Reverse Pan Sear Steak: Master the Perfect Crust

If you’re aiming to achieve the perfect crust on your steak, the reverse pan sear steak method is a game-changer. Unlike traditional searing that starts with a scorching hot pan, this technique flips the script for results that will elevate your culinary prowess.

Understanding the Reverse Pan Sear Technique

The concept behind the reverse pan sear is to first cook the steak at a low temperature and then finish it off with a high-heat sear. This technique ensures even cooking and provides a steak that’s perfectly tender inside with a delectably crisp exterior.

Step 1: Slow Cooking the Steak

Begin by preheating your oven to a low temperature, around 200-275°F (93-135°C). Season your steak generously with salt and pepper. Place the steak on a rack over a baking sheet and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Cook the steak in the oven until it’s about 10-15°F (6-8°C) below your desired doneness. For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C) before searing.

reverse pan sear steak

Step 2: The Searing Finish

Once the steak reaches the target temperature, it’s time to sear. Heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat. Add a high-smoke-point oil like canola or grapeseed oil and heat until it’s shimmering. Carefully place the steak in the pan and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side until a golden-brown crust forms. If desired, add butter, garlic, and fresh herbs during the last minute of searing, basting the steak with the aromatic butter.

Why Reverse Pan Sear?

The reverse pan sear steak technique offers several advantages:

  • Even Cooking: Slowly bringing the steak up to temperature prevents overcooking and ensures an even doneness throughout.
  • Control: By slowly cooking the steak first, you have better control over achieving your preferred level of doneness.
  • Texture: Finishing with a sear creates a contrast in textures between the crispy exterior and the tender interior.
  • Flavor: The final sear develops a rich, complex flavor thanks to the Maillard reaction.

Tips for Success with Reverse Pan Sear

Here are some tips to maximize the effectiveness of the reverse pan sear method:

  • Let the steak rest before and after searing to ensure juices redistribute evenly.
  • Use a meat thermometer to monitor the steak’s internal temperature accurately.
  • Pat the steak dry before searing to achieve the best crust.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan during the sear to prevent steaming.

The reverse pan sear steak method may take a bit more time, but the results are well worth the effort. With practice, you’ll be able to produce steakhouse-quality steaks right in your own kitchen.

Grab Your Free Cheat Sheet Now!

Perfect the Art of Reverse Searing: A Chef’s Guide to Juicy, Flavor-Packed Meals Every Time!

Get Instant Access Now
Download Free Cheat Sheet