How to Cook a Steak. . . Indoors

I am a pretty serious griller and a hardcore charcoal man. I’ve grilled in rain, sleet, snow…but sometimes grilling just isn’t feasible. It’s bone-chillingly cold and ridiculously windy where we live, so lately it has been hard to talk myself into going outside to grill. That doesn’t stop Kymmando or me from wanting a steak after a heavy lifting day, though. What to do?

Not an ideal day for standing by the grill.

Not an ideal day for standing by the grill.

Fortunately for us, it is possible to make an amazing steak indoors. Yes, you can cook a steak with a charred, crispy crust and a juicy middle. With steaks of consistent thickness you can easily control how it’s cooked - from rare to well. Cooking a steak indoors doesn’t take much - you probably have most of what you need already:

How to Cook a Steak Indoors

The first step to cooking a good steak indoors is to pick a good steak. We like ribeyes, but your personal preference will dictate your cut. We generally try to get steaks between 1 1/4” and 1 1/2”. Regardless of what you get, the better the quality, the better! Once you have your steak throw a little salt and pepper on it.

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Next, preheat your oven to 250. When your oven gets hot, toss the salted and peppered steak in there, directly on the rack. A lot of indoor steak recipes recommend searing it on the stovetop first, then finishing in the oven. I greatly prefer to do things the other way around. This isn’t my original idea (I don’t remember where I read this) but I have been a fan of it since I discovered it.

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Let the steak sit in the warm oven for 10 minutes. With three or four minutes left to go, start getting that skillet hot. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet the enameled Dutch oven I wrote about a few weeks ago will work just fine (is there anything that pot can’t do?). Put it on high heat and add some oil. You want the oil hot (I mean HOT) before you put the meat in to give it that crispy outer crust.

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I really recommend you grab a bottle of grapeseed oil for this task. Grapeseed is a very high-heat oil, meaning it has a very high smoke point. You can use vegetable, canola, or olive oil, but trust me…it’s not worth it. All of these will fill your house with acrid smoke that will annoy your sinuses and set off your smoke detectors.

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Transfer the steak from the oven directly into the hot skillet. This might require some tinkering to get the timing right. Because Ky and I always buy steaks of roughly the same thickness, we have our timing down. These are our rough guidelines:

  • Rare: 3 minutes per side

  • Medium: 3.5 minutes per side

  • Well: 4 Minutes per side

Next, flip the steak, and finish cooking.

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When the steak comes off you might be tempted to throw it on a plate and dig in. Don’t. Let your meat rest for five minutes before cutting into it. If you cut into it right away the juices will end up on your plate. Resting lets the meat reabsorb some of its juices. Tent some aluminum foil loosely over it and set a timer.

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After the meat has rested, you are ready to enjoy your perfectly cooked steak. Dig in, friend!

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Justin Carroll