If you are a steak lover and think the best steak can only come from your grill, think again. My cast iron skillet will deliver a steakhouse quality steak and in record time, too. Add the compound butter at the end and you may give your grill away. This has long been one of my most posted and shared recipes… and I think it is because it is just so easy and so good. This is the perfect recipe for Father’s Day, Game Day or a romantic dinner for two. The secret is in the sear… make sure you really have a hot pan and don’t turn your steak too soon. You want a nice char before you flip it.

Martie Duncan Skillet Steak


Skill level: Easy    Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Essential equipment: cast iron skillet, meat thermometer

MEDIUM RARE 130-135°

RARE 120-125°

MEDIUM 140-145°


1 steak of your choice, I prefer a T-bone, bone-in rib-eye or a Porterhouse; not cut too thick

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter for the skillet plus 1/4 cup for the herb butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh finely chopped herbs

For the herb butter: place 1/4 cup butter at room temp in a small bowl and use a fork to sort of mash and whip it until soft. Add finely chopped herbs of your choice—basil and thyme are my favorites. Chives are stronger but also nice. About a tablespoon is all you need but that’s up to you if you want more— add more. Line a small ramekin or bowl with plastic wrap and spoon the butter mixture into it. Wrap the plastic over the butter and chill well. You can make this a few days in advance and unmold it when you are ready to use it.

For the steak: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. You will have to vary your cooking time based on the degree of doneness you want for your steak. Let the steak sit out at least 15 minutes to take some of the chill off before you cook it. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of good olive oil to the pan and let them melt together. You may need more depending on the size of your pan. Increase the heat to medium high.

Season both sides of the steak liberally with salt and pepper.

When the butter is melted– it burns easily so watch out—and the pan is very hot, put in your steak and sear it well on both sides. Do not pick up the steak or move it around. Let it sear on one side before turning it— about 3 minutes per side depending on the heat and the size of your steak. After you’ve seared the steak on both sides, carefully move the pan to your preheated oven. After the steak has been in the oven for about 3 minutes, carefully open the door (watch out as there will be quite a lot of steam) and put a large slice of the herb butter on top of the steak– it will melt down over the steak and add a wonderful flavor during the last minutes of cooking.

I like my steak just under medium so I cook it in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the meat thermometer reaches about 140 degrees. Remove from the oven, place off of heat and cover with foil. Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes so the juices will redistribute. The steak will actually continue to cook a bit during the resting period so I remove it from the oven just under the desired temperature.


If you have a big crowd, you will find this recipe hard to do unless you have several skillets. I typically reserve this recipe for smaller, more intimate groups but for 4 or more, I’ll use a Porterhouse cut and that gives me a filet and a New York Strip from each steak so I can serve 2-3 people from one steak.