Pan-Fried London Broil Steak

Our London broil is a quick and favorite way to cook steak for a crowd. Rubbed with seasonings and pan-fried in butter, this London broil recipe is an absolute winner!

London Broil Steak
Elise Bauer

What Is London Broil?

"London Broil" used to be a way of describing a method for cooking lean beef cuts such as flank or top round, which originally was to pan-fry it quickly on medium-high to high heat, cook it only to medium rare, and then slice it thinly on the diagonal.

The term London Broil has since evolved to a method of marinating, and then either grilling or broiling the steak. Furthermore, butchers now sell a cut of beef that is called a London Broil which is typically a couple inches thick and is top round.

How to Cook London Broil Steak
Elise Bauer

How to Cook London Broil

My mother has a method for pan-frying her steak which she calls London Broil, which does not involve marinating. The steaks we use are usually an inch thick. Her secret?

Butter.

I know. I don't usually recommend searing anything with butter. If you're not careful, the butter will burn. But if you rub softened butter into well-seasoned steaks, and sear the steaks on a cast iron pan heated on medium high heat, just until you get a good sear and no longer, the flavor really is amazing.

Do you have a favorite way to prepare London Broil? Tell us about it in the comments.

Which Cut of Meat Works Best for London Broil?

The cut that's labeled London broil in the grocery store is almost always going to be top round. We recommend sticking with that. Can't find it? Flank steak is a good alternative, and we have a great recipe for it.

Tips to Ensure a Great Pan-Cooked Steak

Follow these tips to get the best results when cooking your steak:

  • Season it in advance to give the salt time to penetrate the meat and enhance its flavor.
  • Let it come to room temperature before cooking for more even doneness.
  • Cook the steak in a hot skillet for several minutes, without moving it, so it can get a nice crust. This also helps keep the steak from sticking to the skillet.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check for your desired level of doneness (130°F for medium rare).
  • Rest the meat 5 to 10 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute.

The Best Pan for Stovetop London Broil

Success with pan-frying London Broil is all in the pan. We prefer well-seasoned cast-iron skillets or carbon steel pans for a nice, even sear. They're relatively stick-free and can also be transferred to the oven to finish cooking, if needed. Or use a thick-bottomed frying pan. If you're using stainless steel, heat a little olive oil in the pan first, before adding the steak.

Depending on the nonstick skillet you own, it might work with this method, as long as the nonstick coating is meant to be used at high heat. Otherwise, it's best to choose a cast-iron or carbon steel pan.

What to Serve With London Broil? Try These Sides!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Pan-Fried London Broil Steak

Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings

We recommend using a well-seasoned cast-iron frying pan for this recipe, which can take high heat and is relatively stick-free. If you do not have a cast iron pan, you can use a thick-bottomed frying pan. If using stainless steel, heat a little olive oil in the pan first, before adding the steak.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds top round steak

  • Kosher salt

  • Dry mustard

  • Black pepper

  • Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Method

  1. Prep and salt the steak:

    Remove steak from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking to bring to room temperature (only do this with whole cuts of meat, never with ground meat.)

    Cut away any tough connective tissue on the surface of the steak. Use a meat pounder to even out the thickness of the steak if necessary. Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt on both sides.

    Prepping steak for London Broil
    Elise Bauer
    Cutting away tough tissue for London Broil
    Elise Bauer
  2. Rub steak with dry mustard, salt, pepper, butter:

    Heat a large, cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Rub a little dry mustard into both sides of the steak.

    Sprinkle both sides again with salt, and with a little black pepper. Rub butter over both sides of the steak.

    How to cook London Broil - rub meat with dry mustard, salt and pepper
    Elise Bauer
    How to cook London Broil - rub meat with buttter prior to browning
    Elise Bauer
  3. Brown steak on both sides on stovetop:

    Place the steak in the hot pan. Let cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (without moving), check before flipping to make sure it has nicely browned.

    How to cook London Broil - brown buttered meat in pan
    Elise Bauer
    How to cook London Broil - brown meat in butter prior to baking
    Elise Bauer
  4. Finish steak on stovetop or in oven, depending on thickness:

    At this point, if you have a steak only an inch thick or less, you can take the skillet off the heat and just let the steak sit for several minutes in the skillet (tent the steak with aluminum foil). The cast iron pan will retain enough heat to cook the steak to medium rare.

    You can use a finger pressure method to test for doneness. You can also test for doneness by using a small sharp knife and cutting into the center to check the color. Or, if the steak is brown on both sides and it is weeping red juice, it's done.

    If you have a steak thicker than an inch-thick, you can finish it off in the oven, at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or so.

    Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the steak. Pull it out of the oven at 130°F for medium rare (the steak will continue to rise in temperature for a few minutes after you pull it out).

    If you are using the oven method, when done, remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it.

    You want to cook the steak only to medium rare, as cooking it further will make it more tough.

  5. Serve:

    Cut the steak across the grain in thin slices.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
489 Calories
23g Fat
0g Carbs
70g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 489
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 212mg 71%
Sodium 172mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 70g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 575mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.