With Father’s Day coming this weekend, a lot of us are thinking about cooking up some beautiful steak. Dads love steak, and the rest of the family usually feels the same. Just a few days ago, my daughter and I were joking about how we both love “man food,” like steaks, sausages, and burgers. This recipe for cast iron steak bites is one of my favorite steak preparations. It’s my absolute favorite way to cook sirloin. Cast iron steak bites can be a party appetizer, or a quick and easy dinner. You can serve cast iron steak bites with any kind of dipping sauce, but I love dunking them in spicy, addictive Sriracha mayo.
The cast iron skillet gives these steak bites a gorgeous caramelized outer crust. It only takes 3-5 minutes to get steak bites to a perfect medium rare temperature. I cooked these steak bites in my Staub 12-inch griddle pan. The Lodge 12-inch Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet would also be a good choice if you don’t already have a favorite cast iron skillet.
Choose a good quality sirloin steak for this recipe. Cut the steak into cubes about 1 1/2 inches in size. Trim away any tough connective tissue. Trim excess fat, but don’t go overboard, because you want a little of the fat for flavorful, juicy steak bites.
Put the steak chunks in a medium bowl, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, about one tablespoon per pound of steak. Add some Montreal steak seasoning, one teaspoon per pound of steak. If you have a different seasoning you like, use that instead.
Mix the steak, seasoning and olive oil, and make sure the steak pieces are well coated. I use my hands for this, to rub the seasoning into the meat. The rubbing might seem unnecessary, but it actually makes a difference.
Let the steak marinate for about 20 minutes. While the steak is marinating, you can preheat the skillet. This is important! Preheating the skillet is a step you don’t want to skip. If a cast iron skillet is too cold, the food will stick and won’t brown properly. Preheat the skillet for 5-10 minutes.
Cooking steak bites is a little different from cooking a full size steak. For steak bites, use medium high heat, instead of the high heat you would use for a full size steak.
Put the steak bites in the hot pan, and don’t crowd the pan. If the pan is too crowded, the meat will give off a lot of moisture, and this will prevent the caramelized crust from forming. These cast iron steak bites cook up so fast, it’s easy to cook them in batches. For this recipe, I usually use three pounds of steak divided into two batches.
As soon as the steak is in the pan, hit the pan with a little butter. The butter helps with both flavor and browning.
Now that your steak bites are getting nice and brown, you don’t want to disturb them too much. Let them brown on one side, and then flip them over with tongs so they can brown on the other side. There’s no need to brown them all around – if you do, they will get dry and overcooked.
I check the internal temperature of my steak bites using a quick-read thermometer. My absolute favorite thermometer is the Thermapen MK4. It definitely beats the lower quality instant read thermometer I used to use. It’s the fastest and most accurate food thermometer, manufactured by a company that also makes scientific thermometers.
I cook my steak bites to medium rare, or 130 degrees.
Serve these steak bites with spicy Sriracha mayo, or your favorite dipping sauce. I like to serve dipping sauces in little stainless steel sauce cups.
Steak bites are easy to cook and fun to eat. This recipe is a regular at our house. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!
- Sirloin steak, about 1/2 pound per person for entree or 1/4 pound per person for appetizer
- Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon per pound of meat
- Montreal steak seasoning, 1 teaspoon per pound of meat
- Butter, 1 tablespoon per pound of meat
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Make the Sriracha mayo by mixing all the ingredients with a small whisk. Set aside.
- Cut the sirloin steak into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Trim away excess fat and tough connective tissue.
- Put the steak cubes in a medium mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with Montreal steak seasoning.
- Mix the meat and seasoning with your hands, making sure all the steak chunks are thoroughly coated. Let the steak marinate for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Let the skillet preheat for 5-10 minutes.
- Put the steak pieces in the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan. If needed, you can cook the steak bites in two or more batches.
- Once the steak bites are in the pan, add the butter. Tilt the pan if necessary to distribute the butter.
- Let the steak bites brown thoroughly on one side, for about 2 minutes. Flip the steak bites with tongs, and brown on the other side.
- Cook the steak bites to an internal temperature of 130 degrees for medium rare, or 135 for medium, measured with an instant read cooking thermometer.
- Remove steak bites from heat and serve with Sriracha mayo as a dipping sauce.
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