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Team Fuego Diablo loves a good grilled steak. But we are not exclusively outdoor grilled steak folks. You heard me – sometimes the Weber gets tucked away under its covers and we retreat to our indoor kitchen. It’s true. Sometimes we really prefer a steak seared indoors on a cast iron pan. And for some steaks, like the highly marbled Japanese Wagyu, we simple insist on using this method. An old-fashioned cast iron skillet, you ask? Yes indeed. There are many advantages to using a cast iron pan for cooking meat and other foods. We can share 5 good ones right here:
When your cast iron pan is well-seasoned, it will have a nice non-stick surface. You’ll be able to prepare your foods with less oil and less guilt (though we aren’t usually bothered by food guilt in our kitchen). More importantly, you can rest assured that your food will have fewer synthetic and potentially harmful materials leaking out into it than if you use other types of non-stick pans.
Skillets made out of cast iron will retain heat much better than other cookware materials in similarly sized pots and pans.
Cooking with cast iron cookware can boost your iron intake by leaching iron in the food, which is very helpful for most women who could use a bit more iron in their diets.
Cast iron cookware is made and guaranteed to last a very, very long time. In fact, the more you cook with it, the better (and more seasoned) it gets. Many folks we know have inherited awesome cast iron pans from their grandparents. Now that’s a special heirloom that you can actually use!
Because of the simple manufacturing techniques used to make the cast iron pans (e.g., pouring molten iron into molds), they are generally cheaper than artisanal and handcrafted cookware.
So those are the pros of using cast iron cookware in general. But another key advantage according to the Fuego Diablo kitchen is the SEAR. There is a delicious crusting effect that takes place when a steak is seared in a very hot cast iron pan that is very difficult to replicate with other cooking techniques or tools.
We have tried two different searing methods for our steaks and invite you to test which one you prefer: the Reverse Sear or the Classic Sear.
The Reverse Sear
What you need to begin with is a baking sheet. Apply a very thin layer of olive oil, just to keep your beef from sticking; put the steaks on the sheet after lightly seasoning them with salt and cracked pepper.
Preheat your oven to 400 F - and note that you’re not going to want to cook the steaks for long. Get a meat thermometer to help you out here, and try to get them to around 110 degrees Fahrenheit for rare steak. From there you’re going to want to take the steak out of the oven and transfer to a screaming hot cast iron skillet, where you can finish them off for another minute on each side—getting a nice sear on the outside while keeping it good and even on the inside.
Classic Cast Iron Pan Sear
For this Classic Sear method, you should start by preheating your cast iron skillet in the oven and heat the oven to about 450 F. In the meantime, be sure you have brought that steak to room temperature. Never place any cold steaks on the grill or pan!!
With a thick oven mitt, remove the preheated skillet (which is very very hot) and place on the range over high heat for five minutes. Coat the steak lightly with oil and sprinkle both sides with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Don’t worry if it looks like too much salt – trust us. Then add some fresh-ground black pepper.
Immediately set the steak in the centre of the dry skillet – all parts of the steak should make contact with the skillet to achieve that perfect sear. Leave on for thirty seconds – no touching. Then, flip the steak with tongs and place the skillet into the oven for four to five minutes, flipping at the half way mark, for a medium-rare steak.
And regardless of the method you choose, don’t forget to let your steak sit on a warm plate for five minutes after removing it from the heat. Let it sit just a bit longer in its own juices; that’s how you ensure the best flavor.
Cast Iron Steak photo found on Pinterest- originally in www.bonappetit.com