Looking for restaurant-quality steaks at home? Read on to learn the secrets of getting that perfect crispy crust to take your meal to the next level.
Whether you prefer your steak rare, medium-rare, or well done, everyone can agree on one thing: a crispy crust is the crowned glory of any steak.
5 Steps on How To Get the Perfect Crispy Crust on a Steak
Believe it or not, achieving that crusted perfection isn’t as difficult as it seems. To help you take your meal to the next level, learn how to get the perfect crispy crust on a steak.
Choose the Right Cut of Meat
The first step to getting a crispy crust on your steak is choosing the right cut of meat and learning how to identify a tender cut of meat. Look for cuts with a good amount of fat and marbling to create a rich, flavorful crust.
Ribeye, sirloin, and New York strip are all great options. When selecting your steak, choose a cut that is at least one inch thick. Thinner cuts are more difficult to cook without overcooking!
Dry and Season the Steak
Pat the steak dry with a paper towel before cooking because excess moisture will interfere with achieving that perfectly crispy crust. Drying the steak will also help it brown more evenly and prevent it from steaming.
Once the steak is dry, season it generously with salt and pepper or your preferred seasoning blend, making sure to coat the outside evenly.
This will not only add flavor to the steak but will also draw out moisture from the surface.
Use High Heat and a Hot Pan
If you want to get the perfect crispy crust on a steak, using a hot pan to sear the outside is absolutely essential—the higher the heat, the quicker you’ll sear the outside of your steak.
Remember, cooking the inside is not the goal of searing. You just need enough heat to brown the surface of the meat. Then, you can cook your steak to your preferred level of wellness.
Preheat your pan over high heat until it is very hot, almost to the point of smoking. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the pan—if they sizzle and evaporate immediately, the pan is ready.
Use Cooking Oil With a High Smoke Point
When cooking any steak, you should use an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil.
Oils with a high smoke point can withstand high temperatures without burning, which is essential for getting a crispy crust. Once the pan is hot, add a small amount of oil and swirl it around to coat the surface.
While it’s common to use butter to cook steak, heating it at such a high temperature can leave your steak with an undesirable burnt flavor. Fortunately, you can dollop some butter on your steak before serving. For now, put down the butter stick.
Sear the Steak
Once the oil starts to smoke, it’s time to add the steak. You should hear a sizzle when you put the steak in the pan. If you don’t hear the sizzle, remove the steak and wait for the pan to get hotter.
Place the steak in the pan and let it cook undisturbed for two to three minutes until a crust has formed on the bottom. Flip the steak and repeat on the other side. Don’t be afraid to press the edges of the steak into the pan with your tongs to get that perfect sear along the sides!
After crusting the outside, you’re free to cook your steak until it reaches your preferred level of doneness. Voila! You’ve cooked a deliciously tender, juicy, and crusted steak that will impress even the pickiest of food critics.
Recipes to Try:
- Stuffed Flank Steak with Prosciutto, Cheese, and Herbs
- Amazing and Rich Tasting Steak and Guinness Pie Recipe
- Steak and Onion Sandwich Recipe
Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.