To cook the perfect steak you need the right equipment. To be more specific, you need a high-quality pan that can cope with the high temperatures needed to sear steak correctly.
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the best steak pans available in the UK and also answer some FAQs about choosing the right pan for cooking steak.
Best Pans for Steak in the UK
1. Lodge 26.67cm Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Square Grill Pan
Cast iron is widely regarded as the gold standard of pan materials for searing steaks since it can reach very high temperatures and retains heat very well, even when you add another steak to teh pan. This grill pan from lodge will allow you to cook exceptional steaks that aren’t greasy, since the ridges allow fats to drain away.
This pan can be used on all hob types, including induction. It’s also oven safe, and can be used under the grill. If you’re not a cookware expert, don’t be confused by the “grill pan” name—this pan can be used on the hob as well as under the grill. It’s called a grill pan because the ridges mimic the effects of grilling, allowing the fats to drain away and leaving grill-style marks on the meat.
If seasoning a cast iron pan seems like a challenge that you aren’t comfortable with, no worries. This Lodge cast iron pan comes pre-seasoned and is ready to use. This heavy pan allows you to cook steak, chicken and veg and seal in the flavour perfectly. The ridges on the bottom of the pan provide the lovely sears marks that add some flavour and a lot of style to your dishes too.
A great thing about this Lodge cast iron pan, and a big reason that it made our list of the best pans for steak is because of the pre-seasoning. This is done at Lodge’s foundry. The pre-seasoning means that this cast iron pan can be used the moment it arrives and it will get better as you use it too.
Plus, Lodge includes instructions with their pans to help maintain the seasoning too. Also, you can purchase this cast iron pan with a handle holder too meaning that you can continue to control the pan no matter how hot it gets.
This pan is tough and well made, and offers great value for money.
2. Kichly Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
This tough cast iron skillet comes pre-seasoned, so you don’t need to spend time seasoning it yourself before using it. According to the manufacturer, the factory pre-seasoning is equivalent to 10-15 rounds of home seasoning.
Of course, you will need to re-season it occasionally as you would with any cast-iron pan. Also, some buyers have said that they needed to season it themselves after buying it as the pre-seasoning wasn’t sufficient.
This skillet is very sturdy and can withstand very high temperatures, making it perfect for searing steaks. It’s very heavy, which can make it tricky to transfer to the oven and move around the kitchen.
Overall, this is a great, strong skillet that can handle ultra-high heat fine and should last for years.
3. Lodge L8SK3 26.04 cm Cast Iron Round Skillet
Here’s another quality piece of cookware from American brand Lodge. This 26.04 cm cast iron skillet is perfect not only for searing steaks, but for a whole host of cooking tasks. It’s compatible with all hob tyles including induction, and can also be used in the oven or under the grill.
Bear in mind that since this is a cast iron pan you will need to season it from time to time to prevent food from sticking. If you’re familiar with non-stick pans, cast iron will be quite different. However, cast iron is widely regarded as the best material for cooking steak, since it lets you sear the meat to a very high temperature, locking in the juices and flavour.
If you’re serious about steak, a serious cast iron skillet like this is ideal.
4. Uno Casa Cast Iron Skillet Set 2 Piece Set
Here is a slight curveball for your steak cooking, two cast iron skillets. Now, you may be thinking that getting two cast iron skillets is a little extreme. However, these pre-seasoned cast iron pans are perfect when you want to cook different meats at the same time.
Or if you cook a lot of meat, you can keep one these pans for steak and the other for chicken or fish. These cast iron pans are fantastic for any families with different dietary requirements.
These cast iron pans also come with handle holders for the tilted main handle and the steadying handle too. Plus, as these handle holders are made from silicone, they can be used even if you intended to put the pan in the oven.
In this cast iron set, you get a 10-inch and a 12-inch pan that are extremely well built and will hold heat perfectly. Plus, Uno throws in a recipe book with each purchase so you can get creative with your new pans.
5. Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet Pan
The skillet has a 23cm surface, which is just about the perfect size for cooking steak. Of course you can use the pan for all kinds of things besides cooking steak, including sautéing vegetables and frying eggs.
Like all Le Creuset products, this pan is built to last a lifetime. It even comes with a lifetime guarantee, which makes the high price a bit more palatable.
This kind of pan is perfect if you’re looking for the perfect sear on your steaks.
What to Look For in a Steak Pan
The best steak pan combines several distinct qualities to give awesome results when cooking steak. These qualities are:
- Good heat conduction: The quicker the pan heats up, the better.
- Heat retention: The pan should stay hot and not cool down the moment you put a fridge-cooled steak in.
- Weight: Heavy steak pans are generally better, but you want to find something that you can actually lift!
- Non-stick properties: Getting a pan with good non-stick properties will make cooking steak easier and less stressful.
Grill Pan vs. Skillet for Steak
The first thing to decide when choosing a pan for cooking steak is whether to go for a grill pan (a.k.a. griddle pan) or a skillet (a.k.a. frying pan).
As the name suggests, a grill pan aims to mimic the effect of grilling. This means your steak will be less greasy and fatty, and will normally have grill-style marks from the raised parts of the pan.
One disadvantage of using grill pans though is that they normally don’t heat up to the same temperature skillets do. Furthermore, grill pans don’t cook meat evenly as the parts in contact with the pan’s ridges cook much quicker than the parts in between.
To summarise, grill pans are good for reducing the amount of fat on your steak and giving it nice grill markings, but skillets have better heat distribution and are generally more effective at searing meat.
Here are some of the advantages of using a grill pan over a regular frying pan for cooking steak:
- Chargrilled finish with aesthetically pleasing grill marks
- Heat is retained well thanks to the pan’s heavy base
- Liquids can be collected for making gravy or sauces
Steak Pan FAQs
What is the best pan for searing meat?
As you have probably guessed, the best pan for searing meat is a debate all across the internet. Every home chef seems to have their preferred pan for searing meat, and so this meaty debate may never meet a conclusion. If you’re looking for an absolute answer as to what’s the best pan for searing meat, you may be out of luck.
For example, if you prefer to use stainless steel pans for all of your cooking, you can use a stainless steel pan for searing meat. If, however, you prefer a well-seasoned cast iron pan to fry your steak, you can use that too.
The best pan for searing meat is one that can reach a very high heat and stay there. This ensures that your meat is seared evenly. This means that non-stick pans shouldn’t be used for searing meat, as they can’t reach high enough temperatures safely.
Can you cook steak in a non-stick pan?
Yes, you can cook steak in a non-stick pan. However, if you want to sear the meat, cast iron or stainless steel is better. This is because non-stick pans shouldn’t be heated to the very high temperatures which are needed to properly sear a steak.
Is cast iron the best pan material for steak?
Cast iron pans are fantastic for steak. A cast iron skillet is perfect for the job. When you are searing a steak, you need a pan that will hold a lot of heat, and cast iron holds heat really well.
Of course, cast iron pans must be seasoned correctly to ensure that you get the best results, but seasoning a cast iron pan isn’t too tricky.
However, is a cast iron pan the best for cooking steak? Honestly, that depends. If seasoning a cast iron pan seems like a bit of pain, or you would prefer a pan that is a bit more versatile, perhaps not.
However, if you love meat and want a pan that is pretty much dedicated to your love of meat, cast iron is a great choice. Having said that, although cast iron pans are superb for cooking steak, they certainly aren’t the only option.
Are stainless-steel pans good for steak?
Yes, you can cook a great steak in a stainless-steel pan.
Stainless steel doesn’t retain heat as well as cast iron, and also isn’t non-stick. To help prevent sticking, let the meat rest at room temperature for a while after taking it out of the oven temperature.
Can you cook a steak in a regular pan?
Yes, you can cook a steak in just about any pan. In fact, you can cook a steak on a piece of metal if it is heated correctly.
Cooking steak is pretty simple. All you need is a pan that will hold heat.
This means that any frying pan that is made from thick material will work nicely. Thinner frying pans may heat up quickly, but they lose heat quickly too.
The reason that may chefs use cast iron pans is that they are thick, so the heat stays in the pan for longer. However, any good quality stainless steel, aluminium and some other pans will work well too.
You can use any pan to cook a steak, but you do want the pan to be good-quality. You don’t need to spend your whole pan budget to get a great quality pan for steak, though.
If we had to pick just one steak pan to recommend, it would be the Lodge 26.67cm Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Square Grill Pan. You can heat this pan up to a very high temperature which is evenly distributed throughout the pan, and the design gives nice char lines in your steak.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.