Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter
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Enjoy tender and juicy Sirloin Steak with delicious garlic butter flavors! This top sirloin steak is pan-seared to caramelized perfection for a satisfying steak dinner you can easily prepare.
What Cut of Beef is Sirloin?
There are two main parts of the sirloin:
Bottom sirloin is tougher and includes cuts such as tri-tip and bavette steak, sometimes being labelled simply as sirloin steak. Sirloin tip is an even lesser cut that, in spite of its name, comes from the neighboring round primal.
How to Cook Sirloin Steak
Preparation is easy with a few basic tips. To get the juiciest meat, start by picking a sirloin that’s 1-2 inches thick. Then remove it from the fridge an hour ahead of time to promote even cooking.
When you’re ready to start cooking, place a cast iron pan on high heat for 5-7 minutes until it’s blazing hot (the temperature drops quickly once the steaks go in).
While you’re waiting, pat the steaks with paper towels to remove excess moisture and rub with oil, salt and black pepper.
Add oil to the pan followed by the steaks. Sear for 2 minutes undisturbed, flip and sear 2 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium high and add the garlic, butter and herbs to the pan.
Continue cooking, flipping every minute for even cooking, until your desired doneness is reached. I recommend cooking sirloin medium-rare or medium, as the meat is lean enough to start drying out when cooked longer. A 1-inch thick steak will take 5-7 minutes to reach medium-rare.
Remove the steak to a plate or cutting board to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes, tented with aluminum foil. This important step allows the juices to redistribute for the most tender meat when serving!
Watch Video: How to Cook Sirloin Steak
This short video tutorial shows how to make it:
When Is it Done?
The most reliable way to check steak doneness is by measuring the internal temperature of the meat using an instant-read thermometer. For example, it will read 130°F in the pan when it’s medium rare:
|Steak Doneness||Remove from heat||Final temperature|
|Rare: cool red center||120°F (49°C)||125°F (52°C)|
|Medium rare: warm red center||130°F (54°C)||135°F (56°C)|
|Medium: warm pink center||140°F (60°C)||145°F (63°C)|
|Medium well: slight pink center||145°F (63°C)||150°F (66°C)|
|Well done: little or no pink||155°F (68°C)||160°F (71°C)|
The steak temperature keeps rising during resting, so it’ll end up being 5-10°F higher when serving. Note that the USDA recommends 145°F or medium doneness for safety reasons.
Sirloin Steak Variations
In addition to pan searing, you can also grill sirloin on high heat for 2 minutes per side before reducing the heat and flipping every minute for the remaining time. Alternatively, you can use a reverse sear with thicker steaks.
Another great option is cooking sirloin steak in the oven to benefit from indirect heat. Start with pan searing like in this recipe and then transfer to a 425°F oven to finish cooking. Or you can broil the steak from start to finish in the oven.
There are also some other flavor combinations you can try too:
- Mushrooms: Add sliced mushrooms to the pan to cook along with the garlic butter.
- Seasonings: I recommend trying Montreal steak seasoning instead of salt and pepper in this recipe. You can also try Cajun seasoning too.
- Marinated Sirloin Steak: You can marinate the steaks for up to 12 hours in the fridge. I recommend using a mix of soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and garlic.
More steak recipes:
Pan-seared Top Sirloin Steak
- 2 top 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 canola oil, or other high-temperature oil, divided (see note)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or clarified butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
- fresh thyme sprigs, or rosemary sprigs (optional)
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes ahead of time for even cooking and more tender meat.
- Place a large cast iron skillet on high heat for 5-7 minutes until very hot. Turn on your ventilation/exhaust fan.
- Pat dry the steaks with paper towels. Rub all sides with 1 tablespoon of oil followed by the salt and pepper.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Using kitchen tongs, carefully place the steaks in the hot skillet.
- Sear for 2 minutes without moving. Then flip and sear the other side for 2 minutes more. Optional: Sear the edges by gripping the steak vertically with the tongs and pressing into the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic, butter and optional herbs to the pan. Continue cooking, flipping the steaks every minute or so and spooning pan juices on top to baste the meat.
- Check doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the steak. I recommend cooking to medium doneness or 140°F (see note).
- Once the steak is at your desired doneness, remove to a plate or carving board. Tent with aluminum foil and rest undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Slice crosswise against the grain to serve and spoon pan juices on top.
- Steak: Look for cuts labeled top sirloin. Sirloin cap also works but will cook faster since the pieces are smaller.
- Oil: Use a high-temperature oil such as canola, sunflower or refined olive oil. Avoid extra virgin olive oil, which will smoke.
- Doneness: Remove from the pan at 120°F for rare, 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium, 145°F for medium-well and 155°F for well-done.
- Leftovers: You can use leftover sirloin steak to make Steak Sandwiches, Steak Tacos and Steak Salad.
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Editor note: Originally published Feb. 27, 2018 and last updated on Sept 18, 2019