Reverse Sear a Steak to Get the Best Taste Possible

Reverse Sear a Steak to Get the Best Taste Possible
By Norm Huffnagle

Almost any BBQ book you pick up will tell you “Sear the meat first”.

Well, they’re dead wrong.

I can tell you that if you do sear first, you might just as well be cooking boot leather, for all its worth.

The “experts” will tell you that searing seals the meat’s pores, trapping the moisture and making the meat juicy and tender.


There’s less than 7% difference between the meat seared before its cooked and the meat seared after its cooked as you like it. So much for “juicy”. Sear before, you merely burn the meat. So much for “tender”.

The act of Searing the meat is to create a dark, flavorful bark on the outside of the meat. It’s presence adds to the flavor of the meat, and done right, eating it is a wonderful experience. But the meat’s surface must achieve the Maillard temperature to be effective. That’s around 300°F. You try to get that on a bare piece of meat, you’re asking for trouble!

Let me educate you.

Searing before cooking makes the meat under the seared surface, and about ¼” in, dry and burned tasting. Searing after the meat’s been cooked, makes a thin film of excellent, flavorful bark on the outside without harming the already cooked meat. Very tasty and tender, indeed!

What do you need to create this Culinary Perfection?

First, you’ll need a piece of beef that’s at least 1″ thick. Have the butcher cut you a ribeye steak about 2″ thick and you’re on your way to Heaven!

For this technique to be fool-proof, to work smoothly, without any guesswork, you’ll need a remote reading, instant read thermometer. The meat’s internal temperature is critical!

Finally, you’ll need a heavy-duty cooking surface, like a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

The Procedure unmasked:

Preheat your oven to 250°F.

Place the steak in a foil-lined baking pan.

Insert the thermometer deep into the center of the meat.

Cover the steak with a piece of foil.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake until the meat thermometer registers 200°F (medium-rare).

Remove the meat at let rest as you prepare to sear the Bejeebers out of it!

Preheat that heavy-duty cooking surface to a screamingly hot temperature (over 500°F).

Lightly brush the steak on all sides with Avocado or Grapeseed oil ( these have very high smoke temperatures, so they won’t burn during this next step).

Sear that steak on all sides. Leave it sit about 3 minutes on a side until a nice bark forms, then oil and flip the steak over.

Let the seared steak rest for 5 minutes under foil.

Slice and serve.

If you like this article, check out my latest Amazon book on BBQ done right: “Grillin’ and Chillin'” by Big Jim McClintock.

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