Monday, January 26, 2015

"Reverse Searing" - Cooking Steaks Backwards for More Flavor!

Traditionally, cooks prepare their steaks by searing them first over high heat, then baking them in an oven (or in a grill) to develop the inside of the steak to their desired doneness.  Some cooks are reversing this process and they're achieving magnificent results!  Cooking the steak very slowly to the desired doneness first, and THEN grilling a nice crust on it makes for a much larger section of "Medium-Rare" (or whatever you prefer) in the middle, and for a much nicer crust on the exterior, since the steak is already warm when it ultimately hits the fireHave a look at this Filet!  I mean... how "Yum" is this:

You will need:
  • 1 Thick Steak (2" or so should do it)
  • A Grill with direct and indirect surface cooking
  • Seasoning
I started with three beautiful Filet medallions.  I seasoned them on both sides and then I used some of those cool new food-grade silicon rubber-bands to snap some thick slices of bacon around them.  Aren't they cute?  Let these sit, unmolested, on the counter until they come up to room temperature.  While this is happening, it's a good time to pour yourself a nice beverage before going outside to build a fire in your grill.

In this picture, you can see my adult beverage as we patiently wait for the cooking chamber of my smoker to reach 275 degrees.  The fire is lit, the steel is heating up and we're well on our way to 275.  The idea here is to "bake" the steaks at a low temperature until they reach your desired doneness.  In my case, that means Medium Rare and 125 degrees. 

When your cooking chamber (Grill, Smoker, Oven, whatever) hits 275 degrees, lay in your steaks and jab a temperature probe into the center of one, so you'll know exactly when it hits your target temp.  This isn't very exciting.  I mean, you won't hear that satisfying "sizzle" when you lay the steaks on.  Also, it could take up to 45 minutes or an hour for the steaks to reach 125 on the inside.  Discuss time management philosophies with your beverage and wait it out.  Your patience will be rewarded!

Once your steaks hit their target temperature (125 for me), take them off the heat and let them rest (covered with foil) for about ten minutes.  Then, lay them over the hot fire!  Now they will sizzle!  Grill them over hot fire for at least a minute per side, but not for more than 90 seconds.  Disregard the salmon on the indirect side of the grill in this picture... I had a guest who preferred salmon to steak (go figure).

When the steaks come off after the sear, they should have a nice crust on them, and since they were already rested, they should be ready to slice and serve immediately.  Note the juice, the moisture, the perfect level of doneness, the crust... additionally, there was an infusion of a smokey flavor that you wouldn't ordinarily get with a traditional grilling method.

"Reverse Searing" may not be for everyone, but I encourage you to try it at least once.  Ribeye, Filet, and NY Strips are all excellent candidates for a reverse sear.  I know I enjoyed mine a LOT!


  1. Wow! This dish seems so delicious! I will definitely give it a try at home. I don’t know much about cooking but now I am learning it using some cooking tips online. The online cooking classes are greatly helping me!

  2. this is a good way to make steak. smoking add quality in steak.

  3. This worked well for me and dry rubbed tri-tip, thanks for sharing!


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