Reverse Sear, what is It?

by Bill Flannery

Cooking a steak perfectly is more than throwing it on the grill. Sure, prime beef cuts are quite noble, and they always deliver, but a perfect steak is something else — there’s a technique to it.

We’re not saying there’s only one way of cooking a steak. We all like ours differently. Still, if you want that lovely dark crackly crust and a pink, juicy core, then read on and learn everything there is about the reverse sear. Grill masters’ best-kept secret, explained. Put on your apron and let’s get started. Let’s cook the perfect steak!

What is Reverse Searing, anyway?

Typically, when you cook a steak, you throw it on the grill or skillet and let it brown, first on one side and then the other. That’s searing, and it guarantees a nice brown crust. Then it’s a waiting game as the steak’s core temperature reaches the desired doneness.

When you reverse sear a steak, you reach the desired core temperature first at a low temperature, whether in an oven or a smoker, and then you transfer the steak to the grill to achieve the perfect charred crust.

Pro tip: You might have heard you must sear a steak first to ‘seal’ the juices in, but that myth has been debunked. Searing does not guarantee a juicier steak!


How to Reverse Sear a Steak

  1. Season the steak on both sides.


  1. Preheat the oven at a temperature between 200°F and 275°F. You can also use a smoker or a ‘cool zone’ on the grill.


  1. Cook the steak until it reaches 10-15° below the desired temperature according to this chart:


Rare: 125ºF

Medium-rare: 130 to 135ºF

Medium: 140 to 145ºF

Medium-well: 150ºF


  1. Sear the steak over high heat either on the grill or on a cast-iron skillet. Flip it once, and don’t forget to sear the steak’s sides!


  1. Let the steak rests for 5-10 minutes, slice and serve

Tips for the Perfect Reverse Seared Steak

  • Don’t try this technique with thinner cuts of meat, as they can easily overcook. This technique is perfect for steaks that are at least one inch thick.


  • Use a meat thermometer; the best grill masters do! Reaching the correct inner temperature is as important as getting that brown crust.


  • Season the steak from the start. Rub the steak with your salt before you reverse sear it. You can always add a finishing touch before serving.


  • Slice the steak into strips before serving and show off that lovely pink core. Looks matter, so try to make the steak look as delicious as it tastes!

Is Reverse Searing for You?

For thick steaks, the reverse searing method yields the best results. The steak won’t necessarily be juicier or have a crispier crust, but it will be cooked evenly every time. Getting a steak right once is awesome but getting it right time and again; that’s where you know you’re on another level.

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