Cooking Sirloin Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet To Deliciousness

Last Updated on by SteakEat

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Interested in how to cook sirloin steak in cast iron pan? Then this guide is for you.

 

Contents:

 

 

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Part 1 – Preparing and Searing

I assume you have a piece of sirloin and the utensils needed to cook it (if you are not ready see Part 2 first).

Assemble all of your ingredients before cooking:

  • 70z/200g sirloin steak (per person)
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt
  • Coconut oil or ghee

Also be sure you have the following tools:

  • Cast iron pan with grill marks (ideally)
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Instant meat probe
  • Oven meat thermometer (optional – for thicker sirloin cuts)

 

Once you have your ingredients and tools gathered, let’s get cooking!

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5 Simple Steps to Cooking Sirloin in Cast Iron

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Step 1: Warm Your Steak to Room Temperature

For a 7 ounce portion of steak, remove your sirloin from the refrigerator at least 40 minutes prior to cooking. Larger slices of sirloin steak will take as much as 2 hours to warm to room temperature.

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Step 2: Heat the Cast Iron Skillet

While cast iron can heat up and then retain its heat really well, it may take ages for it to get hot in comparison to other types of pans, such as aluminum.

It also has a disadvantage of causing your steak to stick, and even burn if it is not properly prepared.

To avoid this, season the cast iron skillet before adding the steak. Here is my method:

Place the skillet on the stovetop set to high heat for 5 minutes (the skillet needs to heat up quite well).

Add your coconut oil or ghee and spread it until it is evenly distributed. Then, remove the skillet from heat.

Set it aside to cool and then wipe it with paper towels to remove the excess fat.

This ends the seasoning process. You can now reheat the skillet for searing.

Set the stove to high heat and preheat the skillet for 10 minutes to ensure it has reached appropriate temperature for cooking.

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Side Note:

If you notice your skillet starting to smoke before the 10 minutes run out, wait for another 40 seconds. Your cast iron skillet is now ready for searing sirloin steak.

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Step 3: Pat Your Sirloin Dry and Season it

While you are heating your skillet you should keep busy by preparing your steak.

Begin by taking a paper towel and lightly tapping it against the surface of your sirloin until it as dry as you can manage.

After drying, use kosher salt to season your steak. My personal preference is 2-3 salt pinches on each side of the recommended 7 ounce portion of sirloin.

Do not add pepper in this step.

Fresh pepper often burns, which makes it better to add it after searing is completed. This will prevent charred flavor from ruining your sirloin.

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Step 4: Sear your Sirloin

After your steak is prepared and your skillet has been heating for 10-15 minutes, you can place your sirloin into the pan.

If your pan has reached the right temperature you will hear a slight sizzling sound.

Now, how long does the steak need to cook?

For a medium-rare doneness the sirloin should be cooked three minutes on each side.

After 1.5 minutes on the grill marks rotate your steak by 90 degrees. This will make a # pattern once cooking is complete. Do this on the other side as well.

Then turn the steak to cook it 2 minutes on each lateral side.

The maneuvering of the sirloin in this step helps you to realize how useful tongs are over other utensils.  😉

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Side Note:

For a juicy & tender end result you should not cook the steak longer that the time required for medium-rare level of doneness. It is my opinion that this level guarantees that you will be able to enjoy your sirloin.

An instant read thermometer is the best way to check for medium-rare doneness. The thermometer should be inserted into the center of the steak. When the reading is at 55C or 150F, then you have achieved a medium-rare doneness.

However, with all that said, sirloin is relatively tender and flavorful cut by default. It means that medium doneness level is also fine – 60C / 140F reading on your probe.

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Side Note 2:

The searing method is best for sirloins less than 2.5cm, or 1 inch thick.

If your steak is thicker than that, sear it and then finish cooking using the oven to retain flavor and juiciness.

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Step 5: Let it Rest

The searing process should be completed after 10 minutes, which accounts for 3 minutes per side and 2 minutes per lateral side.

After searing place your sirloin on a cutting board or plate. This is the best time to grind your whole peppercorns and add them to your sirloin, so do it.

Leave the steak resting for 3-4 minutes. This cools down the juices inside, so they don’t jump out, when you start cutting the steak.

After the resting period, cut into your sirloin with a sharp knife.

Cut across the muscle fibers (i.e. across the grain) to ensure your sirloin retains its juices. Serve the tender, juicy sirloin alone or pair it with a healthy side to make a gorgeous meal.

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You have reached the end of the searing process.

Congratulations on taking the first step in becoming a cast iron searing expert!

If you want to further your knowledge, continue reading to find recipes and tips for the perfect sirloin steak.

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Part 2 – Choosing Your Sirloin and Cooking Tools

In Part I, we prepared your sirloin steak. Now, it is time to pick the perfect cut of sirloin.

A mouthwatering steak dinner cannot be achieved with just any sirloin cut. The general rule of steak is that the amount of money you spend directly affects steak quality. Therefore, take care to spend your money well.

There are several things you can look for to ensure a quality cut of sirloin.

Here is what’s important:

Grass-fed organic cattle. Cattle that is grass-fed only eats grass-like feed during the course of its life. It is also raised without antibiotics and growth hormones that are commonly used in beef raising. These types of cows are better because they produce leaner, more flavorful cuts of sirloin. These cuts are healthier to consume and they taste great too.

Dry Aging. Is a naturally occurring chemical process that helps break down protein in steak, to result in a tenderer steak with more concentrated flavor. Some of the most popular dry aged options include 28-, 21-, and 14-day maturity. They will cost more than most other steaks, but have a significant flavor distinction. I personally recommend you try 21-day matured sirloin steak.

Thickness and Weight. The ideal sirloin for the searing process will be no more than 2.5cm, or 1 inch in thickness. However, if you do choose a thicker cut of meat, you will be able to use a cast iron skillet to sear, and then pop it in the oven to finish the job. This ensures your sirloin will be juicy, tender, and flavorful. As for size, a good weight is 7 ounces, or 200g of steak per person. This will result in a filling meal, while ensuring you do not get stuffed.

Now it’s time to get the equipment necessary. Let’s do it.

Choosing the Perfect Tools for the Perfect Sirloin

Cast Iron Skillet

Durable, thick construction and incredible volumetric heat capabilities are two of the well-known properties of cast iron skillets. They are ideal for searing because once they get hot, they stay hot.

They can also be useful because their handles are heat proof, allowing you to use them inside your oven. If you have a cut of sirloin steak that is thicker than one inch, you will be able to finish the cooking process in the oven without changing the cooking dish.

A pan with grill marks is the ideal skillet for people who want their steak to look as great as it tastes.

 

Tongs

You will realize the usefulness of tongs as you go through the cooking process, especially if you are using a skillet that has grill marks – flipping steak with tongs becomes very simple.

Using good tongs will simplify the searing process while also preventing burns.

 

Oil

You will need to complete the searing process at a high temperature, which makes heat-stable oil a critical factor in how well your steak comes out.

I personally recommend using either ghee or non-virgin coconut oil. Both have a high smoking point, are heat stable and add a nice aroma.

 

Salt

One of the important factors in how your steak comes out in the pan searing process is salt.

When you add salt to your steak and cook it at high temperatures, a chemical reaction called Maillard sets in. This reaction is what people refer to when they mention ‘surface browning’.

Kosher salt is ideal for steak searing. It is less dense than table salt, meaning you can add more of it without oversalting your beef – this helps to develop richer flavor.

Personally, I use 2-3 pinches of kosher salt per side of the steak, to result in the best possible taste.

 

Pepper

Freshly ground black pepper is ideal. Get some black peppercorn for you to grind at home. Add freshly ground pepper just before the sirloin is served to produce an incredible fragrance.

 

Paper Towels

Having paper towels handy can prove useful no matter what kind of meat you are cooking. During the searing process, paper towels are used when seasoning your pan and also for drying your sirloin before searing.

 

Meat Thermometer

Overcooking is a critical mistake that can cause your steak to dry out. This takes away from its natural aroma and flavor. When cooking sirloin, keep two types of thermometers handy; an oven thermometer (for thicker cuts) and an instant read meat thermometer. Using a meat thermometer will ensure your steak is done and prevent overcooking.

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Part 3 – Tips from the Experts on Achieving the Best Sirloin

Good job on achieving a tender, juicy sirloin using the stovetop searing method in Part 1.

And now – pro cooking tips:

 

 

Tip #1: Cook Your Sirloin from Room Temperature

Have you ever forgotten to pull out your sirloin in time for cooking? Just because you forgot, however, you can still do fine. Set the sirloin steak on a plate and set it inside the microwave. Use the lowest microwave setting to warm your steak for 3-5 seconds. After this initial period, flip the steak cut over. Continue until the steak has reached a warm temperature, but be sure you do not cook it.

 

Tip #2: Use the Oven to Heat Your Cast Iron

You can easily heat your skillet in the oven instead of on stove top. This will encourage the skillet to heat evenly. Place your cast iron in the oven at 200C or 400F. After 15-20 minutes, your skillet should be sufficiently heated. Be careful when removing it for placement on the stovetop, because the handle has the potential to burn.

 

Tip #3: Three Ingredients to Enhance the Flavor of Your Sirloin

Recipes to enhance the natural flavor of your sirloin can be quite simple. Add 1 knob of butter derived from a grass-fed, organic dairy cattle along with 2 cloves crushed garlic and 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary. Add this two minutes before the end of the cooking process. Cook it on the first side for one minute before flipping your steak so the second side absorbs flavor. This will enhance the flavor and aroma of your sirloin, rather than covering it up.

 

Tip #4: Heat Your Plate in the Oven

While you are keeping yourself busy with the searing process, consider preheating your serving plates in the oven. Preheat your oven to 90C or 190F and let them sit inside for 10 minutes. Warmed plates will keep your sirloin warm longer after it is cooked.

 

Tip #5: Eat Your Sirloin While It’s Warm and Juicy

We do not always get to eat our sirloin as soon as it is cooked. Whether you have hosting obligations, or need to clean up before eating, you will still be able to eat your steak while it’s warm and juicy. Preheat your oven to 50C or 120C before placing your sirloin inside. This setting is the ideal temperature to retain your sirloin’s warmth without drying your steak out by continuing the cooking process.

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