Pan Seared T-Bone Steak

PREP TIMEREST TIMECOOK TIMETOTAL TIME
5 mins45 mins to 24 h10 mins1 to 24 hours

My pan-seared T-bone steak is amazing because it combines the perfect ingredients and cooking techniques. The tenderloin’s tenderness and the strip’s rich flavor make this steak uniquely delicious, especially when seasoned with salt, finely ground pepper, butter, garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary. Trust me; you don’t need anything else to make it amazing.

Cooking a T-bone steak in a skillet can be tricky because of the bone and the two different cuts on either side. But don’t worry; my easy-to-follow instructions will help you through the process so you can avoid any problems and enjoy a delicious T-bone steak.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

To make a delicious T-bone steak in a skillet, you’ll only need a few ingredients, most of which you likely already have at home:

  • A 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm) thick T-bone steak
  • 1 tablespoon high-smoke point oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter (About 56.7 grams)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 thyme or rosemary springs

The Tools You’ll Need

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Instant Read Thermometer

How to Pan Sear T-bone Steak

Here’s an easy-to-follow guide to pan-searing a delicious T-bone steak. The T-bone steak is a more challenging cut than other steaks, so pay attention to these tips to avoid common mistakes. If this is your first time cooking a T-bone steak in a pan, you should read the instructions a few times before you start.

Note: I’m using a 1.5-inch (3.8 cm) thick T-bone steak for this recipe. When buying a T-bone, aim for a cut between 1.5 and 2 inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm) thick. This thickness helps you get the perfect doneness inside while achieving a nice crust on the outside.

raw t-bone steak, fresh rosemary, and garlic cloves on a wooden cutting board, and salt, ground pepper, avocado oil, and butter in bowls
All ingredients for pan-seared t-bone steak

Step 1: Prepare the T-bone Steak

Take the T-bone steak out of the refrigerator, pat it dry, and get ready to salt it. A common question is: When should the T-bone steak be salted? It depends on when you plan to cook it and what results you want. Here’s how I like to do it:

  • My Preferred Method: Pat the T-bone steak dry with paper towels, then generously salt all sides, including the edges. Put the T-bone steak on a rack with good airflow and refrigerate it for 24 hours. The next day, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, move on to the next step: seasoning with pepper and preheating the pan.
  • A Quicker Alternative: Take the T-bone steak from the refrigerator, pat it dry, and generously salt on all sides. Let it sit at room temperature for 45-60 minutes. If it still looks wet, pat it down again to remove excess moisture before moving to the next step.
salt seasoned t-bone steak on a steak revolution wood cutting board
Salt-seasoned t-bone steak
T-bone steak, 5 minutes after salting
T-bone steak, 5 minutes after salting
T-bone steak, 24 hours after salting
T-bone steak, 24 hours after salting

Step 2: Preheat the Cast-Iron Skillet

Heat the skillet over high heat for 2-3 minutes until it reaches around 400-450°F (204-232°C). Then, add a teaspoon of oil with a high smoke point (for example, refined avocado oil) and let it heat for another minute. In the meantime, season t-bone steak with black pepper. Once seasoned, you can move on to step three: cooking.

Note: Always use an oil with a high smoke point. I recommend using refined avocado oil with a smoke point of about 510°F (265°C).

T-bone steak seasoned with ground black pepper
T-bone steak seasoned with ground black pepper
Cast iron skillet heated to 473 degrees F.
Cast iron skillet heated to 473°F (245°C).

Step 3: Place the T-bone Steak in the Skillet

Carefully place the T-bone steak in the skillet to avoid burning your hand. Once it’s in, gently press it with a spoon or tongs to ensure it makes good contact with the skillet’s surface. Remember, the skillet and oil are extremely hot, so be cautious. To get a better crust, press down on the T-bone steak with your spoon or tongs after each flip.

Flip the T-bone steak every 30 seconds. Once the internal temperature reaches about 90°F (32°C), turn the heat down to medium-low and move on to the next step.

Note: Use an instant-read thermometer to get the perfect doneness every time. Don’t rely solely on cooking time, as various factors can affect how quickly the T-bone steak cooks. The best tip? Always use an instant-read thermometer to check the T-bone steak’s internal temperature.

Step 4: Add the Herbs, Garlic, and Butter

Add the crushed garlic clove, herbs, and butter to the pan. As the butter melts, sear the strip side of the T-bone steak. Once the butter is mostly melted, move the T-bone steak to the upper section of the pan. Tilt the pan to gather the melted butter, browned garlic, and herbs at the bottom.

Next, use a spoon to baste the T-bone steak with the flavorful butter for 30 seconds on each side. Meanwhile, check the T-bone steak’s internal temperature. If it’s about 20-25°F (11-14°C) below your desired temperature, remove the steak from the pan and let it rest.

For medium-rare (130-135°F/54-57°C), remove the T-bone steak from the pan when its internal temperature reaches around 110°F (43°C). If you prefer a different level of doneness, keep the steak in the pan longer.

Note: Only add butter at the end of cooking, and remember to turn the burner to medium-low. A common mistake is adding the butter too early or keeping the heat high, which can burn the butter and ruin the T-bone steak’s flavor. Since butter has a low smoke point of around 300°F (149°C), it’s not ideal for searing. So, follow the recipe and add it only at the end.

T-bone steak, seared in a cast iron skillet with butter, rosemary, and garlic.
T-bone steak, seared in a cast iron skillet with butter, rosemary, and garlic.
Baste the t-bone steak with the melted butter
Baste the t-bone steak with the melted butter

Step 5: Let the Pan-Seared T-bone Steak Rest

Place the pan-seared T-bone steak on a cutting board or, even better, on a rack, and let it rest for 6-7 minutes. This step might seem unnecessary, but trust me, it’s very important. After removing it from the pan, the T-bone steak will continue to cook from the residual heat (a process known as carryover cooking) and will reach the target temperature within 6-7 minutes of resting.

Once it’s rested, slice the T-bone steak however you like, and remember to serve it with the leftover butter, seared garlic, and herbs.

Internal T-bone Steak filet section Temperature 133
Internal T-bone Steak filet section Temperature 133.2°F (56.2°C)
Internal T-bone Steak Strip section Temperature 130
Internal T-bone Steak Strip section Temperature 130.3°F (54.6°C)
pan-seared t-bone steak; medium-rare doneness
Pan-seared t-bone steak; medium-rare doneness
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Pan-seared t-bone steak; medium-rare doneness

Pan Seared T-Bone Steak Recipe

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  • Author: Adam Wojtow
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Rest Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Try my pan-seared T-bone steak for a taste of home cooking done right. It’s got that ideal crust; the inside is super juicy, and the fresh herbs and butter take it to the next level.


Ingredients

  • A 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm) thick T-bone steak
  • 1 tablespoon high-smoke point oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter (About 56.7 grams)
  • 23 garlic cloves
  • 2 thyme or rosemary springs

Instructions

  1. Prepare the T-Bone Steak: Remove the T-Bone steak from the fridge and pat it dry. Then, depending on the desired results, choose your method of salting:
    Option 1 (Recommended): Salt the T-bone steak on both sides and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let it sit out for 30 minutes before cooking.

    Option 2: Salt the T-bone steak on both sides and let it rest at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.

  2. Preheat the Cast Iron Skillet: Heat it over high heat for 2-3 minutes until it reaches around 400-450°F (204-232°C). Then add a tablespoon of avocado oil and let the oil warm up for a minute. While the skillet is heating, season the T-bone steak with finely ground pepper.
  3. Sear the T-bone Steak: Carefully place the T-bone steak in the hot skillet, pressing gently with a spoon or tongs to ensure good contact. Flip the T-bone steak every 30 seconds. When the internal temperature reaches about 90°F (32°C), lower the heat to medium-low and move on to the next step.
  4. Baste the T-Bone Steak: Add crushed garlic, herbs, and butter to the pan. As the butter melts, sear the strip side of the T-bone steak. Once the butter is mostly melted, move the T-bone steak to the upper section of the pan.
    Tilt the pan to gather the melted butter, browned garlic, and herbs at the bottom. Use a spoon to baste the T-bone steak with the flavorful butter for 30 seconds on each side. Check the T-bone steak’s internal temperature. If it’s about 20-25°F (11-14°C) below your desired temperature, remove the T-bone steak from the pan and let it rest.
  5. Let the T-Bone Steak Rest: Place the pan-seared T-bone steak on a cutting board or, ideally, on a rack. Then, let the T-bone steak rest for 6-7 minutes to finish cooking with residual heat. After resting, slice it as you like and serve with the leftover butter, seared garlic, and herbs.

     


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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over five years and knows a lot about them, including the different types of steak cuts, how long to cook them, and the best ways to cook any steak.

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