How to Reverse Sear Filet Mignon (Step-by-Step)

“When you cook a steak, first the pan has to be piping hot before the steak goes in; this is to lock in all the juices” We all must have heard this claim repeatedly on various television cooking videos and the internet. Well, this theory has already been debunked many times by different food scientists, who claim that this makes the piece of meat lose even more juices during the cooking process.  

In my opinion, it can be considered half correct because the purpose of searing is not just to “lock-in” all the juices. Searing meat in a hot pan creates the chemical reaction called the “Maillard” reaction. “Maillard” reaction, in simple terms, is a chemical reaction when the protein meets high heat and the sugar from its amino acid caramelizes to create a browning, like many great chefs would say: Color is FLAVOR! But an even more straightforward way to describe it is DELICIOUSNESS!!!

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    Does Reverse Sear Work for Filet Mignon?

    For any type of thicker cut steaks, there’s no doubt the best technique would be the reverse sear method, or some would call it “redneck sous vide.” This cooking technique can be used not strictly only for outdoor grilling but also for indoor grilling.

    Are Steaks Better Pan Seared or Grilled?

    Please don’t knock it until you have tried it! This recipe will show you how to pan-sear steak after grilling!

    For an impeccable result, you would need a pan with a large enough area for evenly heat distribution, and you also need a grill whose temperature can be digitally adjusted and able to hold at a set temperature.

    Essentially it comes down to 2 elements of cooking using this technique:

    1. Low and slow (brings the meat to the desired temperature of doneness)
    2. High and fast (creates a Maillard reaction for color and flavor)

    Steak Temperature Chart: Cook Perfect Steaks Every Time!

    steak temperature chart

    What to Serve with Reverse Seared Filet Mignon?

    Reverse Seared Filet Mignon Steak Recipe

    Servings 2
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


    • Z Grills Pellet Smoker
    • Z Grills Apple Wood Pellets


    For steak

    • 8 Ounce Prime Beef Tenderloin Steaks
    • Coarse Grind Sea Salt
    • Peppercorn Medley
    • Kitchen Twine

    For pan sauce

    • 6 Ounce Beef Broth
    • 2 Ounce Cognac
    • 1/3 of a whole shallot
    • 2 sprigs of thyme
    • 2 Ounce Heavy Cream
    • Salt and Pepper to taste


    • Vegetable of Choice


    • Prepare tenderloins by tying a piece of twine around the side of the steaks to form a circular shape; this allows the steaks to hold their nice shape during the cooking process.
      Prepare tenderloins
    • Evenly coat both sides of the steaks by seasoning with sea salt and the peppercorn medley
      seasoning with sea salt and the peppercorn medley
    • Preheat the grill to the 225F; refer to the temperature doneness chart above. Place steaks on the grill and slow cook for 1 hour. This will allow the seasoning to penetrate while drying the outside surface, giving you the perfect crust on the steak with the reverse sear.
    • After 1 hour, take the steaks out from the grill. Coat the steaks with a choice of cooking oil. Here are 2 options: turn up the heat on the grill to 500F or use a thick bottom pan for the last reverse sear process. I chose a pan for this recipe because we can make a pan sauce with the steaks.
      use a thick bottom pan for the last reverse sear process
    • Sear the steaks until a nice dark brown crust develops; with the reverse seared method, resting is not necessary.
      Sear the steaks
    • After taking the steak out of the pan, do not wash the pan. Add in the beef broth, cognac, shallots, and thyme; reduce the liquid by 1/3 and add in the heavy cream. Reduce that by half, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
      Add in the beef broth, cognac
    • To assemble, place the grilled vegetable of choice onto the plate, slice the filet mignon and place on top of the vegetables, glaze the steak with pan sauce and serve.
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Beef, Seared, Steak

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    About The Author

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    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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