The best dinners are those when you don’t have to follow an extensive recipe. Yet, when the food reaches your plate, you have the best flavors to savor. A case in point is a hearty meal of steak.
Are you planning to cook a steak in the oven but don’t have a cast iron skillet? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered!
Most top chefs recommend using a cast iron skillet for cooking steak. The reason? Cast iron pans won’t break the bank. Do I see you laughing there?
Well, carry on, but it’s a good reason to invest in a cast iron skillet. On a serious note, the real reason why chefs love to cook steak on a cast iron skillet is the fact that it cooks the steak faster and evenly. However, you can also cook a steak in an oven without a cast iron skillet!
We will learn more about how to cook steak in the sections below. Continue reading if you struggle to make a good quality steak in the oven without a cast iron skillet.
In this post, you will also learn about different steak cuts and the temperatures they should be cooked at. So, get ready to turn into a steak pro!
What's In The Post
Why Is Steak Preferred to Cooked On A Cast Iron Skillet?
If you watch cooking shows or religiously look out for recipes to cook, it’s common to find steak cooked on a cast iron skillet. One of the reasons for using this cooking method is that a cast iron skillet retains heat extremely well and evenly.
Thus, the result is nothing short of amazing. You get a perfectly browned, crusty, and juicy steak with a complex flavor.
On the other hand, other metal pans dissipate heat quickly, which makes it hard to achieve the desired crust. However, there are more reasons why a cast iron skillet is the first option.
A cast iron skillet is seasoned, which makes it non-stick in nature. This quality ensures that the steak doesn’t stick to the skillet, and in turn, it is saved from getting destroyed into pieces.
Moreover, you don’t have to use too much oil for cooking which cuts out unnecessary calories. As the steak cooks in its own juiciness, released and reserved in the skillet while searing, it becomes more flavorful.
Cooking a steak on a cast iron skillet also fortified food with iron. It’s a well-known fact that cast iron increases the iron content of food. This is another valid reason to cook your steak in a cast iron skillet.
Furthermore, a cast iron pan is also used for the purpose of reverse searing. By opting to reverse sear your steak, you place the steak on a cast iron skillet and cook to perfection in the oven. From there, the steak is transferred on a hot grill or a ripping-hot skillet to char the crust.
Lastly, you may have laughed over the fact that it won’t break your bank, but it really doesn’t. A cast iron pan or skillet is inexpensive and long-lasting!
Now that you know why steak is famously cooked on a cast iron skillet, let’s take a look at alternative methods to achieve the same results.
Boneless Steak Vs. Bone-In Steak
I know you are eagerly waiting to find out how to cook a steak in the oven. But before we get there, it is important to learn some facts about a steak that will help you determine how to have a perfectly cooked steak on your plate.
The primary point to keep in mind while cooking a steak, whether in a skillet or oven, is to figure out at what temperature a steak should be cooked. The answer to this question depends on what steak you have in hand. Most importantly, whether it is boneless or bone-in.
When cooking any meat with bones, it is integral to note that the bone impacts the heat distributed throughout the meat. So, a bone in meat or steak can take a little more time to cook than boneless.
The bone insulates the meat around it, thus keeping this meat portion at a lower temperature. Therefore, this part of the meat will take longer to cook. By understanding this information, you will know when to pull your steak from the oven.
To help you determine the temperature for doneness, a probe thermometer will be your trusty sidekick. So, keep it handy at all times.
While cooking a bone in steak in the oven, combining stovetop sear and oven cooking will guarantee an even cook with the right amount of char on the outside.
On the other hand, you don’t have to worry too much about a boneless steak cooked in the oven as it will cook evenly. In such a case, all you have to focus on is the steak doneness that you desire: rare, medium rare, medium well, or well done.
Best Beef Cuts For Oven Roasting And Their Temperatures
Oven roasting is the simplest way to cook a steak. All you have to do is season your steak and let the oven do all the work. But beef steak comes from different cuts of a cow and is cooked differently to achieve optimum flavors.
This is a daunting challenge for anyone, but I will make it easy for you. Below mentioned cuts of beef are best suited for oven roasting to make a splurge-worthy centerpiece.
1. Tri-tip Roast
Tri-tip roast makes for a boneless and fairly tender steak full of flavor. It has a unique triangular shape and is less commonly found on the shelf. That’s because there are only two of these cuts per cow.
This cut of steak should be cooked between rare and medium temperatures of about 125 F to 135 F.
2. Bottom Round Rump
A boneless and lean steak, the bottom round rump is a traditional cut for roast beef from the cow’s rear leg. This steak should be cooked at a lower temperature of 275 F to achieve rare and medium rare doneness, or the internal temperature should be about 125 to 135 F.
3. Chuck Roast
If you are looking for an inexpensive steak, then chuck roast would be the best option. This steak creates velvety-soft meat that comes from the shoulder of the cow. It should be cooked at 350˚F.
4. Bottom Round Rump Roast Or Eye Of Round Roast
Boneless and lean, the bottom round rump roast or eye of round roast is another inexpensive option of steak that is great for oven roasting. It comes from the rump and rear leg muscles.
This cut should be cooked at a low temperature and be removed from the oven once the internal temperature reaches 130°F to 135°F.
5. Top Round Roast
The top round roast also comes from the rump or rear leg muscles. It is a lean roast that should be slow-cooked and sliced thinly. This cut of meat is best cooked to a medium-rare temperature.
6. Sirloin Tip Roast
Sirloin tip roast gives one of the most flavorful tastes. It comes from the round primal.
This cut should be roasted by starting at 450°F for the first 15 minutes and then allow it to slow roast at 300°F for 50-75 minutes.
7. Prime Rib Roast
The prime rib has a well-marbled intramuscular fat that gives this steak the perfect bite. This roast maintains its tenderness even if the internal temperature is higher.
For a rare roast, the internal temperature of this steak should read 115 F. The internal temperature should be between 120 and 135 F for medium-rare doneness.
8. Shoulder Petite Roast
Shoulder petit roast makes for a juicy and tender steak. It is a smaller cut of beef that is extremely flavorful.
As the name suggests, it comes from the shoulder area of the cow. This cut is ideal for slow cooking.
9. Strip Loin Roast
Strip loin roast is a budget-friendly option that comes from the short loin. It makes for juicy, tender, and flavorful meat. This cut should be roasted at 125 F for rare doneness and for medium doneness at 145 F.
If you love rosy center meat, then the brisket is the one for you. It is juicy and has an intense beefy flavor. The general rule of thumb to cook beef brisket in the oven is at 275 F for around 60 minutes / 1 hour for every pound of meat.
11. T-Bone Steak
Remember I mentioned bone in steaks above? Here’s how you cook them in the oven. The T-bone steak is half tenderloin and half strip steak. Its name comes from the t-shaped bone that runs down the middle of the steak. Therefore, each side of the bone cooks a little differently.
For a medium rare T-bone steak, the temperature should read 120-125℉, for medium doneness 130-135℉, for medium -well 140-145℉, and for well done 150-155℉.
Steak Doneness Guide
In the above section, you have learned about the best cuts of beef that are suited for oven roasting. However, it is important to note that the temperatures to check the doneness also depend on the weight of the steak. Therefore, don’t forget to refer to the weight and timetables mentioned above.
You might be thinking, why am I again talking about steak doneness in this section? That’s because this is a broader perspective of temperature guidelines for different doneness levels.
A rare steak means it has a cool-to-warm red center with a soft and tender texture. This doneness is an excellent choice for leaner steaks (less fat) like top sirloin or filet mignon. The temperature for rare doneness should be maintained at 120 F.
2. Medium Rare
To have a warm red center with a nice brown crust, you should cook your steak to a medium rare. Medium rare cooking allows the fat to add rich buttery flavor to your steak. This is the ideal doneness for a juicy, flavorful steak. The temperature to achieve rarely medium doneness should be 130 F.
If you are looking for a slightly firmer texture and a hot pink-centered steak, then medium doneness is what you desire. This calls for a longer cooking time at 140 F, making the steak slightly drier and less tender.
4. Medium Well
For a firmer texture and a brown center, the steak should be cooked to medium doneness. This meat is drier as the water evaporates during the cooking process. The ideal cooking temperature for this doneness is 150 F.
5. Well Done
If a well-done steak seals the deal for you, then you can identify it by studying its color, which is evenly dark brown from the inside. This steak has a very firm texture and is much drier than the others.
During the cooking process, a well-done steak loses its fat and moisture, which results in a tougher texture. A well-done steak is not a common choice. It is generally cooked at 160 + F temperature.
While this chart is the best reference point to make sure you have the desired texture of steak, it’s always better to remove your steak earlier as the retained heat inside the steak continues to cook it even after it’s removed from heat. While you can always cook an underdone steak, an overcooked steak can’t be saved. This can be done with the help of a probe thermometer.
How To Cook The Best Steak In an Oven Without A Cast Iron Skillet?
Now that you have learned about the temperatures and types of steak cuts let’s find out the answer to your most awaited question “how to cook the best steak in the oven without a cast iron skillet.”
Don’t have a cast iron pan or grill? No worries, make the most of your oven by following the steps below to make a fancy dinner.
1. Steak Temperature
To make the best steak ever, the most important step, to begin with, is to take your steak out of the refrigerator or freezer and bring it to room temperature. Cold meats seize in hot temperatures. This affects the Millard reaction that is responsible for turning your steak brown.
Another key step is to ensure that the steak skin is dry. This will leave you with a steak with the juiciest interior and brownest surface. Meat must be tempered so that its flavors are sealed inside.
Moreover, when cold meat is placed in a hot oven or skillet, it loses its juices quickly, affecting the steak’s size and volume.
2. Season The Steak
The next step is seasoning the steak. There are a lot of opinions about seasoning a steak that can leave people confused. Some people like to season steak ahead of time. This could be a day before cooking. Others prefer to season it just before cooking.
But what does seasoning a steak mean? Seasoning a steak means rubbing salt over it and plenty of it! Applying salt to food pulls its water out. So, once salt touches the surface of a steak, it starts drawing moisture out of it.
You may begin to wonder if this will make my steak dry. But the beauty of pre-seasoning the steak is that there is enough time for the juices to be absorbed back into the steak.
So, think of your steak as a sponge. The release and absorption of juices ensure that steak is evenly moisturized from within. This results in better taste and texture as juices get deeper and deeper into the muscles.
The moral of the story is that seasoning a steak overnight or 40 minutes before cooking provides the best results. You can also season the steak with olive oil and fresh ground pepper, which adds more flavor.
3. Cook The Steak
We have finally reached the point when we cook the steak in an oven. However, if you find recipes for oven-cooked steak, you will notice that most recipes call for searing the steak in a cast iron skillet first and then placing it in the oven for further cooking.
Searing a steak ensures that the juices stay trapped inside the steak, and you get a crispy exterior. If you wish to sear the steak first but don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can also use a ceramic or non-stick pan.
These pans consist of aluminum bodies, which are an excellent conductor of heat. It will work similarly to the cast iron pan. Alternatively, you can also sear a steak using a countertop or indoor grill pan.
To do so, preheat your grill over medium heat and cook each side of the steaks for a couple of minutes per side until you see that they are lightly browned. Transfer these browned steaks to a baking sheet and finish them in the oven, as explained above. However, making a delicious steak without searing it is also possible.
To achieve similar results, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the seasoned steaks on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Let the steak cook.
Alternatively, you can also keep an oven wire rack on a baking sheet and place the steak over it. Using a wire rack helps to cook the steak evenly as the hot air circulates around it. While a seared steak in the oven takes 5-15 minutes to cook in the oven, a non-seared steak will take more time as it is at room temperature.
So, a non-seared steak will need 9-10 minutes to achieve rare doneness, 13-16 minutes for medium doneness, and 20-24 minutes to make it well done. You can refer to the table below to cook non-seared steak in the oven.
|Types Of Steaks||Time (minutes)|
Now you know how to cook high-quality steaks at home, in the oven, and without a cast iron skillet.
4. Let The Steak Rest
The cut, temperature, seasoning, and cooking are all important steps to make the best-ever steak. However, an equally integral part of the process is leaving your steak to rest to enjoy its full flavors.
Letting the steak rest before slicing it ensures that its juices are redistributed evenly throughout, which makes it tender and juicy. The ideal resting time for thick steaks is 15 minutes, whereas for thinner steak is 5-8 minutes.
How To Serve A Steak?
Congratulations! You have mastered the art of cooking the best steaks. It’s time to make the most of your hard work.
The first step is to slice your steak. Always remember that inappropriate cutting of steak makes it tougher and chewier to eat. Therefore, you should cut a steak against the grain for tender and yummier results.
The grain of a steak is the direction in which the muscle fibers run. Each type of steak can have a different grain. So, when you spot the direction of the grain, place your knife perpendicular to it and cut thin slices.
Once your steak is sliced, serve it with green beans, casseroles, coleslaw, roasted potatoes, oven-roasted vegetables, mac & cheese, salad, cheesy mashed potatoes, or your favorite drink.
Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)
What are the steak doneness levels?
Steak doneness is divided into five categories: rare, medium-rare, medium-, medium-well done, and well done.
How long should a steak be cooked in the oven?
The cooking time of a steak in the oven depends on its thickness and doneness. A medium-rare steak would need 7-8 minutes to cook.
Is it important to preheat the oven to cook a steak?
Yes, preheating the oven is necessary to cook the steak in an oven.
Can steak be cooked without searing?
Steaks can be cooked without searing, but the cooking time will increase.
How do you check the doneness of steak?
A probe thermometer helps you to check the doneness of the steak.
Why should you take the steak out of the oven before it reaches the desired temperature?
A steak should be taken out of the oven before it reaches the desired temperature as the heat trapped inside it continues to cook it further. This will prevent you from having an overdone steak.
For how long should I season the steak?
You should season a steak overnight or 40 minutes before cooking for the best results.
Does the cooking time of steak depend on the cut of beef?
Yes, the cooking time of a steak depends on the cut, thickness, and size of the steak.
Why are cast iron skillets preferred to cook a steak?
Cast iron is known to distribute heat evenly. Thus, it provides a perfectly cooked steak.
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