Want to know how to reverse sear steak your steak?
You might be wondering why you would want to take hours to smoke a steak when you can grill it for a few minutes? Well The tastiest way to grill a steak is by using your smoker. However this some technique to this if you want to get that crusty outer and medium rare center.
This technique can be tricky to master, so make sure you follow my reverse seared steak method below!
Table of contents
What is Reverse Searing?
Reverse searing involves cooking the steak on low heat before searing it in a pan. The reverse searing method of grilling steak on a pellet grill ensure your steak is cooked consistently everything single time. You get the best of both worlds, a delicious smoky flavor and a perfect crust.
What Are The Benefits Of Reverse Searing?
Here are some of the benefits of using the reverse searing method and why it’s a technique worth mastering for any steak lover:
Reverse searing provides a high degree of control over the final doneness of the steak. By using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature during the low and slow cooking phase, you can achieve the exact level of doneness you desire, whether it’s rare, medium-rare, medium, or well-done.
One of the primary advantages of reverse searing is its ability to achieve even and controlled cooking throughout the entire thickness of the meat.
By starting with a low and slow cooking process, the interior of the steak cooks gently and evenly, allowing the meat’s proteins to denature gradually.
Cooking slowing ensures you get a juicy and tender interior while minimizing moisture loss. Unlike traditional high-heat grilling, where the outer can become overcooked before the center reaches the desired doneness, reverse searing helps maintain the moisture within the steak
The extended cooking time at lower temperatures in the initial phase of reverse searing allows the meat’s natural flavors to develop and deepen.
his slow process encourages the breakdown of connective tissues and renders out intramuscular fat. As the steak cooks slowly, it absorbs the aromatic wood smoke or charcoal flavors.
Reduced Risk of Charring
Traditional searing methods often involve exposing the meat to extremely high temperatures, which can lead to charring or even burning on the surface.
With reverse searing, the controlled low-temperature cooking prevents charring, resulting in a caramelized crust without the bitterness
Choosing A Steak To Reverse Sear
When you’re in the process of selecting a steak, there are several factors to consider. With an array of cuts available, the task of finding the ideal steak may feel daunting,
When it comes to choosing the perfect steaks for the reverse sear method, certain things that I look for. Steaks should have generous marbling and a substantial thickness. Personally, I look for that steaks around 1 to 1½ inches.
Seasoning Your Steak
To start you need to season your steak, this is also known as brining the steak. Remove your steak from the fridge and place the steak on a grilling rack. Then sprinkle the whole steak with salt, then place the steak back in the fridge for a few hours.
You can skip this step and just salt your steak before your ready cook, however I giving the salt time to penetrate the steak gives you a much tastier and juicer steak.
Smoking The Steak
The next step is smoking your steak. If possible leave the salted steak in the fridge for at least 2 hours, however if you can leave it for 8 hours.
Then once your ready to cook, set your smoker to 180°F – 220°F and set it up for indirect cooking. I like to use a medium flavored wood like maple, pecan or oak for steak. If you want to go for a heavier smoke flavor use mesquite.
While you wait for your smoke to heat up give the steak another rub with some pepper and salt.
Place your steak in the smoker and let it cook until the internal temperature reaches 100°F – 110°F (this is for medium rare, I have included a table below for all levels of doneness).
The temperature above is for a steak that is 1 to 1½ inches. If you smoking a steak thicker than this you may want to wait until the internal temperature is 125°F.
|Doneness Level||Temperature to Remove from Smoker (Fahrenheit)||Internal Temperature to Remove From Cast Iron Pan (Fahrenheit)||Final Target Temperature (Fahrenheit)|
|Rare||110°F – 115°F||120°F – 125°F||130°F – 135°F|
|Medium Rare||120°F – 125°F||130°F – 135°F||140°F – 145°F|
|Medium||130°F – 135°F||140°F – 145°F||150°F – 155°F|
|Medium Well||140°F – 145°F||150°F – 155°F||160°F – 165°F|
|Well Done||150°F and above||160°F and above||170°F and above|
Reverse Searing The Steak
Once the steak hits your target internal temperature, remove it from the smoker and cover it with foil. If your smoker can hit temperatures of 450°F you can use that otherwise I would recommend using a cast iron skillet on the stove. The cast iron will also give you a better crust on the steak.
Get your skillet as hot as possible, then add a tbsp of butter, once it melted add your steak to the pan. Allow it to cook for a one minute and then flip it, then cook for 1-2 minutes. For medium rare remove from the pan when you are 10°F from the final target temperature, in my case that 130°F – 135°F. I highly recommend you use a instant read thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Allow The Steak to Rest
Allow the steak to rest for at least 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, this ensures you steak stays juicy and tender.
What You Need For Reverse Seared Steak
Thick-Cut Sirloin Steak
Tbsp of Oil (high Smoke)
When Is The Best Time To Reverse Sear?
Below are some of the reasons you might use the reverse sear method.
Cooking For A Group
I will be the first to admit I’m a perfectionist in the kitchen. I want to provide my guests with the best of my skills even though that might mean a shortcut here and there.
A tip for ensuring all the steaks are ready at the same time would be knowing they are at the target temperature first and then reverse searing to order.
Ensuring the right internal temperature and then applying it to a hot grill will give you more control when dealing with a crowd. This is because it’s a fail-safe knowing they are cooked through.
Then you can focus on delivering a nice crust that you can control easier in masses.
Cooking A Thick Cut Steak
How to Reverse Sear a Steak
- A Grill type (Gas, pellet, or charcoal)
- Fuel for the grill (charcoal or wood pellets)
- Meat probe
- Burner grill or cast-iron skillet
- Aluminum foil
- Sharp knife
- 4 whole steaks
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Black pepper
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- Take the steak out of the fridge 2 hours before cooking and trim any excess fat or silver skin.
- Smother the meat in oil and salt while resting out in the refrigerator.
- Load the pellets, prime, and set the grill temperature to 180°F -220°F and wait until up to temp. Remove steak from the fridge and give them a good coat of salt and pepper.
- Put the steaks on the pellet grill in indirect heat with the fat cap facing the hottest point.
- Insert the temperature probe into the thickest part of the meat and wait until it reads 110F°F.
- Remove the steaks from the grill and rest for 5 mins.
- Heat a cast iron pan to a high temperature. When at a sizzling temperature, add the butter and add the steak and leave for 1 minute and then flip.
- Cook for another 1-2 minutes and remove from the pan when you are 10°F from your target temperature.
- Rest in a foil for 10 minutes, add fresh cracked black pepper and enjoy!
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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