Reverse Sear on a Traeger: Mastering the Technique

When it comes to perfecting a steak, the reverse sear on a Traeger is a technique that promises unparalleled results. This method, which involves slow-cooking the steak before finishing it with a high-heat sear, can transform your home-grilled meats into restaurant-quality fare.

Understanding the Reverse Sear Method

The reverse sear technique flips the traditional searing method on its head. Instead of starting with a sear over high heat, you begin by cooking your steak at a lower temperature. This allows for a more even cook and a perfect edge-to-edge medium-rare if that’s your desired level of doneness. The Traeger wood pellet grill, with its precise temperature control, is an ideal tool for executing this method.

Setting Up Your Traeger for Reverse Searing

Before you begin, make sure your Traeger is clean and filled with your preferred wood pellets. Set the temperature to a low 225°F, which is the sweet spot for slowly cooking your steak to perfection. Allow the grill to preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

sear on a traeger

Preparing Your Steak

Choose the Right Cut: Thick-cut steaks, such as ribeyes or New York strips at least 1.5 inches thick, are best for reverse searing.
Seasoning: Keep it simple with salt and pepper or use a steak rub of your choice. Apply the seasoning liberally to both sides of the steak.

Place your seasoned steak on the grill and insert a meat probe thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Set the probe’s alarm to go off when the internal temperature of the steak reaches about 10°F below your desired final temperature. For a medium-rare steak, this would be around 120°F.

Monitoring Your Steak’s Temperature

Close the lid and let your steak cook slowly. This is where patience is key. The Traeger’s consistent temperature will ensure your steak cooks evenly. Avoid the temptation to open the lid frequently, as this can cause temperature fluctuations.

Finishing with a Sear

Once your steak reaches the target temperature, remove it from the grill and let it rest while you increase the Traeger’s temperature to its highest setting, around 450°F to 500°F. After the grill has reached the high temperature, place the steak back on the grill.

Searing: Sear each side of the steak for 1 to 2 minutes or until you’ve achieved a beautiful, crispy crust.

Serving Your Perfectly Reverse-Seared Steak

After searing, let your steak rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Then, slice against the grain and serve immediately. The result is a steak with a delicious smoky flavor and a tender, perfectly cooked interior with a delectable crust.

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