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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Top 10 Best Pans To Cook Steak On Stove



Nothing hits the spot quite like a homemade steak dinner. If you’re looking for the best pan to cook steak on the stove, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to share 10 of the best pans to cook steak on the stove with you and tell you a little about each so that you can see what they truly bring to the table.

We’ll answer a few frequently asked questions along the way and tell you our own favorites and you can see if you agree. Fancy a perfect pan-fried steak? Discovering the best way to cook a delicious steak starts with the right pan and ends with the perfect crust, ensuring every bite is a testament to your culinary skills.

Well, let’s talk about the best pan to cook steak on a stove so you can make that happen!

Our Top 3 picks at a glance

Let’s face it – it’s a big article and you might be in a hurry – so for those folks, we’ve got a sneak peek at our 3 favorites and if you feel so inclined, you can bookmark this article and read about the rest later. For those folks in a hurry, however, here are our 3 favorites and we’ll expand a little on them at the end of the article if you’d like to learn more:

Before you start

Before getting into the different types of pans to use to produce the best results on your stove, it is good to know how you want to season your steak before pan-searing it. The pan will really lock in any flavors you throw in it. You should also avoid Teflon and other artificial non-stick coatings. The high heat needed for cooking the steak may actually break down the coating and contaminate your meat, as well as ruining your skillet.

Remember to let your steak reach room temperature and pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture for the best cooking results.

With that in mind, read on to see some of the best types of pans to use for cooking steak on your stove, as well as some product recommendations and tips for maintaining your pan based on the material.

One additional point is that selecting the right cut of steak is also going to contribute to you being able to get a good sear on a hot skillet. Bad quality meat won’t cook up well no matter what pan you have.

Stainless Steel or Tri-Ply Cookware

Stainless steel is a great, even heat conductor, ensuring an even cook through your steak. Tri-ply cookware is stainless steel layered with a different material (usually copper or aluminum). It’s great because the added materials conduct heat faster, creating a perfect searing atmosphere in the pan for your steak. These pans are also easy to wash and safe to use at the high temperatures required for cooking a steak thoroughly.

Using stainless steel pans ensures your steak, whether it’s a New York strip steak or a beef tenderloin, cooks evenly every time.

Cast Iron Frying Pans

Cast iron pans, like a trusty cast-iron skillet, are another great option for cooking a perfectly seared steak on medium-high heat. A thick steak will transform in a cast-iron skillet, developing a brown crust and butter pools of flavor, making it the best method for many chefs. Another plus is the seasoning process for maintaining cast iron ends up building great aromas and flavors over time.

The added step of adding a layer after cleaning to rebuild the polymerized oil coating, is perfect for steak because it helps with the browning and flavoring process for next time!

Cast iron is also compatible with all types of stoves and cooktops, which is an important consideration for your kitchen.

Carbon Steel Skillets

Carbon steel is basically a lighter version of cast iron, offering many of the same cooking benefits. They’re perfect for searing and they’re available in several levels of thickness. The thicker the better for steaks, since those will hold the most heat for the longest amount of time.

While these need to be regularly seasoned like cast iron, they actually retain less heat than cast iron. They’ll need to be preheated longer than a cast iron skillet. Yet, thinner steaks or a medium rare steak might benefit from the quicker response to temperature changes in a carbon steel pan.


Finally, one more great pan material for cooking steak is a copper pan. Make sure these are lined with stainless steel though, not tin. Tin will heat up too fast and isn’t great for cooking at the high temperatures required for searing steak.

But a copper pan lined with stainless steel can offer a unique cooking method, providing quick, even heating for a perfectly cooked steak.

The Best pans to cook steaks on the stove

In the sections below, we’ve compiled a list for you of the 10 best pans to cook steaks on the stove. For each one, we’ll tell you their weight and dimensions, what kind of perks they’ll bring to the table, and a little in the way of their pros and cons. Later in this article we’ll share our favorites and tell you a little more about what we liked with those specific models.

With that said, let’s take a look at those pans and you can see what you think!

1. Jim Beam JB0159

Jim Beam JB0159, Heavy Duty Construction, Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Wooden Base and Mitt, Black,Small

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Anyone feel like fajitas? If you are a fajita fan then this one or more of these Jim Beam JB0159 Cast iron skillets with wooden bases and a mitt might be just what the doctor ordered! Per the manufacturer, this measures 15.5” x 9” x 2”, this cast iron skillet features raised ridges for making those sweet, sweet grill marks. Since it’s cast iron, you can use it on induction, gas, glass or electric stovetops, in the oven, your grill, or even over a campfire to make some memorable meals outdoors.

Pre-seasoned, the handle mitt is tiny and fitted perfectly for each skillet, as is the Jim Beam branded wooden base – It’s a pretty little product and looks like just the skillets your fajitas come out sizzling on at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurants!


It’s hard to go wrong with cast iron and this set certainly doesn’t disappoint. You get a well-made skillet and the uncoated cast iron even adds a minute amount of iron content to the food. Plus it’s also nice to have a skillet set that’s exactly like one you’d see in a restaurant.


Make sure and check the measurements before you commit – these are great little skillets for grilling up an individual-sized serving of chicken, pork, steak, or other favorites, but you’ll want more than one if you’ll be showing them some time with guests. Place steaks on this preheated pan for a great sear that rivals any outdoor grill.

2. Utopia Kitchen – Saute fry pan – Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Utopia Kitchen Saute fry pan - Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Set 3-Piece - Frying Pan 6 Inch, 8 Inch and 10 Inch Cast Iron Set (Black)

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Next up we have a nice little non-stick cast iron skillet set from Utopia kitchen and it’s definitely a nice addition to your kitchen. What you get is a set of 3 frying pans, measuring 6, 8, and 10 inches, and they also come pre-seasoned and ready to go! Good for any cooking surface, each pan includes 2 pour spots on each so that you can drain and keep grease if you like and since they’re cast iron, you know they’re built to last!


Solid, good-looking, and definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, cast iron skillets are always a good fit for the kitchen and this is a well-made set.


If you need a larger skillet, then this set might not be a good fit. Also, if you are new to cast iron, be sure to hand wash carefully and give it a pat-dry with a paper towel – they take a little extra care but it’s definitely worth it!

Remember, the thicker steak you cook, the more you’ll appreciate the heat retention of these heavy pans

3. T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan Set 10, 12 Inch Cookware

T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan Set 10, 12 Inch Oven Safe 400F Cookware, Pots and Pans, Dishwasher Safe Grey

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This cool pair of hard anodized aluminum pans comes from T-fal and even has a neat little useful feature – a central logo that turns red when your pan is perfectly preheated. This can come in handy if you sometimes get a little impatient and want to make sure that your pans are ready to do some serious searing when you heap on that steak.

While not the traditional choice, a non-stick pan can be the easiest way to cook a steak without worrying about sticking, especially if you’re cooking thinner cuts.

Aside from the heat-display logo, these pans are also titanium coated to stay non-stick and the pans are heat-resistant up to 400 degrees in your oven. 

Each set of two comes with a 10” and a 12” pan, and the handles are coated with heat-resistant silicone for a comfy grip every time. They are also good for any cooking surface EXCEPT for induction, so if you’re looking for a nice personal pan set that can cook a mean steak and your other pan-fried favorites, then this T-fal set might just be your new best buddy in the kitchen.


It’s a nice little set and the heat logo is a cool innovation that can save you a little guesswork.


With a total weight of about 3.41 pounds, they’re still solid pans, but they might be a little lighter than you were expecting.

4. ESLITE LIFE Nonstick Grill Pan for Stove Tops, 9.5 Inch

ESLITE LIFE Nonstick Grill Pan for Stove Tops, 9.5 Inch Granite Coating Square Grill Skillet with Pour Spouts, Compatible with All Stovetops (Gas, Electric & Induction), PFOA Free

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Most aluminum pans are not induction stove compatible, but this ESLITE LIFE Non-stick Grill pan is a fine exception. Sporting a granite coat, this grill pan has a magnetized base so that you can use it on any cooking surface – induction included. The handle is bakelite, so you’ll also have a comfy grip that’s highly heat-resistant.

Measuring in at 7.8″ x 9.5″ x 2″, since it’s aluminum it only weighs about a pound, so if you want a lightweight and non-stick grill pan for steak, chicken, pork, and whatever else you feel like frying, then it’s just about a perfect fit.


Aluminum heats quickly and since it’s induction compatible, this grill pan has a lot going for it. With the grill lines present, you can do a nice job searing your meat and veggies for flavor and aesthetics and when you’re done, cleanup is a breeze.


Not everyone will be keen on the bakelite handle, but that will be a personal call for you to make.

5. Cuisine Cast Iron Square Grill Pan + Glass Lid – 10.5″

Cuisinel Cast Iron Square Grill Pan + Glass Lid - 10.5" Pre-Seasoned Ridged Skillet + Handle Cover + Pan Scraper - Grill, Stovetop, Fire Safe - Indoor and Outdoor Use - for Grilling, Frying, Sauteing

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Our next pan to show you is this Cusinel Cast Iron Square grill pan and it comes with a handy cleaning scraper and a nice glass lid to keep your cooking cleaner and your food covered until you’re ready to dine. The surface of the grill features raised ridges so that you can make grill marks when you cook and there’s a wide handle on the front for easier handling and a silicone fitting you can slip onto the handle. You’ll get 10.5 inches of cooking space in this 2-inch tall cooking pan and at 4 pounds of weight, it definitely feels solid and made to last.


This is a robust cast iron pan and we really like the addition of the glass lid – it’s a nice touch and quite practical for minimizing mess and for keeping what you’ve cooked warm while you whip up a quick side.


Hand-wash only, although that applies for any cast iron piece, and while some people appreciate a hefty cast iron skillet, the weight may be a turn-off for some.

6. The Jean Patrique Whatever Pan Cast Aluminum Griddle Pan for Stove Top, 10.6 inches

The Whatever Pan Cast Aluminum Griddle Pan for Stove Top - Lighter than Cast Iron Skillet Pancake Griddle with Lid - Nonstick Stove Top Grill 10.6" Diameter by Jean Patrique

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This ‘Whatever Pan’ from Jean Patrique is another cast aluminum offering that will work on ANY cooking surface and yes, that does include your induction stove. Rather than a long handle, this stylish pan has two wide grip handles (with optional silicone covers) for moving it where you need it and a nice, glass cover for a cleaner cook and to keep your food hot and yummy as the cast iron slowly cools.

In your oven, this pan is heat resistant to 482 degrees Fahrenheit, and inside the pan you’ll notice some deep ridges, so you can expect some beautiful grill marks when you cook! This pan measures 10.5” in diameter and weighs just a little over 3 pounds.


Aluminum is great for grill marks and being able to use this pan on an induction stove is awfully nice – many aluminum pans will not work for this, but the Jean Patrique Whatever pan is definitely an exception.


The handle style is a ‘love it or hate it’ scenario – short, wide handles offer a good degree of comfortable maneuverability, but they heat up more quickly, and it was disappointing that the silicone handles need to be purchased separately.

7. Victoria 12″ Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Frying Pan with Long Handle

Victoria Cast Iron Skillet Large Frying Pan with Helper Handle Seasoned with 100% Kosher Certified Non-GMO Flaxseed Oil, 12 Inch, Black

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If you are looking for a solid skillet, this Victoria 12” pre-seasoned cast iron frying pan is perfect for the job. Weighing in at a substantial 6.7 pounds and measuring 20″ x 13.3″ x 2.1″, it’s made to last, and features a standard handle, two pour spots, and an additional wide handle in the front for convenient conveyance. Did we mention that it’s made in Colombia?! If you’re looking for a solid pan for frying steaks and other culinary delights, then Victoria has definitely got you covered!


It’s deep, has thick ridges, and heats evenly – everything you need in a good cast iron skillet!

The key to a perfectly seared steak, even a USDA prime cut, is the consistent heat of a heavy pan like this one.


Aside from the extra cleaning care that comes with cast iron, we really had no complaints about this – it’s a great skillet and we think you’re going to love it!

8. Bruntmor 10″ Enameled Cast Iron Skillet Deep Round Grill Pans For Stove Tops

Bruntmor | 12 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan - Pizza Pan with Dual Handles - Large Round Loop Handles - Ideal as Camping Skillet and Fry Pan - Oven Safe - Electric Stovetop Compatible (Black)

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Next up we have this Bruntmor 10” diameter cast iron skillet that comes with a vented glass lid and which features two loop handles for easy handling of your pan. It’s nice and deep, and inside there are ridges that you can heat up to get some nice sear marks on your steak, chicken, fish, or whatever else you feel like grilling. Great for any stove surface, as well as ovens, grills, or campfires, it’s a solid skillet that you’ll get plenty of mileage out of over the years.


We liked the glass lid addition and as this pan is nice and deep, it’s pretty versatile as far as what you can cook.


The loop handles may not be everyone’s cup of tea – they can heat up quickly, so mitts are a good idea when you’re handing this pan.

9. AVACRAFT 18/10 12″ Stainless Steel Frying Pan with Lid

AVACRAFT 18/10 12 Inch Stainless Steel Frying Pan with Lid, Side Spouts, Induction Pan, Versatile Stainless Steel Skillet, Fry Pan in our Pots and Pans (Tri-Ply Stainless Steel, 12 Inch)

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If you like stainless steel, then this Avacraft stainless steel frying pan might be exactly what you need. Made of tri-ply stainless steel, it heats fast and evenly, and that mirror finish makes it look great in your kitchen, too! This pan measures 20.3″ x 11.8″ x 2.5″ and weighs about 6 pounds, so it’s got a nice heft to it, and it will work with any cooking surface, induction included. Finally, Avacraft throws in a lifetime guarantee, so this frying pan has definitely got some perks to go with it!


The stainless steel and the aluminum core help to ensure quick, even heating, and the mirror finish definitely doesn’t hurt.


No ridging inside the pan means no grill marks, and that’s a shame!

10. Cooks 12″ Standard Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Frying Pan 12 Inch, Multi-Ply Full Clad Wok Stir-Fry Cooking Pans with Dome Lid, Stay-Cool Handle, Dishwasher Safe, Oven Safe 500°F, Silver

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The Cooks 12” stainless steel frying pan will work on any cooking surface and look great while doing it! Made of multi-ply stainless steels, this pan is great for stir fry, steaks, and just about anything you feel like frying up. Measuring in at 22″ x 12″ x 2.25″, it’s fairly lightweight at 4.5 pounds, and the stainless steel handles use a proprietary design that helps to keep them cool. This pan is also heat resistant to up to 500 degrees in the oven and when it’s cleanup time, it’s also dishwasher safe. If you love stainless steel, then this Cooks 12” stainless steel frying pan might be just what the doctor ordered!


It’s very well made and the stay-cool handles do a nice job. With the 12 inch diameter you’ve also got plenty of cooking space.


No ridges in the design, so no grill marks, and that might be a dealbreaker for some.


It’s just about time to render our ‘verdict’ on our 3 favorite pans for today, but before we do, we’ve got a few frequently asked questions that we thought you might find useful if you are still having trouble deciding your own favorites. Let’s take a peek!

What type of pan is best to cook steak?

There’s a little contention on this. Some will argue that it’s stainless steel, as it can withstand very high temperatures and thus allow for some excellent searing, but it also doesn’t retain heat as well as a nice, cast iron skillet. With that fantastic heat retention and added iron content to the food, you can really get a nice, seared steak and this makes cast iron our own personal favorite. Ultimately, of course, that will be your call, but that’s our ‘2 cents worth’ on the matter.

Why does steak taste better in cast iron?

Cast iron retains heat wonderfully, and as a result of this, you get even heating and a caramelization of the crust that results in searing your meat on the cast iron. You can certainly do that with other metals, but cast iron holds heat so well that you really get the most even, uniform cook and it’s a difference you can taste!

Is it better to cook steak on a nonstick or cast iron?

While both can produce a delicious steak, cast iron pans are often considered the best method for achieving a perfect medium steak with a nice crust and desired doneness.

Cast iron wins in a competition between a non-stick coated pan and a cast iron skillet. While non-stick pans are nice and easy when it’s cleanup time, you have to remember that it’s a coating. That extra layer in the pan affects the overall heat conductivity, so you don’t get as flavorful a cook as you would from the unified and well-retained heat of a cast iron skillet. 

The Verdict

We have to commit at some point, and so this is the section where we’ll tell you our favorites and what we liked about them. Let’s take a look!

Jim Beam JB0159, Heavy Duty Construction, Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Wooden Base and Mitt

For years we’ve had fajitas served this way but never had the pans. Now that you can own them, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it. Not only are they perfectly fitted cast iron pans to the wood, but they’re also Jim Beam, so this is some nostalgia waiting to happen – just get at least 2, so you don’t disappoint a close friend!

Cuisine Cast Iron Square Grill Pan + Glass Lid – 10.5″

At 10.5 inches you’ve got enough space to cook something nice and with the lass, it’s just about perfect. A nice cast iron pan doesn’t have to be fancy – this one just works and you’ll get the sear lines you want in a personal pan fry.

Victoria 12″ Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Frying Pan with Long Handle

It’s big enough for serious business and made to last. We liked this pan for its basic solidity and the way that cast iron behaves – it keeps the heat, so you can make a serious steak with it. What more do you want?

Thanks so much folks for visiting and please leave your own tips – we love them and we take your advice in articles more than you might think! Until next time, enjoy your steak and remember to let your steak rest covered in aluminum foil for 5-10 degrees below your desired doneness for the perfect finish.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

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