How To Cook The Perfect Steak

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This recipe is from the Cook's Illustrated Meat Book which is a must-have for all meat lovers. Quality steaks are expensive and you want to make sure that you get the best out of them. Apart from step-by-step guides to the perfect steak, there are more than 400 delicious recipes for cooking all sorts of meat cuts. Several recipes are keto-friendly and most can be adapted to a healthy ketogenic lifestyle.

How To Cook The Perfect Steak

Reverse Pan-Seared Steak is without any doubt my favourite recipe from this book. Although reverse pan-searing is not the only way to cook steak, it works best for thick cuts. To achieve evenly cooked steaks with a nice crust, a rare or medium-rare centre and without a wide band of grey dry meat on the outside, you have to use reverse-searing.

Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving)

0 grams 0 grams 41.2 grams 38.5 grams 17 grams 524 calories
Total Carbs0grams
Net Carbs0grams
of which Saturated17grams
Magnesium43mg (11%)
Potassium654mg (33%)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (0%), protein (32%), fat (68%)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 large boneless strip or ribeye or filet mignon steaks, 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 inch / 4 - 4 1/2 cm thick (800 g/ 1.76 lb)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like pink Himalayan salt)
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee for frying
  • Optional: serve with Gremolata or your favourite steak sauce

If your steak is thinner than 1 1/2 inch, do not use the reverse-searing method as it will overcook. Instead, use the this simple pan-searing method.

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Instructions (Reverse-Seared Method)

  1. Preheat the oven to 135 °C/ 275 °F. Remove the steaks from the fridge. Pat the steaks dry using a paper towel. Cut each steak in half vertically to create four evenly sized steaks. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Press the sides of the steaks in until uniform 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick. How To Cook The Perfect Steak
  2. Place the steaks on a wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. How To Cook The Perfect Steak
  3. Place in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes until meat registers 32-35 °C/ 90-95 °F (for rare to medium-rare) - I like mine rare - ... How To Cook The Perfect Steak
  4. ... or 25-30 minutes until meat registers 38-40 °C/ 100-105 °F (for medium). If using filet mignon steaks, increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes. How To Cook The Perfect Steak
  5. Heat a large skillet greased with ghee over a high heat. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on one side, lifting once halfway through cooking to redistribute fat underneath each steak. Using tongs, turn and cook until well browned on the second side for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes.
    It is essential to sear the steaks briefly in order to keep the meat directly under the crust from turning grey. How To Cook The Perfect Steak
  6. Transfer all the steaks to a clean wire rack and reduce the heat under the pan to medium. Holding two steaks at a time together, return to the pan and sear on all sides until browned, for about 1 1/2 minutes. How To Cook The Perfect Steak
  7. Repeat for the remaining two steaks. Transfer the steaks onto a wire rack, loosely cover with a foil and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. How To Cook The Perfect Steak
  8. Meanwhile, prepare your favourite steak sauce or try with Gremolata, Hollandaise, Ranch Dressing, Marinara Sauce or Keto Cheese Sauce. How To Cook The Perfect Steak Serve with Creamy Keto Mash or Greek Salad! How To Cook The Perfect Steak
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Martina Slajerova
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Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (4)

Also, gemolata made with pink grapefruit is especially yummy.


I don't like my steaks thick so I pan fry them rather than fiddling with the oven. Doesn't take long when you're aiming for rare.
I use a Cooks Illustrated slow roast recipe for beef and pork roast. Don't have that cookbook but I imagine they would be in there. You salt the beast and leave it in the fridge at least 12 hours then cook in a slow oven to 15 degrees Fahrenheit below your target, turn off the oven and let carryover take it to temp. I don't bother with searing the roast even though the recipe instructs me to do so. I don't need to get the pan dirty. Try the recipe if you have it.


Thank you Karen, I definitely will! 😊


That's how I like my steak, medium-rare and ideally ribeye! I've never tried the reverse searing and I'll have to get some proper thick cut steaks and give it a try 😊