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5 from 2 votes

How to Sear a Steak

Learning How to Sear a Steak is an essential cooking skill you'll likely use all of your life! Our method sears the outside of the steak and then finishes the cooking by basting it with butter and aromatics. 
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings: 2 -4
Author: Lexi


  • 2 boneless rib-eye steaks about 1 to 1-1/2 thick, about 1 - 1-½ pounds total
  • Avocado oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic sliced
  • Very small bunch of fresh thyme about 12 stems


  • Pat steak dry with paper towels and sprinkle with generous amount of salt on each side. Let steak sit until it has come close to room temperature, about 1 hour or so.
  • Over high heat, heat a 10”-12” well-seasoned cast iron pan until it is just about to smoke.
  • Splash the steaks with avocado oil on one side and and place the steak oil side down in the hot pan, making sure as much of the steak surface is touching the hot pan by gently pressing down on it. Sear for 5 minutes undisturbed.
  • Flip the steaks and make sure the other side of the steak is getting as much contact with the pan as well. Grind a generous amount of black pepper on the seared side. Continue to sear for another 3-4 minutes, until it has reached the desired temperature. We like ours around 135ºF (and it will go up another 5 degrees additionally while resting) but you can adjust to your desired temperature by cooking 1-2 minutes less or more.
  • When it has reached 135ºF add the butter, garlic, and thyme to the pan and let is sit for 30 seconds until it has melted. Carefully tilt the pan slightly upwards so all the fat pours to the bottom. Repeatedly spoon the mixture, including the herbs and garlic over the steak, about 1 minute to baste the steak with flavor.
  • Remove the steak from the pan, dripping off any excess oil and and let rest, tented with aluminum foil or alternative for 5 minutes with butter and herbs and garlic on it.
  • Once done, remove the garlic and herbs and slice against the grain and serve immediately.


Some other options for pan seared steak are: NY strip, filet mignon.
The cast iron skillet shouldn’t be so large that there is a lot of extra space, but not too small that it leaves the steak crowded.
We don’t put the black pepper on the steak before it’s been seared because at a high temperature the peppercorns can burn and give off a bitter flavor.


Serving: 1/2 recipe | Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 1000mg