What’s the Best Pan for Cooking Steak?

Cooking steak in a pan

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.

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.

Grill/Griddle Pans for Steak

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

Andrew James Deluxe Griddle Pan

This griddle pan is 28 cm wide and has a non-stick, dishwasher-safe design making it a very convenient pan for cooking steak. It’s made from pressure-cast aluminium, which has good heat-retention properties.

The pan has an oil drainage spout so fat from the beef will drain away, which means your steak will be a bit healthier.

One cool thing about this pan is that you can take the handle off for when you want to put the pan in the oven.

As a griddle pan should, the Andrew James Deluxe Griddle Pan has deep ridges that will help give your steak a chargrilled flavour.

Read more about the Andrew James Deluxe Griddle Pan and see the latest price on Amazon here.


Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Rib Square Grill

This 28cm grill pan from Le Creuset is a high-quality square steak pan made from hard-anodised aluminium and stainless steel.

Le Creuset are known for their quality cookware items that last a lifetime and look gorgeous too. This grill pan lives up to Le Creuset’s reputation and performs superbly when cooking steak, other meat and fish, burgers, sausages and so on.

This pan isn’t cheap, but it offers good value for money in the long run. It’s a heavy-duty pan that’s built to last—you can even pass it down to the next generation of steak lovers.

Read more about the Andrew James Deluxe Griddle Pan and see the latest price on Amazon here.


 Skillets/Frying Pans for Steak

Lodge Cast Iron Round Skillet

This cast iron frying pan from American cookware Lodge is a high-quality yet affordable pan that’s great for searing steak and is versatile enough to become part of your everyday cooking arsenal.

The cast iron used gives the skillet excellent heat distribution and retention, which are essential qualities for cooking the perfect steak. It can also be heated up hotter than a non-stick pan could.

One weird (but great) thing about cast iron cookware is that it actually gets better with time, provided you treat it correctly. This pan should last a lifetime if you take care of it.

The pan has an ‘assist handle’ (a mini handle opposite the main handle) that helps make it easy to carry.

Lodge have a reputation for making quality cookware, and clearly put a lot of thought and care into their products. This pan is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, helping prevent food from sticking and making the pan easier to clean.

Read more about the Lodge Cast Iron Round Skillet and see the latest price on Amazon here.


Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet Pan

This cast iron frying pan can be heated to a very hot heat, essential for getting the right kind of sear when cooking steakx.

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.

Read more about the Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet Pan and see the latest price on Amazon here.