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Grilling Tip: How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Do you enjoy a nice, brown crust on the outside of your steak but a juicy, tender medium rare on the inside? Then the reverse sear is the technique for you.

If you’ve never attempted a reverse sear, don’t worry: It’s actually less complicated than you might think.

This technique is especially useful when preparing thicker cuts of steak and meat. It helps you achieve that steakhouse-level of deliciousness: A lovely outer crust and a juicy, tender inside that’s neither over, nor undercooked.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Instructions

Method 1: Oven + Cast Iron Skillet

  • First, preheat your oven to 250 - 275 °F. Place your cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well.
  • Pat your steak dry with paper towels and season the steak with your preferred dry rub or seasonings.
  • Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet, then place your steak on top of the wire rack and into the oven.
    How to Reverse Sear a Steak: Oven + Cast Iron Skillet
  • Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak. After 15 minutes, check the temperature of the steak, and continue checking every 5 minutes, until you hit: 90 to 95ºF for medium-rare or 100 to 105ºF for medium (you’ll reach the level of preferred doneness during the searing step, next).
  • Carefully remove your cast iron skillet from the oven and place on a burner over high heat.
  • Add oil and allow it to come up to cooking temperature before adding your steak.
  • Sear the steak on each side for approximately 90 seconds until reaching your desired level of doneness.
  • Remove the steak from the pan and place on a clean plate or rack. Allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes, during which the internal temperature will rise about 5 °F in ten minutes (keep this in mind when determining when to begin searing your steaks).

Method 2: Grill or Smoker

  • Prepare your grill for a two-zone setup: Direct and indirect grilling. Target 225 - 250 °F for your indirect cooking temperature (or use your smoker for the indirect cooking).
  • Pat your steak dry with paper towels and season the steak with your preferred dry rub or seasonings.
  • Place your steak over indirect heat on your grill or smoker.
  • Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak. After 15 minutes, check the temperature of the steak, and continue checking every 5 minutes, until you hit: 90 to 95ºF for medium-rare or 100 to 105 ºF for medium (you’ll reach the level of preferred doneness during the searing step, next).
    How to Reverse Sear a Steak: Grill or Smoker
  • Over direct heat, sear the steak on each side for approximately 90 seconds or until reaching your desired level of doneness (check the internal temperature with your thermometer)
  • Remove the steak from the grill and place on a clean plate or rack. Allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes, during which the internal temperature will rise about 5 °F in ten minutes (keep this in mind when determining when to begin searing your steaks).