The best steak pan can reach extremely high temperatures and stay there until the meat is cooked to its desired level of doneness. Having the right kind of steak pan will enhance your cooking experience and determine how much the meat retains its juices during the cooking process.
Here are some of the best high-quality steak pans on the market for your consideration.
Top Recommended Option: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Silicone Handle Holder
Our top option in our reviews of the best pans for steak is this Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with silicone handle holder. If you take the time to go through a few conversations in forums that have steak enthusiasts, there’s a good chance you will come across cast iron pans or skillets being recommended as the best option for cooking steak. Some people even swear by the fact that it’s the only way to go.
Seeing as it’s a cast iron, flat-bottomed frying pan, it’s inherently designed to cook your steak to your desired level of perfection. Not only does it have the capability to reach and withstand high temperatures, but it can also expertly distribute that heat evenly throughout the cooking surface and maintain these high temperatures throughout the cooking process. This gives your steak the time and necessary heat to cook evenly and to your preferred level of doneness.
The flat cooking surface ensures that your steak sears evenly on the outside, which allows it to caramelize nicely, keeping its juices and flavors within the meat.
At just over 10-inches in diameter, this steak pan is big enough to cook a generous-sized steak. Furthermore, it’s a rather versatile pan that works well with almost any type of stove. You can even use it in an oven or on a grill.
The more you use and season a cast iron pan, the more effective and better it becomes. This Lodge pan even comes with a removable silicone handle, which helps to prevent any accidental burns when cooking your steaks.
Finally, seasoning and caring for your cast iron pan isn’t as complicated as you imagine. To clean it, all you have to do is let it cool down, then handwash it.
- Decent sized pan
- Made out of cast iron
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a removable silicone handle
- Gets better with time
- Only handwashing is recommended
Best Luxury Option: Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Skillet (11-3/4-Inch)
Manufactured by one of the most trusted brands in the industry, this Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Skillet (11-3/4-Inch) is for someone who doesn’t mind spending a little more money to get the best steak pan for their specific needs.
As is to be expected from the best, it’s made out of cast iron. This means that this pan has the ability to not only withstand high temperatures but also retain that heat and distribute it throughout the cooking surface, giving you a perfectly seared steak every time.
This high cooking performance and heat conductivity allow steak lovers to enjoy a crispy brown crust that conceals all the tenderness and juiciness within the steak’s interior. Furthermore, it’s a versatile skillet that can be used for slow cooking, baking, and even stir-frying as needed.
One of the main reasons this steak pan takes the top spot on this list is the fact that it’s an enameled cast-iron pan that has been cast in sand molds to ensure high quality and durability.
It has both a handle and a helper handle, and a pouring spout. The handles make it very easy and safe to use, and the spout makes the pouring of any cooking residue a mess-free affair.
Speaking of versatility, this cast-iron skillet is designed to be used on almost any cooking surface, including induction surfaces, grills, and broilers. It can withstand both extremely high and very low temperatures alike.
- High quality cast iron pan
- Easy and safe to use
- Easy to clean
- Gets better with time
- Can be used on a wide variety of cooking surfaces, including induction
- Has a handle and a helper handle
- Has a pouring spout
- It’s a bit pricey
Best Affordable Option: Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan
Our most affordable option also happens to be one of the most unique steak pans on this list. This Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan is different for a few good reasons. It’s made out of pre-seasoned cast iron, which means that you don’t have to worry about seasoning it.
Furthermore, this pre-seasoning also means that it can reach extremely high temperatures rather quickly and stay there for the entirety of the cooking process. That directly translates to beautifully seared steaks with the juices and flavors contained within.
Another unique feature of this pan is its textured base or cooking surface. This allows you to achieve a barbecue-like sear when cooking your meat. It’s also quite versatile and can be used on various cooking surfaces, including campfires, stoves, and even in an oven.
Finally, it’s a rather heavy pan, making it quite durable. It comes with two handles, making it safe to use and easy to lift. Its 10.5-inch diameter is a good size and can cook good-sized steaks.
- Heavy-duty pan
- It is versatile and can be used on a host of cooking surfaces, including campfires
- The textured base imparts a barbecue-like sear to the meat
- Pre-seasoned cast iron
- Easy to season
- It gets better with use
- Extremely affordable
- Reaches high temperatures quickly
- Not dishwasher safe
Best Carbon Steel Option: De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan
Even though cast iron is almost the gold standard in the world of steaks, there are several reasons why you might not be a big fan. If you are not inclined to buy a cast iron steak pan, many good alternatives are available on the market. This De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan is just one option.
For starters, this carbon steel pan is made out of 99% iron and 1% carbon, making it an excellent conductor of heat, exactly what you need when cooking steaks. It also features a slippery surface with no synthetic coating, making it safe and healthy to use.
Furthermore, it features a Signature beeswax finish, which goes a long way in preventing it from oxidation and protects the surface, making it quite durable. It has a natural non-stick surface that requires seasoning to achieve, and it comes with specific instructions from the manufacturer on how to season it to achieve the best results.
Finally, it’s manufactured by a well-trusted brand in France, where extremely stringent manufacturing guidelines and standards are observed to bring you a reliable and effective steak pan.
- Easy to clean
- Non-stick after seasoning
- Manufactured by a trusted brand
- Signature beeswax finish
- A good alternative to cast iron
- The handle gets hot after a while on the stove
Best Premium Option: Tramontina Skillet Enameled Cast Iron 12-Inch Gradated Cobalt
There are a few good reasons why this Tramontina Skillet Enameled Cast Iron 12-Inch Gradated Cobalt takes the coveted “best premium” spot on this list. For one thing, it comes in a gradated cobalt blue finish, which makes it rather unique and ideal for people who are keen on decor as far as their kitchens are concerned. However, it’s not all about looks with this steak pan option; it also delivers on the cooking front.
Like a cast-iron skillet, it’s designed to provide you with excellent heat retention, which is exactly what you need when cooking steak. It also offers slow and even heat distribution throughout the cooking surface, which means that your steaks will be properly cooked to your desired level of doneness while giving you a delicious brown crust with all the juices and tenderness contained within.
As far as design and construction quality are concerned, this skillet is up there with the best of them. It’s a 12-inch steak pan that does an excellent job of combining old-fashioned charm with a modern style. It has a flat cooking bottom and a heavy-duty construction that promotes durability and even heat distribution when you cook steak on high heat.
The Tramontina skillet also has two handles – one long and one short. This makes the pan safer and easier to use. Furthermore, it has two pouring spouts on either side, which means pouring steak drippings and sauces will be a mess-free affair.
- Made out of cast iron
- Easy to clean
- Has two handles (a long one and a small one)
- Has two pouring spouts
- Has a unique finish
- Oven safe up to 450°F
- Cooking surface has a nice enamel finish
- Not pre-seasoned
Best of the Rest: Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (12.5 inches)
At 12.5-inches, this Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (12.5 inches) is the biggest steak pan on this list. However, this steak pan offers many more excellent features other than size.
The steak pan comes from a popular brand that has garnered a reputation for high-quality products, which means it will be worth the money you spend on it in terms of durability and construction quality.
Like a cast-iron skillet, it’s designed to heat quickly, attain and retain those high temperatures throughout the cooking process, as well as give your steak a nice seared surface to your preferred liking.
This cast iron frying pan has a heavy-duty base and a smooth cooking surface, ensuring that your steak is evenly cooked every time. It also has two pouring spouts on either side, making it easy for you to pour out sauces and steak residue without making a mess in your kitchen or cooking area. This pan’s cooking surface is made out of high-quality fine grain, which creates a nice non-stick patina finish, making it a joy to use.
Furthermore, this Utopia steak pan features a long handle, which makes it easy and safe to use, and has a keyhole, which means that you can easily hang it in your pantry when you are done, making it ideal for storing away.
- High-quality build
- Nice non-stick cooking surface
- Heavy-duty cooking base
- Large cooking surface
- Excellent heat retention
- Versatile enough for a wide range of cooking surfaces
- Easy to use handle
- Two pouring spouts
- Too big for some people
What to Look for in the Best Steak Pan
Many personal biases come into play when choosing the best steak pan for your needs. Biases such as the size of the pan, the material used, and how much it’s going to cost you. Each of these biases serves a purpose and could help guide you towards the right steak pan for you.
With that in mind, here are some factors you need to consider when looking to buy the best pans for steak to suit your specific needs.
When choosing a steak pan, you need to consider its size. This is mostly because steak needs some space when searing to release the steam and achieve that beautifully browned crust.
Choosing a pan that is over 10-inches should be ideal. However, if you are going for cast iron pans, you need to remember that cast iron tends to be thick. So, a cast iron pan that is 12-inches will probably give you about 10 or 11-inches of cooking surface, which should be just good enough to sear a nice and juicy piece of ribeye steak.
The material used determines a great deal about the pan. For starters, it will determine just how hot the pan can get and how quickly.
One of the main reasons cast iron is a top choice for the best pan for steak is that it gets really hot, really fast, and retains that heat throughout the cooking process. This means your meat will be cooked evenly and thoroughly.
Of course, there are other materials other than cast iron, like carbon steel. While this material has a lot of the same excellent qualities that make cast iron so popular – durability, versatility, and excellent heat retention – it does come with a few drawbacks, such as pricing.
Pans made of carbon steel are a bit more expensive than those made out of cast iron. They compensate for this by being easier to use and faster to cook in.
Other materials such as Teflon make wonderful non-stick pans, meaning that they are easy to use, you don’t have to worry about your steaks sticking to the pan, and they are easier to clean.
The problem with Teflon is that it doesn’t hold up very well under extreme heat. Anything around 570 degrees Fahrenheit and your pan might begin to break down. That’s why it’s advisable to try a pan with a stone-derived coating instead.
This is where personal preferences come into play. Different pans have different comfort features that may or may not matter to you. For example, some pans have two handles (one long and one short).
These handles make the pans easier and safer to use, but some people don’t care for that and can use a pan with a single handle just fine. Other features, such as pouring spouts and lids, could also be a deal-breaker for you.
There you have it, a list of some of the best steak pans on the market today, as well as some of the most important features to consider when choosing one. All you have to do now is find the one that works for you and buy it.
Are non-stick pans better for cooking steak?
While non-stick pans are much easier to use because food doesn’t easily stick to the cooking surface, the truth is that when it comes to cooking steaks, that non-stick feature is more often than not a non-issue.
Most avid steak enthusiasts are more focused on the benefits offered by the material with which the pan is constructed. Cast iron is usually a winner because it can retain heat for longer, and the more you use it, the better seasoned it becomes.
Do you need more than one steak pan?
Not necessarily. Most steak pans are versatile enough to be used over a wide range of heat sources, such as induction tops and even campfires. The trick is to find one that can hold its own across the board.