Tip sirloin steak pan fried to perfection in a hot cast iron skillet for an easy steak dinner you can make in just 20 minutes.

Easy Sirloin Steak is tender and juicy with delicious garlic butter flavors. This recipe uses top sirloin steak that’s pan-seared to perfection in a hot skillet on the stovetop. Serve with potatoes and green vegetables for a quick steak dinner!

Closeup of pan seared sirloin steak cooked to medium doneness and sliced thinly

Sirloin steak recipe

Sirloin is one of the best steaks for everyday cooking! This family-sized cut is flavorful and tender, plus it’s budget-friendly at about half the price of a rib eye or New York strip.

While cooking top sirloin steak is easy, it’s important to focus on the pan-frying technique for the most tender and juicy results. A simple seasoning makes each bite burst with delicious flavors. This recipe is paleogluten-free and keto!

Overhead view of a sirloin steak dinner consisting of sliced top sirloin garnished with fresh rosemary, thyme and a pat of butter, served with sautéed potatoes and broccoli

What is sirloin steak?

Sirloin steak comes from the sirloin primal cut and is one of the most common types of steak. It’s divided into several sections including desirable Top Sirloin and the less tender Bottom Sirloin.

Sirloin is relatively lean with 414 calories per 6 oz according to the USDA. In addition to pan-frying, you can grill, broil and bake in the oven.

Closeup of a raw top sirloin steak seasoned with salt and pepper and rubbed with oil in preparation for pan frying

How to cook sirloin steak

  • Pat dry the steak with paper towels to remove excess moisture and then rub on all sides with oil.
  • Season the steak on both sides with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Place a cast-iron skillet on high heat.
  • Add olive oil and then the sirloin steaks.
  • Sear the steak for 1 minute on the first side.
  • Flip and sear 1 minute on the other side.
  • Sear the edges for about 1 minute to render the fat.
  • Continue to cook, flipping the steak every minute. Halfway through add butter along with minced garlic and herbs.
  • Remove from heat when steak reaches desired doneness.
  • Let the steak rest on a plate or cutting board covered for 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve the steak whole or slice against the grain.

Buying the right cut

Sirloin can be confusing to buy due to the many cuts available. Here’s what to look for:

  • Top Sirloin Steak: This is the most prized sirloin cut due to its superior tenderness and flavor. You may see it labeled in stores as Top Sirloin, Sirloin Cap and Boneless Sirloin Butt.
  • Bottom Sirloin: This is the tougher and less expensive section. It may be labeled for specific cuts like Tri Tip or Petite Sirloin and sometimes just as Sirloin Steak.

Note: Sirloin Tip is not actually sirloin but a much tougher cut from the round. Sirloin tip steak requires different preparation including marinating.

When shopping, look for bright-colored meat with a bit of marbling for flavor. The steak should be at least 1-inch thick to better retain moisture for maximum tenderness and flavor. Remember: thicker is better!

A large sirloin steak being fried in a cast iron skillet with kitchen tongs being used to move the steak

How long should I cook sirloin steak?

Cook time depends on steak thickness and your desired doneness. For example, it takes about 6 minutes to fry a 1-inch (2.5cm) sirloin steak medium-rare:

Sirloin Cook Time¾ inch (2 cm) thick1 inch (2½ cm) thick1½ inch (3¾ cm) thick
Rare1 1/2 min2-4 min4-6 min
Medium Rare4 min6 min8 min
Medium8 min10 min12 min
Medium Well10 min12 min14 min
Well Done14 min18 min24 min

Note: These times are for room temperature steak. Make sure to remove steaks from the fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking.

Checking doneness of a pan fried steak by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest section of the meat. The reading of 130°F indicates medium doneness.

How do you know when sirloin steak is done frying?

The most reliable way to measure steak doneness is by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the steak.

For example, if you want a medium-rare steak, remove from the pan when the thermometer reads 130°F (54°C). The temperature will rise several degrees more while resting due to carryover cooking. Follow the chart below:

Remove From HeatFinal Temp 
Rare125°F (52°C)130°F (54°C)
Medium Rare130°F (54°C)135°F (56°C)
Medium140°F (60°C)145°F (62°C)
Medium-well150°F (66°C)155°F (68°C)
Well Done160°F (71°C)165°F (73°C)

Note: The safe internal temperature for beef is 145°F (63°C) according to the USDA, even though it’s not always observed.

Closeup of a cross-section of sirloin cooked to medium doneness with a pale pink color and juicy texture

Tips for making tender and juicy sirloin steak

  • Bring it to room temperature to promote even cooking and avoid chewy steak.
  • Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture that could prevent complete searing.
  • Flip the steaks every minute to sear evenly and avoid drying out.
  • Avoid overcooking since sirloin is relatively lean. Don’t leave it unattended, as it cooks quickly!
  • Let it rest covered for 3-5 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to retreat back into the meat.

What to serve with sirloin steak

Classic pairings are potatoes, mushrooms and other vegetables such as:

Get your side dishes prepared beforehand, since the steak cooks quickly!

More steak recipes:

View all steak recipes

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4.06 from 17 votes

Pan Seared Sirloin Steak Recipe (+Video)

Easy Sirloin Steak recipe cooked on a stovetop with delicious garlic butter flavors. This top sirloin is seared to perfection in a hot skillet to make tender, juicy and flavorful steak!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 sirloin steaks, 1 1/2-2 pounds, at least 1 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided*
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or clarified butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • fresh thyme or rosemary, optional

Instructions

  • Remove steaks from the fridge 30-60 minutes ahead of time so they can reach room temperature. This promotes even cooking for maximum tenderness.
  • Pat dry the steaks with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Then rub with 1 tablespoon oil on all sides.
  • Season both sides with salt and pepper. Ensure other ingredients are ready.
  • Place a large cast iron skillet on high heat. Wait 2-3 minutes until it’s hot and ensure your ventilation/exhaust fan is on.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl the pan to coat. Then use kitchen tongs to carefully place the steaks in the skillet.
  • Sear for 1 minute. Using kitchen tongs, flip the steak and sear the other side for 1 minute.
  • Sear the edges for about 1 minute to render the fat.
  • Continue flipping every minute. Several minutes in, add the butter, garlic, and optional herbs, spooning pan juices on top of the meat to baste.
  • Cook until the steaks reach your desired doneness using an instant-read thermometer to check (for example, 130°F/54°C for medium-rare on a 1-inch steak, about 6 minutes)**.
  • Remove steaks to a plate or cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil or a plate and rest for 3-5 minutes so the juices can retreat back into the meat.
  • Serve the steak whole or slice against the grain.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • *Regular refined olive oil is recommended, as it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil and will be less likely to burn.
  • **Remove steak from the pan at 120°F/49°C for rare, 130°F/54°C for medium-rare, 140°F/60°C for medium, 150°F/66°C for medium-well and 160°F/71°C for well-done.
  • To grill: Heat your grill to 400°F/204°C and oil the grates. Then grill sirloin steak using the same cook time and approach for pan-frying.
  • To bake: Pan sear for 1 minute per side and then transfer the cast iron pan to finish in the oven at 425ºF/218ºC until you reach desired doneness. This method is ideal for thick sirloin steaks over 1 ½ inches/3.5 cm. Broiling is also an option.
  • Leftover sirloin steak is great for Steak Sandwiches, Steak Tacos and Steak Salad.
Nutrition Facts
Pan Seared Sirloin Steak Recipe (+Video)
Amount Per Serving (8 oz)
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 146mg49%
Sodium 712mg30%
Potassium 776mg22%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 50g100%
Vitamin A 87IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 66mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please read our nutrition disclaimer.

Author: TipBuzz
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sirloin steak, sirloin steak recipe, top sirloin, top sirloin steak
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Editor note: Originally published Feb. 27, 2018 and last updated on Sept 18, 2019