Who doesn’t love a good steak? There is just something about a hearty piece of meat, served hot with other comfort food sides like mashed potatoes or mac-n-cheese.
But in many parts of the world, half of the year has less-than-ideal grilling weather. Whether it is snowing or raining or just too dark, you may not want to wander outside to make dinner. Not to mention those long days of work or parenthood that leave you too tired to fire up the grill.
The good news is that you can still have a yummy steak dinner without ever leaving your kitchen. The following is everything you need to know to cook a thin sirloin steak in your oven,
I cover it all, from picking out the best steak to searing it before you cook. Then skip to the bottom of this post for some ideas on what to serve with your steak!
Is Sirloin a Good Cut of Steak?
Sirloin is one of the more affordable cuts of meat, so it makes people wonder about its quality. I’d say that sirloin is an excellent compromise between quality and affordability.
A sirloin steak is cut from the sirloin area of the steer, which is located in the mid-back. This area is between the loin (a very tender area of meat) and the round (a tricky back section). That means the tenderness of sirloin also lies somewhere in the middle. Not the most tender, but also a succulent piece of meat with a sound bite.
Many like sirloin steak because it is lean, flavorful, and moderately tender when cooked well. Most gravitate towards sirloin because of its moderate price tag. Sirloin will be less expensive than filet mignon but not as tender a cut.
How to Pick a Great Sirloin
Not everyone knows what to look for when picking out a good sirloin steak. When shopping for the perfect steak, be sure to look for the following:
- Good, vibrant color
- Firm to the touch
- Cold to the touch
- Edges should be even, not choppy
- Meat that appears moist, but not wet
- If the meat is packaged, stay away from torn plastic or liquid in the tray liner
What Qualifies as “Thin” Sirloin Steak?
A thin steak is cut to 1-1/2 inches or less. Generally speaking, they will cook quickly, taking about 3 minutes per side.
Why Cook a Steak in the Oven?
Many people will tell you that there is only one way to cook a steak. But that is just not true!
I love grilling a top sirloin steak over an open flame, but sometimes it is impossible. After a long day at work or with the kids, it can be easier to whip out my cast iron pan and make a quick steak dinner from the comfort of my warm kitchen. Especially in the colder months when it gets dark earlier.
The good news is that you can make a delicious, mouth-watering steak in the oven. The biggest perk is that ovens provide reliable, consistent heat so you can perfect your bakin’ steak game.
How to Get a Sear on Thin Sirloin Steak
For those of you that cannot eat your steak without a nice sear, don’t worry. I will tell you how to get the sear you want, even when you’re cooking indoors using a frying pan.
Prep Your Steak
The first step to excellent steaks is to prep them properly. Assuming you have already purchased them from the grocery store, take your steaks out of the fridge and unwrap them.
Then season steaks with salt and black pepper and let them rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking. By letting them come to room temperature before applying heat, they’ll cook more predictably and evenly.
Some people also season their meat with garlic powder or a different favorite steak rub. This is up to your tastes. McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning is a good, affordable go-to.
Traditional Sear on the Stovetop
Set a cast-iron skillet on the cooking surface and turn it on to medium-high heat to sear on the stovetop. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, any oven-safe skillet or frying pan will do the trick.
For best searing results, use butter in the skillet or rub both sides of the steak with a bit of olive oil (or use vegetable oil in a pinch). Then place it in the hot pan.
Let the meat sear for about two minutes per side until it is a lovely deep brown. Using a grill pan, you will see beautiful markings on your meat.
How to Cook Thin Sirloin in the Oven
The best way to cook a thin-cut sirloin steak in the kitchen is to use the broiler method. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the steak and what level of doneness you are looking for.
With broiling, you can choose to skip searing altogether. The high cook temperature will still give you nice brown coloring. However, I find the sear marks from a skillet very satisfying, so the following recipe includes searing.
- Thin Sirloin Steaks (1-1/2 inches thick or less)
- Steak Seasoning of Choice
- Butter or Olive Oil for Searing
1. Remove and unwrap the steaks from the fridge. Let them sit out for about 30 minutes to reach room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
4. Before the oven is preheated, add the butter to the hot skillet (enough so there’s a thin layer of melted butter covering the bottom of the skillet). Once the butter is melted, place the steaks on the skillet in a single layer.
Pro Tip: If you want to skip the butter and choose a healthier option, rub olive oil on the steaks before searing. It cuts down on the saturated fat and still tastes delicious.
5. Sear the steaks for about 2 minutes until it reaches a nice golden or medium brown color. Flip the steak over and sear the other side for 1 to 2 minutes until that side has a good sear.
6. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Bake the steaks for 2 to 6 minutes until you reach your desired level of doneness. (See below for cook times & internal temperatures for different levels of doneness)
7. Let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes so the juices can redistribute, giving you the juiciest results.
For thinner steaks that are 1-1/2 inch thick, the following cook times will help you achieve the proper internal temperature…
How Long Does Sirloin Steak Take in the Oven? (Infographic)
After searing the top and bottom for 1-2 minutes each, your thin sirloin steak will still need a few to several minutes in the oven. Here are good estimates on how long to bake sirloin in the oven for each level of doneness:
- Rare: 2 minutes
- Medium-Rare: 3 minutes
- Medium: 4 minutes
- Medium-Well: 5 minutes
- Well-Done: 6 minutes
Actual cook time depends on reaching the ideal internal temperature for sirloin steak. You’ll want to ensure that the internal temperature reaches a target temperature for each level of doneness.
Best Internal Temperature for Sirloin Steak
Use a meat thermometer to help hone your cooking time and get the right temperature. The following temperatures are ideal depending on how you like your steak cooked:
- Rare: 120 degrees F
- Medium-Rare: 130 degrees F
- Medium: 140 degrees F
- Medium-Well: 150 degrees F
- Well-Done: 160 degrees F
Technically, the above internal temps could be given in ranges (i.e. 120-130 degrees F). However, I put the low end of the spectrum for each because the internal temp will continue to rise after you remove the steak from the oven.
What is the Key to a Juicy Steak?
If you want to have a juicy steak that is not too dry, make sure to let it rest after cooking. Generally speaking, place your steaks on a cutting board, and let them for at least five minutes before slicing. That allows the juices in the meat to be reabsorbed and redistributed, leading to a much juicier steak.
Great Sides for Sirloin Steak
There are many traditional favorites that people serve with steak. One “go-to” is some potato, like a baked potato with all the fixings or garlic mashed potatoes. Another seemingly “fancy” option is steak frites, which is really just steak and french fries.
It is also nice to balance the heaviness of the meat with a lighter side dish. Try a green or caesar salad, green beans, asparagus, or squash. Another favorite is Brussel sprouts tossed in a balsamic vinegar glaze.
Whatever you serve, I hope you enjoy your wonderful dinner!
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As a mom of three little eaters, I am excited to share my love of cooking, smoking, and baking with you. My love of food started when I went to college in Berkeley, and has followed me ever since! When I am not “momming,” writing, or cooking, you can find me reading, traveling, or hiking.