Can you cook steak in a nonstick pan?

cooking steak in a nonstick pan
cooking steak in a nonstick pan

Cooking a delicious piece of steak on a Sunday is a dream come true. What better way to enjoy a day off than digging into a steak? But picking the right utensil to cook the steak is equally essential. Many wonder if a nonstick pan is a suitable choice for cooking steak. So let us debunk if a nonstick pan is a good idea when you are planning to cook steak.

What kind of utensil do you need for cooking steak?

Cooking steak perfectly requires an even distribution of heat through the meat. That’s why people prefer materials such as cast iron or stainless steel. Since these are metals, they conduct heat very efficiently.

The heat also spreads through the entire pan in a few minutes. This helps the steak to receive a uniform amount of heat from all directions and cook evenly. Without uniform heat distribution, chances are there will be cold spots left in your steak, resulting in an improperly cooked steak.

Is non-stick a good option for cooking steak?

Let’s see how a non-stick pan is constructed. These pans come with a coating of a material called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is commonly known as Teflon. This material is made up of carbon and fluorine atoms.

The primary advantage offered by Teflon is its non-reactive and non-sticky surface. That’s why most amateur cooks prefer to cook in non-stick ware. It keeps the food from sticking to the surface, making it very useful for cooking pretty much everything.

However, non-stick pans do not permit an even heat distribution. This results in the steak remaining uncooked from certain parts. If you are looking for a perfectly cooked steak, a non-stick pan may not be the best option for this reason.

You need sufficient heat for searing the meat properly. Since these pans cannot be used at a very high temperature required for searing, the meat place in such a pan has a chance of losing water very quickly. As a result, the steak may cook in its own juices for very long and become too chewy. Many people also leave the steak in the pan for too long to get an even brown color. However, that may have completely opposite results. 

Is it impossible to cook steak in a non-stick pan?

While cooking steak in a non-stick pan is not ideal, you may have to use it, especially when you don’t have any other option. In such cases, getting the steak perfectly cooked can be challenging and may need several rounds of trial and error.

First up, make sure you are using a good quality non-stick pan. This is extremely important to get the right temperature. You can start by adding oil and wait for it to smoke. Once you reach that stage, reduce the heat. This step is essential — else you run the risk of burning the steak instead of searing it.

Once the heat is on medium, gently add the steak and sear it. Following this process carefully will ensure that the pan absorbs a lot of energy and the temperature comes down just a little bit to help sear the steak perfectly. 

Heat regulation is also required when you are using a cast iron or stainless steel skillet. So by following similar steps, you can achieve the desired results with a non-stick pan.

What kind of non-stick frying pan should I buy?

If you do not want to invest in any other metallic pan and a non-stick pan is your only option, don’t opt for something which is too cheap. Such pans come with a poor Teflon coating, and chances are the heat distribution won’t be even. 

Go for mid to high-range non-stick pans as they are more durable too. Also, make sure that the pan has a thick and heavy bottom to prevent it from slipping from the gas stove. 

Wrapping Up

While a non-stick pan may not be the preferred choice for most, it can still do a decent job of making you a steak. Make sure to follow the correct instructions for the best results. If you can, go for a metallic pan that supports better heat distribution to cook the meat thoroughly. 

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