Serves 2 to 4
- 2 strip, rib-eye, or other steaks (about 1" thick and 1/2 pound each), at room temperature
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a grill or turn on the broiler; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. If you're broiling, put a large ovenproof skillet on the rack 10 minutes before you're ready to cook.
Blot the steaks dry with a paper towel and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.
Put the steaks—seasoned side down—on the hot grill or under the broiler and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Cook, undisturbed, until they release easily, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook the other side, checking for doneness by peeking inside with a sharp knife and checking the same spot frequently. For medium-rare, figure about 3 more minutes (if they're over an inch thick, you'll need a little more time; if they're under an inch, you'll need a little less).
When the steaks are still a little bit redder than you want them, remove them from the heat and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Sprinkle the steaks with more salt and pepper if you like and cut them in half crosswise or leave whole and serve.
From How to Cook Everything: The Basics (Wiley), by Mark Bittman.