Basically, I suck at cooking steak. I like med rare but not sure how to cook it right. Let's take my latest failure, 4 6oz top sirloin on center cuts. I let them get to room temp, and heated my clean cast iron on my. Electric stove to between the middle and high heat. I put them on and maybe 3 to 4 min flipped it. A few min later I put my digital thermometer inside and this is where things go bad, here is my situations. I'll read the temp at like... 101 for example before flipping then after flipping, with prob in dead center. It will be like 110. So I wait like 30 sec to a minute and then a combination of things happen

1) I flip and then temp is like 180 when on other side poking middle showed way lower

2) temp jumps up way to fast in like 1 min it will go from 110nto like 150

3,) one part of steak in center will be like 110 and another part 150

4) after the flip it suddenly cooks 50 times faster and over cooks

I don't know, I just can't seem to get consistent temp measuring without it cooking too fast or burned on outside and rare in inside.

It just seems no matter what I do, I can't get it to cook med rare. I over cook it when I constantly take temps and etc.

When I take temp I go at angle or through the side

Please help! Thanks in advance.

Update : I tried multiple thermometers and type of pans. My latest has been cast iron that has been heated with oil to smoke. Before cooking

  • What type of a thermometer are you using? Is it an instant-read thermometer, if so do you know how long is the response time? Have you calibrated your thermometer, say in boling water or ice water?
    – zetaprime
    Feb 18, 2019 at 6:06
  • I started to edit the text but got lost. Can you please clean up it up yourself and describe precisely what happened in every step? Do not repeat yourself.
    – user34961
    Feb 18, 2019 at 8:43

2 Answers 2


I would suggest two options, but first, when taking the temperature of a steak, insert the probe through the side of the steak. Aim halfway up, and have the end of the probe as close to the center as possible. The probe should be level, rather than angled. This might allow you to be more accurate. You don't need to take the temp at several places...just the center.

The first option, is called the "reverse sear" method. This works well for steaks of about an inch in thickness or greater. Preheat your oven to 275F (135C). Place a rack on an oven tray. Season the steaks well. Place on the rack, and put into the preheated oven. Cook until your desired doneness...maybe 125F to 135F (52C - 57C). At the low oven temp, this will probably take at least 45 minutes, but this depends on thickness. Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes. Sear in a screaming hot cast iron pan for 1 minute per side. Slice and serve.

Alternately, you can use sous vide to cook the steak perfectly. This has been addressed here before. Basically, you heat water to the desired internal temperature of your steak. Place the steak in a zip lock bag, submerge in the water for an hour (the water temp must be maintained over the entire period, preferably with circulation). Remove, pat dry, season, and sear as above. Slice and serve. ...poking your steak with a thermometer is not necessary with this approach.


I would stop taking the temps, and just focus on timing. The temps seem to be throwing you off. Stick to 3-4 mins per side, and rest for 5-10 mins.

You don't mention how thick it is, so moderate a little for thickness changes, but seldom have an issue with a cast-iron pan that's been left on med-high for a while for the temp to even out (or heat the pan in the oven first, then cook on the stove-top).

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