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Steakhouse Steak at Home: Alton Brown’s Technique Will Make You A Steak Master

image of a beautifully presented sliced steak on a plate with salad

Credit: Campfire Rib-eye at Los Altos Grill by Jun Seita

Have you ever over-cooked your steak when cooking at home because you weren’t sure how long to cook it? It happened to me when I ruined yet another prime cut steak by overcooking it!

It’s a shame when a great steak is ruined by not having a good foolproof guide. That guide for me was Alton Brown’s best steak recipe, the best that I’ve ever used, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Follow it and you’ll always make yourself a great steak.

If you’d like to skip to any part of this review in particular, just use the table of contents below. Otherwise read on for the whole recipe, you’re going to like it.

The Prep

You start with your favorite cut, I like Ribeye but you may prefer another, (for cuts like Porterhouse see our post here).

image of a raw Ribeye Steak


To season the steak, you just need salt and pepper.

Salt with kosher salt on all sides, then add pepper to each side.

Then take your favorite cast iron skillet (if you don’t have one, use your heaviest pan) and put it in your oven.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, usually at or near the highest setting in a home oven.

It may take a while to get to temperature, most ovens vary and you may even want to use a oven thermometer to make sure you’ve hit 500 degrees. Or just wait until you know for sure.

Once your oven is at temperature, fire up your most powerful cooktop or range top burner and turn it to its highest heat setting (preheat if you have an electric burner).

Cooking Times And Technique

Now, get your heavy-duty oven mitts.

Take the skillet out of the oven and put it on the fired-up burner, quickly shut the oven door to keep the oven at temperature.

(Careful, you may even feel like you’re battling a forest fire when you open your oven.)

Let the skillet sit on the burner’s high setting for 5 minutes. You are super-heating the skillet for maximum sear.

After five minutes are up, place your steak(s) in the skillet and start your timer:

30 seconds and don’t touch it, just listen to it sizzle.

image of ribeye steaks cooking in a cast iron skillet


Don’t touch it! Let it sit there for the whole 30 seconds untouched, while you imagine how great your dinner is going to be. It will smoke like it does in these pictures above as the canola oil hits the super-heated pan.

When the timer’s up, use tongs or a spatula to flip for another 30 seconds. You can see here the sear that has already made its mark on the first side.

image of ribeye steak already seared in a cast iron skillet


When time is up, congratulate yourself, you now have seared your steak!

Now For The Oven

This is simple and short, make sure you remember to have your oven mitt on.

Take your skillet and put it in the oven.

Try to minimize the time your oven door is open by synchronizing the oven door opening with your putting it in the oven! You don’t want to lower your oven temperature too much!

Shut the oven door and cook for 2 minutes.

Then, put on your oven mitts if you’ve taken them off. Take the skillet out of the oven and place it on your range top and flip the steak(s).

Leave your oven mitts on and put the skillet back in the oven for another two minutes.

If you prefer medium, add a minute to each side in the oven.

Once the time is up, it’s done!

A Tip

One slight tweak that I’ve made to this recipe is very simple.

Once I’ve cooked the first two minutes in the oven, I add some cooking power by going to full broil for the second two minutes (or longer for more well done). You may even want to adjust your oven rack to the highest or a higher position if you haven’t already.

This final tweak will put a nice crispy sear to the top of the steak, which for me is a perfect finish.

Resting Is Key

As soon as time is up, use those oven mitts to take the skillet out of the oven and let the steak rest.

Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Don’t touch it, don’t even look at it!

You can just smell it and realize you’ve done something great here. You’ve climbed to the pinnacle of meat preparation.

Serving Suggestions

One alternative is to add butter during the oven cooking time, after the first flip, if you want to duplicate a steakhouse taste profile. Melt a dollop of butter on the top of the steak as it cooks and you’ll have that taste.

I prefer my steak more rare, or “steaky”.

What else?

Before you move on to eating, let me recommend some things that will give your beautiful steak the right company

  • A big glass of red wine.

Sure, you can choose a cabernet sauvignon. That’s what they usually tell you to pair with a steak like this.

If you really want a slap across the face though (in a good way), go get yourself a California old vine Zinfindel. Some of these grapes have been growing in California since before it even became a state. These wines are the equivalent of sour patch candy, for adults. It’s not that they’re sour its that they’re spicy and in a good way.

There are plenty of reasonable choices here and a good selection can be found in most grocery stores or wine stores.


  • Spinach and cherry tomatoes sautéed in olive oil and topped with chunks of burrata cheese

image of a steak and potato on a plate

Credit: Elsie Hui

Just sautee a bunch of spinach, enough to fill your pan, in olive oil with some diced garlic. It will reduce a lot as the water is cooked out of the spinach.

After the spinach is cooked down and infused with olive oil and garlic, add some sliced cherry tomatoes and burrata cheese, if you have it. Burrata is a much richer version of mozzarella that is sometimes hard to find but worth trying if you haven’t already. It’s a nice added touch to the dish.

You add the tomatoes and torn cheese to the hot spinach and let the heat infuse through them.

Alternatively, if you’d like to see more steak goodness, see our Porterhouse steak post here,

Self Congratulations!

By expertly cooking this steak, you’ve advanced thousands of years in civilization in the space of six minutes.

Starting with raw beef that would have only been edible to pre-civilized, fire-less cave dwellers, you’ve refined it with the aid of fire into a piece of seared perfection. You can be proud that this steak would happily be served in any steakhouse with a 150% markup!

So consider that and congratulate yourself while eating the best steak you’ve ever cooked at home.

About the Author Sabrina

Sabrina is our head writer and expert researcher. She spends countless hours of research on each topic or product she writes about. She also tests products and recipes when she can and is known as a kitchen appliance junkie who is always trying new gadgets. Plus, she's a fairly decent cook above all else!

Leave a Comment:

baju renang muslimah says April 29, 2017

Hi sabrina
How to make a fish steak?
I always fail to make a fish steak.
Maybe you have a guide how to make a delicious and delicious tuna steak
Thank you for sharing

Amy Smith says May 10, 2018

This looked so good and easy I had to try it. This is why I wanted to tell you that it turned out to be wonderful. The steak turned out just perfect not to dry or to juicy. I made it for my husband and he absolutely loved it.

Thank You
Amy Smith
Maryland, USA

Kate says May 10, 2018

This looks so good!

Dephinah Sirako says May 30, 2018

Looks amazing. I shall try it

Vitamix 7500 says September 15, 2018

very nice

myindigocard says March 1, 2019

great looking dish. Looks very tasty and flavorful. thanks for sharing.

Steve says June 20, 2019

One more thing. Lightly oil the steak before seasoning. I too learned this from Alton and doing it for years.

viqueen says November 2, 2019

great recipe and tips! best steak I’ve ever prepped. oodles of compliments. thank you.

Dennis Yannakos says June 30, 2020

Awesome! I love this recipe!

Bruce says September 9, 2020

We’re having steak tonight and I am going to cook it that way.

Sam Smith says March 7, 2021

Nice Recipe

Eileen Derosa says March 12, 2021

So yummy! We loved this recipe. Definitely going to be a staple for my lunches from now on!!

benjaminstevens says March 31, 2021

This article is very informative and I feel like you are reading my mind.

Amelia martin says August 30, 2021

looks delicious 🙂 Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for giving the nice tips.

Elle says September 14, 2021

That’s a great looking Steak, cooked to perfection!

Weight Loss Diets says November 2, 2021

I prefer Ribeye as well. You said heat up the oven to 500.. then remove the skillet from the oven. The only thing is.. you did not say how long to leave it in the oven at 500 degrees.. ?? HELP!

    Sabrina says November 3, 2021

    from the post “Shut the oven door and cook for 2 minutes.

    Then, put on your oven mitts if you’ve taken them off. Take the skillet out of the oven and place it on your range top and flip the steak(s).

    Leave your oven mitts on and put the skillet back in the oven for another two minutes.

    If you prefer medium, add a minute to each side in the oven.”

Velva says March 8, 2022

Wow. A fabulous looking steak. You are right, an old vine Zinfandel would slap you into next week paired with this steak. Love it. Thanks for sharing.


Mia says September 3, 2022

You have such a detailed recipe. I like it! I definitely will try to cook it.

Alib says February 25, 2023

A simple method for making steaks. I will try it at home.

Camila Wilson says May 13, 2023

The detailed instructions and beautiful accompanying photos make me feel confident that I can recreate this dish at home. I can’t wait to try it out for myself! Thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe.

Best Recipes List says June 6, 2023

I can’t wait to try it out. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe! Keep up the great work!

Recipe land says July 24, 2023

Love this recipe
Thanks for sharing

Willa James says August 1, 2023

I’ve been a fan of Alton Brown for years and always loved his steak recipes. This one is no exception. The reverse sear method is a great way to cook a steak evenly and get a perfect sear on the outside. I followed the recipe exactly, and my steak came out perfectly medium-rare. It was juicy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who loves a good steak.
Thanks for sharing this great recipe…

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