Reverse searing is just like it sounds - the reverse process of how steaks are traditionally cooked. If you’re feeling bold and adventurous and have a hankering for some of the juiciest steak with a perfect browned outer crust, then try this out!
Instead of cooking the steaks on a hot pan and then finishing them in the oven, in this process you let them cook in the oven or on the grill at a very low temperature and then briefly finish them on a hot pan.
Why Reverse Searing is Better
- Because the steaks are cooked more gently, they cook more evenly.
- The steaks are more tender.
- Because the steaks are cooked at a lower temperature, there is less room for messing them up in the process.
- You end up with tender steak that has crisp delicious browning on the outside.
What Kind of Steak to Reverse Sear
You want to reverse sear meat that is at least 1.5 to 2 inches thick.
The cut you want to use is up to you of course, but ribeyes are especially a tasty option with this method of cooking!
How to Reverse Sear in an Oven
- (Optional first step.) For better results for an even crisper browning on the outside of your steaks, leave them uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This will dry out their exteriors. Do NOT leave them on the counter overnight, or anywhere outside of the cold refrigerator, as this will put them in the danger zone and you’ll be inviting food poisoning into your life.
- Preheat the oven from anywhere between 200-275°F degrees. Keep in mind that the lower the heat, the more evenly your steak will cook. However, that also means that you have to wait longer to eat it the lower the heat is, as it will take longer.
- Season your steak. Give it a generous rub of salt and pepper. The longer you let the salt sit on your steak, the longer it has to work its way into the meat and work its magic (more flavor and juiciness).
- Let your steaks slow cook and be sure to check them with an instant-read thermometer to see if they’re done. Take out your steaks 10-15°F below what you want the final temperature to be, because you will be cooking it more, and it still cooks even after removed from the heat.
- For rare, take out at 105°F (The end goal temperature is 120°F. It should take 20-25 minutes.)
- For medium-rare, take out at 115°F (The end goal temperature is 130°F. It should take 25-30 minutes.)
- For medium, take out at 125°F (The end goal temperature is 140°F. It should take about 30-35 minutes.)
- For medium-well, take out at 135°F (The end goal temperature is 150°F. It should take about 35-40 minutes.)
- Right before your steaks reach the point where you want to take them out of the oven, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil or any other high temperature friendly oil to a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron or a triple-clad stainless steel).
- Throw those babies on when the oil starts to smoke with a tablespoon of butter. Let the steak brown for about 45 seconds on each side, and then hold the steak sideways to get the sides seared.
- No need to let them rest like with the cooking method of searing your steaks. You can serve them immediately!
How to Reverse Sear on a Grill
- (Optional first step.) For better results for an even crisper browning on the outside of your steaks, leave them uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This will dry out their exteriors. Do NOT leave them on the counter overnight, or anywhere outside of the cold refrigerator, as this will put them in the danger zone.
- Create a two-zone fire. Make a pile of coals under one side of the grill, or turn half the burners on for a gas grill. Let the grill preheat by covering it.
- Season your steaks with salt and pepper, and brush all its sides with oil.
- Put the steaks on the side of the grill that’s cooler. Check the temperature of those babies often! The cooking time might vary as it depends on the exact temperature that your grill maintains!
- When they reach the desired temperature, take them off the grill and cover them with foil.
- To wrap things up, heat that grill up and build the biggest fire you can. That means either turn all your gas burners on and put the lid down, or add more coals. When your grill is super hot, put the steaks over the hot side, flip them every few seconds (it should take about a minute and a half), and remove them when they become crispy and charred.
If you’re looking for a great way to cook indoors, just want to switch things up and try out a new method, or want to aim for the juiciest steaks possible, try out this reverse sear method this weekend!