Perfect Seared Steak with Charred Crust

(3 votes)
3 minutes
February 16, 2023
Andi GleesonJump to Recipe

I have mentioned before that I don’t have a grill, which may be strange for a food lover such as myself. (I also don’t have a food processor, but that’s a different post.) I don’t even miss grilled meat when I can get perfect seared steak like this indoors! Keep reading to find out which ingredient will give you a charred crust like this on your steak or other meats. Mississippi is a hot place, so we could probably grill out 9 months out of the year. I grew up with a gas grill connected to the natural gas line, so it was always ready for grilling.  In college, The Pants and I went through various apartment-sized propane and charcoal grills, and since we were still in Mississippi, we used them quite a bit.

Use this simple ingredient for perfectly seared steak on your stovetop!

San Francisco is a much different place than where I grew up for about a million reasons, including the weather. There are micro-climates throughout the city. If we go about a half mile east of our house, it will probably be 15 degrees warmer most days, and if we head west toward the ocean the temperature will drop. Our neighborhood is generally windy, foggy, and cool, which is just the way we like it. By evening, it is often downright cold out no matter what time of year. We do have some hot days, but they come at unpredictable times.

Weary Chef's Pantry Essentials
Check out my list of pantry and spice cabinet essentials. What’s on your list?

Since we’ve lived in California, we have had at least three grills come and go. I always have big plans to grill out lots, but then it’s too cold to be standing around outside 90% of the time.  All of our grills have eventually rusted or been given away, and now I am perfectly content using my iron skillet instead. I have tried lots of ways to make steak, but this week I discovered that using paprika in the spice rub creates a beautiful crust when seared! I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I am going to try this technique with chicken and fish too. If you have a grill, I would love for you to try this and let me know how it goes!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Use This Simple Ingredient for Perfectly Charred Steak

Perfect Seared Steak with Charred Crust

Adding paprika to your steak’s spice rub creates a gorgeous charred crust.

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 4 steaks 8 ounces each
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter


  1. Mix all seasonings together in a small bowl.
  2. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel.
  3. Sprinkle seasoning mixture evenly over both sides of each steak, and rub to cover the meat.
  4. Heat olive oil or butter in a skillet (preferable iron skillet) over medium high heat. When the skillet is very hot, add steaks and allow them to cook without moving them for at least 5 minutes on each side. Cook until desired level of doneness. (I like an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.)


Try this with chicken or fish too! You don’t have to measure the spices. Just sprinkle them over the meat and rub to coat if you prefer.

  • Author: Andi Gleeson
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dinner, Red Meat

 Pictured with Lemon Couscous Salad, a perfect side with any grilled or seared meat!

Andi Gleeson


2 years ago

I’ve done something similar to this with a London broil. Best I ever had! I added some fresh thyme and put the whole skillet in the preheated oven at 350 for 10 minutes. I just can’t describe how good this is!

1 year ago

Hi, Jerry! Cool, that sounds so delicious. Would you like to write some recipes for our community? If you have some favorite recipes, feel free to contact me by email and we can work something out.

6 years ago

WOW… Just wow.. this literally worked to perfection. And the dollop of butter that I added while the steak was resting was perfect. This is easily the best steak I have ever made and at party with restaurant quality sears. Thank you Andi for an amazing and super easy recipe

Nusrat Azim
11 years ago

Your seared steak looks just PERFECT ! I use the same exact ingredients but never get that beautiful result. I know why :) May be the onion garlic plus powder makes the difference. I always freshly grated/pest onion-garlic.

Thanks for the useful recipe that I can rely on for the rest of my life :)

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thank you for your sweet comment, Nusrat! Fresh garlic surely has better flavor than garlic powder, but since it adds extra moisture maybe it doesn’t sear as well. It tastes great I’m sure. Thanks again for your visit!

11 years ago

that rub looks sooooo good. Paprika rocks :-) I’m partial to grilling, though we’re stuck inside 9 months of the year so celebrate the summer months and want to be outside as much as possible.

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Oh wow I knew you had long winters but 9 months?? Is some of that because of rain or is it cold that long?

11 years ago

it’s very cold and snowy in Minnesota! We had our snowiest April ever this year–it was nuts. Though hoping to not see snow again until November, so that’s almost 6+ mo :-)

Cindy @Hun... What's for Dinner?
11 years ago

What a great looking steak! Thank you for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thank you, Cindy!

Krista @ joyfulhealtheyats
11 years ago

The sear on these look awesome! I have never made a steak in on iron skillet, I’m a grill girl myself. But sometimes its just soooo incredibly hot outside and this is a great alternative. :) Thanks Andi!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thanks, Krista! Maybe the next time it’s too hot or your cookout gets rained out you can give it a try!

Krista @ joyfulhealthyeats
11 years ago

absoluteley! :)

Tanya Schroeder
11 years ago

I will have to try the paprika tip! I do love grilled food but am just as happy pan searing!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Let me know how it works for you, Tanya!

11 years ago

Ahhhh, no grill?! Here in FL, we can pretty much grill all year. I’m not the grilled, though and sometimes Ken doesn’t feel like grilling. I’d rob ably try this with chicken or fish and leave the steaks for the grill. Love these tips, Andi! Have a great day!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

My husband was usually the griller too, so I think that’s part of why we don’t have one since he didn’t want to be grilling out in the cold! That was the only cooking he ever did, so now the kitchen is all mine! mwa ha ha ha ;)

Thanks for coming over, Julie!

Lisa @ Cooking with Curls
11 years ago

And the Californians have not kicked you out yet? LOL…I cannot imagine living without a grill :) That being said, it is winter 6 months out of the year here in Iowa :( It would be easier to grill indoors if I actually had a venting hood, I generally fill the entire house with smoke!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Ha! We’ve been here over 13 years now, so I think they are going to let us stay ;) Just today it was hot and sunny all day, but the fog was rolling in by 6:00. I don’t mind that at all (well, except the hot and sunny part), but it does make it less fun to go outside and grill!

Leave a Reply

Your rating

Related Recipes