How Long to Cook Steak in a Pan
The amount of time you'll need to cook a steak depends on how done you like it, but whether you prefer rare or well-done, the general approach to how to cook steak on your stovetop is the same. Heat up a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, then add a bit of vegetable oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add your steak. Cook the steak on both sides; if desired, you can then add butter to the pan and baste the steak with the melted butter as it finishes cooking.
- Rare steak requires 6 minutes of cooking, 3 minutes on each side. It should have an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered done and should be soft when you touch it.
- Medium-rare steak requires a total of 8 minutes of cook time in a pan, 4 minutes on each side. A meat thermometer should show 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you touch the steak, it will be soft and springy.
- Medium steak needs about 5 minutes of cooking on each side, for a total of 10 minutes, and an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you touch a medium steak, it should be firm and springy.
- Well-done steaks will take a total of 12 minutes, 6 minutes on each side. You can tell it's done when it is very firm to the touch and an internal thermometer says it's at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
After taking your steak out of the pan, let it rest for 4 to 6 minutes before cutting into it.