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Reverse Seared Steaks

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The easiest, most foolproof, perfectly cooked steaks you will ever make. Slow cook them in the oven then sear on the grill or on the stovetop to finish.

I Learn Something New Every Day

I have told you about my simple weekday method for cooking thick cuts of steaks, chicken and fish in my post The Easiest, Most Reliable Way to Cook Chicken, Steak, Rack of Lamb and Fish. I stand by this method, particularly if you are short on time, but this week I learned a new method for making amazing steak: the reverse-sear method. It is extraordinarily easy, foolproof and can be modified for the grill or the stove top. This is my new favorite method for cooking steak.

Start With Amazing SteakThe easiest, most foolproof, perfectly cooked steaks you will ever make. Slow cook them in the oven then sear on the grill or on the stovetop to finish.

Good quality, well-marbled steak is the place to start. I personally like ribeye. If you have the budget, go for prime ribeye that is between 1 1/2" and 2" thick. Marbling is the primary factor for determining the quality grade. So don't be afraid of the fat! It is what makes this steak so delicious. A quality rib eye will set you back a bit. I paid $26 per pound for these beauties. If you live in Orange County, I have a new favorite meat store, The Butchery in Costa Mesa. They have high quality meat and very knowledgeable people behind the counter. If you have a meat question, go ahead and ask; they have the answers. In addition to great meat, they have a fine selection of cheese, beer and wine. It is a fun place to plan your next barbecue!

Start Low and Slow

For reverse seared steaks, you start with a 200 degree oven and room temperature steaks. Put the steaks in the oven until they reach 110 to 115 degrees internally. This will take about 20 - 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steaks. I check after 20 minutes just to be sure because with the price of these steaks you don't want to screw up. Check the temperature with a good quality thermometer by inserting your thermometer into the side of the steak. By going in through the side of the steak, instead of the top, you get a better, more accurate reading. This is a trick I learned from the good people at The Butchery. 

You Can Prepare in Advance

The beauty of this method is you can cook the steaks well in advance and put them back in the fridge until just before you are ready to eat. Just bring them back to room temp before you finish them.

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Finish on the Grill or the Stove Top

This fool proof method will do wonders for your next barbecue. At our house, when thick cuts of meat are cooked on the grill and there are guests, conversation and cocktails involved, it is easy to miscalculate and wind up with overdone steaks. Nothing breaks my heart like overdone steaks! Using the reverse sear method, the only time you really need to focus is for the three minutes it takes to sear the steaks. Even when we have a house full of guests and the cocktails are flowing, we can generally focus for this crucial three minutes!

 

Alternatively, the steaks can be seared in a cast iron skillet or a grill pan. Easy peasy. Heat your pan up with a little olive oil over high heat. When the pan and the oil are nice and hot, sear the steak for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side, remove from the heat, rest for 10 minutes and slice. Your steaks will be perfect! If you want to get fancy, swirl in a pat of butter to finish.

Kosher Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper and Olive Oil

No need to marinate or use a lot of seasoning on theses steaks. Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper is all you need. I cook my steaks in olive oil, because I use olive oil for just about everything. Some olive oils have higher smoke points and do just fine with high heat.

Make a Little Extra

Make a little extra for sandwiches or a steak salad the next day. Warning, this steak is so good despite best intentions to cook extra, every last strip may be gobbled up.

Reverse Seared Steaks

Prep

Cook

Total

The easiest, most foolproof, perfectly cooked steaks you will ever make.

Ingredients

  • 2 1½" thick to 2" thick well marbled ribeye steaks (1 to 1½ pounds each)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 200 degrees F. Bring your steaks to room temperature and place in a baking or roasting pan. Cook until the internal temperature is about 110 to 115 degrees F. This will take 30 to 40 minutes depending on the thickness of your steaks. Check the temperature with a thermometer inserted into the side of the steak for the best reading. When steaks are at the correct temperature, remove them from the oven. At this point you can proceed with searing the steaks, or cover and refrigerate to cook later.
  2. If you have refrigerated the steaks after cooking them in the oven, return the steaks to room temperature before you sear them. Dry them well, rub them with a bit of olive oil and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear over high heat on the grill or on the stove in a cast iron pan. Sear for 1½ to 2 minutes on each side to form a nice crust. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Courses Dinner

Cuisine New American

Reverse Seared Steaks

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 - 4 servings

The easiest, most foolproof, perfectly cooked steaks you will ever make.

Ingredients

  • 2 1 1/2" thick to 2" thick well marbled ribeye steaks (1 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 200 degrees F. Bring your steaks to room temperature and place in a baking or roasting pan. Cook until the internal temperature is about 110 to 115 degrees F. This will take 30 to 40 minutes depending on the thickness of your steaks. Check the temperature with a thermometer inserted into the side of the steak for the best reading. When steaks are at the correct temperature, remove them from the oven. At this point you can proceed with searing the steaks, or cover and refrigerate to cook later.
  2. If you have refrigerated the steaks after cooking them in the oven, return the steaks to room temperature before you sear them. Dry them well, rub them with a bit of olive oil and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear over high heat on the grill or on the stove in a cast iron pan. Sear for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side to form a nice crust. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cuisine New American

 

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15 COMMENTS

Comments

  1. Marybell Avila says:

    GREAT WAY TO COOK THE STEAKS, THIS IS OUR SECOND TIME USING THIS RECIPE WE LOVE IT.
    THANKS KIM

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      So glad you liked the technique. It is a game changer when you are cooking for a crowd.

  2. Tim Dean says:

    We used this recipe last night on some extra thick New York steaks and they came out perfect!
    Thanks Kim!

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      So glad you enjoyed the method. I like to use this method when I am cooking steak for a crowd. I precook the steaks in advance, then all we have to do is sear and serve. No more slaving over the barbecue when guests have arrived, and better yet, no more “OMG I forgot the steaks!”

  3. Brenda says:

    I’m cooking for 13 people and making steak and chicken along w/ rice and steamed veggies! Oh sautéed mushrooms w/ garlic, so I was looking for a way to get a jump start!! Wish me luck.

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Sounds wonderful. When is dinner? Haha! I think you will really appreciate this method. I have a friend who owns several restaurants and loves to grill steaks at home for guests. He told me “this is the only way to cook steaks for a crowd.” I would add that sous vide is another excellent method for pre-cooking for a crowd. Check out my post The Best Steak of Your Life for the sous vide method. Both methods, reverse sear and sous vide essentially take the same approach of slow cooking the steak to the internal temperature and doneness you prefer and then finishing it with a sear on the stove or grill. Have a great meal with your family and friends!

  4. Mashwe Hla says:

    my problem is: I don’t want the house to smell like food when I sear the steaks the day of the party.
    I’d like to know if I seared it well the day before, and placing it on the chaffing dish to reheat it the next day will be okay. As I am making small fillet mignon for 50 people along with lamb chops and all, for a house party.

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Wow! You are taking on a big event. It is a matter of personal preference. I would reverse sear or sous vide the day before and then sear or grill briefly when ready to serve. But then I don’t mind the smell of searing meat. I think the smell stimulates people’s appetites. Good luck! I think it will be great however you do it.

  5. Janie says:

    Hi, can I use this method for flank steak. About a 2 pound piece? Thank you

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Hi Janie, I have never done flank steak in the sous vide. Why? Generally I like to use sous vide for a thick, tender steak such as a ribeye or filet mignon. I look for steaks that are 1 1/2″ to 2.” The goal is to get an edge to edge perfect medium rare that only requires a brief searing when finished. The other reason I use sous vide on meat is to break down a tough piece of meat like a brisket, pork shoulder or short ribs. These I sous vide for a long time at low temperatures. Check out my 60-Hour Sous Vide Short Rib recipe as an example. I got to thinking about your question and I would categorize flank steak as a tougher, more muscly cut of meat and wondered how it would fair cooked sous vide. So I did some research and found there are two schools of thought. The first group cooks flank steak, much like you would cook a more tender cut of meat, setting the temperature between 129 degrees and 135 degrees (for medium rare) for 1 to 3 hours. The other school of thought calls for significantly longer sous vide cooking times of 6 to 48 hours, at temperatures between 132 to 133 degrees (for medium rare.) You will get very different textures depending on how long you sous vide the steak. The shorter sous vide times between one and three hours will yield a traditional, more steak-like texture. The longer sous vide times of 5 to 48 hours will serve to breakdown the muscle fibers and produce a buttery, almost fork-tender flank. So you need to think about what you are trying to achieve to determine sous vide time.

  6. Scott Lairson says:

    Do I have to use a cast iron skillet? Can I use a non-stick ?

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Cast iron or a good stainless steel pan is the best for getting a good sear. That said I have used my Scan Pan ceramic non-stick skillets and gotten a good sear. The problem is most non-stick pans are not designed to take high heat and high heat is required for a good sear. In general, non-stick is not the first choice, but try your pans and you may find you are happy with the sear you get.

  7. Tor Marquis says:

    the experts say that its better to sear with high smoke point… peanut oil or similar :For high-temperature searing, it’s best to use a refined oil with a higher smoke point. ….Safflower, peanut, sunflower, and soy oils are also good options.” (Bon Appetit .com)

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Hi Tor, I agree it is common wisdom not to use olive oil when searing. Sometimes common wisdom is simply handed down from generation to generation without anyone double checking the science. Here is a good article that takes a deep dive into cooking at high heat with olive oil. The choice of course, is yours. : )

  8. Mjgerv says:

    This method worked great. I was able to cook 18 steaks at once. I do have one comment that I think is worth mentioning …I had 3 trays of steak, 6 steaks in each tray. In my oven I had 3 racks evenly spaced. Since my oven is gas and heat source is from bottom, the bottom rack cooked much faster than top rack. (Convection was on). So the bottom 6 steaks were more gray than top and middle rack. Next time I’m going to check the temp of bottom rack 1st and early.

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