with the hot skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the fat cap is rendered slightly & begins to develop nice golden brown color. Remove & set aside for a moment. Carefully add the avocado oil to skillet, adding just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet nicely. Once the oil is hot & begins to smoke, carefully place the steak on one side of the skillet. Cook for 30 seconds. Carefully flip the steak to the opposite side of the skillet & cook for 30 seconds more. Continue flipping the steak to the opposite side of the skillet in 30 second increments. Five minutes total cooking time will yield medium rare doneness. (Refer to the blog post, above, for more guidance on doneness temperatures.) [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="14711,14712,14713,14714,14715,14716"]
- Baste: After the last flip, reduce the heat to low. Carefully add the butter, garlic, rosemary, & thyme to the skillet. Tilt the skillet toward you, so the butter pools alongside the edge of the skillet nearest you. Use a large spoon to baste the butter over top the steak repeatedly for 30 seconds. [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="14717,14718"]
- Rest. Transfer the steak to a plate and set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Carve & serve. Cut the steak away from the bone. Slice against the grain into 1/4-inch thick strips. Serve immediately, topped with flaky sea salt & browned butter from the pan (or with another steak sauce you love, e.g. chimichurri).
- A note on steaks: Whenever you’re making steak at home, buy the highest quality steaks you can find. The steak is really the star of the show here! (Plus, no matter what, I guarantee you’ll spend less on your steak than you would for a steak dinner at a nice restaurant!) We love New York strip or ribeye at our house, as both are tender with great flavor. This method will work for tenderloin & sirloin, too.