Reverse Sear and Oven Steak: Master the Technique

When it comes to preparing the perfect steak, the reverse sear and oven technique is a game-changer. This method, which involves a slow cook in the oven followed by a quick sear on the stove, can help you achieve a steak that’s evenly cooked and beautifully caramelized every time.

The Fundamentals of Reverse Sear and Oven Steak

The idea behind the reverse sear is to cook the steak at a low temperature in the oven before finishing it with a high-heat sear on the stove. This approach provides greater control over the internal temperature, ensuring that your steak reaches the desired level of doneness without overcooking.

Starting with Quality Meat

Before you begin, select a high-quality, thick-cut steak—preferably at least 1.5 inches thick. Cuts like ribeye, New York strip, or filet mignon are ideal for this cooking method. Allow the steak to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking; this will help it cook more evenly.

Seasoning Your Steak

Season the steak generously on all sides with salt and pepper. You can also add other dry seasonings like garlic powder or thyme, depending on your preference. The seasoning will not only add flavor but also help to create a delicious crust during the sear.

Oven Cooking: Low and Slow

Preheat your oven to a low temperature—around 225°F (107°C). Place your seasoned steak on a rack over a baking sheet. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak to monitor its internal temperature. Cook the steak in the oven until it’s about 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit below your desired final temperature. For a medium-rare steak, this would typically be around 115-120°F (46-49°C).

sear and oven steak

Finishing with a Sear

Once your steak has reached the target temperature in the oven, remove it and let it rest while you heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add a high-smoke-point oil like canola or grapeseed oil to the pan and wait until it’s shimmering hot. Carefully place the steak in the skillet and sear it for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until a deep, golden-brown crust has formed.

For added flavor, you can baste the steak with butter and aromatics like crushed garlic, rosemary, or thyme during the last minute of searing. Once seared to perfection, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips for Success

Invest in a Good Thermometer: A reliable meat thermometer is crucial for monitoring your steak’s temperature as it cooks in the oven.

Let It Rest: Resting your steak after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a juicier, more flavorful bite.

Use a Cast Iron Skillet: For the sear, a cast iron skillet is preferred due to its excellent heat retention and ability to create a superior crust on the steak.

Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: If cooking multiple steaks, make sure not to crowd the skillet, as this can lower the temperature and hinder the searing process.

By mastering the reverse sear and oven steak method, you’ll be well on your way to preparing steakhouse-quality meals in the comfort of your own home. Enjoy the tenderness and flavor that only this technique can provide.

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