How To Cook A T-Bone Steak To Perfection Every Time

Steak is one thing that is loved by many, and when cooked in a cast iron skillet, it reaches a whole new level of flavor and texture. The cast iron skillet provides an even heat distribution, allowing the steak to cook uniformly. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to cook a T-Bone steak in a cast iron skillet.

Cast iron skillets provide even heat distribution. High heat is essential for a good sear on a t-bone steak or any steak for that matter. Resting the steak after cooking ensures juiciness. Use quality ingredients for the best results and a good marinade doesn’t hurt either.

Key Takeaways

  • Cast iron skillets provide even heat distribution.
  • High heat is essential for a good sear.
  • Resting the steak after cooking ensures juiciness.
  • Use quality ingredients for the best results.

Choosing the Right Steak

When it comes to cooking steak in a cast iron skillet, the cut of meat you choose is crucial. When you have the perfect cut of meat and prepare it properly before cooking it, you are almost guaranteed to have success. Here are some popular choices:


It is a favorite for many due to its marbling and flavor. It’s tender and juicy, making it perfect for skillet cooking. I must say that a good ole fatty ribeye is one of my favorites. You just can’t go wrong with this cut of meat.


A leaner cut but still flavorful. It’s best when marinated or seasoned well.


It’s been said that anything with the bone when cooked right is the best way to go. I must agree. T-Bone offers the best of both worlds with a piece of tenderloin and a piece of strip steak. The tenderloin is so juicy and flavorful. The strip is just a little less tasty to me. If you are a big eater, a porterhouse is a larger t-bone.

Preparing the Steak

Before you start cooking, there are a few steps you should follow to prepare your steak:

  1. Bring to Room Temperature: Allow your steak to sit out for about 30 minutes before cooking. This ensures even cooking.
  2. Season Generously: Use a mix of salt, pepper, and other favorite herbs and spices. Be sure you season both sides.

How To Cook A T-Bone Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet

Now, let’s get to the main event. Here’s how to cook your steak to perfection:

  1. Heat the Skillet: Place your cast iron skillet on medium-high to high heat. Allow it to become close to smoking hot.
  2. Here is how to know when it is hot enough.
  3. Add Oil: Use high smoke point oils like beef tallow, avocado oil, canola, or grapeseed. Swirl to coat the skillet.
  4. Place the Steak: Once the oil is shimmering, place your steak in the skillet. Cook without moving for about 3-4 minutes to get a good sear.
  5. Flip and Finish: Turn the steak and cook for another 3-4 minutes for medium-rare. Adjust the time based on your preferred doneness.

Tips for How To Cook a T-Bone Steak Perfectly

  • Use a meat thermometer: This helps ensure your steak is cooked to your desired level.
  • Rest Before Serving: Once cooked, let your steak rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed.
  • Butter Baste: For added flavor, add some butter, garlic, and herbs to the skillet and baste your steak as it cooks.

How to Cook a Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet With Steak And Herbs

Advanced Cooking Techniques

While the basic method of cooking a steak in a cast iron skillet is straightforward, there are advanced techniques that can elevate your steak to restaurant quality:

Butter Basting

After flipping the steak, add a generous knob of butter, garlic cloves, and fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to the skillet. As the butter melts, tilt the pan slightly and use a spoon to continuously baste the steak with the melted butter. This not only adds flavor but also helps in even cooking.

Reverse Searing

This method involves cooking the steak at a low temperature in the oven first and then searing it in a hot cast iron skillet. It ensures a more even internal temperature and a perfect crust.

Steak Doneness Levels

Steak can be cooked to various levels of doneness, each with its unique texture and flavor. Some folks prefer theirs rare and some like it tough as shoe leather. I like mine a medium rare but here are some temps to kinda go by.


  • Internal Temperature: 120°F to 125°F
  • Characteristics: Cool red center

Medium Rare

  • Internal Temperature: 130°F to 135°F
  • Characteristics: Warm red center


  • Internal Temperature: 140°F to 145°F
  • Characteristics: Warm pink center

Medium Well

  • Internal Temperature: 150°F to 155°F
  • Characteristics: Slight hint of pink

Well Done

  • Internal Temperature: 160°F and above
  • Characteristics: No pink, fully brown
Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook frozen steak in a cast iron skillet?

While it’s possible, it’s not recommended. Thawing the steak ensures even cooking and better flavor.

How long should I let the steak rest after cooking?

Ideally, let the steak rest for about half the time it was cooked. This allows the juices to be redistributed.

Can I use olive oil for cooking steak in a cast iron skillet?

While olive oil can be used, it has a lower smoke point. It’s better to use oils with higher smoke points, like avocado, tallow, canola, or grapeseed.

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