Perfectly cooked and well browned—this was an extremely interesting way to cook steak!” —Acacia, teen recipe tester, age 15
Place steaks on large plate. Use paper towels to pat both sides of steak dry. Sprinkle steaks evenly with half of pepper. Flip steaks and sprinkle evenly with remaining pepper.
Reduce heat to medium. Flip steaks and continue to cook, flipping every 2 minutes, until well browned and meat registers 120 to 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, 4 to 10 minutes longer. (Steaks should be sizzling gently in skillet; if not, increase heat slightly. If skillet starts to smoke, turn heat down.)
The best steaks are all about the contrast between a crusty, browned exterior and a juicy, pink interior. In this recipe, we use a few outside-the-box tricks to help us achieve our steak goals.
Cold Start: Starting the steaks in a cold skillet allows them to heat up gradually, making them less likely to overcook in the time that it takes to get that beautiful browned exterior.
Frequent Flips: Flipping the steaks every two minutes gives each side a break from the skillet’s superhot surface. This slowly builds that flavorful browned crust without overcooking the interior.
Use Nonstick: The slick surface of the nonstick skillet prevents the steaks from sticking (key when you’re flipping every two minutes!) and lets you cook without adding splattery, smoky oil. Plus, all of the savory browned bits will stick to the steaks, not the pan.