Using the best pans for searing steaks makes all the difference. A pan-seared ribeye or filet mignon with a seasoned crust on the outside and cooked to juicy perfection inside is a thing of beauty. It is an easy skill to master if you have the right pan. And lucky for you, here is the list of top-quality skillets for cooking steaks.
Whether you want to spend less than $25 or you want a professional chef pan that cost more than $100, every price point is available in the listings below. Discover the best materials and get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to cooking a steak at home. So buy one for yourself and another as a gift, these skillets are that good.
Below you will find pans of assorted sizes, materials, and prices. They range from $20-150 in range so every budget can have a great pan to cook a steak at home. If you plan to cook for one, you may need a smaller 8" pan. But if you have a family of 4, go for a bigger 12" or more size.
If you are in need of a set of pans, I have included a few of those too. Sometimes buying one pan at a time can be less cost-effective than a set. Often there are deals when you buy a set of the best pots & pans. So check the latest prices and features before buying.
Best Pan Materials for Cooking Steaks
When searing a steak you want a high even heat. For that reason, the two best materials in the perfect pan are stainless steel and cast iron. Both have a thick bottom that will not warp while it undergoes the high temperatures on the stovetop. The best steak thickness for pan-searing are cuts that are between one & one-and-a-half thick. If you butcher your own steaks, ensure you have the best knife for cutting raw meat.
That high heat will warp other pans so stay away from aluminum for example. Also, extreme heats are not great for non-stick pans. Most have some breakdown of those non-stick materials when heated to high heat when searing beef, chicken, or other proteins.
Recommended Stainless Steel Pans
These are the best stainless steel pans for searing steaks. They all are able to reach a high heat on the stove. They are also all oven-safe if you wish to finish your steak off in the oven.
This large cooking surface makes it easy to cook up 4 small filets or two boneless ribeyes at once. The 5-play stainless steel construction will not warp and holds an even heat beautifully. It has a stay-cool handle and can go into the oven up to 500°. It is also dishwasher safe.
This pan by All-Clad is a chef's favorite for good reason. These pans are American-made. This versatile large pan is great for searing on the stove and then finishing the steaks in the oven. It can go up to 600° and the broiler for all you steak lovers. The lid is an added bonus for cooking all sorts of other dishes. You will use this pan almost daily for whatever is on the menu.
This well-known appliance brand also makes quality frying pans. This 10" size is perfect for a couple of steaks. This pan comes in different sizes and is also a wonderful full set. All are budget-friendly and low-priced for high functionality.
This Nouvelle pan by Analon is a personal favorite. I have owned and used Anolon products for decades and I just love them. This pan is oven-safe and dishwasher-safe. It is great for cooking a single steak or two small filets for a romantic dinner for two.
Get a 10" and 12" pan to meet all your steak searing needs. This cookware is restaurant-quality with ease of home usage. The price tag is great for the quality you get in pans that will last you decades. Dishwasher safe and shines up beautifully with Bar Keeper's Friend so it will look gorgeous forever.
Recommended Cast Iron Skillets
When it comes to searing a steak, cast iron is a personal favorite. I have had my Lodge cast iron pan for a few decades. It is seasoned to perfection and gives me a great crust on steaks every time. It is heavy but a girl needs a workout every now and again, right?
Here are some of the best great cast-iron skillets for searing steaks at all sorts of price points. These pans are made of durable cast-iron and are ideal for searing your favorite steak.
This large pan can sear up a family of steaks. It comes pre-seasoned and ready to use. It is oven safe and made in the USA. This pan never needs washing and will last you a lifetime. It does weigh 12 pounds so get your muscles ready for some serious cooking.
This is the perfect size for most families. This is what I have. We can put 5 filet mignons in this skillet or 4 small NY strip steaks. It is great for getting a flavorful crust on steaks or even making one-pan pasta recipes. This is seriously the best pan ever.
This cast iron skillet by Lodge is smaller and weighs less than the 12-pound 15" one listed above. This is a common size for couples and small families. This one also comes seasoned and will never need washing. Just wipe it clean and you will have this gorgeous pan for a lifetime.
This 8" cast-iron skillet is pre-seasoned and ready for cooking once you get it home. It is made in the USA and only weighs 3 pounds. For a lightweight iron skillet, this is the way to go. It is the same as all cast-iron pans, wipe it down only - no soap, etc.
Best Pans Under $25
For a budget-friendly pan that will cook a mean steak, buy one of these. They are all under $25 at the time I printed this (Beware of inflation). You can check for the latest prices via the link. Either way, they are inexpensive and great value for your money.
This medium-sized cast-iron pan comes preseasoned like many of the others do. For under $25 you get a decent-sized cooking surface at a reasonable price. It weighs just over 5 pounds.
This small frying pan is dishwasher and oven safe. It is under $25 and you will get a lot of use out of this little pan. It is great for high heat searing meat and finishing it in the oven.
Latest Prices & Star Ratings
Many great buys for quality pans were shared in the reviews above. All of these recommendations are great for pan-searing steaks. Whether you have a gas, induction, or electric stove, the right pan is here for you.
So check out the prices, customer reviews, and other information before buying. I recommend all of them and pick one that is good for your lifestyle. I personally love cast iron because it cooks evenly, it's budget-friendly, no washing or scrubbing this seasoned beauty, and it lasts a lifetime.
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Here are the best tips and tricks for making a great pan-seared steak. These commonly asked questions are answered so your next skillet-cooked cut of beef is juicy on the inside and has a delicious crust on the outside.
I do not recommend searing proteins in a nonstick pan. Typical nonstick materials do not hold up well to high heat cooking, such as searing. Stainless steel or cast-iron pans are the best for cooking steaks.
Whether you are using an iron or steel skillet, no oil is needed if the meat is marbled. If it is a lean cut, like filets, you can use a bit of oil. The key to searing a steak is to bring the meat to room temperature. Then heat the pan to high heat before adding the steak to the pan. Liberally salt and pepper all sides of the steak before cooking.
Let the steak cook for several minutes on the first side of it. Do not flip the steak until it is seared and done on that side. It is ready when the meat easily releases from the pan - time to flip. However, adding butter to the pan after it has been flipped is a great way to add flavor. Baste the steak with butter and garlic or other aromatics like rosemary until it is ready to finish in the oven.
Browning and searing are two common ways to cook beef. Browning typically means cooking the meat through in its entirety. It is most commonly used as a term for ground beef or strips of steak.
Searing is when you cook the outside of the meat so it has a dark caramelized crust. However the inside is not cooked through, it is typically rare to medium with red and pink hues. The outside sear is what holds the juices inside for a tender juicy steak.
A cast iron pan should be heated on medium-high heat on the stove before adding the steak. If using oil, add it carefully after you think the pan is hot enough. If the oil sits on the pan with little movement, the pan is not ready.
If it dances and moves to the edges like little fingers of oil, the pan is hot and ready. Carefully place your room temperature steaks into the pan.
If you wish to finish your steaks in the oven, the pans need to be oven safe. Most steaks need to finish in the oven to bring them to a temperature more than rare. Even for just 2-3 minutes for medium-rare, that final cook in the oven ensure it is cooked to the right temperature without burning the outside.
If your pan is NOT oven safe, you can move your steak to an ovenproof baking dish or metal baking sheet. This will allow you to get the final cook on your seared steak.
Many cuts are great for pan-searing. Thin or really thick steaks are difficult to cook to the right internal temperature. Try and purchase or trim your steaks so they are between 1 & 1 ½ inches in thickness.
Cuts of steak such as NY strip, boneless ribeyes, and filet mignons are the best for searing. Other good steaks are T-bone and sirloin steaks.