Pan-Seared Top Blade Steak

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

Pan-seared top blade steak with garlic, butter, and herbs is super tasty. Let me show you how to cook this steak in a skillet on the stovetop. I’ll guide you through each step and share valuable tips to avoid common mistakes so you can enjoy a perfect steak every time.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

To prepare a flavorful top blade steak on your stovetop, you’ll need:

  • Top blade steak (1.25 to 2 inches thick)
  • 1 tablespoon high-smoke point oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 thyme or rosemary springs

The Tools You’ll Need

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Instant Read Thermometer

How to Cook Top Blade Steak on a Stove

Here’s my simple guide to cooking a top blade steak in a skillet on the stove so it turns out just right – nicely browned on the outside and cooked exactly how you like it on the inside. I’ve included basic instructions, handy tips, and some photos to help.

Note: I used a 1.5-inch thick top blade steak in this recipe.

all ingredients for pan seared top blade steak
Ingredients: Black pepper, garlic, salt, butter, avocado oil, rosemary, and top blade steak

Step 1: Prepare the Top Blade Steak

First, pat the top blade steak dry with paper towels. Then, choose one of these two ways to salt it, depending on what suits you best:

  • Option 1: My personal favorite. Salt the steak on all sides, place it on a wire rack, and refrigerate it overnight. The salt works its magic, making the steak taste amazing. The next day, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Option 2: If you don’t want to wait a whole day, no problem. Just salt the steak on both sides, place it on the wire rack, and let it rest at room temperature for about 45-60 minutes before cooking.

About salting: After salting the top-blade steak, the steak surface gets moist in just a couple of minutes. But give it an hour, and the meat will reabsorb most moisture. That’s why searing the steak 2-3 minutes after salting it, or even within the first 30 minutes, isn’t a good idea. You can’t get that amazing crust if the surface is wet. It needs to be dry first. So, what I usually do is salt the steak a day ahead. Trust me on this. It’ll be dry when you take it out the next day, perfect for searing. And the flavor? It gets way better after a night with the salt in the fridge.

top blade steak, 24 hours after salting
Top blade steak, 24 hours after salting

Step 2: Preheat the Cast-Iron Skillet

Heat cast-iron skillet over high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Then, add a tablespoon of refined avocado oil and let it warm up for a minute. The skillet should reach a temperature between 400°F and 475°F after 3-4 minutes, perfect for searing steak in a pan.

Meanwhile, take a minute to season the steak with pepper. Just sprinkle some finely ground pepper on both sides of it.

Cast iron skillet heated to 471 degrees F.
Cast iron skillet heated to 471 °F.

Step 3: Place the Top Blade Steak in the Skillet

Place the seasoned top blade steak in a hot skillet. Flip it every 30 seconds until it reaches 90°F on a thermometer. Once it hits 90°F, turn the heat down to medium-low and move on to the next step.

Note: Don’t worry about flipping the steak too often. If it’s your first time cooking steak, flipping it more often helps it cook evenly.

Step 4: Add the Herbs, Garlic, and Butter

First, add the butter, garlic cloves, and rosemary or thyme to the pan. While waiting for the butter to melt, quickly sear the sides of the top blade steak.

Once the butter has melted, tilt the pan a bit to let the butter collect on one side. Then, grab a spoon and start basting this melted butter over the steak. Keep up a steady rhythm—about 30 seconds on each side. Alternatively, you can gather the butter in one spot, place the steak in it, and flip it over every 30 seconds instead of spooning the butter over. The results will be about the same.

Keep doing this until the steak is about 20°F below your target temperature. Then, remove the steak from the pan and turn off the heat. If you’re wondering why this step is important, check out the FAQ section below.

baste the top blade steak with the melted butter
Baste the top blade steak with the melted butter

Step 5: Let the Pan-Seared Top Blade Steak Rest

Once you’ve finished cooking the steak, let it rest for 6 to 7 minutes. This resting time is key because the steak will keep cooking gently from the residual heat (carryover cooking). Hold off on slicing at this moment. After it’s rested, you can slice the top blade steak any way you like and serve it with butter, garlic, and herbs left in the pan.

cooked top blade steak with rosemary and garlic on a wooding board 2
Cooked top blade steak with rosemary and garlic
pan-seared top blade steak; rare doneness
Pan-seared top blade steak; rare doneness
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pan seared top blade steak

Pan-Seared Top Blade Steak

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  • Author: Adam Wojtow
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Rest Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This simple recipe lets you make a top blade steak that’s juicy inside and perfectly crispy on the outside.


Ingredients

  • Top blade steak (1.25 to 2 inches thick)
  • 1 tablespoon high-smoke point oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • 23 garlic cloves
  • 2 thyme or rosemary springs

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Top Blade Steak: First, dry the top blade steak with paper towels. Then, choose how you’d like to salt it based on your timing:

    Option 1: My personal favorite. Generously salt the steak on all sides, place it on a wire rack, and leave it in the fridge overnight. This gives the salt time to bring out the flavor. The next day, take it out and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before you cook it.

    Option 2: If you’re short on time, just salt the steak on both sides, set it on the wire rack, and let it sit at room temperature for about 45-60 minutes before cooking.

  2. Preheat the Skillet: Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil and let it warm for another minute until the skillet is very hot, about 400°F-475°F. While the skillet heats, season both sides of the steak with pepper.
  3. Sear the Top Blade Steak: Place the seasoned top blade steak in a hot skillet. Flip it every 30 seconds until it reaches 90°F on a thermometer. Once it hits 90°F, turn the heat down to medium-low and move on to the next step.
  4. Add the Herbs, Garlic, and Butter: Add butter, garlic cloves, rosemary, or thyme to the pan. While the butter melts, sear the sides of the steak. Once the butter is melted, tilt the pan to gather melted goodness. Use a spoon to baste the steak with the butter, or place the top blade steak in the butter and flip it every 30 seconds. Continue until the steak is about 20°F below your target temperature. Then, remove the steak from the pan and turn off the heat.
  5. Rest the Top Blade Steak: After cooking, let the steak rest for 6 to 7 minutes to finish cooking with its residual heat. Then, slice and serve with the butter, garlic, and herbs from the pan.

FAQs

When’s the best time to remove a top blade steak off the pan?

The best time to remove a top blade steak from the pan is when its internal temperature is about 20°F below your target temperature. Some recipes suggest removing the steak when it’s 5-10°F below the target temperature, but that’s bad advice.

When you cook a steak in a skillet, carryover cooking occurs. Even after you remove the steak from the heat, its internal temperature keeps rising by 15-20°F in just 5-7 minutes. So, if you don’t want to overcook your steak, remove it from the heat earlier than you might think.

I’ve seen this mistake a lot, especially with people who aren’t too familiar with pan-searing. They leave the steak on the heat for too long because their thermometer shows it’s just about there, about 5-10°F away from the target temperature. But they don’t realize they’re overcooking it because of the carryover cooking effect.

What is the ideal doneness for a top blade steak?

The ideal doneness for a top blade steak is medium-rare. This brings out its juiciness, tenderness, and rich flavor. But if you prefer your steak a bit more cooked, it stays reasonably tender and juicy even at a medium or more.

Internal Top Blade Steak Temperature: 124°F
Internal Top Blade Steak Temperature: 124°F

More Pan-Seared Steak Recipes To Try

Photo of author

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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