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Craving a delicious steak dinner but not sure how to cook flank steak in your cast iron skillet? Don’t worry! Perfectly searing a flank steak is surprisingly easy, and a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is just the tool for the job. This guide walks you through each step of cooking juicy, flavorful flank steak right on your stovetop. We’ll discuss how to cook flank steak in cast iron.
Let’s start sizzling!
Table of Contents
- 1 Preparing The Flank Steak For Cooking
- 2 Cooking The Flank Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet
- 3 Resting And Slicing The Flank Steak
- 4 Serving And Enjoying The Flank Steak
- 5 Tips And Variations For Cooking Flank Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6.1 1. What is the best way to season a flank steak before cooking it in a cast iron pan?
- 6.2 2. How long should I cook a flank steak in a cast iron pan?
- 6.3 3. Should I let the flank steak rest after cooking it in a cast iron pan?
- 6.4 4. Can I use butter or oil when cooking flank steak in a cast iron pan?
- 7 Conclusion
Key Takeaways About How to Cook Flank Steak in Cast Iron Pan
- Choosing a high – quality flank steak is crucial for a flavorful and tender dish.
- Preheating the cast iron skillet before cooking helps create a delicious crust on the outside of the steak.
- Searing the flank steak on high heat for 2 – 3 minutes per side locks in savory flavors and enhances taste.
- Resting the cooked flank steak for 5 – 10 minutes ensures juicy and tender results when sliced against the grain.
Preparing The Flank Steak For Cooking
Choose a high-quality flank steak, season it with salt and pepper, and optionally marinate it to enhance the flavors before cooking.
Choosing A High-quality Flank Steak
The first step in cooking the perfect cast iron flank steak is selecting the right cut of meat. Quality matters greatly when it comes to steaks, and for a tender, flavorful dish, you will want to go for a premium grade flank steak.
Be sure to look for a piece that’s lean yet exhibits thin streaks of marbling – this indicates that your steak would be juicy and rich in flavor once cooked. It should also have a bright red color, firm texture, and shouldn’t exhibit any foul smell.
A good-quality flank steak can truly elevate your meal from standard to sensational. Keep this in mind while shopping at your local grocery store or butcher shop for an unforgettable weeknight dinner experience.
Seasoning The Steak With Salt And Pepper
To enhance the natural flavors of the flank steak, seasoning it with salt and pepper is a must. Before cooking, generously sprinkle both sides of the steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The salt helps to bring out the meat’s inherent taste while tenderizing it slightly. Meanwhile, the pepper adds a subtle kick that complements the beefy goodness.
Remember not to be too light-handed when applying the seasoning; you want enough salt and pepper to create a flavorful crust on the outside of your steak. A good rule of thumb is about 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper per pound of meat.
Gently pat down the seasonings into the meat so they adhere well before proceeding with marinating or cooking.
Marinating The Steak (optional)
Marinating the flank steak is an optional step that can add even more flavor to your dish. Before marinating, make sure to choose a high-quality flank steak and pat it dry with paper towels.
Season the steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides. If you decide to marinate, whisk together your desired marinade ingredients like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl.
Place the seasoned flank steak in a resealable bag or shallow dish and pour the marinade over it, making sure it’s fully coated. Allow the steak to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight for maximum flavor infusion.
When you’re ready to cook, remove the flank steak from the marinade and discard it before proceeding with searing it in your preheated cast iron skillet according to the cooking instructions mentioned above.
Cooking The Flank Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet
Let’s find out how to cook flank steak in cast iron. Preheat the cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes to ensure it’s hot enough to sear the flank steak properly.
Preheating The Cast Iron Skillet
To ensure that your flank steak cooks evenly and develops a delicious crust, it’s crucial to preheat your cast iron skillet before adding the meat. Preheating allows the pan to reach its optimal temperature, which will help sear the steak perfectly.
Simply place the cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and let it heat up for a few minutes until it’s nice and hot. This step is essential as it creates a sizzling surface that locks in all those savory flavors while giving you that desired caramelized crust on the outside of your flank steak.
So be sure not to skip this important step when cooking your flavorful flank steak in a trusty cast iron skillet!
Searing The Steak On High Heat For 2-3 Minutes Per Side
To achieve a beautifully caramelized crust on your flank steak, searing it on high heat is crucial. Once your cast iron skillet is preheated over medium-high heat, carefully place the seasoned steak in the pan and let it sizzle away for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
The intense heat will help create a rich brown color on the outside of the steak, adding even more flavor to each bite.
During this searing process, avoid constantly moving or flipping the steak as it will prevent proper browning. Instead, allow each side to cook undisturbed before giving it a flip. Remember that searing locks in those savory juices and enhances the overall taste of the meat.
Keep an eye out for those beautiful pink beads of moisture that start appearing on top of the steak while cooking—it’s like Mother Nature’s way of letting you know when your meat is ready! Trust your instincts and rely on these visual cues rather than solely relying on cooking times for doneness.
Adjusting The Cooking Time Based On Desired Doneness
The cooking time for flank steak in a cast iron skillet can be adjusted based on your preferred level of doneness. If you like your steak rare, it’s best to cook each side for about 2-3 minutes on high heat.
For medium-rare, add an extra minute or two per side. And if you prefer a more well-done steak, cook each side for around 4 minutes. Keep an eye out for those pink beads of moisture that indicate the steak is cooked to perfection.
Remember to reduce the heat if the skillet gets too hot during cooking and use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy. With these simple adjustments, you can enjoy a perfectly cooked flank steak every time!
Resting And Slicing The Flank Steak
After cooking, allow the flank steak to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it against the grain. This ensures that the juices redistribute throughout the meat and results in a tender and flavorful steak. It is equally important as learning how to cook flank steak in cast iron.
Allowing The Steak To Rest For 5-10 Minutes
After cooking the flank steak in a hot cast iron skillet, it’s crucial to allow it to rest for about 5-10 minutes. This step is often overlooked but is essential for ensuring a juicy and tender final result.
Resting the steak allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and enjoyable eating experience. During this time, you can cover the steak loosely with aluminum foil to help retain its heat.
Resist the temptation to cut into it right away because cutting too soon will cause all those flavorful juices to run out onto your plate instead of staying inside the meat where they belong.
Slicing The Steak Against The Grain
To achieve the perfect texture and tenderness in your flank steak, it is crucial to slice it against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the long muscle fibers of the steak. Slicing against the grain helps break up those tough fibers, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
After allowing your cooked flank steak to rest for 5-10 minutes, take a moment to identify the direction of these muscle fibers running through your meat. With a sharp knife held at a slight angle, cut thin slices across those lines.
The end result should be tender pieces that are easy to chew and full of flavor.
Serving And Enjoying The Flank Steak
Once you’ve sliced the perfectly cooked flank steak against the grain, serve it up alongside your favorite side dishes for a truly satisfying meal. And don’t forget to garnish with fresh herbs or drizzle on a flavorful sauce for an extra burst of flavor.
Now that you know how to cook flank steak in a cast iron skillet, get ready to impress your dinner guests with this delicious and quick cooking method. Discover more tips and variations for cooking flank steak in a cast iron skillet in our blog post!
Pairing The Flank Steak With Your Favorite Side Dishes
When it comes to pairing flank steak with side dishes, the possibilities are endless. This versatile cut of meat pairs well with a variety of flavors and textures, allowing you to get creative in the kitchen.
Consider serving your perfectly cooked cast iron flank steak with a refreshing salad, such as a tangy arugula and feta cheese salad dressed with a zesty lemon vinaigrette. For something heartier, try roasted potatoes tossed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic and rosemary for a comforting accompaniment that complements the richness of the steak.
Grilled vegetables like asparagus or bell peppers make for colorful and nutritious additions to your plate. And if you’re looking for an extra burst of flavor, top your flank steak off with a dollop of chimichurri sauce or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Garnishing With Fresh Herbs Or A Flavorful Sauce (optional)
To add an extra burst of flavor to your perfectly cooked flank steak, consider garnishing it with fresh herbs or a flavorful sauce. Whether you’re a fan of the vibrant taste of cilantro or enjoy the aromatic notes of rosemary, adding herbs can elevate the taste profile of your dish.
Simply sprinkle some chopped herbs over the sliced flank steak before serving to enhance each bite with their distinct flavors. If you prefer a saucier approach, whip up a quick and easy chimichurri or garlic butter sauce to drizzle over the steak.
These sauces not only provide additional flavor but also bring some moisture and richness to complement the lean protein of the flank steak. Get creative with your garnishes and sauces to personalize your cast iron skillet-cooked flank steak and take it from delicious to extraordinary.
Tips And Variations For Cooking Flank Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet
Mastering the art of cooking flank steak in a cast iron skillet opens up endless possibilities for delicious meals on your stovetop. Discover expert tips to achieve mouthwatering results and explore exciting variations that will leave you craving more.
Now that you know how to cook flank steak in cast iron, get ready to elevate your steak game like never before!
Using A Meat Thermometer For Precise Cooking
To ensure perfectly cooked flank steak every time, using a meat thermometer for precise cooking is key. Simply relying on the timing alone can result in an overcooked or undercooked steak. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, making sure it does not touch any bone or fat.
For a medium-rare flank steak, cook each side for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. This will give you a tender and juicy steak with just the right amount of pink in the center.
Investing in a meat thermometer is a small yet invaluable tool that guarantees your cast iron flank steak is cooked to perfection every time.
Trying Different Marinades Or Dry Rubs
Enhance the flavor of your cast iron flank steak by experimenting with different marinades or dry rubs. Marinating your steak before cooking can add delicious flavors and tenderize the meat.
You can try various marinades such as a classic blend of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for an Asian-inspired twist, or a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs for a Mediterranean flair.
If you prefer a dry rub, create your own with spices like paprika, cumin, chili powder, and brown sugar for some heat and sweetness. Whichever marinade or dry rub you choose, make sure to let the flavors infuse into the flank steak for at least 30 minutes before searing it in the cast iron skillet.
Experimenting With Different Cooking Methods (grilling, Broiling, Etc.)
To add some variety to your flank steak cooking repertoire, don’t be afraid to experiment with different cooking methods. While pan-searing in a cast iron skillet is a popular choice, grilling and broiling are also great options.
Grilling allows for that smoky flavor and beautiful char marks, while broiling provides a quick and intense heat from above. Whichever method you choose, remember to follow the recommended cooking times and temperatures for flank steak.
With each method, you’ll achieve deliciously tender and flavorful results that will keep everyone coming back for more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are frequently asked questions about how to cook flank steak in cast iron pan.
1. What is the best way to season a flank steak before cooking it in a cast iron pan?
Before cooking a flank steak in a cast iron pan, it’s best to season it with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices or marinades. This helps enhance the flavor of the meat and create a delicious crust.
2. How long should I cook a flank steak in a cast iron pan?
The cooking time for a flank steak in a cast iron pan depends on the thickness of the meat and personal preference for doneness. As a general guideline, you can cook it for about 4-6 minutes per side over medium-high heat for medium-rare to medium doneness.
3. Should I let the flank steak rest after cooking it in a cast iron pan?
Yes, it’s important to let the cooked flank steak rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing into it. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures that your meat remains juicy and tender.
4. Can I use butter or oil when cooking flank steak in a cast iron pan?
Yes, using butter or oil when cooking your flank steak in a cast iron pan can help prevent sticking and add flavor. You can melt some butter or heat up some oil in the pan before placing your seasoned flank steak onto it for searing.
In conclusion, cooking flank steak in a cast iron skillet is a quick and delicious way to enjoy this lean protein. By preheating the skillet, searing the steak on high heat, and adjusting the cooking time based on your desired doneness, you can achieve a perfectly cooked flank steak every time.
Remember to let it rest before slicing against the grain for maximum tenderness. With some experimentation and flavorful marinades or rubs, you can elevate this classic dish even further. So fire up that cast iron skillet and impress your family and friends with a mouthwatering flank steak dinner!