Want the Perfect Steak? Then It’s Time to Learn How to Reverse Sear

There’s a reason why 94.8 million cattle are currently being raised in the United States. Our country has an insatiable appetite for beef. It’s not hard to see why. When prepared correctly, there is nothing better than a good, juicy steak.

Unfortunately, it seems many people don’t know how to cook their steak properly. The result is an overdone steak that’s low on flavor and high on dryness. So what’s the solution? Simple: the reverse sear.

Reverse searing is a cooking method that will change the way you eat steak forever. It combines the juiciness of a rare piece of meat, with the delicious charred crust from well-done cooking.

In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about the cooking method.

What is Reverse Sear?

We all know the standard way of cooking a steak: throwing it raw onto the grill. However, there is a problem with this method. The outside of the steak cooks significantly faster than the inside.

The result is a borderline burnt exterior and a raw inside. So what is reverse searing? It’s a cooking method that allows for much more control of the crust sear. Essentially it involves throwing the steak into the oven at a fairly low temperature.

During this phase of the reverse sear, you essentially part cooking the steak. This means you’re only partially cooking it, leaving it slightly raw. Ideally, you want to take the steak out of the oven when the internal temperature is fifteen degrees lower than you want it.

Then you take it out and throw it on the grill or a searing hot skillet. Here you finish the internal cooking and develop that smoky crust that everyone loves.

Why is a Reverse Seared Steak Great?

Grill purists may be shaking their heads at the idea of throwing a steak in the oven, but a reverse sear comes with plenty of benefits. It’s also a cooking method that’s rooted in established science.

A reverse sear allows you to control the Maillard reaction on your steak with much more precision. What’s the Maillard reaction you ask? It’s the chemical reaction that occurs when you brown food.

This process is similar to caramelization in that it produces new flavors, it just uses protein instead of sugar. Think about the smell that a piece of meat produces when it hits heat — that’s the Maillard reaction.

When you sear a steak first, then you get a Maillard reaction on the exterior crust. Unfortunately, you can’t control the internal temperature of the steak. This means that it’s easy to overcook or undercook the steak.

A reverse sear solves this problem by cooking the meat internally first. Then you finish it off on the grill for roughly two minutes to get that delicious sear. Reverse sear is also much easier to make for large dinner parties.

You can prepare the meat well before dinner time. Then, when your ready, throw them on the grill real quick and serve!

How to Reverse Sear

The first step to reverse searing is preheating your oven. Preheat to a temperature of either 200 or 275 degrees Fahrenheit depending on how long you want it in the oven. At 200 degrees, the steak will need to sit in the oven for around two hours.

At 275 degrees the steak will need to sit in the oven for around one hour. While the oven is preheating it’s time to season your steak. We prefer a liberally seasoning with salt and pepper on both sides.

However, if you want to mix up the flavor, then add chili powder or steak salt. Place the steaks on a cooling rack and place the rack over a sheet tray. The juices from the steak will drip down onto the sheet, so put down foil for some easy cleanup.

Then place the steaks into the heated oven. Cook the steak until they reach an internal temperature range between 125 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. A 125 degree Fahrenheit steak will be closer to rare doneness, while 140 degrees Fahrenheit will be more well done.

Once they reach your desired internal temperature, take the steaks out and let them rest for at least fifteen minutes. While you wait, heat your grill, cast iron pan, or skillet until it’s roaringly hot.

Then, throw the steak on and cook for one minute on each side, or until a nice crust forms. Serve the steak immediately after searing.

Cooking Tips

Try salting your steak heavily the night before you serve it. Simply lay it on a rack with a tray, salt both sides, and put it in the fridge. This allows the seasoning to penetrate through the cut of meat.

If you’re going to reverse sear, make sure you always use a big cut of meat. Slices that are smaller than 1.5 inches in height will become overcooked if you try this method.

We highly recommend a bone-in ribeye for the best reverse sear experience. If you’re using a grill, then make sure it heats up fully before putting the steak on it. Using a grill that isn’t fully heated is one of the most common mistakes that new grillers make.

Want More Cooking and Grilling Advice? Keep Exploring BBQ Ultimate

We hope this article helped convince you to try a reverse sear on your next cookout. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to steaks. However, we believe that the reverse sear appeals to the widest common denominator of steak lovers.

Not convinced? Try it today and let us know what you think! If you want more advice about everything from grilling to smokers, then you’re in the right place.

Here is BBQ Ultimate, we’ve compiled helpful guides so you can get the most out of the meat and dishes you’re cooking. Keep reading them to learn more about outdoor cooking today.