The Best Way to Cook a T-Bone Steak on a Frying Pan

by Brynne Chandler

    Red meat is packed full of protein and when eaten in moderation, it's a valuable part of a healthy diet. T-bone steaks are among the leaner cuts of beef, making them a good choice for fat-conscious households. Choose a T-bone with slight marbling and a healthy-looking red color. Figure one palm-sized portion for each adult and teenager and a slightly smaller piece for preadolescent children. Pan-frying T-bone steak in a bare, hot pan brings out its natural flavor and tenderness and sears it to a tasty brown.

    T-bone steaks are cut from the top loin of the beef and are named for the distinctive shape of the bone included in the steak. An average T-bone steak contains approximately 300 calories and about 20 g each of protein and fat. T-bone steak, like all beef, contains no carbohydrates.

    Pan frying is an excellent way to cook T-bone steak and other lean cuts of meat because the hot surface of the pan sears the outside of the meat. This does not actually "seal in" any juices, as you may have heard. Rather, pan frying brings out the flavor of the meat by allowing the insides to cook almost as fast as the outside. It is not necessary to add fat to the frying pan to cook a T-bone steak, which will help you control the calorie and fat content of your meal. A cast-iron pan is ideal for this task and will create a nicer sear than a nonstick pan.

    Let the T-bone steak come to room temperature before cooking it for more tender meat. To do this, let the steak sit on the counter for no more than one hour. You can also wrap it in plastic wrap and immersing it in room-temperature water for 30 minutes or so. Rub the steak lightly with olive oil and season it with coarse salt and cracked pepper, or with a seasoning or dip mix. The salt draws juices from the meat, which melt back down through it as the steak cooks, keeping it tender and juicy, and the other flavors add complexity.

    Pan-fry a T-bone steak quickly over high heat. Heat the pan on the stove top on high, then place the steak in the center of the pan. This sears one side of the steak almost immediately. Turn the steak after 6 to 8 minutes using tongs so you don't puncture the meat and let the juices escape. Let the steak fry for another 6 to 8 minutes. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness, and remove the steak from the pan when it's still 5 or so degrees below the temperature you want. Medium rare is 145 degrees Fahrenheit; medium is 160 and well done is 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Classic sides are a tossed green salad with creamy dressing and a baked potato.

    About the Author

    Brynne Chandler has been a professional writer for over 27 years, mostly in TV animation. Her first script was for the original "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" and her last for Disney's "Gargoyles." In between, she was nominated for an EMMY award for "Batman: the Animated Series."

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