I frequently hear cooks, including my aunt who cooks for a living, say that its hard to cook at steak at home because you cant get a frying pan hot enough. I most recently heard Alton Brown say it when he was making tuna loin on a chimey charcoal starter. He basically said you cannot get the necessary heat for the sear using a stove top burner.
Now i'm not worried about steak cooking methods, i have a few i love that work great. My question is, i dont see how a frying pan cant get hot enough, as everyone says. I wanted to test that out, so i put my heavy cast iron pan on the stove, turned the burner to max, let it sit for 10 mins. First, the pan started smoking just from the residual oil, then when i put the steak on, it blackened so quick that it got too burnt, where you cant eat it. So clearly, "not getting hot enough" isn't an issue.
(I have an electric stove for the record, not sure if they will get hotter under the circumstances i described.)
Does anyone know why people say that?