Grilled vs Pan Fried New York Strip Steak


Grilled vs Pan Fried Steak

I have never considered myself very good at making steak.  But I’ve learned a few tips recently that I want to pass along to you.

When I was asked to participate in the Walmart Steak Grill-off, I knew exactly what I wanted to try.  I’ve always wondered which is better – pan fried steak or grilled.  I suspected that the grill would win out.  Keep reading to see what our verdict was.  You might be surprised.

But first, here are a few tips on steak making that I’ve learned.

First, buy a good quality steak with lots of marbling.  You can see the marbling in the photo of the steak below.

New York Strip Steak

Jim picked out the steaks and he chose New York Strip Steaks at Walmart.   

Season the steaks simply, but season them well. Use plenty of your seasoning choice.

I chose garlic, olive oil, Kosher salt and crushed black pepper for ours.  First, I rubbed the steaks with split garlic cloves.  Then, I used a generous amount of salt and pepper on both sides of the steak, rubbing it into the meat.  These simple seasonings enhanced the flavor of the beef.

Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking.  Twenty minutes on the counter, before hitting the hot pan will make for better steaks.

Speaking of hot pans, sear the steaks in a very hot pan or hot grill.  Start off high or medium-high heat and let the pan or grill heat up before adding the meat.  This browns the meat on the outside and seals in the juices.

Don’t over cook the steak.  The meat will be more tender if it’s is on the rare side.  It doesn’t have to still be bleeding.  I cooked ours medium-well and it was still tender.  But do avoid going a little past well-done, just to be sure there’s no pink.  It really will taste better and be more tender when it’s cooked a little less.

Here’s the process I used for the Pan Fried Steak:

I rubbed the steaks on both sides with a split clove of garlic.  I followed that by rubbing both sides with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

In the hot skillet, I added olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.  The meat cooked over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then I flipped it and cooked the other side for 2 more minutes.  Turn down the heat to medium and finish cooking for 2-4 more minutes, until it’s as done as you like.

For the Grilled Steak:

I followed the process above, except that after rubbing with garlic, brush the meat with olive oil.  Then rub in the salt and pepper.

Place meat on a hot grill.  Cook a minute or two and turn the meat 90 degrees so you get nice grill marks.  Flip the steaks and repeat so you have grill marks on the other side.  Continue to cook for 2-4 more minutes, until the meat is cooked to your preference.

Our verdict:  We honestly couldn’t decide which we liked better.  Both were tender and full of flavor.  You really can’t go wrong, not matter which cooking method you choose.  So no worries if it rains out your grilling plans.

Are you ready to experience Walmart’s Steak-Over for yourself? Find out why you should choose your steaks at Walmart here. We shared our winning grilling tip – now tell us yours!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Walmart. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. Interesting! I would have said grilled too. I love a good steak!

  2. Pan cooking a steak will almost always result in a more even and full carmelization(maillard reaction) over a larger portion of the steak surface whereas grilling will obviously add flavors from the lump charcoal or wood fire used to cook it. A cast iron pan used on a bed of coals and covered for the last minute or two, not just the top of the pan, but the entire pan within the grill, will give you the best of both worlds. Also, do not put any oil and especially not butter in your pan, because if it is properly hot, meaning as hot as you can possibly get it, them it will scorch any oil, even ones with high smoking points, and add a burned flavor to your steak. Instead, simply rub both sides of your steak with either grapeseed or avocado oil on top of your seasonings right before cooking. The moist meat will prevent your oil from scorching and the oil will prevent your meat from sticking and aid in the transfer of heat and maillard reaction. For prime grade steaks, salt and pepper usually suffice and I rarely if ever will add garlic or butter. Choice or select steaks can usually benefit from the addition of either or both. Rubbing fresh garlic on steak is fine but never add crushed or chopped garlic as it will definitely burn. Personally, if I am going to add garlic to a steak, I prefer granulated garlic on a steak or I will saute some fresh garlic in the oil I will use to rub on it and then strain the garlic itself out of it. To add butter into the equation either simply put a pat on top of the steak right before serving and let the heat of the steak melt it(my preferred method) or add a few tablespoons to a fresh, not too hot pan and give the steak a few quick turns in the melted butter before serving. I strongly suggest using a good European style butter such as Plugra or Kerrygold Irish butter which have more flavor and lower water content than ordinary American style supermarket butter. Opinions are like…. and the ones I shared above are mine based on 38 years of serious gourmet French and International cooking and 12 years as a restaurant owner and executive chef serving $60-100+ wagyu and wagyu hybrid steaks. Quick searing or even just warm poaching a thin cut piece of prime steak in the drippings from a few pieces of foie gras, and then serving the warm foie gras on top of the steak slice is another of my favorite steak preparations.


  1. […] an iron skillet on the stove.  If you’re curious about the outcome and which tastes better, check out the post.  So Monday night, we had steak, macaroni and cheese and […]

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