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How to Pan Sear Sirloin Tip Strips

by Mark S. Baker, studioD

The name, "sirloin tip" might lead you to confuse the cut with sirloin steaks, which come from the loin primal of the beef cow; however, sirloin tip actually comes from the round, right next to the loin. It makes up part of a cow's thigh muscle. Sirloin tip is really two muscles, separated by a horseshoe-shaped fat layer. Sold often as steaks or roast, sirloin tip can also be cut into smaller chunks or strips and used for dishes like beef stew and beef stroganoff. Pan searing avoids the need for tenderizing the meat, seals in the internal juices, and adds flavor to the meat.

Preheat a large skillet on medium-high heat. A properly heated pan is key to pan searing. Sprinkle a drop of two water on the pan to test if it's ready to use. The water should sizzle. Once this happens, remove the pan from the heat, add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil, and then return the pan to the heat. Heat the oil until it begins to shimmer, about two minutes.

Rinse the sirloin tips strips under cool running water and then pat them dry with a paper towel.

Lay the meat into the skillet away from you so you're not splashed by the hot oil. Lightly season the sirloin tips strips with salt and ground black pepper to taste if desired. Other seasonings you could use, depending on your recipe, include ground cumin, ground cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground oregano or ground thyme.

Sear the meat without moving until a crust forms -- about three to five minutes -- but ensure that the sirloin tip strips still release easily from the pan. Turn the meat and season again. Sear the meat on the other side until a crust forms. Remove the meat from the skillet and set it aside. Repeat the process again if you have more sirloin strip tips to sear.

Items you will need
  •  Skillet
  •  Vegetable oil
  •  Sirloin tip strips
  •  Tongs or spatula
  •  Seasonings
  •  Instant-read thermometer


  • Use tongs or a spatula to turn the meat in your skillet so as not to tear the crust.


  • The USDA recommends cooking beef until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer, and then letting it rest for three minutes before serving.

About the Author

Based in Virginia Beach, Mark S. Baker has been working in editorial for more than 20 years. He has served as a writer and editor for publications such as the "Houston Post," "Boca Raton News" and "Interactive Week," among others. Baker also has a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University and has his own catering business.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images