Steaks are meant to mingle with hot flames, but if your outdoor gas or charcoal grill is out of commission, it’s time to put the broiler in your oven at center stage. If you’re squeamish about coming into such close, face-to-face contact with the rush of high heat from your oven, cook your sirloins in a cast-iron skillet. It’s a great way to manage the cooking process at a respectable distance – and give your steaks the heat they deserve to reach a medium-well state.
Coat both sides of the sirloin with olive oil about one hour before you plan to cook it. Then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Apply a heartier steak rub, if you prefer, but this is really all a steak needs to bring out its natural flavors. Place the steak in the skillet, and place the skillet on the counter or your stove so that the meat reaches room temperature before you cook it.
Organize the kitchen tools you’ll need to make cooking in the broiler a breeze -- or at least a less stressful experience as you open and close the oven door. Put a pair of extended tongs to turn the steak, some thick oven mitts to grab the handle of the skillet and an instant-read thermometer to test the steak right next to your oven.
Position the rack in your broiler so that the cast-iron skillet sits about 6 inches below the flame. Preheat your oven to “broil” and give it time to reach this state. Generally, preheating takes about 15 minutes. Turn on your oven fan to keep your own internal temperature cool.
Lift the steak from the skillet with tongs and drizzle additional olive oil beneath it. Sear the steak in the oven for about two minutes on one side, flip it over and then sear it on the other side for two minutes. Searing will ensure that the hot flame leaves a crusty edge on the steak -- a subtle but significant touch.
Turn down the heat on your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the steak for about four minutes. Turn it over and cook it for another four minutes before removing it from the oven.
Test the steak with the instant-read thermometer. The proper temperature range for a medium-well steak is between 150 and 160 degrees, but don’t forget that the steak should rest for about five minutes after you remove it from the oven and that it will continue to cook during this time. To cook your steak “just right,” remove it from the oven on the low end of the medium-well cooking range. Cover the steak with aluminum foil during its resting stage before slicing and serving it.
- The "broil" setting on most ovens is above 500 degrees, with many ovens reaching a temperature of 550 degrees.
- Serve your sirloin with garlic mashed potatoes, a side of green beans or asparagus and some chilled fruit.
Mary Wroblewski earned a master's degree with high honors in communications and has worked as a reporter and editor in two Chicago newsrooms. She launched her own small business, which specialized in assisting small business owners with “all things marketing” – from drafting a marketing plan and writing website copy to crafting media plans and developing email campaigns. Mary writes extensively about small business issues, and especially “all things marketing.”