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Stovetop Steaks

A perfect steak recipe for when grilling is out of the question

Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 21:10


Guzman gathers the necessary ingredients for her stovetop seaks.


The steak is first seered before baking so that it can form a crust.


All photos by Sheila de Guzman

Guzman uses flank steak for her dish.

Summer grilling is gone and we’ve got three weekends of away games. If you’re like me, you’re not ready to say goodbye to some good grilled meats. But if you’re also like me, you don’t have a grill.


After spending a week in Florida for a family vacation, my sous-chef and I came back to an empty fridge. We only get fast food if we’re desperate, but we also didn’t have the time or energy to cook something complicated. I suggested grilling, but I was reminded of how long that would take, which was not acceptable. With grilling on my mind, I began craving steak and I was determined to get it, I just had to be crafty.


For my 19th birthday, my high school sweetheart made stovetop steaks in the dorm’s community kitchen. It’s an interesting process of quickly searing both sides of the meat and then cooking it in an oven. The flavor and texture is noticeably different, but it worked. I figured it was worth a try in this almost-desperate situation, but it needed improvement.


The first improvement was the meat. Instead of your usual cuts of steak, I chose a flank or skirt steak, which is often used for fajitas. It’s a little thinner with a noticeable grain, but it’s full of flavor. They’re rather long, so you will probably have to cut the meat in half. Be sure to clean the steaks and pat them dry.


The second improvement was the seasoning. 4 years ago, we only had salt and pepper and relied on A1 sauce for taste. This time, we rubbed in some Tony’s into the meat before applying a marinade. In a tight spot, I’ve used salad dressings as marinades, but we happened to come across a simple, but delicious marinade for the stove steak.


Combine equal parts Worcestershire sauce, mustard and oil in a bowl. For a savory marinade, put more Worcestershire sauce. If you prefer tangy, put more mustard. I also add lemon pepper and garlic powder. Experiment with the measurements; there’s no need for precision. However, I usually have about 1 cup’s-worth of marinade for about 1lb of meat. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated and drench the steaks in the marinade. Let the steaks rest for about 20 minutes.


The third improvement was the method. We kept the steak on the stove and I felt I got bolder flavor and a better texture. Pour a thin layer of oil in a pan and set to medium heat. Carefully place a steak into the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on your preference of rareness. Do not move the steak around; you want to form a nice sear/crust on the steak. If you prefer well done, it may be necessary to lower the heat slightly and keep it on the stove for a little longer. An issue with flank steak is the varying thickness, which results in uneven cooking.


We were quite impressed with the stovetop steaks and have added it to our lists of favorite dinners. I enjoy it with fresh veggies and ranch, but he makes a great ratatouille to go with it. As winter approaches, it may be too cold to heat up the grills, but stovetop steaks serve as a great alternative.

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