How to Cook Sizzle Steak (Without Burning Your Fingers)

May 23, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Who doesn't like a thinly sliced sizzle steak? But here's a quick question. Can you handle a sizzle steak recipe yourself? Or perhaps, you've tried it once and ended up asking, why is my steak tough and chewy?

Yes, it's true that sizzle steaks are taken from a cut that is tough, dry, and chewy. So if you want to know the best way to cook it, it's best to marinade and pan-sear it to medium rare or medium doneness with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. 

However, if you're unsure to try it out on your own, keep reading. As a seasoned chef, I've been doing this for ages. I'll fill you in on how it's all done with my sizzle steak recipe. 

How to cook sizzle steak

How to Cook Sizzle Steaks?

You can cook pork sizzle steak cuts (or beef sizzle steaks) in four different ways. First, you can grill sizzle steak, sear it on a hot pan, smoke it on the grill, bake it in an oven, or (if you choose) roast it! 

First, remember how I mentioned they're thinly sliced cuts of tough and chewy meat. So you have to always consider tenderizing sizzle steak before cooking.  

The Salting

Proper salting of a thin, hard top sirloin steak will help turn out a quality dish. You need to allow enough time for the salt to draw moisture out of the steak and season it, allowing the meat to absorb that moisture.  

This requires salting at least 40 minutes ahead of time. It's even better if you generously salt the meat a day or two ahead of time and leave it covered in the fridge.  

For best results, use coarse-grained salts, such as sea salt or kosher salt.

The Marinating

A dairy product like milk, buttermilk, or yogurt, in particular, works as a tenderizing marinade for your sizzle steak. Then, you can put the thinly-sliced cuts of steak in the refrigerator for two to four hours.  

Marinades that include kiwifruit, pineapple, or papaya juice will tenderize the meat better. 

However, these juices can turn a sizzle steak mushy pretty quickly, so only soak for about 30 minutes.  

Don't forget to throw away marinades after use, as they may have bacterial contamination from raw meat.

Sizzling New York Steak On Hot Cast Iron Pan

Cooking Method 1: Pan Searing 

Step 1: Remove the Sizzle Steak From the Marinade and Pat Dry

First, you can start by removing the steaks from the marinade and pat dry. Wet steaks don't sear well. After pat drying, place the steaks on a flat plate. 

Step 2: Add Olive Oil on Both Sides of the Sizzle Steak 

What I like to do first is put a little olive oil (about two tablespoons) on both sides of the thin steaks. Why do I do that? Having olive oil on the meat will allow the sizzle steak to run around the inside of the pan when searing. 

Step 3: Season the Sizzle Steak 

Add a pinch of garlic powder, salt, and pepper to season the steaks. After that, flip them over and add a bit more olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

You may also consider adding seasoning with thyme, rosemary, garlic, and other spices if you like. And we are ready to go.   

Step 4: Place Your Pan Over Medium-high Heat

Heat a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over moderate-high heat. A quality frying pan holds and dissipates heat well, allowing for quick cooking, even with a sizzle steak.  

Step 5: Brush the Pan With Oil 

Brush the bottom of your skillet with oil and let it heat through at medium-high. 

Step 6: Place the Steaks on the Pan

Take the steaks and place them in the pan once it's pretty hot. You will get some response right away from the heat.

Once we have our steaks in the pan, leave them for about a minute or a minute and a half. 

Let the steaks sit, after which time you can keep them moving with a spatula. It's harder to get a rare, medium-rare, or medium doneness on a sizzle since the steak is thin. 

I like to go for medium to medium-well done. So bear that in mind when you're doing this at home. They'll cook a lot faster than a thick steak.

Step 7: Add Some Butter 

Then, add a pat or two of butter to the pan and start flipping the sizzle steak every 30 to 60 seconds. 

After each round, spoon some of the juices in the pan over the top of the sizzle steak.  As you flip the steak, you will see some great color and the sear on the meat. This will give it some caramelization. 

Step 8: Keep Cooking Until the Steak Gets to 145°f

Continue flipping and spooning for another four to five minutes until the steak reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit on the center with a meat thermometer, of course.  

Let the meat rest for five minutes before serving.

Sizzling Ribeye Steak

Cooking Method 2: Braising

Step 1

Sear the steak on both sides over medium-high in an oiled bottomed skillet for about a minute. 

Then, remove the steak. Next, add vegetables like freshly chopped parsley, carrots, onion, shallots, garlic, and celery.  

Step 2

Pour in about 1/2 cup of beer, wine, broth, or other liquid. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to remove the caramelized bits.  

Step 3

Add any spices you want to use. Return the steak to the pan, and reduce the heat to low.  

Step 4

Bend the steak after 10 minutes and add more liquid if needed. However, you should not submerge the steak. Continue cooking until the steak reaches a core temperature of 145 F when checked with a thermometer. 

What Is Sizzle Steak?

Sizzle steak is a thin cut of steak with the same beefy flavor as a top sirloin steak. Best of all, it's taken from sirloin or top-round steak. You just need to make it into thinly-sliced cuts. The steaks are cut boneless, inexpensive, big enough to feed a whole family, and can be prepared in various ways. 

Sizzle steaks have the right marbled fat texture to deliver a steak that melts in your mouth and gives your guests a great taste sensation.

Related Reading

What Are Sizzler Steaks Used For?

So why would you want a sizzle steak? A lot of people like a big fat juicy steak. However, when you have a sizzle steak with multiple uses, you can make a steak sandwich or steak and eggs. 

You can use the steak medallions over the top of a salad. You can make a Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich from a sizzler steak. 

A good sizzling steak recipe includes fajitas. So, a sizzle steak is just as valuable and versatile as a big steak. 

How Long Does It Take to Cook Sizzler Steak?

Sizzling steak is best pan-fried for 10 to 12 minutes or until it reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit of internal temperature. 

However, cooking times for sizzling steak will vary depending on the size and thickness.

If you like your steak well done, add 2 to 3 minutes to the cooking times for each side.

How Do You Cook Thin Steak, so It's Tender?

I'd advise you to start with a marinate to cook a thin steak tender. To cook thin steaks tender, you can inject them with a tenderizer or tenderize them with a meat mallet though it's old school. 

You can also marinate it with soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and what have you. Then ensure you pan-sear until it reaches the right temperature. 

Finally, rest the meat and when slicing, ensure it's against the grain, not along the grain. 

Related Reading

Fresh Thin Beef Steak with Spices

Which Pan Should I Use?

When it comes to pan-searing or roasting, equipment is the alpha and omega. You don't need much to conjure up a perfect steak, such as from the steakhouse at home. A solid and heavy pan made of cast iron is enough. 

Coarse and pure iron has the best thermal conductivity (well, other than copper. However, the pans cost a small fortune). They take a little longer to get hot but hold the heat for a very long time and evenly. Ideal conditions for your perfect steak. These are not exactly cheap to buy, but with the right care, you can even pass your steak pan to your grandchildren.

Important note in advance: Cast-iron pans should never, and I mean never be allowed to see the dishwasher. Otherwise, you can order a new one directly.

Oil or Butter?

Both are delicious. If you want to fry a steak in the pan, however, the following is recommended.

First, sear your steak in canola, peanut, or sunflower oil. These oils have high heat resistance and do not burn when frying. If you've ever tried olive oil, you know what I mean. It begins to smoke, burns, and an unpleasantly bitter taste remains. 

The same applies to butter, as the whey burns quickly, and the butter starts to turn black and smoke.

However, butter is a great flavor carrier and pushes your steak up a level if you put it in the pan in the last 2 minutes and pour it over the steak again and again with the help of a spoon. It doesn't get any better than that!

Of course, you can also use clarified butter or ghee. However, I always have the impression that the taste is a bit rancid after frying, even if nothing burns. But you can try it out yourself. 

What Core Temperature Should My Thin Steak Have?

Tastes differ, and so does the cooking point of your steak. Whether you prefer a raw core steak or a more consistently pink steak is entirely your choice. 

However, I advise you not to cook steak over medium. Otherwise, the tenderness and the taste experience will suffer, and the meat will become tougher. Most steakhouses will serve you medium rare sizzle steak if you don't say anything. Who knows more than a steakhouse chef?

  • Around 125 degrees Fahrenheit – Rare (raw/bloody/blue)
  • 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit – Medium rare
  • 140 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit - Medium (USDA recommendation)
  • 150 to 155 - Medium well
  • 150 to 155 – Well done (but brown throughout)

Do I Need a Thermometer?

Yes! If there's one utensil you shouldn't overlook (for the sake of you and the meat), it's a good meat thermometer. I know it's cooler to expertly put the steak on the grill and get it off the fire in the presence of your friends. That would, of course, bring maximum respect points. 

Cooks in a steakhouse or the restaurant do it that way too. However, these professionals have a sack full of experience. Unless you plan on grilling 60-80 steaks a day at home for practice purposes, I encourage you to make the modest investment of a heat meter. 

Of course, you can do without measuring, but you'll never know exactly what the inside of your steak will look like. That would be like driving blindfolded to work in your new Porsche. You know the way inside and out. However, what happens on the road is always a bit different.

Besides, it would be a shame if you invested good money in your meat and realized it was overdone on your plate. 

Frying Pan with Grilled Steaks and Rosemary


It's harder to cook a bad steak well than a good steak bad! So, it's important that you strictly use a good quality sirloin or a top round steak. Cooking it is super easy. In most cases, you just need oil, salt, and pepper. 

I mentioned the applications of sizzle steaks. They're great for sizzling steak fajitas, steak and eggs, steak sandwiches, Philadelphia cheese sandwiches, and more. 

You can cook thin steak cuts using the braising method, the pan searing method, or even throw them on the grill. There are so many ways to bell this cat. 

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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