By Julie Miltenberger
Searing is a crucial step in cooking a succulent steak. It draws moisture from the outside layer, creating a caramelized crust that seals in juices. A stainless steel skillet is essential, as it can withstand higher heat than a nonstick one. Once the steak seems cooked, don't prematurely slice into it to check for doneness. Use an instant-read thermometer, or try the finger test (on the next page), a technique favored by chefs.
Season sirloin with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to room temperature (leave out for up to an hour).
Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil in a stainless steel (not nonstick) skillet over medium-high to high heat.
Place steak in pan and cook for 3 minutes without moving it around.
Use tongs to flip over steak and cook for another 3 minutes—again, no touching.
If steak is more than an inch thick, finish in a 325° oven until cooked to desired doneness. Meat should register 130° on an instant-read thermometer for rare—the temperature will rise 5° while it rests—or use the finger test (next slide). Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.