› ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Finishing a steak in oven?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Finishing a steak in oven?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Couple questions..

When you sear your steak in the pan, then finish it in the oven. Is it true the steak will leave more drippings/liqouid in the pan? I'm sure it depends on what cut of steak, but I'm askin in general. Does finishing it in the oven mean more juices?

Now you broil or bake when you finish it in the oven right?

What tempatures and how long does it usually take in the oven? Im sure it varies for how thick the steak is, but whats the general time and temp in the oven?

Thanks guys.
post #2 of 40
In restaurants, the ovens are up over 500 degrees F (250C), but home ovens don't usually get that hot. When I do this, I'll have my oven at about 450F (230C). Baking, not broiling.

Drippings? Well, if you mean fat, I think there may be less, since the heat applied is not as high as on a really hot burner. If you mean juices seeping out, I don't get that. And especially if you let the meat rest outside the oven for 5 minutes or so before you slice into it, you won't have juices running out so much.

As for time, I don't know. You're right about thickness making a difference--so it's hard to make a definite rule. You can test the meat with an instant-read thermometer and take it out when it's 5 to 10 degrees below the temp you want (because it will continue to cook as it sits and rests). The only problem with that is that when you poke a hole in it, you're poking a hole in it.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 40
This doesn't really answer your question, but one of the juiciest and better steaks I've had was made the way you speak of. I got the recipe from a Cook's Illustrated a couple of years ago, and don't remember it exactly. It's something like coating the steak in olive oil and course crushed peppercorns, searing it a pan, then putting on a preheated cookie sheet to finish. I wasn't a huge fan of the peppercorn coating because I like a little BBQ seasoning on my steaks, but I have used the method several times since with great results.
post #4 of 40

Pan-Broiled Beef Steak with a Red Wine Reduction

Let me see if I can clarify a bit.

First, there's a right way to do this, and Suzanne partially covered it. But sometimes as chefs (or ex-chefs) we talk in a kind of shorthand, assuming the OP (that's you) understands all the parts he didn't ask about.

Let's nail down a little terminology. The method is called pan roasting and pan broiling. That may be part of why you thought a broiler is involved. No. It's the pan that does the broiling in this case, and the oven which roasts. I said "roasts" instead of "bakes." Usually we say "bake" when we refer to baked goods like breads and pastries, and "roast" when we refer to meats and vegetables. But the terms are interchangeable.

The pan broiling method is appropriate for steaks from about 3/4" to 2" thick. Thinner steaks cook better in the pan only. Thicker are really more roast than steak and the finish timing is a bit different.

The pan allows the cook to control the heat by moving the meat from stove top to oven, and also allows the cook to work with some of the byproducts of the cooking process to create sauces which enhance the flavor of the meat. The only alternative as good is char-grilling, which imparts its own flavor. No matter which direct heat method you choose -- pan, char-grill, grill, etc., the meat will be juicy as long as the method is properly employed and the meat not overcooked. Another aspect of proper cooking is the formation of a crust on the steak by the "Maillard reaction," usually a result of searing. However, this is about taste and not about juiciness.

Let's get practical: Preheat your oven -- I use 375, Suzanne uses 450, whatever. Note the weight of the steak on the package label. Unwrap it, and season. Allow it some time out of the refrigerator for the outside to come to room temperature. 20 minutes is enough for most steaks. (I usually marinate beef steak in a tbs of red wine plus a tbs of worcestershire for 20 minutes before seasoning. Discard the extra marinade (there won't be much) before seasoning. A little bit of steak juices will have mixed with the marinade, and it will have thickened like a syrup to hold the seasoning to the steak.)

Tip: Use kosher salt for seasoning anything which will be grilled, roasted, seared, etc. It sticks better because it's not as soluble. For a good steak "rub" try the following proportions: 4 kosher salt, 2 freshly cracked pepper, 1 paprika (smoked is nice), 1 granulated garlic, 1/2 granulated onion, 1/4 (or less) each thyme and sage

Have standing by 3/4 cup of red wine, a tbs of minced shallots (or onion), and a handful of chopped parsley. Have 1-1/2 tbs of cold butter, already cut into two pieces waiting in the refrigerator. Use a metal pan with an oven proof handle. Not non-stick as it won't sear properly, won't create fond properly, and can't handle the beating from making a pan reduction.

Heat the pan to just under oil's smoke point. Most chef's use a little bit of oil, some go dry. I use corn oil, but any mild flavor oil with a high smoke point will do. Lay the seasoned steak in the pan, and sear the first side over medium-high to high heat (depends on your stove). Assuming the steak is room temperature, this will take about two minutes. After 90 seconds, check to see if the side is seared by shaking the pan. If the steak un-sticks itself from the pan, it's seared and ready to turn with your tongs or a spatula. If not, give it another 30 seconds and try again. If still not, give it another 30 seconds, another shake -- and if it still won't come lose and dislodge it by pushing it from the side before turning. When you turn the steak, you'll see some seasoning and steak juices stuck to the bottom of the pan. That's a good thing. The side that cooked will have seared, and will present a nicely browned appearance. This is what you want.

Cook the second side for betweek 45 and 60 seconds, only. Then put the pan, steak and all in the oven, and close the door. At 375 most beef steak cuts cook to medium rare (a point) at a rate of 12 minutes/lb less the time for the sear -- call that 3 minutes. At 450, it's around 10 minutes a pound IIRC. Maybe Suzanne will chip in on that. If you're cooking multiple steaks, calculate your time by the weight of the largest one in the pan, not the total weight.


When the steak times done, remove the pan from the oven and put it back on the stove, over a cold burner. If you have an instant-read the steak should read at or just under 120F. Otherwise, push test it for very rare. (Don't worry, it will coast into medium-rare during the rest.) Plate the steaks on empty plates with the best looking side up. You'll see the seasoning and juices on the pan we discussed, that's called fond. Possibly there will also be some fat which has rendered out of the steak. If there's more than 1/2 tsp of fat and/or any other liquid, dump it in the sink.

Turn the burner up to searing temperature again, throw in the shallots, give them 10 seconds on the heat, and add the wine all at once. As soon as the liquid hits the pan, it will start to sizzle. Start stirring up the fond with your tongs, spatula, a metal spoon or a whisk. (Wood and plastic are less good for this.) Make sure you get it all off the bottom of the pan. This is called deglazing.

Incorporate the fond into the wine and stirring frequently, reduce the liquid by about 2/3 its volume -- two or three minutes. Throw in half the parsley. Remove the butter from the fridge, add one piece to the pan, and swirl pan to swirl the wine and butter. It's important to keep the sauce moving to form a liason. When the butter is half melted, turn off the flame, and add the second piece of butter. Keep swirling until the second piece is entirely melted and incorporated. The sauce should be Congratulations! You've made a red-wine pan reduction beurre rouge. Ain't you the one!

Plate whatever garnish, veg, or starch you're going to put on the plate with the steak. Spoon or pour the sauce carefully over the steak. Let some dribble over the side of the steak into the center of the plate. You want a small puddle, not a lake. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the steak and sauce -- mostly to refresh the look of the parsley already in the sauce.

Get it?

Got it.


In the immortal words of Willie Walker: "You cookin' French now, boy,"
post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 
It's only been about...

8 But thanks alot. I forgot I registered here, I must have been s#$% faced when I signed up here. But I just saw an old email from this place and it reminded that I registered here.

But yeah, I've been doin my steaks in a pan with no oven while lookin for medium rare and they've come out juicy and delicious :D

I also use that same spice rub, but I also use a fair amounth of corriander, it tastes amazing. And I'm gonna try that red wine marinade the next time I cook a steak, just cause that sounds delicious.

And thanks again, I remember wondering if I should try this oven technique and if I should cook the opposite side just as long or not., but you cleared that up, so thanks.
post #6 of 40
Your welcome.

post #7 of 40
An alternative approach to the sear-and-blast has turned up (just lately, I think) at America's Test Kitchen and on an Alton Brown program: Heat the steak in a slow oven (275 deg.) about 20 minutes to a temperature of just under 100 deg., then sear in a hot pan and let rest for about 10 minutes. The results are a nice crust on the outsides and the entire interior at an even mediun-rare.

Here's the description of the process by the founder-owner of, a Chicago-centric foodie site. He is, I believe, a devout and experienced foodie, not a professional:

<I followed the ATK method to a T. I bought a standard 1-lb. choice boneless ribeye. I cut it in half and tied the halves to uniform size (resembling filet mignon), patted dry and seasoned liberally.

They spent 25 minutes in a 275 oven on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. They arrived at about 97 degrees.

A quick sear on all sides in very hot vegetable oil (edges included) brought them to a beautiful char. After a 10 minute rest, I removed the string and served them with a red wine reduction, hash browns, and steamed carrots.

The steak was the best I've ever made, easily. The crust was perfect
The interior was tender, cooked to a perfect temperature, and had a heightened flavor that I have never achieved using sear-and-blast. The assertion that this is a faux-dry-aging process is not entirely inaccurate.
Needless to say, when cooking steaks indoors, this will be my default method. Simply delicious.>

I'm inclined to trust his judgement, and will try this soon.

Mike :bounce:
travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #8 of 40
I saw the ATK show and tried the technique. It works very well, and I'll be preparing my steaks and chops in that manner from now on. Works a lot better (IMO) than the sear first and oven second routine. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Try it with thick lamb and pork chops .... one caveat - let the meat come up to room temperature first.

post #9 of 40
I've been using and recommending the sear and oven technique for a while and make a **** good streak with it.

This method intrigues me and shall be tested ASAP.
post #10 of 40
I must say that the oven-then-sear thing makes me a bit nervous. Seems to me that the long, slow warming creates a lovely environment for bacteria to breed, and the sear isn't going to kill them because (intentionally) it doesn't penetrate deeply. Maybe I'm worrying unnecessarily?

On the other hand, my primary objection to this method was the way it was presented on the America's Test Kitchen show, where it was touted as the "right" way --- and then they did a comparison... against putting a very thick steak in a skillet until it was like leather. Sure, it's a better method than being an idiot.
post #11 of 40
I would say that it presents about as much danger as the sous-vide method, though with sous vide you're usually turning the temperature down even further. With cuts that are basically entire muscle pieces of red meats it shouldn't really be a big problem.

Heston Blumental used that method to make his prime rib roast during one of the "In Search of Perfection" episodes.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #12 of 40
I disagree with your interpretation of the test. I don't think they treated the second steaks any differently than what would by normal, or a typical pan searing. Of course, we all see and interpret things differently, however, I felt another point ofview was needed here.

Just to note, I usually don'tcare for ATK and CI attitudes about things being "the right way," and I often disagree with their test results. However, in this case, I feel they are pretty much on the money.

post #13 of 40
Remember that Red Meats like steak are sterile in the center, only the surface needs to be cooked to the proper temperature to kill bacteria.

I am curious however about the difference between searing after cooking as opposed to searing at the beginning, does it really taste any different or is the texture different, or is this just preference?
post #14 of 40
I do a lot of barbecue smoking followed by hot, live-fire searing, and typically pan-broil steaks in the old fashioned method of sear and blast. The first method is analagous if not identical to cooking in a slow oven and following with a hot pan sear.

Smoke and coals aside, I don't see a lot of difference in result. The slow oven/sear method is a little more manageable in that you don't have to account for the the carry-over searing as the pan goes into the hot oven the way you do with the sear/hot oven method.

So, with good attention and high skills same results. Sear and blast is faster than slow and sear -- that's a definite point in its favor. However, it's not always possible or realistic to devote full attention to a single dish -- and its so much easier to control the sear without dealing with carry-over. "Control" and "easier" are important things. Quite a puzzlement.

The only question I have is how does the fond compare between sear/blast and slow/sear. If I'm cooking a steak inside, it's to use the fond for a reduction. I'd imagine that sear/blast is slightly better in that regard, but not enough to make a serious difference if you can spare the time for slow/sear and if the higher level of fool-proofery is important.

Certainly worth fooling with.

post #15 of 40
Hi Boar,

I tried this method of making a 1 inch thick sirloin steak at home. I followed all your instructions to a tee but the steak came out very tough. Would sirloin be a bad steak to try this with?
post #16 of 40
Sorry about the tough steak. Unequivocally, there was nothing wrong with the method. It's standard, "fine dining" restaurant technique and has been used successfully millions (no kidding) of times (not always by me). Top sirloin or any other steak is fine as long as it's tender to begin with and as long as it's within the right range of thickness (3/4" to 2").

We've apparently agreed to call the method "sear and blast" in this thread. Indeed, I frequently sear and blast top sirloin as one of our favorite meat markets (How's) advertises USDA Prime top "chateaubriand, and sells it as a loss leader -- $4.99/lb.

Tangentially, we also use this steak for actual California Barbecue -- open face barbecue; hot, direct, oak fire; meat a long way from the coals -- making for a medium fire. Or, the modern California method -- seared on both sides over a hot, hardwood lump charcoal fire; finished over a cooler fire with the cooker covered. In fact, top is the traditional California Barbecue meat of the central coastal valleys, not tri-tip. You may not be familiar with the term "California Barbecue," people who don't know it any better call it "Santa Maria" style.

Returning to the point: The things to watch out for with "sear and blast" all have to do with overcooking -- especially of the second side because it continues to "sear" in the hot pan in the oven.

The other two methods discussed, sear and slow, and slow and sear have more forgiving timing in terms of avoiding overcooking in the oven, and it would seem to be easier to avoid an over-sear by searing last (although I doubt the quality of the sear and fond will be as good). If you're off by four or five minutes on slow oven time, no biggie. You won't go from medium rare to medium well. But, finishing a steak at 275 will not result in a substantially different product than finishing a steak at 400 -- everything else being equal. The true limiting factor is the quality of the meat to begin with.

post #17 of 40
My 2 cents for a good piece of meat:

Buy very good quality meat. Beef should be dry-aged for a minimum of 2 weeks, ideally 3 weeks.

The bigger the cut of meat, the longer you need to rest it for after cooking. eg - 5+minutes in a warm place for a 200g steak, 20+minutes for a whole chicken, 1 hour+ for a baron of beef. Resting meat after cooking allows the juices to naturally re-distribute themselves through the meat, adding a bit of tenderness.

Kiwisizzler's blog

Good food is food that tastes of what it is!
Kiwisizzler's blog

Good food is food that tastes of what it is!
post #18 of 40
I would never let any of my staff put any oven at 500 degrees. Mostly the line cooks did this, and I used to blow. No reason any food should be heated or cooked at 500.
In answer to your question the steak will leave more juices in the pan, not on a sizzler in oven. Oven is dry roasting heat which in turn will evaporate any accumulated moisture.
post #19 of 40
I must admit my steak was more medium when it came out than medium rare, so not sure if that had anything to do with toughness.
I allowed 6 minutes in the oven for the 1" steak of 300g.
I will try the method again, this time with 3 minutes in the oven to get a feel for what halving the time will do. Then leave 5 minutes for resting.
post #20 of 40
i bake at 500F, 2 min or less per side for 1" or less (after 40-70 sec stovetop sear per side). more time for thicker steaks.

u need to go by trial-and-error to perfect it.
post #21 of 40
BDL, you are my HERO!
Thanks for the excellent instruction. Now I've gotta find some decent red wine ...
post #22 of 40
You are very welcome. It's great thing when a good plan comes together.

post #23 of 40

Great tips. The reduction was awesome!

post #24 of 40

Did BDL's Sear>Blast to perfection last night. thanks all for the great discussion

post #25 of 40

It could be a good way... if you don't have any other solutions!!!

Because making a rear steak in the oven is kind of a feat !

post #26 of 40

Thank you so much for such an excellent and descriptive article.

I am so impressed at how it came out and so are the people I served!

You are an INCREDIBLE font of wisdom.

Thank you!!!



post #27 of 40

BDL said what I would have but better.


post #28 of 40
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

I would never let any of my staff put any oven at 500 degrees. Mostly the line cooks did this, and I used to blow. No reason any food should be heated or cooked at 500.
In answer to your question the steak will leave more juices in the pan, not on a sizzler in oven. Oven is dry roasting heat which in turn will evaporate any accumulated moisture.

What about pizza?  I like to be closer to 600 actually.   biggrin.gif

post #29 of 40

After searching high and low, finally direct instructions that worked like a dream! I bought two prime tenderloin steaks and wanted that restaurant quality experience. I really just needed a temperature for the oven and an approximate time for medium rare since I was using a peppercorn sauce recipe that I love. I used the 375 temp and for my fillets (1.5 - 2 inch at about 12 Oz) 10 minutes in the oven after searing was perfect! Ruth's Chris my but! :-). $40 for two of the most delicious steaks I have ever had. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.....!!!

post #30 of 40
You're welcome ^3.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Finishing a steak in oven?