Cast-Iron Steaks with Blue Cheese-Chive Butter
To pan-sear a thick-cut steak, we turned to a cast-iron skillet since its heat-retention properties are ideal for a perfect sear. We chose the moderately expensive boneless strip steak for its big, beefy flavor. But when we tried preheating the skillet on the stovetop, cast iron’s uneven heat distribution properties created an equally uneven sear on our steaks. As a result, we ended up preheating the skillet in the oven. To get a perfectly even sear, we used quite a large amount (2 tablespoons) of oil, since this meant that the steaks’ surfaces remained in contact with the heat even as the steaks unevenly contracted during cooking. We started out flipping our steaks only once, halfway through cooking. But we found that flipping the steaks more often led to a shorter cooking time and a smaller gray band of dry, overcooked meat just under the surface of the steaks.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet
Our winning enameled cast-iron man features flaring sides, an oversize helper handle, wide pour spouts, a satiny interior, and balanced weight—it's a beautifully made pan that's a pleasure to cook in. The enameling prevents the metal surface from rusting or reacting with acidic foods, both of which are concerns with traditional cast iron. It also lets you thoroughly scrub dirty pans with soap—generally taboo with traditional pans since soap will remove the patina. Offer ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on November 13, 2017.