Shopping for a pan to cook a steak?
You are in the right place.
When it comes to cooking a mouth-watering steak, the cut of the meat is not the only deciding factor. Your choice of cookware also plays a vital role in bringing out the flavor of the meat and retaining its juices.
You will need a pan that can maintain an even, high temperature surface throughout the cooking process.
Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the material of the pan to enjoy a steak cooked evenly and to-order.
What’s in this Buying Guide
Lots of companies make a wide range of frying pans for steaks. They come in a variety of materials including cast iron, copper, steel, and aluminum. That is why finding the best pan to cook a steak is not as simple as you might think.
So to help you find the right type of pan that will serve you for a long time without blowing your budget, in this guide we review & compare some of the best frying pans for steak sold today.
We also provide a short buying guide explaining the features to look for when buying a steak pan.
Finally, we answer frequently asked questions related to pans for frying steaks.
Best Pans to Cook a Steak
Disclaimer: All links below go to Amazon.com
- Most Durable: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
- Safe Non Stick Option: Carote Nonstick Skillet Frying Pan
- Most Unique: T-fal Total Nonstick Heat Indicator Frying Pan
- Easy to Clean: Tramontina Aluminum Nonstick Frying Pan
- Best Value for money: Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan
- Best Material: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Pan
Most Durable: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Whether you are a professional or a home chef, this Lodge cast iron pan will help you cook your favorite dish with ease. You can use it to sear, boil, bake, sauté, grill, fry, or experiment with other dishes.
Lodge has been known to produce high-quality, rugged cast-iron cookware for more than a century, and this skillet is no different. It comes pre-seasoned, and you can safely use it in the oven, over a campfire, or on the stove or grill.
Cooking on this Lodge cast iron skillet produces wonderfully consistent results due to its self-contained uniform heat feature. So whether you want to cook pancakes for breakfast or have some tortillas, this pan produces perfect results.
You can also reheat sandwiches and pizzas on this skillet on low heat, and the result is uniform and delicious.
The cooking surface of this pan is not smooth, and a number of verified users have complained about their eggs and bacon strips not turning out as they preferred.
- Excellent heat retention
- Versatile use
- Pre-seasoned with vegetable oil
- You can use it for different cooking methods
- Heats evenly
- Great for induction cooktops
- Finish could be better
Safe Non-Stick Option: Carote Nonstick Skillet Frying Pan
The Carote Nonstick Skillet Frying pan features an environmentally friendly granite coating and is a completely safe option. It can deliver nonstick perfection and is completely free from lead, PFOA, and Cadmium.
This Carote pan features a die-cast body which makes it sturdy and durable.
If you are not too keen on washing dishes, then this pan is for you as it is super easy to clean. It is designed with a Bakelite handle that not only gives this pan an attractive look but is also comfortable to grip. Plus, it stays cool while cooking.
The Carote nonstick frying pan is suitable for all stoves. It heats evenly and quickly, so whether you want to cook fish or have a steak for dinner, you can be sure of exceptional results.
It also comes with a one-year warranty.
Some buyers have complained that even though this Carote pan eventually became nonstick, items such as eggs stuck to it at first, and they had to use a silicone spatula to pry them loose.
Also, when they heated this pan on low/medium heat, it made a cracking sound which was quite scary.
- Exceptional performance
- Free from chemicals
- Eco-friendly pan
- Granite nonstick coating
- Easy to clean
- One-year warranty
- Compatible with induction stove, gas, halogen, and ceramic stove
- May not be nonstick at first
Most Unique: T-fal Total Nonstick Heat Indicator Frying Pan
T-fal is an industry leader in nonstick cookware and has been developing innovative product solutions for decades, just like the T-fal Nonstick E93805 Thermo-Spot heat indicator frying pan.
Its unique heat indicator technology shows when the pan is preheated completely, making it easier for you to know when it is ready to begin cooking.
Whether you are searing or sautéing, this pan is perfect for almost any culinary adventure. When the center pattern turns red, it indicates that the pan is hot and ready. It preheats properly, sealing in juices and flavors so that you can enjoy delicious dishes.
The heavy-gauge aluminum construction of this frying pan delivers fast and even heating. Its stainless-steel, warp-resistant base makes this unit compatible with any cooktop, such as induction, Lead-, PFOA-, and Cadmium-free.
This is a great pan for health-conscious people as it requires little to no oil or fat and offers quick cleanup. It is designed with a riveted silicone handle that stays cool to touch, allowing for a secure and comfortable grip.
The T-fal Total Nonstick Heat Indicator Frying Pan is perfect for cooking a wide range of dishes, whether it is for breakfast or for dinner. It is oven-safe up to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, you can conveniently wash it in a dishwasher for hassle-free everyday use.
Although verified buyers have used plastic utensils with this pan, they still report that their pan developed scratches.
Some buyers who tried to claim a warranty found that the warranty number provided on this pan leads to automated responses, making it quite impossible to claim a warranty.
- Unique T-fal Thermo-Spot heat indicator
- Dishwasher safe
- Anti-warp protection
- Oven safe
- Compatible with induction stoves
- Riveted silicone handle
- Even heat distribution
- Not scratch-resistant
- Hard to claim a warranty
Easy to Clean: Tramontina Aluminum Nonstick Frying Pan
The Tramontina Professional Frying Pan is designed to withstand the rigors of a professional kitchen while being equally handy for non-commercial and home use.
This Tramontina pan is versatile. It is made with heavy-gauge, commercial-grade aluminum and is ideal for scrambling, frying, searing, and sautéing your favorite dishes.
It allows heat to distribute evenly and quickly, while the reinforced nonstick interior ensures effortless cooking and cleanup. The Tramontina frying pan is designed with a cast stainless steel handle that is riveted for added support. Its soft removable silicone grip remains cool to touch.
Crafted to optimize performance in homes and restaurants, you can use this nonstick frying pan with electric, gas, and ceramic glass cooktops. Plus, it is NSF-certified, oven-safe, and can be used in temperatures up to 400-degrees Fahrenheit.
Although this aluminum pan comes with a lifetime warranty, this warranty covers only manufacturing defects and does not apply to normal wear and tear, warping, overheating, and scratches in the coating, so make sure that this is the pan for you before buying.
- Commercial-grade heavy-gauge aluminum
- Works with all types of stoves
- Lifetime warranty
- Not durable
Best Value for Money: Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan
If you love having steak but do not have the space for an outdoor barbecue, then the Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan is the perfect solution.
With this pan, you can have a steak that is not just perfectly flavored but looks truly authentic with grill marks without putting a burden on your pocket.
This square grill pan comes seasoned and is ready to use. It is designed to allow grease to drain away from your food while creating tantalizing grill marks. Its high sides are much more convenient for higher-fat meats.
You can use the Lodge cast iron grill on all cooking surfaces. You can even take it with you camping and enjoy some memorable meals with your family. By keeping it seasoned properly, you will be able to use this pan for many years without having any nonstick issues.
However, this is a heavy pan, and you may find it difficult to move it. Also, you have to be very careful when using this pan as the handle can get very hot.
- Designed to give proper char marks
- For vegetables, steaks, bacon, and more
- Heats evenly
- For all cooking surfaces
- Perfect for baking, frying, searing, stirring, and sautéing
- Not dishwasher-safe
- Handle gets very hot
Best Material: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Pan
The Cuisinart cookware is inspired by French kitchens and is constructed with the best materials that mirror the company’s commitment to excellent quality and innovation.
Designed with the Quantanium nonstick interior, the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Pan is reinforced with titanium to ensure healthy cooking, lasting food release, and easy cleanup.
This Cuisinart pan features a wide flat bottom and sloped sides that make it ideal for sautéing, frying, or browning.
Its extremely durable exterior, coupled with a hard, smooth anodized finish, gives this pan a look of professional elegance. It is perfectly designed for today’s healthy lifestyle and looks good in every kitchen.
The Cuisinart nonstick pan’s hard-anodized exterior ensures not only durability but also even and quick heat distribution. The stainless steel riveted handle stays cool during cooking while the tapered rim ensures drip-free pouring.
Even though verified buyers used plastic utensils with this pan, they found that it scratched easily. Some also reported that their eggs started to stick after using this pan for a while.
- Hard anodized exterior
- Highly wear-resistant
- Exceptional heat distribution
- Tapered rim for drip-free pouring
- Sloped sides provide a large cooking surface
- Cool grip handle
- Quantanium nonstick cooking surface
- Oven-safe up to 500 degrees
- Scratches easily
Steak Frying Pan Buying Guide
Steak is a pretty simple dish and can be cooked in just about any pan that can retain an even, high temperature throughout the cooking surface.
That is why many people use pans made from cast iron to cook a steak, as they conduct heat very well.
High-quality frying pans made from aluminum and stainless steel are other options.
How to Cook a Steak In a Frying Pan
Whether you use a nonstick pan or a cast-iron one for cooking a steak, the technique remains the same.
Do not throw a steak on your frying pan directly from the freezer. Make sure that it is at room temperature before starting to cook it, so the edges and inside can cook more evenly.
Contrary to what many think, the pan should not contain a lot of oil or butter; you just need to brush your steak with oil that has a high smoking point. This helps you cook less greasy food.
Preheat your pan on medium heat. If you are using a cast-iron pan, give it at least five minutes to heat properly, but for a nonstick pan you need a little less time. Your food will cook evenly, and the char marks will be more appealing once your pan’s surface is equally hot.
When cooking a steak, don’t move it around as it will blur the sear marks.
Once it’s halfway done, turn it on the other side.
You can also use a lid to speed up the cooking process or use a steak press to press down the meat to get those grill marks.
What to Look for in a Frying Pan for Steak
When cooking a steak, you need a constant, evenly spread surface that can maintain a high temperature throughout.
Keep the following considerations in mind to make an informed choice:
The material of a pan greatly affects its cooking performance. Different materials also require different cleaning and care methods.
Below, we discuss various materials that make up some of the most popular steak frying pans and how each material affects their performance.
Cast iron frying pans are perfect for cooking steaks as they can withstand high temperatures without releasing any harmful fumes or warping.
Iron is an excellent heat conductor, which ensures that the pan heats evenly without any hotspots. Plus, these pans feature high heat retention, which means that they can keep your food hot for longer.
You need to season cast iron frying pans before using them. Some pans come pre-seasoned; however, seasoning them again at home makes them better and more durable.
Cast iron pans get better with age. The more you use them, the better the food tastes and the more their nonstick abilities increase.
However, cleaning cast iron pans requires time and effort. It is not safe to clean them in a dishwasher, and you should not use detergent or soaps on them. Plus, they are expensive and heavy.
Frying pans that feature a nonstick coating are typically known as Teflon. Cooking a steak on such pans requires little butter or oil, making them a healthier way to cook your steak.
These pans are easy to clean, and their smooth surface ensures that your food does not stick to them. But the high temperature required to ensure a good sear can cause the nonstick coating on these pans to break down.
Carbon steel frying pans are great for cooking steaks. Compared to cast iron pans, carbon steel pans have thinner bodies and are lighter. They also heat up quickly and cool down faster than cast iron frying pans.
Like cast iron pans, carbon steel pans need seasoning before you can use them as they are prone to rust. That is why most of these pans come coated with a wax layer that protects them from rusting during shipping and storage.
Due to this wax layering, you cannot use these pans right out of the box. You will need to remove this wax layer and season the pan before using it. However, you will need to season the pans occasionally.
Cleaning carbon steel pans is simple and can be done using mild soap and water.
Stainless steel frying pans are lightweight and heat up quickly. Their surface is non-reactive, which means that you can safely prepare steaks on such pans while using additional flavoring items like beer and wine. Plus, these pans do not require seasoning and can be put in the dishwasher.
The size of a steak pan determines the amount of food you can cook at one time. Steaks need to be turned over frequently to ensure that all sides are cooked evenly.
Make sure that you choose a pan size that can easily hold enough steaks to feed your family members.
Choosing a small-sized pan will force you to spend a long time in the kitchen as you will have to cook each steak separately.
Also, when deciding on pan size, keep the size of your cooker in mind. If you invest in a pan that is larger than your cooker, it may not heat up properly, and as a result, your steak may have uncooked sections.
A well-made and juicy steak is one that is uniformly cooked on all sides. To achieve that, you need a frying pan that features even heat distribution. This helps eliminate hotspots that overcook some parts of your steak while others remain undercooked.
Pans designed with grill lines on their cooking surfaces cook steaks that are crispy and free from grease and fat. Also, you can choose a frying pan with a glass lid, as this allows you to trap in the flavor and moisture of the steak.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
Steak pans collect leftover food items and grease that can be hard to get rid of. You should look for a pan that is easy to clean without much effort. The pans should also come with a handle that makes it easy to transfer the contents of the pan.
Choosing a frying pan with a top edge designed with precision pouring notches helps avoid messes when serving.
Weight is also another vital feature because if you find it difficult to handle your frying pan, you will not use it as frequently as you had hoped.
Although pans are heavier, they are more durable, can handle extreme heat, and can withstand occasional scratches and bumps with ease.
Lightweight pans are also an excellent choice as they are easier to cook with and are long-lasting. Make sure that you choose a pan that you are comfortable with.
Whenever we choose pots and pans for the kitchen, we prefer items that last for a long time. The same is the case with the best frying pan for steaks.
Look for a manufacturer that has been around for years and has a wide range of pans made from high-quality materials.
It is not difficult to find a good-quality frying pan for steak without breaking the bank. It is best to set a budget and look for a pan that fits your requirements.
Cleaning and Maintenance
If your pan has food particles stuck to it, fill it with 2-3 inches of water and put it back on the stove.
After a few minutes of boiling, the food particles will begin to float to the surface.
Use a spatula to scrape any excess stuck-on food between the ridges.
Give the pan a few minutes to cool down, and then dump the contents down the drain.
Use hot water to rinse out the pan, then wipe with a dry paper towel.
Because cast iron can rust easily, ensure that it is completely dry before storing it.
After wiping it dry, set it back on the stove or put it in an oven at 450-degrees Fahrenheit to make sure that all the remaining water evaporates.
With a little oil and paper towel, rub the surface, bottom, sides, and handle of the pan to give it a good seasoning.
Wipe away any excess oil with another paper towel.
Let the frying pan sit on the stovetop until you see smoke rising from the surface.
If you use an oven, leave the pan in it for an hour. Turn off the oven and leave the pan in the oven to cool down.
You should always wash nonstick pans by hand and never put them in a dishwasher.
Use a microfiber cloth and soap to clean the pan after use. Avoid using steel scouring pads on your nonstick pans, as they can damage the nonstick coating.
In case there are food particles stuck to your nonstick pan, add 1½ cup water and ½ cup vinegar to it. Let the mixture boil for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Discard the mixture and allow the pan to cool. Then wash it with warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid.
Even the most experienced chef has to deal with food particles stuck to the bottom of their stainless steel pan.
While there are a number of safe methods that you can use to clean your stainless steel pans, we mention the easiest one here.
Use a non-abrasive scrubber to scrub away as much food as possible. Then fill the frying pan with water and a few drops of dish soap. Bring it to a boil, making sure that the stuck-on food is totally submerged. Once it boils, use a spatula to scrape away the food easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a nonstick pan to cook a steak?
Although it is possible to use a nonstick pan to cook a steak, it is not the best kind of pan for the job.
Teflon coating typically begins to break down when the temperature reaches 570 F or above.
Ideally, you should prepare steaks in a preheated, very hot pan to ensure that it sears perfectly and locks in its juicy flavor.
Which oil should you use when cooking steak in a cast-iron skillet?
When cooking your steak in a cast iron pan, it is best to use an oil with a high smoke point. These include canola oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, and grapeseed oil.
Which steak cut is considered the best?
Tenderloin steaks are considered the most tender of all beef cuts. They are lean and have a delicate, butter-like texture. Commonly known as Filet Mignon, these mouthwatering steaks are juicy and full of flavor.
Can you cook a steak on a stainless steel pan?
When using a stainless steel frying pan for cooking steak, it is best to preheat the pan for two minutes on medium heat before adding the meat. Make sure that your steak is at room temperature. Also, note that the less time your steak is in the frying pan, the juicier and tender it will be.
Final Verdict: What is the Best Pan to Cook a Steak Sold Today?
After reviewing quite a number of frying pans, we think that the Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan is probably the best pan to fry a steak in.
Its cast iron classic design gives steaks an authentic look and the juiciest flavor.
Since it is made of cast iron, you will have to take care cleaning and seasoning it, but if you do that right this pan will serve for generations.