How to Fry the Perfect Steak Medium Rare

Updated April 17, 2017

While methods for cooking the perfect steak differ, the basics to pan-frying a steak to perfection is fairly universal. You need to select top-quality USDA primes steaks, use a durable cast-iron skillet and cook over high heat to seal in the juices. Seasoning also plays an important part adding not only flavour but a crust on the outside of the meat. Cooking the steaks to a medium-rare temperature, which is between 54.4 and 56.7 degrees Celsius, will result in a flavourful, very juicy steak.

Remove steaks from the refrigerator at least 40 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.

Place a cast-iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.

Pat any moisture from the steaks with a paper towel and season the steaks with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the hot pan and heat until it begins to smoke.

Place the steak in the pan and cook on one side for six minutes, then flip over and cook the other side for six minutes to get a medium-rare steak.

Check the temperature of the steaks using an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure the meat is at medium rare. The temperature of the meat should be between 54.4 and 57.2 degrees Celsius for medium-rare.

Remove the steaks from the pan and let rest for five to 10 minutes, covered with aluminium foil. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.


Add a pat of butter to the oil just before putting the steaks in the pan to add flavour. Remove the steaks when they are five degrees away from the desired temperature because the temperature will continue to rise about five degrees when it is removed from the pan.

Things You'll Need

  • USDA Prime steaks, 1 1/2-inch thick
  • Paper towels
  • Cast-iron skillet
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Tongs
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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.