Now I know as Grillaholics, there are few things that can keep us away from our grills. It doesn’t matter if it’s 110 degrees outside, or if there’s 2 feet of snow. Rain or shine, we’re out there. But sometimes disaster strikes, and you get stranded in a place without a grill (like my mother-in-law’s house). For times like that, when your craving for steak hits, you need a way to make it without a grill, and that’s where broiling comes in.
Choosing A Steak
Before we get into the step by step process of actually broiling a steak, it’s important to talk about what kinds of steaks work best for this process. In our personal experience, the best cuts of steak for broiling are flank steaks, ribeye steaks, and sirloins.
In addition to the type of steak to choose, it’s also important to know what qualities your steak should have to give you the best results. The first and most important thing you’re going to want to look for when choosing a steak is the level of marbling. A steak with a lot of marbling will lead to a juicier steak overall. You’ll also want a steak with a deep red color to ensure that it’s fresh. Finally, thickness is important to consider. Broiling gives the best results on steaks with a medium thickness, about 1 inch or so thick. Because broiling works with extremely high temperatures, thick cuts of steak will burn on the outside before the center gets sufficiently cooked.
While you are broiling your steak, you’ll want to be checking its internal temperature from time to time depending on the level of doneness you desire. You can use a traditional meat thermometer to accomplish this (just insert it into the center of the steak towards the end of cooking). The general temperature goals for each level of doneness are as follows:
- 120° F = Rare
- 130° F = Medium rare
- 140° F = Medium
- 150° F = Medium well
- 160° F = Well done
It’s best to check temperature towards the end of cooking, and make sure you aren’t checking a dozen times. The more holes you put in your steak to take temperature readings, the more unevenly it will cook.
Start by seasoning your steak. For the barbecue purists, a seasoning of just salt and pepper will absolutely get the job done. For those who want to spice things up, try using a steak dry rub. You can also marinate your steaks beforehand, just make sure to marinate them in the fridge to prevent foodborne illness. Once your steak is seasoned to your liking, set it aside for about 30 minutes until it reaches room temperature.
While your steak is set aside, you’re going to want to get your oven ready. Move the top rack so that it’s about 4 inches from the top of the oven, because that’s where the majority of the heat will be coming from. Then turn the oven to broil mode.
As for the cast iron skillet, lightly grease the bottom with a bit of oil. You don’t want to use a ton here, just enough to prevent sticking. You can also use a broiler pan (basically a cookie sheet with raised ridges) to get the same seared grill marks that the grill normally gives you, but a cast iron skillet works just as well.
Once your oven is preheated, you’re ready to start cooking. Place your steak in the pan, and place it directly on the top rack. If you want a good sear on your steak, you can also just place it directly on the top rack and place the cast iron skillet below it to catch all of the juices.
Now there’s a lot more variance when broiling steaks, with factors like steak type, thickness, and oven type all playing a role. Cook times can be anywhere from 2 to 7 minutes per side, depending on what level of doneness you’re after. The two things to be sure of when broiling a steak are 1) that both sides get equal cook time and 2) that you use a thermometer to monitor internal temperature to guarantee your steak is cooked to the correct doneness.
Once your steak is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. I know you’ll be tempted to start eating right away, but letting it sit for 5 minutes will make it juicier.
And that’s it! After waiting 5 minutes, your steak is ready to be cut and enjoyed.
Broiling certainly isn’t our favorite method for preparing steak, but desperate times call for desperate measures. We hope if you’re ever in the unfortunate scenario with no grill in sight, that this method can help ease the pain. We love hearing from you guys, so make sure to connect with us on our Facebook page to let us know what you thought! And as always, cheers to being a Grillaholic.