Whenever I cook steak at home I usually grill it, but is this as good as frying?

I have usually grilled so it is not cooking in the juices and I thought might be healthier, but have been told that frying would make it tastier.

Also would a grill pan be good to use on the hob instead of a standard frying pan?

  • 5
    Note to Americans: OP is British. Grill = broil, not BBQ. Sep 15 '14 at 9:50
  • This really is opinion-based, so could get closed. As for healthier, you don't east steak to be healthy, neither option is going to make it good for you. A good char-grilling will give loads of flavor, a good pan will also give good flavor. What you really need is a lot of heat!
    – GdD
    Sep 15 '14 at 10:19
  • I'd be surprised if there's much difference - the amount of liquid that comes out of a steak when I grill it suggests that frying it in that liquid isn't going to add much more in the way of fat or calories. Sep 15 '14 at 13:16
  • I realize that this is an old question, but it strikes me as primarily opinion based. How are we supposed to quantify "better"....or "as good as"...Alternately, it could be reworded as "What are the differences between frying and grilling (broiling) a steak"....I realized this as an option after I voted to close.
    – moscafj
    Feb 22 '19 at 16:21
  • It sounds like you were comparing frying to broiling based on above, but i will say actual bbqing (with charcoal/gas) gives a nice char/smoky flavor that you can't get frying the steak. You might get a hint of it under a broiler
    – CobaltHex
    Feb 25 '19 at 18:05

Generally speaking, frying gives a better crust due to the higher direct heat producing more Maillard flavours. A good, heavy, screaming hot pan is required. Oil the steak, not the pan, with vegetable or groundnut oil (olive oil will burn), and baste with butter towards the end for extra flavour.

If your steak is thick, you might try a reverse sear - roast the steak at about 150°C until the centre is 10°C off your desired doneness level (if you don't have a digital probe thermometer, invest the small amount they cost, it is completely worth it), then sear the outside on your mega hot pan. This avoids you having to overdo the outside just to get the inside right.

  • 3
    What you speak of is not Grilling nor Frying the steak, it is a pan sear, and personally I would perform the pan sear and then the roast because it seals in flavor (juices) and prevents the meat from drying out.
    – Malachi
    Sep 15 '14 at 21:20
  • 6
    @Malachi "seals in the flavour" is a myth
    – RYFN
    Sep 16 '14 at 16:30
  • @RYFN, really? says who? I have over 10 years experience that tells me that pan searing is one way to seal in moisture, another way is Frying. in which the outside of the item being fried or seared creates a barrier holding more juices/flavor in the food.
    – Malachi
    Sep 16 '14 at 17:03
  • 7
    @malachi: amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/…, seriouseats.com/2013/06/…, americastestkitchenfeed.com/cooking-science/2013/01/… . It's still absolutely vital to develop a crust for flavour and texture, but it does nothing to retain juices. Sep 16 '14 at 19:57
  • I'm not denying it's delicious :)
    – RYFN
    Sep 17 '14 at 8:06

Regardless of whether pan-searing seals in the flavor (it doesn't), Malachi is correct. The poster who was rewarded with the winning answer will have ruined his steak.

I will add some details for the roasting.

  • Preheat your oven to 500F
  • Pan-sear first, high heat. If you didn't produce smoke in your kitchen, you did it wrong.
  • Have prepared a drip system for your steak when you go to roast:
  • Place a wire rack over a shallow pan with ~1/4 inch of table salt. This will catch the drippings and prevent your oven from adding to further unwanted smoke in your kitchen (at this point, you've already opened your windows, and your wife is fanning the smoke detectors)
  • Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest steak
  • Roast until it reads 120-125 (medium-rare)
  • The last step is open to interpretation, but I wouldn't suggest deviating

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