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Seared Top Sirloin

One-inch Top Sirloin Steak, Pan-fried in rendered fat and seasoned with nothing more than Salt & Pepper. Serve this with a Steak Sauce and a side.

Room Temperature Steak

Always leave the meat out to reach room temp. In fact, if it is cold when you decide to sear it could result in dry meat and always results in a dried-out steak if it’s too cold.

Top Sirloin Steak Seasoning

Season the meat well with Kosher Salt while it is left out at room temp. Hold the Pepper until the steak is done. Otherwise, this will burn off when you sear, and you won’t get all the flavors the pepper can contribute to the steak.

It’s not to say you can’t pepper it, you can, and I sometimes do. If I do pepper the steak before searing, I always add more pepper when it is done, so I can get that freshness.

The salt also dries out the surface of the steak, which is exactly what you want when searing. So a good couple of hours left out on the counter is perfect to bring the steak to room temp and dry out the surface. No need to pat the steak down dry, the salt will do its job along with air circulation.

Optionally Salt the Steak the day before and refrigerate overnight. Take it out about an hour before you plan on cooking to allow for it to come to room temp.

Rendered Fat from Top Sirloin Steak

This is by far the best method. Never mind adding Oil. The rendered fat from the cut of meat you have is going to be your indicator of how hot to sear and add exceptional flavor, far superior to searing in Oil.

Check out my post on Rendered Fat, which talks about it a little more in-depth. Basically, trim away the excess fat around the steak and chop it into small pieces. Render the fat out over medium heat in a skillet. Discard the crackling, then sear the steak.

Rendered Beef Fat
Rendered Beef Fat


The crust is in direct relationship to how dry the outside of the steak is. If there is a lot of moisture, there will be no crust and you will get a poor sear.

If the steak is dry to the touch and at room temp before searing, then a good crust will form.

This is why it is recommended to salt the steak and leave it out at room temp to both come to temp and dry out for optimal searing and crust formation.

Pan Frying Top Sirloin Steak

Stay with 1 inch and thicker Steaks. If they are thinner, they will cook up too fast, and you won’t be able to get good crusting on the outside while the inside is tender and juicy.

I prefer mine Medium, which is about 5 minutes per side over medium heat after you have rendered the fat.

Sear less for Medium rare, or sear longer for medium-well. 1 – 2 minutes either way. Use your best judgment or a thermometer for accuracy.

Pick a Pan that just fits the number of steaks you are doing. For one steak a very small pan, for 2 an average size, and for 3-4 a large skillet. A well seasoned Pan, like cast iron, is best.

Top Sirloin
Top Sirloin

Smoking Pan

If the Pan is smoking or your kitchen is filling up with smoke, the pan is far too hot and will turn your fat rancid. Remove it from the heat. The objective is to stay right at that smoke point or just a tad below.

This happens most frequently when searing on high heat or even medium to high heat.

A nice medium heat, with enough time to heat up, is adequate to create a good sear with room temp steaks and gives you finer control. You are not trying to get the pan as hot as it will go. Instead, you are trying to teeter on that smoke point.

Garlic, Butter & Herbs

Crushed Garlic, Butter or Ghee, and Thyme or Rosemary can be added for additional flavorings.

Ghee works much better as this has a higher smoke point, but butter can be used as well. You just have to be careful not to burn it. Browning is often desired, but there is a fine line between a browned butter and burnt butter.

After the steak is flipped, allow it to sear. One or two minutes before the steak will be done, add in the Crushed Garlic, Ghee or Butter, and Herbs. Keep the Fat moving by scooping it up and over the steak. Keep an eye on the color of the butter. You do not want burnt butter and ruin the whole dish.


Insert the Thermometer on an angle in the center of the meat with no contact of any bones or large pockets of fat, with the Tip at the center of the thickest part of the meat.

  • Rare – 120 F – 125 F
  • Medium – 140 F – 145 F
  • Well Done – 160 F and above

There are various degrees in between as well, with Medium Rare 130 F – 135 F and Medium Well 150 F – 155 F.

Hand Testing Steak

Cook times can vary by the type of Pan being used. How Cold or Warm the steak is and other factors. For the best and most accurate results, use a thermometer.

However, you can gauge pretty accurately with hand testing and watching the juices that form at the top of the second sear.

Comparing to the amount of resistance in your palm muscle right below your thumb you can get an idea of where your steak is at.

  • Rare – Thumb and Index finger touching
  • Medium Rare – Thumb and middle finger touching
  • Medium – Thumb and ring finger touching
  • Well Done – Thumb and pinky finger touching

Side Dishes

A really good side dish with this is homemade hash browns. Diced to your desired size and Fried. With the steak done and resting and the Rendered Fat still in the Hot Pan, the Hash Browns can go in right away to be fried and served with the Top Sirloin Steaks.

Old Fashioned Hash Browns
Old Fashioned Hash Browns

Another Side Dish that I really enjoy with steak is Mac & Cheese. Really anything with cheese goes exceptionally well with Steak.

Top Sirloin

Top Sirloin Steak

Trimmed and Salted Top Sirloin Steak left out at room temp before being seared in rendered fat to your desired level of doneness.
Servings: 4 portions
Prep10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes


  • 1 Large Skillet


  • 4 1 inch Sirloin Steaks - with a good amount of fat
  • Salt & Pepper


  • Trim away the excess fat around the steaks and chop it into small pieces. Set it aside until you are ready to sear the steaks.
  • Salt the steaks and leave them out on the counter for an hour or more until they are dry and at room temp.
  • Render the Fat in a Large Skillet over medium heat. Discard the crackling.
  • Place your Steaks in and Sear for anywhere between 3–5 minutes per side. More or Less depending on how Well or Rare you like it. Tilt the pan once in a while to move the fat around the Steaks.
  • If Butter, Garlic and Herbs are desired, add these in the last 1 – 2 minutes and continuously baste the steak. Set the Steak aside and allow to rest 5 minutes or so.


Internal temperatures
  • Rare – 120 F – 125 F
  • Medium – 140 F – 145 F
  • Well Done – 160 F and above
There are various degrees in between as well with Medium Rare 130 F – 135 F and Medium Well 150 F – 155 F.
Hand Testing
  • Rare – Thumb and Index finger touching
  • Medium Rare – Thumb and middle finger touching
  • Medium – Thumb and ring finger touching
  • Well Done – Thumb and pinky finger touching
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Pan Sirloin Steak, Seared Sirloin Steak, Sirloin Steak
Author: JAH

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