Reverse Sear – Steak
YOU WILL RULE THE GRILL if you cook meat to the perfect doneness! You know what a perfect steak tastes like – perfect amount of salt and maybe a slight edge of pepper or spice. But your perfect steak is also perfectly done to your liking! It wouldn’t taste the same if it was overdone. Alternatively, if you could finish it, who has ever heard of a perfectly underdone steak? So the perfect steak is also perfectly done. What if there was a reliable way to ensure you could your steak perfectly every time. And cook everyone else’s steak perfectly every time. WAIT! What if you could use the same method to cook other proteins perfectly every time?Jump to Recipe
Learn to reverse sear and your steaks, pork chops, duck breasts, lamb and all meats to come out right every time.
What is Reverse Sear?
Reverse sear means to gently cook a protein, then sear at high heat. The searing will caramelize the edges, add flavor and finish that protein to your desired temperature. (The” reverse” references the historical method of grilling or cooking where meat would be seared first, then cooked at a lower temperature. So, this is a reversed process.)
Why Reverse Sear? Why not sear?
Reverse sear allows for:
- Initial gentle heating will allow the proteins to cook slowly, retaining more juices
- Even cooking of the meat proteins
- Method is great for thicker cuts of meat with similar results
- Controlled cooking because you can control how much heat or how much the steak cooks before it is seared
- Initial cook allows the surface of the meat to dry slightly (to prevent steaming) to allow for caramelization to occur on the surface of the meat when it sears. This caramelization adds flavor to the meat
Searing meat and then cooking at a lower temperature is less reliable due to the variability of carry over cooking after searing.
How to Reverse Sear
Gently cook a protein 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit below the temperature you want to finish at. This allows the juices to stay intact when the proteins gently cook. Once the meat is just under the desired temperature, sear or cook the protein at high high heat to caramelize the edges, add flavor and finish that protein to your desired temperature.
You’re salivating at the thought of a good steak, so let’s cook!
Reverse Sear – Steak
- Smoker/ Grill/ Oven with Stovetop
- Instant read thermometer
- Cast iron skillet or frying pan or additional grate for searing
- Charcoal chimney or hot zone on grill or smoker
- Steak s (instructions are geared towards 1”, but concept will apply to any steak thickness. The thicker the steak, the more time required at lower heat)
- Kosher salt or your favorite spice rub
- Warm smoker/ grill/ oven with stovetop up to 250F.
- Generously season both sides of the steak with kosher salt and pepper or your favorite spice rub.
- Place steak(s) onto smoker or grill (or a heat proof pan into the oven) at 250F temperature.
- Cook the steak for about 10 minutes.
- Flip the steak for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat up a charcoal chimney or hot zone of the grill or skillet or frying pan on the stove to a high searing temperature.
- At 10-15 degrees below the temperature for the desired doneness (see below for the table on doneness), take the steak off the heat.
- Sear the steak on a grate on the charcoal chimney or on the hot zone of the grill or hot skillet on the stovetop (approximately 1-2 minutes per side)
- Flip the steak and sear the other side.
- Take steak off the heat.
- Rest for at least 10 minutes under lightly tented foil or lid.
- Serve and enjoy!
|Doneness||Internal Temperature to Remove from Low Heat and Sear||Finished Temperature||Internal Color||Texture|
|Blue Rare||105F||115F||Bright Red||Very Soft|
|Medium Rare||120F||130F||Red in center, surrounded by pink||Tender|
|Medium||130F||140F||Pink||Firm with a little play|
|Medium Well||140F||150F||Pink in center, surrounded by brown||Firm|