Learn how to make perfectly cooked steak in the oven for a hands-off method that produces moist, tender meat every time.
How do you cook steak in the oven? First, choose the right cut, then season the steak, sear it on very hot a skillet on the stove, and place it in the oven at 450°F until you reach your desired doneness.
This simple oven-roasting method is a great way for beginners to practice cooking steak at home. It’s also the go-to method for even experienced restaurant chefs, so once you master it, you’ll be on your way to gourmet status.
How Do I Know When My Steak is Done?
There are as many ways to eat steak as there are people. One thing that people have an opinion about steak is how long should it be cooked. At the end of the day, cooking time for steak, like most proteins, comes down to personal preference. If you’re tailoring your steak to feed a crowd, then take note of how people prefer their meat and use these guidelines to know when to pull the steak from the oven:
- A rare steak is done cooking at 125°F (50°C). This takes about five minutes in the oven after searing on the stove. When you cut into it, the inside will be quite red still.
- A medium-rare steak will be done at 130°F (54°C). This takes about 8 minutes in the oven, and the internal color will be pink.
- A medium steak is done when it reaches 140°F (60°C). This takes about 10 minutes of roasting in the oven and its color will be pinkish inside, paler than medium-rare.
- A medium-well steak is finished cooking at 150°F (65°C). This takes about 12 minutes to roast, and its internal color will be light pink at the center.
- A well-done steak will be cooked fully at 160°F (70°C). It takes about 15 minutes to make, and it’ll have no pink color. A well-done steak is a pretty uniform color from the outside in.
If you can’t tell from the descriptions above, the most foolproof way to check your steak for doneness is with an instant-read thermometer. The best meat thermometers display an accurate temperature within less than a second, as every second is important when cooking steaks.
What to Look for When Buying Steak
With so many different types of steak out there, how do you know which steak cut to purchase for an enjoyable, tender steak? The quality of meat you buy influences the final product a lot more than you might realize. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are buying steak.
The name of the steak denotes what part of the cow the meat is from. For instance, a rump or round comes from the hind end of the cow. A chuck steak comes from the shoulder, and the rib or lion cuts are from the middle areas.
The muscle sections that the cow used more during life, such as the shoulder and hind end, will be tougher meat. These include the round and chuck cuts. These steak choices are usually best for stews. They have a lot of muscle fibers that benefit from long, slow periods of cooking in a moist environment to fully break down.
If you want a juicy and tender steak that cooks quickly and has a buttery texture, you’re better off choosing less-used (and often fattier) rib or loin cuts. These include fillet, rib-eye, T-bone, and strip steak.
Marbling consists of the white lines of fat throughout the meat. Fat adds both flavor and texture to your steak. The most well-marbled steaks have uniform thin lines of fat running throughout each cut. These tend to be more expensive than the very lean cuts with little to no visible fat marbling. Remember that you’re paying for that beautiful fat, so leave it intact instead of trimming it off before cooking!
Take a good look at the color of both the meat and the fat in your steak selection. First, make sure the fat on the steak is pearly and bring white. If it looks yellowish or brown, it’s a sign that the meat is old and no longer good quality.
The meat itself should be moist, tight, and fresh-looking. The color should be bright and red.
How to Cook Steak in the Oven
Once you’ve selected the best-looking cut of steak at the butcher or grocery store, it’s time to start cooking.
Here’s what you need to prepare steak in the oven for one:
- 1 steak
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
To feed more people, simply scale the recipe up with as many steaks as you need.
Prepping Your Steak
Now that you’ve selected a great steak to cook, you can follow this simple recipe for a tasty meal. Start by getting your steak ready.
Step 1: Defrost the steak
The very first thing you must do is defrost your steak if it’s frozen. If you take your steak right out of the freezer and put it on the skillet, you’ll end up with a dish that’s overcooked on the outside and potentially raw on the inside. Avoid this mess by properly thawing the steak. It’s best to do this overnight in the fridge.
Then, about half an hour before you start cooking, place the steak on the counter to let it come up to room temperature.
Step 2: Season generously
The first step before cooking is to season your steak well. Start by brushing the steak on both sides with a thin layer of olive oil. Then generously coat the stake in salt and pepper. It’s best to do all of your seasoning before you start cooking the steak, so you may need more salt and pepper than you might think to really enhance the flavor of your meat. Make sure to season both sides of the steak.
Cooking the Perfect Steak
Now that you’ve seasoned your steak, it’s time to cook it.
Step 1: Preheat the oven
Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). You won’t be using it just yet, but when you do, it better be hot and ready!
Step 2: Sear the side
While the oven preheats, grab an oven-safe skillet and place it over high heat on the stove. Once everything is nice and warm, carefully place your steak in the skillet and let it sear. Cook the steak on each side for about 1 to 2 minutes undisturbed, until you have a nice brown crust on both sides.
Step 3: Finish it up in the oven
Once the searing is done, place your skillet in the oven. How long the steak roasts in the oven is up to your steak-eating ways. See above for estimates on how long to cook your steak. Of course, if you have an especially small cut of meat, you’ll need a shorter cooking time. And vice-versa for a large or very thick piece of meat.
Step 4: Wait for a little bit
Once the steak reaches your desired internal temperature (or even a few degrees before), remove the skillet from the oven. Immediately remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for five minutes. During this time, the juices inside the steak will finish cooking and keep the steak nice and moist.
After that, get your knife and fork and cut into that beautiful piece of meat! Your taste buds will thank you for something so delectable, and your busy lifestyle will thank you for something both homecooked and easy to make.
Why is My Oven-Roasted Steak Chewy?
There are multiple reasons as to why you might have ended up with a chewy steak. More likely than not, it’s not your fault. If you’re doing everything right, then the meat is the problem. Low-quality steaks can have poor texture. First, you can try a different cut or even a different shop altogether to get a higher quality piece of meat. A second option to improve the flavor and texture of your steak is to marinate it. You can buy a tasty marinade or make a simple one with oil and citrus juice. Let the steak marinate up to overnight or for at least four hours.
What to Serve with Steak in the Oven?
While you have the oven going, pop in a tray of broccoli for an easy side dish. Another classic pairing with steak is mashed or baked potatoes or homemade rolls if you have the time. You can also slice up your steak and use it to add protein to salads or sandwiches.
How to Cook Steak in the Oven
- oven-proof skillet
- pastry brush
- 1 steak
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- Let the steak come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Brush the steak on both sides with a thin layer of olive oil. Then generously coat the stake in salt and pepper.
- Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).
- While the oven preheats, grab an oven-safe skillet and place it over high heat on the stove. Once everything is nice and warm, carefully place your steak in the skillet and let it sear. Cook the steak on each side for about 1 to 2 minutes undisturbed, until you have a nice brown crust on both sides.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the steak reaches your desired donness. See the article above for recommended cooking times.
- Remove the steak from the oven and place on a cutting board. Rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.