How Do I Cook Steak on an Induction Cooktop?

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Disclosure.

Have you recently bought an induction cooktop and wondering what to cook? The good news is you can bring the tastiness of an outdoor barbeque inside by searing sizzling steaks from the comfort of your kitchen on your induction cooktop, no matter the weather.

We'll go through how to cook a steak on an induction cooktop using a cast iron skillet that you’ll want to share with your family and friends all year round.

In this post we will cover:

  • Advantages of Cooking Steak on an Induction Cooktop
  • Cookware to Cook Steak on Induction Cooker
  • Steps to Sear a Steak on Induction Cooktop

Advantages of Cooking Steak on an Induction Cooktop

It dispenses heat equally

An induction cooktop distributes heat consistently to the cookware and food. It’s less likely that food will remain uncooked or be unevenly exposed to heat.

It’s fast

If your mouth waters when thinking of that sizzling steak, you’ll get your delicious meal without much delay. An induction cooktop heats your food quickly and brings together all the tasty flavors associated with an outdoor grill.

It keeps your kitchen cool

Don’t worry about burning up while cooking. The induction cooktop doesn’t release a lot of heat into the air, so both you and your kitchen will stay cool.

It retains high temperatures

When cooking food at high temperatures it’s easy to keep the temperature constant on an induction cooktop. This is perfect for cooking steaks.

It’s relatively safe

The pan is heated to a medium to high heat, but the surrounding induction cooktop stays cool. This smart safety feature saves you when rushing or multi-tasking and reduces your exposure to cooking burns. 

Variety of cast iron frying pans on a marble background.

Cookware to Cook Steak on Induction Cooker

Of course, you’ll need to use induction ready cookware so it will work on your induction stove.

If you’re not sure if your pan’s compatible with induction cooking, simply put a fridge magnet at the bottom. A magnet that sticks securely confirms your pan is induction friendly.

Also, make sure the base of the pan is flat so it makes complete contact with the glass-ceramic cooktop plate.

Cast iron, enameled cast iron, carbon steel, and magnetic stainless steel are all suited to induction cooking.

You need a pan that heats up fast and keeps the heat to replicate the grilled, singed, smoky outdoor barbeque taste and texture. 

Whether you use cast iron, carbon steel or magnetic stainless steel to cook your steak is a matter of personal preference.

Cast iron grill pan/skillet/griddle pan

A large cast iron grill pan or skillet is great for cooking steak on an induction cooktop. A cast griddle pan can also be used to cook a steak.

Carbon steel frying pans

Carbon steel frying pans can also be safely used to cook steak. Since carbon steel doesn’t retain heat as well as cast iron, the skillet should be preheated longer than you would with a cast iron pan.

Stainless Steel skillets

One key to cooking anything with a stainless steel pot or pan is preheating. Use the water test to make sure the pan is hot enough. Place a few drops of water in the pan and if the drops dance around the pan is ready for your steak.

Another factor is the pan should have a thick bottom for even heat distribution.  

Size

Since steaks need enough space to cook, be sure they do not touch. If you don’t have a large pan, you can cook the steak in smaller pieces.   

Helpful Tips Chalk Illustration

Steps to Sear a Steak on Induction Cooktop

Is your stomach grumbling yet? Here are a few easy steps to searing a seamless sizzling steak on your induction cooktop.

Select your steak

Depending on your preference and budget, pick your steak cut and thickness. There is a range of opinions on optimal steak thickness.  

A fresh, healthy cut has bright red meat with clean white fat. Intensities of tenderness and flavor vary according to the cut, so modify your cooking to suit this.

Raw Grass Fed NY Strip Steaks

Allow your steak to adjust to room temperature

At least thirty minutes to one hour before cooking, take it out of the refrigerator and let it stand. The steak should be brought to room temperature before cooking so it won’t end up being tough.

Cold steak won’t get properly fried or grilled as the middle part will stop heat from entering it. If your steak was frozen, it needs to be completely defrosted with extra water removed before cooking.

Cooking Oil Selection

Some folks do not season their steak with oil. If you are in the camp that wants your steak rubbed with oil or plans to put the oil in the pan when it gets hot, there are several kinds from which to choose.

Before we get into the various oils, let’s talk about the smoke point of oils for a moment.

It’s not a good idea to heat the oil past the point where it produces smoke - the food doesn’t taste good and it smells bad.

The next question is – what oil should be used to cook a steak?

The smoke point range of extra virgin olive oil is 350⁰ - 410⁰ F. If you are searing your steak at high temperature, this oil will start smoking. We’ll eliminate EVOO.

Some folks rub their steaks with refined olive oil.

The oils that are commonly recommended for cooking are canola, corn, vegetable and peanut. Serious Eats has a terrific article on smoke points and cooking oils.

Season your steak

There is no universal agreement among professional chefs as to when and how long to season steak before searing or grilling. Here are some of the more prevalent opinions.

  • Marinate the steak in the refrigerator overnight or up to two hours before cooking. Depending on your desired taste, make a marinade of garlic, ginger, honey, mustard, your choice of cooking oil, vinegar, and other favorite ingredients. 
  • Season the steak with kosher or sea salt from forty minutes to two hours before cooking. The belief is this assists with absorption into the meat making it both seasoned and flavorsome.
  • Season the steak just before placing it in the pan.
  • Add seasoning after the steak has been seared or grilled.

Get ready to cook on your induction cooktop

Switch on the cooktop. While the pan’s heating up, apply oil to your steak by lightly brushing or rubbing it onto both sides. This prevents smoke while cooking your steak and it won’t stick to the pan.

If desired, season your steak more with garlic, mixed herbs, salt, spices, onion powder or pepper before placing it in the pan.

We’ve talked about oils to use when cooking steak.  Some chefs  rub the steak refined olive oil while others put the oil in the pan when it gets very hot.

Allow the pan to become very hot before place the steak in the pan.

You’ll need a temperature of between 400° and 500°F—roughly medium to high or level 5 power on your induction cooktop. This creates a scrumptious coating and scorched taste.

Cook your steak

Once your steak is on the pan, some cooks cook it for three to five minutes or each side, depending upon the weight and how well you want the steak cooked.

Others turn it every minute to ensure its evenly cooked and has a nice crust.

Check it every second minute to make sure it’s cooking according to your preference.

While some can determine when the steak has been cooked to their satisfaction by testing with tongs (soft, bouncy etc.), for most home cooks, the better course of action is to use a meat thermometer to determine when the steak is done.

For enhanced flavor, rubbing butter, a little garlic, or a sprinkling of herbs on top of the steak each time you turn it gives it an extra boost.

The USDA guideline for minimum internal temperature for steak is 145°F along with a three minute rest time.

A steak thicker than one inch needs to be cooked for roughly three to five minutes per side, while a slightly thinner steak requires about three minutes or less per side.

It helps to aim for medium-rare to avoid overcooking. If you’d like a well cooked steak, then go for it!

Let your steak stand

Once cooked, switch off your induction cooker, remove the steak from the skillet and let it stand for between 5 and 10 minutes. This lets the cooking juices mix and be reabsorbed, improving the taste. Once cooked, some people prefer to wait until the steak reaches room temperature before eating it.

If you’d like a moist steak, rub it with some butter or olive oil.

Tent your steak in heavy-duty or non-stick aluminum foil (it will stick less to the foil if heavy-duty is used) or cover it with a dish to retain heat.

After this, your steak’s ready to be served and eaten!

Conclusion

The best part about cooking steak on an induction cooktop using a cast iron grill pan is you’ll have a patterned steak that looks like it’s been cooked on the outdoor grill. Even if you aren’t a whiz in the kitchen, this is an easy main dish to prepare.

Another great benefit is that you’ll have hardly anything to clean up inside the kitchen. A simple wipe after the unit has cooled makes your induction cooktop sparkle and ready for your next cooking adventure.

Updated July 11, 2020