THE REVERSE SEAR METHOD
What is the Reverse Sear?
Simply stated, to reverse sear a steak, it is slow cooked in the oven then finished with a hot sear. Steak cooked this way turns out pink from edge-to-edge with a beautiful exterior crust.
The classic way to cook a steak in the kitchen is to sear it in a pan, then finish it in the oven. Sometimes called the steakhouse method, this is a great way to cook most steaks because it requires no special equipment and is very straightforward.
If the steakhouse method is the “regular sear” the “reverse sear” does a 180 degree turn on the process and starts in the oven and finishes in the skillet. Advocates of sous vide cooking might point out this is exactly what happens with an immersion circulator. Truth is, they are right.
The reverse sear borrows from the sous vide process but can be performed with the equipment commonly found in kitchens. Meathead Goldwyn of the popular Amazing Ribs website even refers to it as “Redneck Sous Vide”.
WHAT ARE THE BEST STEAKS TO REVERSE SEAR?
The reverse sear is the ideal method to properly cook any thick-cut steak that weighs at least 8 ounces. Thinner, lighter steaks don’t do as well with this method.
Ideal candidates in the SRF line are big ribeyes like the tomahawk and cowboy. These are at least 3 inches in thickness and weigh well over 2.5 lbs. Our traditional ribeyes and New York strips are also great since we cut them 1.5” thick. T-bones and Porterhouse steaks are also great.
Generally speaking, the thicker and heavier this steak, the better it is for the reverse sear.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO REVERSE SEAR A STEAK?
This method is the darling of many “how to cook a steak” tutorials. The Reverse Sear cooks a steak at low temp, then adds a nice crust as the finishing step. It’s easy to do. All you need is a fast-read thermometer, an oven, a baking sheet (ideally with a metal rack insert) and a skillet. Cast iron or carbon steel skillets are our favorites.
Heat oven to 275°F degrees. Season steak with salt and pepper. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place a metal rack in the middle. The idea is to elevate the steak from the pan.
Place the pan, grill and steak in the oven. Bake until the steak reaches the temperature that matches your preference, using your fast-read thermometer to check the center of the thickest part of the steak.
Rare - 120°F degrees
Medium-rare - 125°F degrees
Medium - 130°F degrees
Depending on your oven, altitude and preference, this can take up to 75 minutes, but begin checking the internal temperature at 30 minutes.
Once your steak hits your desired target temperature, remove it from oven, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add a light coating of vegetable oil to a heavy skillet and heat over high heat until hot. Sear steak on each side for 60 to 90 seconds to form a beautiful crust. Remove from the pan and serve.
Once you’ve tried the reverse sear, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do and how perfect the steak finishes. Give it a try the next time you have a thick Snake River Farms American Wagyu steak waiting for you at home.