Reverse Sear Thick Steak: Mastering the Ultimate Technique

If you’re looking to achieve a perfectly cooked, thick steak with a delectable crust, the reverse sear method is your ticket to culinary acclaim. Originating from the low-and-slow approach of barbecue, reverse searing is a technique that has revolutionized the way we cook thick cuts of beef.

Understanding the Reverse Sear Method

Reverse sear is a cooking method that involves initially roasting the steak at a low temperature in the oven, and then finishing it off with a high-heat sear in a skillet or on a grill. This approach ensures that your steak is cooked evenly throughout, with less risk of overcooking the outer layers before the center reaches the desired temperature.

The Benefits of Reverse Searing a Thick Steak

One of the key advantages of the reverse sear is the level of control it offers. Cooking the steak gently at first allows for a more uniform internal temperature, which is particularly beneficial when handling thicker cuts. Additionally, the drier surface created by the initial roast promotes a better sear, giving you that sought-after, flavorful crust.

reverse sear thick steak

Step-by-Step Guide to Reverse Searing a Thick Steak


  • 1 thick-cut steak (at least 1.5 inches thick)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • High smoke-point oil (such as canola or grapeseed oil)
  • Butter (optional)
  • Herbs and garlic (optional for aromatics)


  • Oven
  • Wire rack
  • Baking sheet
  • Cast-iron skillet or heavy frying pan
  • Meat thermometer

Preparing Your Steak for Reverse Searing

Begin by liberally seasoning your steak with salt and pepper. Let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. This allows the seasoning to penetrate the meat and also brings the steak closer to the cooking temperature, ensuring a more even cook.

Oven Roasting Phase

Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 250°F (120°C). Place your steak on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This setup ensures heat circulates evenly around the steak. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, and roast until it’s about 10-15°F below your desired final temperature. For medium-rare, this will be around 115°F (46°C).

The Searing Finale

Once your steak reaches the target temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest while you heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add a little oil to the skillet and, once it’s smoking hot, sear the steak for about 1-2 minutes per side.

If desired, add butter, herbs, and garlic to the skillet during the last minute of searing to infuse the steak with additional flavors. Baste the steak with the aromatic butter as it cooks.

Rest your steak for a few minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute. Serve your reverse seared thick steak with your favorite sides and enjoy a restaurant-quality meal at home.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you reverse sear, the better you’ll become at nailing the timing for your preferred doneness.

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