May 25, 2022
If we were stuck on a desert island and could only bring one kitchen item with us, you can guarantee we’d be packing our trusty cast iron skillet. Cast iron is adored by professional and home chefs for its versatility and all-around culinary athleticism; it can be used with every type of stovetop, oven, and can even transition outside to the grill or firepit.
If you’re not familiar with cast iron or just getting started with your very own skillet, we’re here to share these simple steps to cooking the perfect grass-fed steak every time.
Step 1: Choose Your Grass Fed Steak
First, choose the grass fed steak you’ll be cooking. While it sounds easy, this will probably be the most difficult step. We chose the Grass Run Farms 100% Grass Fed and Finished Flat Iron Steak. This cut comes from the chuck primal and is known for its well-marbled, tender, and juicy texture. Other great options include Grass Run Farms 100% Grass Fed and Finished Ribeye Steaks and Grass Run Farms 100% Grass Fed and Finished New York Strip Steaks.
Step 2: Prepare Your Cast Iron Skillet
Once you have your grass fed steak, grab your cast iron skillet and head to the kitchen. Place the cast iron skillet on the burner and turn the heat to medium-high. Add just enough olive oil to coat the entire bottom of your skillet; an exact measurement will depend on the size of your skillet, but it will probably be between two to three tablespoons. Once the olive oil has heated, add one teaspoon of unsalted butter, mixing as it melts into the oil.
Pro-tip: Adding butter to olive oil brings out the best of both worlds! This little culinary secret is used by professional chefs to lower the oil’s smoke point while coating the steak to achieve amazing flavor, crust, and a perfect-looking plate.
Step 3: Cook Your Grass Fed Steak
When the butter is melted and combined with the oil, season the grass fed steak with coarse salt and ground black pepper. The coarser the spice, the better it will adhere to the fibers of the steak and help create the sought-after, flavorful crust that cast iron chefs love to achieve. Add the grass fed steak to the center of the cast iron skillet. Do not touch or move the steak for at least four minutes.
You’ll begin to see the bottom of the steak sear (and smell it too). Once the four minutes has passed, use tongs to flip the steak over. Season this side and leave for three to four minutes.
Pro-Tip: Before moving on to the finishing steps, make sure you have your other trusty kitchen gadget ready: your meat thermometer! Using a meat thermometer is the only tried-and-true method to check for doneness. According to the USDA, steak should be cooked to a minimum of 145°F for optimum food safety.
Step 4: Sear the Edges
Before removing your grass fed steak to rest, use the tongs to quickly sear each edge. This melts any additional fat to maximize flavor and adds to your crisp, mouthwatering crust. Hold each side for about 10 seconds, then remove the steak from the cast iron skillet.
Step 5: Time to Rest
It’s time to give your grass fed steak a break! Resting allows the meat to reabsorb natural juices redistributed internally during the cooking process. Slicing into a steak fresh out of a cast iron skillet will leave you with a juicy mess; resting it will ensure that when you do slice into it, you’re getting a juicy bite instead. Place the grass fed steak onto a plate and allow it to sit undisturbed for at least three minutes. You can tent a sheet of aluminum foil over the steak to keep it warm if you’re preparing other parts of your meal.
Pro-Tip: While you’re eagerly waiting to dig into your meal, you can remove your cast iron skillet from the heat source and begin cleaning up. Just don’t stick your skillet in the dishwasher with your tongs! Cast iron cookware needs to be washed by hand and then re-seasoned to prevent damage and rust. Learn how to clean and care for your cast iron skillet here.
Step 6: Slice and Serve
Now that your grass fed beef steak has been cooked and rested, it’s finally time to enjoy! It’s important to remember to slice against the grain when cutting into your steak. Slicing steak against the grain shortens the long, fibrous muscles that comprise the steak. Look down at your steak and observe the direction of the muscle fibers. Cut across these fibers, not in line with them, to achieve that tender, easy-to-chew bite.
Cooking grass fed steak with a cast iron skillet can be delicious and simple! Just follow these simple steps to get started.