Cooking a nice juicy steak can be a tricky process, but we’ll guide you along with a few simple tips on how to cook steak in the oven with foil so you’re left with less mess and a better-tasting steak.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand the best cuts of steak to cook in aluminum foil, some great veggie pairings, and the simple step-by-step instructions for cooking a hearty meal in foil packs.
Why Cook Your Steak In Foil Packs?
Number one on the list has to be less mess. Every time I cook steak on the stovetop I get grease splatter everywhere. I also don’t particularly enjoy cleaning the grill after each use – and what if it’s raining out?
Secondly, by cooking the steak in a foil pack it is going to retain so much more moisture and flavor.
Since the steak will be cooking in its own juices trapped in the foil pack, it will reabsorb them once you take the steak out of the oven. That’s why it’s important to let the steak rest for about 5 minutes.
Finally, it’s a much simpler method than other steak preparation techniques. All you have to do is prepare the foil packet and leave it in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the desired doneness you aim for.
Best Cuts of Meat For Cooking Steak In The Oven
The next step in our how to cook steak in the oven with foil guide is to pick the best cuts of meat. You’ll want a tender piece of meat for getting that juicy steak right out of your oven.
Here are the best options for a homemade foil-cooked steak:
- Filet mignon (tenderloin)
- T-bone steak
- Ribeye steak
- Sirloin steak
In terms of tenderness, the filet mignon cut is the prime choice for an oven-cooked steak. It comes from the most tender portion of the cow and will produce great flavor.
Moving on, we have a cut that offers one of the best foil-cooked oven meals – the T-bone steak. The T-bone includes tender short loin meat with a bold flavor.
Next up, we have the ribeye steak which comes from the rib area of the cow and gives that additional beefy note to the taste.
Ribeye is tender but not quite on the level of the filet mignon steak. However, ribeye is juicy and has a more powerful flavor which can be a great thing as you’ll be cooking it in its own juices in the aluminum foil.
Last but not least is the top sirloin steak. It’s not as tender as the loin meat so for the best results you may want to marinate it overnight and use just a tiny bit of seasoning to boost its flavor profile. The top sirloin still makes a fine choice for cooking it in the oven with aluminum foil.
Veggies That Go Well With Oven Cooked Foil Packs
Once you pick your cut of meat for cooking, it’s time to choose your veggies to compliment the meal. Also, this won’t take much extra effort since you’ll be cooking the vegetables in the foil packets at the same time as the meat.
So, a logical option is to go with potatoes, who doesn’t love steak and potatoes anyway? You can either boil the potatoes before preparing the foil packs or cut them into small pieces and cook them start to finish with the steak.
Boiling them first will allow you to place the half or whole potatoes in foil packs, while smaller cut up pieces go great with the steak and enrich the juicy flavor that collects in the foil.
Mushrooms are also a natural fit, as they soak up the juices and add a different texture to the meal.
But if mushrooms aren’t your thing you can certainly add some diced up carrots to round out this hearty meal.
Placing onions and garlic on the bottom of the foil packets will enrich the overall flavor of the meal as they will release their juices and fragrances into the meat above as they cook.
These veggies will cook evenly with the steak, however it’s best not to overdo it with too many different veggies at once as it will start to extend the cooking times.
Marinating Steak: Yes or No?
Choosing a tender cut of meat is the first step in how to cook steak in the oven with foil, however, some people like to marinate it overnight, or at least let it soak in the marinade for a few hours before preparing the foil packs.
A lot of this will depend on the steak you ultimately choose and some people prefer not to marinate at all, which is absolutely fine!
If you want to just create a simple marinade you can try adding a bit of lemon juice which will make the meat even juicier, along with a bit of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce as well.
My personal favorite (and lazy way) is to use Stubb’s beef marinade. It’s ready to go, you just dump it in a zip lock bag and put your steaks in there. Throw them in the fridge for a while and you’re good to go. Such amazing flavors! *chef’s kiss*
How Do You Like Your Steak Cooked?
Before we get into the step by step details of how to cook steak in the oven with foil packs, you should probably take a moment to decide how done you want your steak to be so you can figure out what time and temp to set your oven to.
Some might enjoy their steak rare while others prefer a fully well-done steak. I personally prefer my steak to be somewhere around medium rare – basically still very pink inside but cooked brown on the outside.
Here’s a quick recap of steak doneness, internal temperature and a short description of how each will look:
- Rare steak will have an internal temperature of 120-125F with a bright red center
- Medium rare steak will have an internal temperature of 130-135F with the center still very pink
- Medium steak will have a 140-145F internal temperature with a light pink center
- Medium well steak will have a 150-155F internal temperature with just a tiny bit of pink at the center
- Well done steak will be anything 160F or higher internally and no pink at all
Based off this we can start to determine how long to leave the steak to cook.
On the rarer end of things you’ll want to probably start out with your oven at 425F for 15 minutes and start checking the doneness with a meat thermometer.
If you prefer a well done steak you’re probably going to be looking at upwards of 30 minutes in the oven.
Step-By-Step Guide On Cooking Steak In The Oven With Foil
It’s the time we’ve all been waiting for! Let’s actually get down to making our steak foil pack meal!
Step 1 – Preheat The Oven and Prepare The Foil Packets
First things first, start preheating your oven to 425F.
While the oven is preheating you can start to prepare your aluminum foil packs. It’s going to probably take around 20 minutes for your oven to reach temperature and that should be plenty of time to take care of the rest of your preparation.
You’ll want to cut the steak into roughly 2” by 2” chunks to make it easier to finish cooking.
You may be curious about having to bring the steaks up to room temperature before cooking them in the foil packets? Well, that is usually the case with traditional methods like grilling or searing because the quick shock of high heat can cause the muscle fibers to tense up.
However, since we’re making the steak in the oven without any searing we don’t have to worry about that at all.
At this point give all of your potatoes and other veggies a rough chop (think bite sized.)
Now mix everything together in a large bowl. If you didn’t use any marinade I would recommend slathering a little olive oil over everything at this point. If you did use marinade then you can skip the olive oil.
Now divide steak and potatoes and other veggies onto your foil sheets.
Side note: If you’re worried about the aluminum foil leaving a metallic taste in your food you can lay down some parchment paper on top of the foil and before you add the steak and potatoes and other vegetables without having to change any other cooking time or temps.
Feel free to top everything off with a little salt and black pepper.
Be sure to wrap the foil tightly, almost into a ball, and place on a baking sheet or baking tray. This will help contain any juices that happen to escape from the foil.
Step 2 – Cook Your Foil Packs
By now your oven should be preheated to 425F and you’re ready to slide your awesome foil packs into the oven.
This is the part where you’ll have to play around with the timing a bit based on how done you want your steak to be.
A good starting point for the cooking time of rare steak is probably about 425F for 15 minutes.
Now, I like mine a bit more medium rare and maybe even closer to medium so I would go with 425F for more like 20 minutes.
Don’t be afraid to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer after 15 or 20 minutes, you won’t hurt anything at all. To get a proper reading you want to have the probe as close to the center as possible.
It’s always better to put the steak back in for a little longer than to realize you’ve cooked it more than you like.
When you get close to the desired doneness, pull the foil packs out and let everything rest for about 5 minutes longer. Remember, the steak will still continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.
You can open up the packs now while they’re resting but BE CAREFUL – there could be a lot of steam trapped in there that will blast you in the face and possibly burn you.
Step 3 – Enjoy The Hell Out Of This Meal
You can either take everything out of the foil packets and put it on a plate or just eat it right out of the foil packs.
I’d also recommend putting some melted butter over top of everything just to add a little bit of extra savory flavor to the dish.
At this point all that is left is for you and your family to sit down and enjoy this meal.
You’ll probably wonder why you didn’t try this earlier! It’s such a simple meal to make with such little cleanup to take care of after dinner especially when all you want to do is relax.
By now you should know how to cook steak in the oven with foil packs. If you’re always in a hurry this is such a quick and easy meal to make that is super hearty with steak and potatoes and other veggies.
Even if you just want to try something different, I would highly recommend giving foil pack meals a try!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Is it safe to cook steak in aluminum foil?
It’s perfectly safe to cook a steak in the oven with foil. You might want to use some parchment paper on top of the foil before wrapping the packet if you’re worried about the aluminum affecting the taste of your meat.
How long does it take to cook steak in the oven?
It all depends on desired doneness and thickness of the steak but 425F for 20 minutes is probably a good starting point.
What veggies and seasonings go well with foil-cooked steak?
You should pair your steak with veggies like potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots. For seasoning, really salt and black pepper are all you need.
Should I marinate the steak before cooking it in the oven?
This all comes down to personal preference. If you do want to marinate your steak, I’d highly recommend using Stubb’s beef marinade.