WHAT IS THE REVERSE SEAR STEAK METHOD?
So, you have invested in a beautiful Ribeye steak or any nice thick steak for that matter but are worried you won’t get the best results? Fear not, the reverse sear steak oven method is to your rescue! Quite simply, your steak is first baked in the oven on a low temperature for a nice even doneness and until you hit your target temperature then transferred to a high heat pan or cast iron skillet where the direct heat will give you that delicious dark crust on the outside which is packed full of beefy flavor.
SEAR VERSUS REVERSE SEAR
In traditional cooking of steak, the idea was to sear your thick steak on the pan first to lock in the juices then finish in the oven or just cook the steak entirely on the pan/cast iron skillet which for all but the most experienced or professional cooks leads to over cooking and dry steak. Not good! With reverse sear, it’s the exact opposite where we start the process in the oven and finish on the pan. With an oven, cast iron skillet (ideally) and a meat thermometer, you are guaranteed far more control and more consistent super tasty results each time with the all-important tasty crust on your seared steak.
WHAT TYPE OF STEAK SHOULD BE REVERSE SEARED?
It always works best to reverse sear thick cut steak and large cuts of beef like Prime Rib and Tri Tip. In the #TruBeef product range, our organic grass-fed T-Bone steak, Porterhouse steak, New York Strip steak, and our Ribeye Steak are all ideal candidates to get a lovely reverse sear steak medium rare which is how we like it at #TruBeef! We also like to cut our Chuck Roast into 2 inches thick cut steaks then use a meat hammer to tenderize down to a perfect 1 and half inches. The key take away is always ensure you use a thick steak.
BENEFITS OF REVERSE SEAR STEAK
- Get a Perfect Crust. By slowly bringing the thick cut steaks up to target temperature in a low temperature oven, the external surface of the steak dries which is vital in getting that golden-brown crust later.
- Reduce Overcooking. Using slow and gentle heat in the oven, you are in more control and prevents over cooking.
- Simplicity. Once you follow the same steps each time you have a thick Porterhouse, T-Bone steak, thick cut Ribeye steak, or NY Strip steak, you are guaranteed tasty juicy results.
- Cook with Confidence. Slow and low oven heat followed by the shock and awe of a high heat sear on the cast iron makes it near impossible to overcook and go beyond the ideal cooking temperature of a medium rare to medium juicy seared steak.
- The WOW Factor. With the Reverse Sear Steak method, you are guaranteed a beautiful and highly photogenic steak you will finally be proud to post on your Instagram. Soft, Juicy and Pink center and a golden-brown crust.
TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO REVERSE SEAR STEAK
- Your oven or grill
- Good quality cast iron pan,
- High smoke point oil like Avocado Oil or Ghee
- Thick cut steak
- Salt and pepper. We prefer Kosher salt
- Meat thermometer to help reach the target temperature
- Wire rack to let your seared seasoned steak rest
- Aromatics like garlic, rosemary and thyme
PREPARATION, OVEN REVERSE SEAR TEMPERATURE AND COOK TIME
Before our steaks even get close to an oven, we grab our raw steaks 12 to 24 hours before and do a dry salt brining. It’s a key but often overlooked step to ensure the steak gets an even browning, crust, locks in moisture and holds onto its beefy juice when you do cook your red meat beauty. We simply pat dry our steak, then sprinkle a liberal amount of good quality kosher salt on all sides of the steak.
After salting, place back in the refrigerator on a wire rack to let the steak absorb the salt right into the center. The following day when you’re ready to cook up a storm, take your steak out with plenty of time to let it go to room temperature before going into the oven.
Now the fun starts! Pop your thick cut salted steak on an oven wire rack and then into a pre heated oven set between 200F to 225F (95c to 108c) which is the ideal reverse sear steak temperature. In terms of oven cooking time, this will generally take 45 to 50 minutes roasting time depending on your oven. This will deliver a consistent target temperature of 125F/ 51c internal every time for a perfect medium rare reverse sear steak.
If you are trying reverse sear steak without thermometer probes of any kind, it is important not to prod, stab or cut the steak as you will lose all that prized moisture and beef steak juices. There is nothing worse than over cooking a lovely piece of Porterhouse steak, Ribeye steak, or Prime Rib.
The most common old school traditional method for checking your steak doneness is quite literally in the palm of your hand!
REVERSE SEAR STEAK WITHOUT THERMOMETER HELP? TRY THE HAND TEST.
First ensure your hands are thoroughly washed.
Take your open left hand and then make a fist with medium pressure. In the space just between your thumb and knuckle is a little soft and fleshy pad. Now take your right index finger and gently prod the soft fleshy pad of your left hand. This is what a perfect medium rare steak should feel like when you touch it. Now using the same finger, gently prod your steak to compare. If it feels softer than the area on your hand, your steak is close but still rare and just needs a little more time. If it feels about the same, we guarantee you have a lovely medium rare steak already.
Kitchen pros for generations have relied on this hand test to cook their steaks to the perfect target temperature and medium rare doneness every time. The main reasons the purists prefer this method is to avoid any moisture loss whatsoever from poking holes with the meat thermometer.
So, we have hit our target internal temperature of 125F / 51C so now what? It’s time for the Cast Iron and all-important sear that’s what!
NO OVEN? NO PROBLEM.THE GRILL WORKS TOO!
If you’re a BBQ purist and want that smokey taste or for whatever reason you don’t want to use an oven to reverse sear steak , no problem – a reverse sear steak grill method works just fine instead if a little less accurate than a kitchen oven due to grills having less consistent heat zones. Into a preheated grille your seasoned steak goes, set at the same internal temperature inside an oven of 200F to 225F (95c to 108c).You will need to check the temperature of your thick cut steak more frequently but this is part of the fun for the BBQ purists anyway. Pull the steak off the grill 10 degrees lower than your target temperature so 115F/46c is good, rest it in a tent of foil for 6 to 8 minutes and Step 1 is done. If you are a real traditionalist and don’t even want to use a cast iron pan on Step 2, no problem either. Rake your charcoal up until red hot and drop your Ribeye steak or Porterhouse steak onto the direct heat of the hot coals for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side for an incredible seared steak.
WHAT PAN TO USE TO REVERSE SEAR STEAK?
We go for a Cast Iron pan over aluminum and nonstick every time for health reasons and because both pan types have a very uneven heat surface whereas cast icon spreads the much-needed high heat all over. In our experience, your next best option is a stainless steel pan but with the renewed popularity of cast iron cookware, you can now pick up a good quality cast iron skillet for less than $15 that will be with you in the kitchen for life and take all the direct heat you can throw at it.
SEAR OVER HIGH HEAT
FINISH THE SEAR:BUTTER, GARLIC AND HERBS
If you like your seared steak with some aromatics, add a generous chunk of butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme then quickly baste over the steak as it browns up even more on the cast iron. This finishing off and final sear is what will give your seared steak a wonderful flavor and lock in the moisture to give you that expensive Steakhouse tasting results from your own kitchen each time.
LET YOUR STEAK REST!
Once you’re done on the cast iron pan, take your thick cut Ribeye or Porterhouse, place on a wire rack for 5 to 6 minutes for the all-important but often ignored resting period. This resting is not a ‘suburban kitchen’ myth. It allows the fatty molecules to cool slightly and solidify on the steak fibers which in turn pulls the juices inwards exactly where you want them to be. Now your ready to serve the perfect Ribeye, New York Strip, or Porterhouse!
THE DAYS OF BEING NERVOUS SERVING STEAK TO FRIENDS ARE BEHIND YOU
At TruBeef, we recognize you do not get second chances with a lovely thick cut steak, so we recommend the oven reverse sear method every time to ensure you have full control. No need to be nervous about inviting friends or family over anymore when you can now offer them perfectly seared steak with amazing consistency!
REVERSE SEAR STEAK METHOD RECAP
- Step 1: Thick Cut Steak
- Step 2: Salt brine 2 to 24 hours in advance of cooking.
- Step 3: Let steak sit 2 hours at room temperature in advance of cooking
- Step 4: Into a preheated oven or grill at target temperature 200F to 225F (95c to 108c) for 45/50 minutes cooking time
- Step 5: Pull thick cut steak out at internal temperature of 125F/ 51c
- Step 6: Onto cast iron pan with high direct heat, kosher salt and optional aromatics for 1 minute each side to activate the Maillard reaction
- Step 7: Enjoy your perfectly seared steak with a tasty crust and pink medium rare inside.