Reverse Sear Filet: The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Steak

When it comes to preparing a filet reverse sear is a technique that steak aficionados swear by for achieving the perfect medium-rare with a delectable crust. This method involves slowly cooking the steak at a low temperature and then searing it on high heat for a flavorful finish.

The Basics of Filet Reverse Sear

The filet mignon, known for its tenderness and lean profile, is an ideal candidate for reverse searing. Unlike traditional methods, reverse searing starts by cooking the steak in a low-temperature oven or smoker until it reaches the desired internal temperature. This slow cooking process allows for precise temperature control, ensuring your steak is cooked evenly from edge to edge.

Choosing Your Filet Mignon

For a successful reverse sear, select a high-quality, thick-cut filet mignon, preferably 1.5 to 2 inches thick. The thickness is crucial because thinner steaks can overcook during the searing process.

Preparing Your Steak

Before you begin, bring your steak to room temperature by letting it rest outside the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour. Season generously with salt and pepper, or your favorite steak seasoning, to enhance the natural flavors of the beef.

Cooking Your Filet with the Reverse Sear Method

Preheat your oven or smoker to 250°F (121°C). Place the seasoned filet on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. This setup allows air to circulate around the steak, promoting even cooking. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of about 10-15 degrees below your desired doneness. For medium-rare, aim for 120-125°F (49-52°C).

filet reverse sear

Resting the Steak

Once your filet reaches the target temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest while you preheat your skillet or grill for searing. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, ensuring it will be juicy and flavorful.

The Searing Finale

Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill to high heat. Add a high-smoke-point oil like canola or grapeseed oil to the skillet, or if using a grill, ensure the grates are clean and oiled. Sear the steak for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until a dark crust forms. For an extra touch of flavor, add butter, garlic, and fresh herbs to the skillet in the last minute of searing, basting the steak with the aromatic butter.

After searing, let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting. This final rest allows the juices to settle, and the residual heat brings the internal temperature to the perfect medium-rare.

Tips for Perfecting the Reverse Sear

  • Use a Reliable Thermometer: A good meat thermometer is essential for monitoring the steak’s internal temperature.
  • Don’t Skip the Rest: Both resting periods, before and after searing, are crucial for a juicy steak.
  • Get a Good Sear: Ensure your skillet or grill is very hot before searing to develop a rich, flavorful crust.

Mastering the reverse sear on a filet mignon may take a few tries, but once perfected, it’s a game-changer for steak lovers. With this method, you’re guaranteed a steakhouse-quality filet right at home.

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