Shell Steak Recipe (5 Best Methods of Cooking It & MORE)

Iva Carter
Published by Iva Carter
Last Updated On: June 20, 2024

Shell steak, or bone-in strip steak, comes from a short loin after the tenderloin is removed. It’s one of the easiest, most tender, and flavorful steaks to make.

I’ve been on a carnivore diet for more than ten years, and during this time, I’ve cooked countless shell steaks.

In my quest to write this piece, I spent several hours researching reputable sources and consulted with top chefs to give you a more comprehensive insight.

Today, I’ll give you a pan-fried shell steak recipe so you can make it at home whenever you crave a delicious steak.

Quick Summary

  • A classic pan-fried shell steak recipe includes seasoning, searing, and making a simple pan sauce.
  • Shell steak is a tender, flavorful steak from the short loin, easy to prepare and cook.
  • Other cooking methods include broiling, sous vide, grilling, and oven cooking.


Shell steak is relatively easy to prepare and makes for a satisfying meal.

Here's an overview of a classic shell steak recipe:

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Number of Servings: 4


To prepare a delicious shell steak dish, you'll need the following key ingredients:

  • 4 shell steaks around 1/2 pound and 3/4 in thick
  • 1 tablespoon butter (Alternatively, you can use four teaspoons of high-temperature oil such as canola or sunflower. Avoid extra virgin olive oil because it tends to smoke and burn on the grill.)
  • Coarse salt
  • Black pepper freshly ground 
  • Watercress for garnish


A chef cooking in a kitchen

Whether you're grilling, pan-searing, or broiling it, here are some instructions to help you cook a delicious shell steak:

  1. Prepare the shell steak. Dry pat the strip steak with a towel to eliminate excess moisture. Season it on both sides with coarse salt, fresh ground pepper, and a high-temperature oil.
  2. Put a cast-iron skillet on flame and melt butter over heat. 
  3. Put steaks on the skillet and cook for about 7 minutes. Turn the steaks occasionally.
  4. Take out the cooked steaks and place them on plates.
  5. Leave the steaks on plates for about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the skillet from high heat and add water. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the large skillet. Add salt and pepper, and if desired, strain the pan sauce. 
  7. Spoon sauce over steaks and add watercress and serve.

Recipe Notes

A home chef cooking at home

Here are some recipe notes to elevate your shell steak cooking experience:

1. You should remove the shell steak from the fridge ahead of time. It’s best to remove the steak about an hour before cooking so it has time to take the chill off. This ensures a more even cooking and juicier shell steak.

2. The best way to cook a strip steak is to use a skillet because it gives you plenty of control. Plus, you can get a nice outside sear and evenly cooked meat.

3. If you’re making a grilled shell steak recipe, preheat the grill to 500 degrees. The high heat will help cook faster and achieve a juicy beef shell steak that’s perfectly seared. There’s less chance of getting a rubbery or overcooked shell steak.

4. Use a thermometer to check the steak’s internal temperature. A thermometer will let you know the steak is done and cooked just how you like it. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees when cooking steak [1].

5. Let the shell steak rest after cooking for about five minutes. That lets the juices distribute evenly throughout the cut, so you get a better and even flavor.

6. Let the thickness of the shell steak decide the cooking time. If you want a medium-rare steak, a one-inch strip steak should be cooked for about two minutes per side on a 500-degree grill. Of course, cooking time is also influenced by how done you want the steak to be and the cooking method.

4 Methods of Cooking Shell Steak

Close up shot of cooked shell steak

My favorite method of cooking beef shell steak is pan-fried shell steak because it’s fast and the steak is juicy and flavorful. You can cook it in several other ways.

1. Cook Broiled Shell Steak

You’ll need a broiler and a large skillet to broil shell steak. Season the steak the same way as when pan-frying (with oil, ground pepper, and salt). Broiling will give you a crisp outside and tender inside.

Read More: Smoked Shotgun Shells

2. Cook Sous Vide Shell Steak

Sous vide is the best cooking method if you want a tender shell steak. Plus, you’ll have a medium-rare evenly cooked steak.

If you want to get a nice crust on the steak, finish it in a pan or a grill over medium-high heat.

3. Grill Shell Steak

Preheat the grill to 500 degrees and grill the steaks for about 2 to 3 minutes with the closed lid. Then flip them over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes again.

An advantage of grilling shell steaks is that you can grill all steaks at once. There’s no need to divide it into two batches, as with most other cooking methods.

4. Cook Shell Steak In an Oven

If you have a thin cut of shell steak, it’s best to cook it in an oven. Cook for about 6 minutes per side at 450 degrees. Of course, this depends on how well done you want your steaks to be.

I don’t recommend using an oven if you’re a beginner because it can be difficult to get the beef cooked just right.

Go for pan-fried shell steak or grilled. You can also use a thermometer to check the steak’s temperature in an oven.

Related Recipes:

Nutrition Facts

When considering its nutritional value, it's essential to keep in mind that the exact nutritional content can vary depending on factors like cooking methods and portion sizes.

However, here are some general nutrition facts for a typical cooked serving of shell steak:

  • Calories: 400 kcal
  • Total Carbs: 0
  • Protein: 44g
  • Fat: 24g
  • Fiber: 0
  • Net Carbs: 0


Is Shell Steak a Good Cut of Meat?

Shell steak is a good cut of meat with a nice beefy flavor. The only cut more tender than shell steak is a fillet mignon.

What Is Shell Sirloin Steak?

Shell sirloin steak is a steak cut less than 2 in thick. It has hip bone and part of the backbone and usually no tenderloin.


Was this article helpful?

About the author

Iva Carter
Associate Editor
Iva Carter is a FBP certified foodie and influencer who loves to share delicious yet quick dinner recipes. When she's not in the kitchen concocting meaty delights, you'll find her playing with her dog, Sylvie.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *