Reverse Pan Sear Steak: Perfecting the Technique

If you’re a steak aficionado, the term ‘reverse pan sear steak’ has likely made its way into your culinary lexicon. This innovative approach to cooking steak has gained immense popularity for its ability to produce a perfectly cooked, edge-to-edge medium-rare steak with a beautifully caramelized crust. In this guide, we’ll dive into the steps and tips to master the reverse pan sear technique at home.

Understanding the Reverse Pan Sear Method

The reverse pan sear method involves two primary cooking phases: starting with a low-temperature oven bake to gently bring the steak up to the desired internal temperature, followed by a quick sear in a hot pan to create a flavorful crust. This process is the inverse of the traditional sear-first method and offers several benefits, including more precise temperature control and a more uniform cook throughout the meat.

Choosing the Right Cut

Not all steak cuts are created equal, especially when it comes to the reverse pan sear method. Look for thicker cuts like ribeye, porterhouse, or New York strip, which are at least 1.5 inches thick. These cuts will provide enough substance to handle both the gentle heat of the oven and the intense heat of the sear without overcooking.

Prepping Your Steak

Begin by bringing your steak to room temperature, which promotes even cooking. Season generously with salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning. Remember, a thicker cut can handle more seasoning than a thinner one.

Oven Roasting

Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 200-275°F (93-135°C). Place your seasoned steak on a wire rack set over a baking sheet, which allows for circulation of air and even cooking. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of about 10-15 degrees below your desired doneness. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of around 120-125°F (49-52°C).

reverse pan sear steak

The Searing Finale

Once your steak has reached the target temperature in the oven, it’s time for the pan sear. Heat a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until it’s smoking hot. Add a small amount of high-smoke-point oil and lay your steak in the pan. Sear for about 1-2 minutes per side, until a rich, golden-brown crust forms. Don’t forget to sear the edges of the steak as well.

After searing, let your steak rest for at least 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and tender bite. Slice against the grain and serve immediately.

Tips to Enhance Your Reverse Pan Sear Steak

  • Use a cast-iron skillet: Cast iron provides excellent heat retention for a consistent sear.
  • Don’t skip the resting: Resting the steak is crucial to retain its juices.
  • Butter basting: During the final minute of searing, add butter, garlic, and fresh herbs to the pan and baste the steak for added flavor.
  • Keep it dry: Before placing your steak in the oven and again before searing, pat it dry with paper towels to ensure proper browning.

By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to perfecting the reverse pan sear steak method. With a bit of practice, you’ll impress your guests and satisfy your palate with restaurant-quality steak right from 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