I'm cooking steaks in a stainless steel pan. It's never getting hot enough to cook steaks and char them it's charring in a few places then starts to basically boil and lightly brown the meat which tastes bad and looks bad.

I should probably be using a cast iron pan which is thicker that can hold the heat longer. The steaks are about an inch or so thick not very thick. I'd like to get them charred on the outside and medium rare on the inside mainly on the rare side so they are still red, not brownish.

Any advice on a good type of pan for cooking steaks over a gas stove?


  • 3
    I think you answered your own question with the first sentence of your second paragraph.
    – baka
    Jul 26, 2012 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


I have made steak with a stainless steel pan and I haven't any issues achieving browning. Yes, a cast iron pan would be better, but a good stainless steel pan can work too.

Here is my technique (I am also using gas):

  • Heat pan without anything in it.
  • When it's hot enough, I add the oil to coat the bottom.
  • Then add the meat to sear both sides. I usually finish the whole thing in the oven. (Make sure to check your pan is oven safe).
  • Depending on the size of the steak, sometimes I just finish it there, sometimes I finish it in the oven.

Other notes:

  • Make sure the pan is hot enough
  • If your stainless pan is really thin, you may still have an issue. If this is the case you may want to invest in another pan. Cast iron pans last for ever and can be had for cheap.
  • Make sure your steaks are at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Remove any moisture from the surface prior to cooking. You don't want to have to heat the water first (steaming the meat), and then browning. You want it to brown right away.

Edit: to add the info suggested by jalbee and Henrik

  • Yes it's pretty thin and old. I have another steak, tomorrow i'll get it really hot to try and get both sides seared and will finish it in the oven to see how it turns out.
    – Anagio
    Jul 26, 2012 at 4:14
  • Make sure your pan is all metal... And if it's really thin, you may still have an issue.
    – talon8
    Jul 26, 2012 at 5:16
  • 6
    I'd also mention that your steaks need to have as little surface moisture on them as possible. Use paper towels and pat them off right before they go on.
    – jalbee
    Jul 26, 2012 at 5:27
  • 4
    And make sure your meat is at room temperature. Take your steak out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking it. Jul 26, 2012 at 9:13

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