We all love juicy, tender steak. And if you want to cook this dish right in the comfort of your own home, it is important to use proper tools to make this happen. A nonstick pan is great for cooking sunny side-ups, stir-frys, and just about any fried dishes. I have a few people asking me – can you cook steak in a nonstick pan?
While there should be no issue with cooking steak in a pan, it is not quite advisable to do so. This type of pan may not reach an optimum level of heat and cannot sear the meat well which limits the flavor of your steak.
Keep reading to learn more about the secrets to the finest homemade steak – and if your nonstick pan is up for this task.
Can You Cook Steak in a Nonstick Pan? The Answer is Not Too Simple…
Nonstick pans are popular in many kitchens because of how easy it is to maintain this type of cookware.
It’s hassle-free to cook any type of fried meals. And best of all – it’s a breeze to clean up your pan after use.
No more elbow grease required to get the debris out of your pan. Just a simple sponge, soap, and water should do the trick.
This can definitely save you so much of your time and energy. Thus, it is not surprising that many people are fond of this type of pan.
However, would it also work with steaks? Or can you expect a subpar quality of steak when cooked in your nonstick pan?
The short answer is yes, you can cook steak without any problem in this pan. But I would not recommend that you do it. Why?
What Happens When You Cook Steak in a Nonstick Pan?
While there should be no issue with cooking steak in a pan, it is not quite advisable to do so.
The thing about this type of pan is that it fails to reach an optimum level of heat.
What this means is that it cannot sear your meat quite well. Hence, this limits the flavor of your steak.
Once you place your meat in the pan, you will notice that it starts cooling down. As a result, the steak stew in all of its juices. Afterwards, this will yield a dry quality to it…
Not the texture you want in a steak, for sure.
Additionally, there are those who prefer to leave the steak in the nonstick pan for a while. The goal is to achieve a sear, which is what you would normally get with a different type of pan.
However, it simply does not work the same way with nonstick.
What happens is that the meat ends up being chewy and rather unpleasant both in terms of flavor and quality.
No wonder professional chefs and experts only rely on a cast-iron skillet for their steak!
How to Cook the Finest Homemade Steak
Now that you know why steak and nonstick pan don’t mix, let’s move on to some tips on how to make the best steak.
First, you need to choose the right cut.
I would go for a thinner cut instead of thick ones. For instance, a 1-inch thick cut of meat is my preference when shopping for the right steak.
When you cook thinner meat, you can be sure that both sides cook thoroughly. This also helps to improve the flavor since there are no burnt sides.
Next, make it a point to place the steak on your hot pan only when it is somewhat dry. Dropping a soggy steak onto your pan will create a bunch of smoke.
And the ultimate secret to the best steak is this: The Perfect Marinade.
This is what brings out the flavor and aroma of your steak.
Thus, I recommend that you leave the marinade on your steak for hours. I usually make sure that the marinade stays on the steak overnight while in the refrigerator.
If this is not possible, you can at least let the marinade settle on the meat for about a couple of hours.
However, when you use marinade that contains salt or alcohol, be sure to not leave it on for over 4 hours. Otherwise, these ingredients will change up the meat’s natural qualities.
The same holds true for marinades that are acidic such as lemon juice or vinegar. This even changes the meat’s color.
In case you are not quite fond of using a marinade, you should at least put some salt on the steak. Season the meat with salt and leave it overnight. By doing so, this helps to release the flavor that will make it more appetizing.
I would also add a few other seasonings and herbs such as garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
Use the Right Tool for Cooking Steak
As I mentioned earlier, I would not advise you to use a nonstick pan for cooking steak.
Yes, it is possible to cook this dish but the quality is simply not the best.
So, you should invest in a good quality cast iron skillet to make restaurant-quality steak. Be sure to use some olive oil that will coat the pan’s bottom evenly. This helps to prevent the meat from burning.
Heat your pan for about a minute and wait for the smoke to rise. Once this happens, you can already put the meat in the skillet.
The best thing about a skillet is how it can retain heat. This is why your meat comes out juicy and tender afterwards – not at all dry or lacking in flavor as when cooked in a nonstick pan.
[Related Article: Can You Cook Pork And Chicken Together? The Answer Will Surprise You!]
Check out this side by side comparison of a cast-iron skillet and nonstick pan and what happens when you cook steak in either one of them!
So can you cook steak in a nonstick pan?
Yes, you can – but no, you should not.
If you want to achieve the finest quality of homemade steak, you need to invest in the right tool to make this happen.
I hope this post has been helpful for you in cooking the best steak with all the right qualities you want!