How To Broil A Steak – (The Right Way!)

how to broil a steak

Learning to broil a steak is an essential skill for the modern steak lover. In this post, we’re going to go through how to broil a steak to ensure you will yield a delicious and juicy steak, with a slightly crispy crust and gorgeous grill marks.

Broiling steak is a great way to cook a steak because it involves high temperatures and allows you to use indirect heat.

You can broil steak indoors or outdoors: the only difference really is the temperature of your broiler and how far away from the broiler your food will be.

For our purposes, we’re going to go through how to broil a steak on an indoor broiler.

Let’s get into it…

What Exactly Is Broiling?

So what exactly is broiling, what does it mean?

Broiling is a cooking process that involves using high heat to bake or sear foods, generally using an electric heating device called a broiler.

A broiler gets very hot and cooks food by exposing it directly to radiant heat, similar to how an oven works-however, unlike an oven where all the heat comes from above, with broiling, the heat source comes from below.

Broiling is basically a super-intense version of grilling where you get really hot surface temperatures to sear the food and create a crispy exterior.

It’s a similar process to grilling, but instead of the heat coming from below it comes from above.

Is It Better To Broil Or Bake A Steak?

In terms of taste, broiling a steak is my personal favorite.

Seating the heat source below the food allows for more flavor from the fat and juices to drip down onto whatever you’re cooking.

The downside?

You do lose a little bit of that crispy crust that you get with grilling or pan-frying a steak, but hey-we’re not here to complain too much.

It’s a matter of personal preference as to which you will enjoy more, but give them both a go and make the decision for yourself.

The Best Cuts For Broiling Steak

You can broil pretty much any cut of steak that you desire, but some cuts work better than others.

The key is to get a nice, thick piece of meat so it will seal in the juices and fat while cooking.  

Below are some of the best cuts for broiling:

  • Rib-eye
  • Sirloin steak
  • Filet steak
  • Tomahawk steak
  • T-Bone steak
  • Flank steak
  • Denver steak
  • Strip steak
  • Ranch steak
  • Flat iron steak
  • Tri-tip steak

All of these cuts will work incredibly well with the broiling technique.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a cut of steak is thickness-don’t go for a thin cut when it comes to broiling, you want something that’s going to retain its shape and flavor during cooking.

In my opinion, anything around 1″ thick works best when broiling a steak.

Make sure you remove your steak from the fridge about an hour before you plan to broil it-this will allow for a more even cooking time and make sure that when you do put it in, all of its juices aren’t locked inside causing it to dry out.

What Kitchen Tools Do I Need For Broiling?

To broil a steak properly, you are going to need some good kitchen tools.

Below are the items I recommend every home cook have in their arsenal:

  • A Broiler Pan
  • A Good Pair of Tongs or Long Handle Gloves
  • Heavy Duty Potholders
  • A Meat Thermometer

Once you have all of the items above, you’re ready to start broiling your steak.

Steps To Broiling A Steak

Now that you have a good understanding of what broiling is, let’s get into the steps for how to broil a steak.

There are three main steps in broiling a steak: preparing your grill pan, preheating the broiler, and then cooking the steak under the broiler.

Preparing Your Grill Pan

To broil steak, you will need to start with a grill pan.  A grill pan is kind of like an indoor grill without the grilling/charcoal parts.

It’s just a metal rack that sits over the fire source (a gas stovetop for example) and has raised edges so your steak won’t fall off as it cooks.

You can buy a grill pan in most kitchen supply stores but if you prefer you can just use a cast-iron skillet or any other sort of metal-griddle type of pan. 

Step 1: Season Your Steak While It’s Cold

When you are broiling steak, seasoning is very important because the high surface temperatures will caramelize the outside of your meat and create a nice crust.  

This also means it will seal in any juices.

Seasoning both sides of your steak with salt and pepper is the best way to start.

When broiling steak, I also like to add some minced garlic or other dry spices because the surface of your meat is so hot it will create a nice crust just from searing in the seasoning.

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way when trying to make an unseasoned steak taste good-the flavor is just way better if you season it properly!

You can also use marinades or sauces to add more flavors as well if you want.

Step 2: Preheat The Broiler And Prep Your Grill Pan

Once your steaks are seasoned and you’ve preheated your broiler, it’s time to fire up the grill pan.

Preheat the grill pan over high heat on your stovetop so it gets nice and hot-or round if using a cast-iron skillet or oven mitts.

The grill pan should be very hot and sizzling before you place your steak on it.

This step is essential because the high surface temperatures of the grill pan will cause a nice char and caramelization to form on the outside of your steak.

Step 3: Broil Your Steak

When broiling you should bring the steaks up to room temperature before placing them on the broiler, but because that step is already taken care of I’m skipping it.

It’s time to get into the steaks!

Use tongs or a spatula and place your steak right onto the sizzling grill pan.

Place the steak about six inches away from the heat source.

You should hear a sizzling noise as the steak hits the hot grill pan and you can see those nice char marks starting to form on the surface of the steaks.

It’s time for a flip!

After about three minutes or when those one side has gotten a good char, use your tongs again to flip your steak and finish cooking on the other side.

Continue to cook the steak this way until it is done to your liking.

The longer you cook, the more time it has to impart delicious flavor into the meat!

Step 4: Remove The Steak From The Grill Pan And Rest It Before Serving

Once you are ready to serve the steak, use your tongs or a spatula and gently remove it from the grill pan.

If you cooked your steak to medium-rare as I did, feel free to skip this step!

However, you can always wrap up the steak in foil for about five minutes to let it finish cooking without getting dried out.

This will make it more tender and juicy! 

After you remove the steak from your grill pan, place it on a cutting board to rest for about five minutes.

That should be enough time for all of the juices to redistribute into the meat instead of spilling out while you cut it.

That’s all there is to cooking steak the easy way!  You now have yourself a delicious, tender, juicy steak that you might just want to eat for dinner every night!

How Long Should You Broil A Steak?

When broiling steak the key is to get a nice char on both sides.

If you are cooking steak medium, this means cooking it for about 3-5 minutes on each side.

This will give you a really good crust and caramelization without overcooking the meat. 

Cook your steak one minute less than what you want it served at and then let it rest before cutting into.

The length of time you broil your steak is going to largely depend on the doneness you want.

For medium-rare, the cooking time will be a little shorter than for a more well-done steak.

I’ve had great luck with cooking my steaks to medium and slicing off whatever extra is still uncooked right before serving!  

It’s easier this way because if you have any leftovers from your steak you will know how long to cook the steak when making a sandwich or other recipe later on!

Should You Flip Your Steak Whilst Broiling?

Yes, flipping steak while broiling is almost an essential step if you want to get that nice char on both sides of the steak.

The only time I would say it’s not necessary is if you are cooking a thick, 1-inch or more of a steak.  

This is because thick steaks will have enough heat imparted into them by just the top, and the charring will be very even because of this. 

However, if you are cooking a thin steak (anything thinner than 1 inch) I highly recommend flipping your steak halfway through to make sure it gets that yummy caramelized crust on both sides!

You don’t want to overcook your steak, but you also don’t want to be eating a raw steak.

Other Considerations

It’s important to keep in mind that there is more to cooking steak than just broiling it.

For example, if you want to cook a perfect medium-rare steak on the stovetop you need to first preheat your pan on medium-high until it’s very hot.  

Then, add oil and let that heat up as well before adding the steak.

I’ve found that this method makes it so much easier to cook a perfect steak because you are essentially searing the outside of the steak before cooking it fully.

It’s also important to let your meat rest after you remove it from the heat source before cutting into it.

If you cut into your steak right away you’ll lose all of that delicious juice that’s in there, and you’ll just have a dry, tough piece of meat. 

It may not seem like it, but letting your steak rest before cutting will allow all of the juices to redistribute back into the meat during the resting period.  

This way when you cut into it later on everything will stay nice and juicy and taste like a million bucks!


What I love most about cooking steak is that it doesn’t need to be so complicated.

Broiling steak is a great way to make a quick and delicious meal for yourself without putting too much work into it.

Just watch your cooking time and you’re sure to have a steak that tastes just as good as if you had spent all day long slaving over the stove.

I hope this will be a great starting point for learning how to broil a steak, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope you now know how to broil a steak the right way.

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