The Secret To Searing Steak Without Making A Greasy Mess

We've all been there, trying to be fancy and cooking a steak at home (sans grill) on a pan, only to end up with seemingly the entire kitchen covered in grease. Why is it that so many people have recipes for cooking steak in a pan, and yet almost every time we do it the end result is enough smoke to set off the fire alarm (via Reddit), an immensely dirty kitchen, and slightly too-tough steaks that probably wouldn't impress anyone? Is the clean-up worth the too-done-on-the-outside steaks we just spent the last two days looking forward to? It's a tough call. 

Fortunately for us, some people have perfected the craft of pan-seared steaks, and turns out it's all about using a cold, nonstick pan (via Cooks Illustrated)! Get those potatoes and veggies roasting, this steak night will probably look a lot different (and a lot cleaner) than what we're used to. 

Cook your steaks in a cold, nonstick pan

When it comes to frying up a steak, almost everyone seems to recommend using butter or oil (via Cooking Classy), getting your pan or cast-iron preheated on high (per Natasha's Kitchen), and searing the heck out of a steak to achieve the much-desired crust. This time, however, the approach is totally different. 

Cooks Illustrated suggests starting out with a cool nonstick pan on a high heat instead. That's right — no preheating necessary! From there, the outlet says to continue to flip the meat every two minutes. Doing this ensures that the meat's temperature increases gradually, allowing a crust to build up on the outside without overcooking the inside. They even say it isn't necessary to use oil, insisting that the fat from the steaks is more than enough to lubricate the pan. After a few minutes on high heat, lower the heat to medium. The meat will keep cooking but without the dreaded smoking fat stage that usually starts around now. Keep checking the internal temperature until you reach your desired doneness, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, and voila! A steak night that anyone can handle, even the faint of heart.