Reverse Searing Medium Rare: The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to achieving the perfect medium rare steak, the reverse sear method has become a popular technique among chefs and home cooks alike. But what exactly is reverse searing, and how can you master this cooking method for consistently succulent results? This guide will walk you through the process, ensuring your steaks reach that coveted medium rare doneness with a beautifully seared crust every time.

The Science Behind Reverse Sear

Typically, a steak is seared at a high temperature to form a crust, then transferred to a lower temperature to finish cooking. Reverse searing, as the name suggests, flips this process. Starting with a low temperature allows for a more even cook within the steak, minimizing the risk of overcooking while still achieving a perfect medium rare center. Finishing with a high-temperature sear gives the steak its flavorful crust.

Preparing Your Steak for Reverse Searing

Before you begin, choose a thick-cut steak, ideally at least 1.5 inches thick. Thinner steaks are harder to cook to medium rare without overdoing the exterior. Season your steak generously with salt and, if desired, pepper. Place it on a wire rack over a baking sheet to allow air circulation, which will help dry out the surface for better searing later on.

medium rare reverse sear

Cooking Low and Slow

Preheat your oven or grill to a low temperature, around 225°F (107°C). Once your cooking device is at temperature, place your steak inside and cook it slowly until it reaches an internal temperature of about 110-115°F (43-46°C) for medium rare. This process could take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak and the exact temperature of your oven or grill.

The Perfect Sear

After reaching the target temperature, remove your steak and let it rest while you heat a skillet or grill to high heat. You want the surface as hot as possible to sear the steak quickly without further cooking the inside. Once hot, place your steak in the skillet or on the grill and sear each side for about 60 seconds, or until a deep brown crust forms. If desired, add butter, garlic, and herbs during the last few seconds to infuse the steak with additional flavor.

Tips for Success

  • Invest in a meat thermometer: This is crucial for monitoring your steak’s temperature to avoid over or undercooking.
  • Let it rest: Rest your steak for 5-10 minutes after searing to allow the juices to redistribute for maximum tenderness.
  • Preheat your pan or grill: A hot surface is key to a great sear, so give your skillet or grill plenty of time to heat up.

By following these steps, you can achieve an expertly cooked medium rare reverse seared steak that rivals those found in top restaurants. Not only does this method offer superior texture and flavor, but it also provides more control over the cooking process, making it a valuable technique for any steak enthusiast.

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