Reverse Sear Steak on a Grill: Master the Technique

If you’re aiming to prepare a steak that stands out in flavor and texture, embracing the reverse sear method on a grill is a must-try technique. This approach to cooking steak has garnered acclaim among seasoned grill masters for its ability to produce a perfectly cooked interior with a delectable crust.

Understanding the Reverse Sear Method

The principle behind reverse searing is simple: rather than starting with a high heat to sear the steak and then moving it to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking, the process is reversed. The steak is first cooked on a low-temperature side of the grill until it reaches the desired internal temperature. Afterward, it’s moved over to high heat for a quick sear on both sides. This method not only gives you precise control over the doneness of the steak but also enhances its natural flavors.

Benefits of Reverse Searing

One of the main advantages of reverse searing is the uniform cooking it provides. By gently bringing the steak up to temperature, you avoid the common pitfall of overcooked edges. This technique also allows for a more pronounced sear since the steak’s surface dries during the slow-cooking phase, making it easier to achieve that coveted crust.

Choosing the Right Cut for Reverse Sear Steak on a Grill

Not all steak cuts are created equal when it comes to reverse searing. Thicker cuts of steak, such as ribeyes, New York strips, or filet mignons, typically ranging from 1.5 to 2 inches thick, are ideal candidates for this method. The thickness ensures that the steak won’t cook through too quickly before you have the chance to sear it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reverse Sear Steak on a Grill

Now that you understand the basics, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of reverse searing a steak to perfection on your grill.


Begin by taking your steak out of the refrigerator to allow it to reach room temperature, which can take about 30 to 40 minutes. This is crucial for even cooking. Season the steak generously with salt and, if desired, other spices and let it sit.

Setting Up the Grill

Prepare your grill for two-zone cooking. This means one side of the grill should be at a low temperature (around 225°F or 107°C), while the other side should be as hot as possible for the sear. If you’re using a charcoal grill, this involves piling the coals on one side. For gas grills, simply set one side to a lower heat setting.

Cooking Phase One: Low and Slow

Place the steak on the cooler side of the grill and close the lid. You’ll want to maintain a steady temperature, so monitor the grill’s heat and make adjustments as necessary. Use a reliable meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. For a medium-rare finish, aim for an internal temperature of about 110-115°F (43-46°C) before searing.

Cooking Phase Two: The Searing Finish

Once your steak reaches the target temperature, transfer it to a plate and cover it loosely with foil while you increase the heat on the grill. When the hot side is smoking, place the steak on it. Sear each side for about 1 to 2 minutes or until you achieve a dark, rich crust. Be sure to sear the edges for a complete crust all around.

Rest the steak for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. This is essential as it ensures a moist, tender steak upon slicing.

Serving Your Reverse Seared Steak

Slice against the grain and serve immediately. The beauty of reverse seared steak lies in its edge-to-edge consistent doneness and robust flavor profile, making it a favorite amongst steak enthusiasts.

Tips for Perfecting Reverse Sear Steak on a Grill

  • Patience is key: Don’t rush the process; the slow cooking phase is integral to the steak’s texture.
  • Use a high-quality meat thermometer to ensure accurate temperature readings.
  • Don’t skip the resting period after searing; this step is crucial for a juicy steak.

By following these guidelines, the reverse sear method on a grill will become your go-to for a steakhouse-quality meal at home. Not only does it yield impressive results, but it also provides an enjoyable grilling experience.

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