How to Reverse Sear a Steak

  • by Omaha Steaks
butcher's cut filet mignon cooked and sliced
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​You’ve heard of sear roasting a steak, but have you tried reverse searing a steak? It’s the buzzword de jour with steak lovers and chefs, because you can get perfect doneness and a delicious, brown crust. In just five simple steps, you can cook a delicious steak using the reverse sear method indoors or on the grill.

What is reverse sear?

Reverse sear is a two-step steak cooking technique – first, you’ll slowly bring your steak up to temperature, then you’ll sear it for a beautiful crust and finish. Reverse sear is best for thicker steaks, at least 1.5 to 2 inches thick. You can also use this cooking method for fattier pieces of beef like ribeye or wagyu steaks, to avoid burning the meat with flare-ups.

Slow and even cooking provides great control and prevents overcooking, resulting in perfect steak doneness. Finish with a pan-sear or in direct high heat on the grill to create a beautiful crust by Maillard reaction (the chemical reaction that browns the steak.)

How to reverse sear a steak in five steps

Step 1: Thaw

Your steak needs to be completely thawed. You can use several thawing methods, including a quick-thaw method with cold water. If you have a really big steak like a King Cut, you may need 48-72 hours to completely thaw. Plan accordingly for the best results.

Step 2: Season

Remove excess moisture on your steak with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper or Omaha Steaks Signature Steak Seasoning. If time allows, we recommend an overnight dry brine. Simply rub the salt and seasonings on the steak and let the meat rest on a raised baking rack in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Dry brining is the most reliable way to get a nice brown crust with great flavor. Before cooking, allow the steak to rest and bring to room temperature.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Step 3: Cook Low & Slow

In the Oven:

Preheat your oven to 250F. Place the steaks on a baking rack to elevate for airflow around the beef. Cook until the internal temperature is 10 degrees below your desired doneness (so if you’re aiming for 130F, take them out of the oven at 120F. Searing your steaks will bring them up to the final doneness. Check out our steak doneness guide to determine your perfect steak temperature.

To check the temperature, use a quality meat thermometer at the meatiest portion of the steak or near the bone for bone-in steak. Check after 20-25 minutes in the oven and then every 5-7 minutes until you reach desired temperature. 

On the grill:                 

To cook a steak low and slow on the grill, you’ll need to use indirect heat. The first step is to set up two cooking zones. On a gas grill, turn on half your burners so that one side of the grill has fire and the other does not. If you have a middle burner, only light one side, not the middle. If you’re using a charcoal grill, move all your coals to one side of the grill and leave the other side empty.

Allow the grill to reach 225F-250F and place your steak over indirect heat as far from the lit side of the grill as possible and close the lid.  If the steak has a bone, place the bone toward the heat as it will need the most heat to reach temperature. Try to keep your grill temperature as low as 225-250F, although that can be difficult. This allows the steak to cook slowly via indirect heat and avoids searing the edges. Flip the steak frequently, checking for hot spots.

Step 4: Sear

On the stove:

When your steaks reach temperature, remove them from the oven and set aside. Place your skillet on the stovetop and turn the heat to high. We recommend adding a small amount of oil that has high smoke point temperature, like grapeseed or duck fat. Sear the steaks for about 2 minutes per side flipping every 30 seconds until both sides have a beautiful crunchy brown crust.

Enhance the flavor by basting with a compound butter near the end of cooking. To baste, simply tilt your pan to the side and drizzle the melted butter over the steak. The fresh herbs in the compound butter will add an incredible flavor to the steaks.

On the grill:

Place your steak over direct heat, the hottest part of the gill, to sear. Flip constantly, about every 30 seconds until a beautiful crust develops and internal temperature is to desired doneness. Don’t be afraid to also sear the sides of a huge steak for maximum Maillard reaction.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Step 5: Rest and Enjoy

Let your steak rest at least five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute then slice against the grain to enjoy tender, delicious steak with a perfect flavorful, brown crust.

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How to Reverse Sear a Steak

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