Reverse Sear How To: Mastering the Perfect Steak Every Time

If you’re looking to achieve that steakhouse-quality finish on your cuts of beef at home, the reverse sear how to method is your secret weapon. This technique, beloved by chefs and gourmands, allows for precise control over the doneness of your steak, while also imparting a deliciously crisp crust. Let’s dive into the steps and tips to master the reverse sear.

The Basics of Reverse Searing

The reverse sear technique begins with slowly cooking the steak at a low temperature in the oven, before finishing it off with a high-heat sear in a skillet. This method is ideal for thicker cuts of steak, typically those that are at least 1.5 inches thick. The slow-cook phase ensures even cooking from edge to edge, while the searing phase creates the delectable Maillard reaction that steak aficionados crave.

What You’ll Need

  • A thick-cut steak (ribeye, porterhouse, or filet mignon are excellent choices)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A reliable oven
  • A wire rack and baking sheet
  • A cast iron skillet or heavy-duty pan
  • High smoke point oil (such as canola or grapeseed oil)
  • Optional: Garlic, herbs, and butter for basting

Step-by-Step Guide to Reverse Searing

Step 1: Preparing the Steak

Begin by patting your steak dry with paper towels and seasoning it generously with salt and pepper. It’s crucial to let the steak come to room temperature before cooking, which usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

Step 2: The Slow-Cook Phase

Preheat your oven to a low 200-275°F (93-135°C). Place your steak on a wire rack set over a baking sheet, which allows air to circulate around the meat, cooking it evenly. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak and cook until it reaches approximately 10-15°F (5-8°C) below your desired final temperature. For a medium-rare finish, this would be around 115-120°F (46-49°C).

reverse sear how to

Step 3: The Searing Phase

Once your steak has reached the target temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest while you heat a skillet over high heat. When the pan is smoking hot, add a small amount of oil and carefully lay the steak in the skillet. Sear each side for about 1-2 minutes, or until a brown crust forms. If desired, you can add butter, garlic, and herbs in the last minute of searing to baste the steak.

Step 4: Rest and Serve

After searing, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a succulent bite. Slice against the grain and serve immediately.

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