When did people become convinced that you can’t cook a quality NY Strip on a stovetop?
We’re here to shatter that myth, along with your expectations about what’s possible with steak on a stovetop. It all comes down to technique, and ours have been carefully refined over many years for maximum effect.
These techniques can help correct many common missteps people frequently make as well as offer some methods they may have never considered before.
Salt and pepper will suffice for our seasoning for now, as this is mainly meant to be about technique. We’ll tackle this approach in three basic stages:
Part 1: Tasty NY Strip by Stovetop: The exact methods and prep needed to see experts results every time. Which tools to use, how long to cook and just what to look for.
Part 2: Starting Out With the Right Strip: How to make the right purchase, what to consider when buying steak and which tools are needed to get the job done right.
Part 3: How the Pros Make It Happen: All the expert tips & methods the experts rely on for stovetop success every time, along with some choice recipes.
In no time at all, you’ll see how effective and impressive these techniques truly are. Let’s begin.
Part 1: Tasty NY Strip by Stovetop
If you don’t already have a quality steak picked out, jump ahead to Part 2 for what to consider when buying a strip. Otherwise…
What you’ll need:
- 200g / 7oz NY strip steak (ideally organic grass-fed and matured)
- 1 tbsp ghee/coconut oil
- Pack of kosher/flaked salt
- Freshly ground pepper
The tools you’ll use:
- Thick-walled heavy skillet (forged aluminum is great for its non-stickiness)
- Tongs for flipping the steak
- Instant meat thermometer
Now it’s time to sizzle…
Super NY Strips by Skillet
Step 1: A Return to Room Temperature
You really can’t emphasize the importance of this step enough, as it helps in a number of ways.
First up this will insure a more balanced heating surface throughout the entire cooking stage. Nothing throws a monkey wrench into a hot skillet like a nearly frozen cut of beef.
Secondly, it aids the searing process which seals in a lot of your flavor, and reduces the risk of winding up with cool center, especially on thicker cuts prepared rare or medium rare.
Give it 40 mins in the sink, or up to an hour for those thicker cuts.
Step 2: Reduce Moisture for Better Browning
Flavor is most crucial with a quality steak, but presentation is an important factor, too. We like our food to have that perfect look, and with NY strip that means the proper browning. Patting down your strip with napkins or paper towels will pull excess moisture from the surface of the meat for the desired effect.
Getting the skillet ready
Go ahead and jack that burner up all the way up. Add about a teaspoon of the coconut oil and allow that to start heating. Light smoke will tip you off that it’s about time – allow for another 10 seconds at this stage and then continue.
Cooking might take a bit longer on an electric stovetop, possibly as much as 10 minutes.
Step 3: Salt now, Pepper Later
The pepper will be introduced later on, but for now the star of the show is the kosher salt. Remember this has less flavor per volume and can be used more liberally. I recommend two 3-finger pinches using your thumb, forefinger and middle finger. This is repeated for both sides, and is fully adjustable based on your individual preference or even health concerns.
Step 4: Into the Frying Pan
Again after the white smoke appears, that’s your cue to add your strip to the skillet once you’ve let it rest at this stage for at least 10 seconds. You’ll want to gently position your cut in the center of the surface which will prompt a fast sizzle. That’s what we want, of course. That’s the remaining moisture quickly heating and evaporating from the steak.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
These instructions are based on cooking a steak at medium-rare. This will allow for best presentation, flavor and texture. We want the proper balance here, cooking only enough so flavor is not lost. Over-cooking can mean the strip is just too chewy.
Rely on your instant-read thermometer to insure doneness.
How long is too long?
For medium-rare, you’ll want to give your strip about 3 mins per side or 6 minutes total. Rely on a kitchen timer to keep the results precise. Hopefully you’ll only need to flip the cut once, just like the pros do it. Keep those tongs handy because 3 minutes passes in no time.
You’ll want to turn to your meat thermometer about 30 seconds before your 3 minutes is up on the final side. For a solid medium-rare, the range is 55-57C / 130-135F, which could ultimately mean another 30-60 seconds per side until achieved.
Step 5: Allow it to Breathe
Once properly seared to the correct range, transfer it to a plate using your tongs. This is the “resting” stage where it soaks up those amazing juices while cooling down just a bit. As everything calms, those flavors absorb further for maximum taste.
Here’s where we add our pepper to each side before covering the steak in foil for at least two minutes.
Step 6: Slice & Serve
You’ll want to cut perpendicular to the visible lines, against the grain of muscle fibers. This too helps prevent releasing too much of the flavor.
So this completes the actual cooking, but there are some further concerns that can go a long way in achieving complete flavor and hard-to-beat satisfaction.
Part 2: Starting Out With the Right Strip
Having covered the best techniques for preparing a steak, before we turn to tips for better seasoning, let’s look at arguably the most important step – buying your beef. After all, no amount of spice can salvage a substandard cut.
What to look for:
- Organic grass-fed. Here the cattle is fed a traditional diet of grass rather then pumped full of chemicals and growth hormones their entire life. They’re usually kept in a more traditional setting, not caged away in crowded pens. It’s an important distinction that you’ll be able to spot from the first bite. Whenever possible, this is the choice I suggest.
- Dry-aged and Matured. Here a professional ages your cut for up to a month, slowly pulling moisture from the cut while intensifying the built-in flavor. Though it can sometimes take weeks, it is something that really only a professional should try. Lest you run the risk of souring your cut.
- Thickness and Weight. When it comes to how much is a proper amount of beef to eat, I find seven to nine ounces to be a filling choice. For best stovetop results, I recommend a maximum one-inch thickness.
Get the Right Tools
To polish off your technique, it always helps to have the best tools for the job
Here’s what you’ll want to have:
When cooking steak on a stovetop, I believe the heavier the skillet the better.
In a heavier skillet, there’s more mass to actually soak up the heat. It really is a deeper heat, and this helps it maintain consistency when things change on the cooking surface. It bounces back faster from the temperature variation that occurs when the steak is slipped in for instance.
This is also what helps insure you get that crusty, brown surface steak lovers crave.
I always recommend cast-iron skillets, which are great for holding up over years of use. Some chefs have warmed up to the non-stick benefits of forged aluminum, but I still favor the traditional skillet.
Also take the time to consider the handle. Look for one that features two pins connecting it to the base. With something this heavy, you need more than a single, tiny screw holding the works together. And in case you decide to transfer your steak to the oven at some point, a large, solid skillet can easily make that transition with a sturdy handle.
Of course also be certain that the surface of your skillet is close to that of your stovetop burner. Too much overlap can mean inconsistent heat levels.
So again, a large, solid skillet with a reliable handle is most crucial.
Once your start cooking with tongs you’ll never want to give them up. Though not really crucial for the actual cooking process, they offer so much more control and speed, which is why you see them on every major restaurants’ grill stations.
Flaked or kosher has a thicker granular heft to it while not being as strong as standard table salt. The right salt can be an essential flavor element, and kosher salt helps protect from over-salting.
Those thicker chunks of salt will also help with browning and crusting while simultaneously seasoning the meat.
Here you could rely on standard table pepper, though many rave about the effects of freshly-ground peppercorns. Arguably pepper’s biggest benefit is the aroma it evokes. Smell has so much to do with how flavor hits our tongues.
If you do grind, be sure to do so just ahead of completing the cooking phase for maximum effect.
The best type of oil is coconut or ghee, perfect for searing without complicating the flavoring. Vegetable oil is a bad choice, at least for steak. The same with corn oil and blended oil.
The correct amount for a single 7-oz. cut is one tablespoon.
While it may not be vital to the actual cooking, this tool will help you make sure you food is fully cooked while also familiarizing you with each stage of readiness.
Finally let’s turn to some individual tips that can help you hone your skills even further.
Part 3: How the Pros Make It Happen
You’ve done the work and you’ve seen how great stovetop results can be. Now take it to the next level with additional tips and tricks to impress even the most serious steak lovers.
Tip #1. Test drive various marinades to determine the ones you most prefer. Not only can these help with flavor, they also go a long way in tenderizing your cut.
We’ve got a great collection right here.
Tip #2. Whenever a trusty meat thermometer is unavailable, stick closely to the recommended cooking times to insure proper results.
Tip #3. This one’s really a keeper: add a dab of organic grass-fed butter directly to the skillet just as the second side is in its final minute of cooking. It adds powerful flavor and aroma. Take it one step further with 2 garlic cloves fully crushed and maybe 3 rosemary sprigs just at the conclusion of your cooking stage. Again remember to avoid combining butter with any type of acid-based marinade (including lemon or fruit juices) as they can potentially sour the effect.
Tip #4. Enjoy your steak to the very last bite by pre-heating your plates. You’ll want ceramic plates here, placed in the oven at around 60C / 140F for just a few minutes.
Tip #5. If your steaks are finished a few minutes before you’re actually ready to eat, you can transfer the whole skillet to a pre-heated oven at 50C / 120F. This amount of heat is enough to keep them ready to go, but without risking cooking the steak further.
Tip #6. Make use of those incredibly flavorful pan drippings as your actual steak sauce. Just add 3 drops of lemon juice and drizzle the juices over your cut for a signature taste that aligns perfectly with the steak you just cooked.
NY York Strip Steak Recipes on Stove Top
Having perfected the techniques, let’s now turn to some additional methods and even recipes that will soon have you dazzling your guests.
See the ideas below that, although relatively simply and easy, can help you turn a basic steak into a signature dining event.