What is Reverse Sear: Beginner’s Guide

When you cook a steak, conventional wisdom says to give the exterior a hefty sear first. Once you have a nice color on all sides, you finish the meat on the grill to make its juicy goodness available in every bite.

If you’ve tried to cook a thick steak with this method, the results were likely underwhelming. The problem that you get when searing it first is that you can get an uneven cook in the middle. Your efforts might say medium, but the outcome might offer something rarer.

The best solution to prevent an undercooked or unevenly prepared thick steak is to use the reverse searing method.

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    What is the Reverse Searing Method for Steaks?

    If you have a 1.5-inch or thicker steak to prepare at home, you can benefit from the reverse searing method. Anything thinner will cook too quickly on the grill using this methodology.

    The best steaks for reverse searing tend to be a top sirloin, ribeye, or a NY Strip. If you’re careful with a filet mignon, it’ll also come out well with this cooking method.

    How to Reverse Sear Steak?

    Here are the steps to take to receive a more controllable outcome with a thick cut while maximizing the flavor.

    1. Prep the Steak and Grill

    Although you could cook the steak on your grill, the flavor profile is significantly better when using a grill. You’ll want the temperature to reach 225 °F (135 °C) before putting the meat on to sizzle. While you’re waiting, add some dried thyme, ground ancho chile pepper, some garlic powder, and black pepper for seasoning.

    You’ll want to start slowly heating a pan for the eventual searing process if you’re using an oven instead of a grill. A cast-iron skillet in the oven with your steak is a fantastic choice that’ll save you some time in the long run.

    2. Check the Steaks Temperature

    If you want a medium-rare steak, the internal temperature must reach 90°F when using this methodology to ensure the sear can achieve the doneness levels you want. When you prefer a medium result, you can go up to 105 °F (41 °C) during the grilling process.

    Since the searing process will continue the cooking process, you don’t want the steaks to finish on the grill. The temperature increases once you put the meat on a hot skillet or use the grill at a higher temp setting.

    Further reading: steak internal temp guide

    3. Give the Steak a Solid Sear

    You can also add a tablespoon of butter at the end of the cook to baste the steak, adding flavor and brownness to the presentation.

    4. Allow the Steak to Rest

    The problem with most steaks is that they get sliced too early. You need to let them rest for about five minutes for carryover cooking. The best way to complete this step is to place the meat on a wire rack above a baking sheet, although a clean plate is a suitable alternative. Once it has finished resting, you’re free to enjoy it!

    Reverse Searing

    Why is the Reverse Searing Method Perfect for Grilling?

    When you have a grill that lets you set specific temperatures while offering smoking advantages, you’ll end up with the best steak of your life!

    That’s why a Z Grills pellet grill is the perfect backyard investment. You can prep the steak in whatever way you like, set the temperature to 225 °F, and let it smoke for 45 to 60 minutes.

    You don’t need to open the grill to inspect the meat. Z Grills delivers the consistent temperatures required for the perfect reverse sear. When you cook it “low and slow,” the beef becomes tender while your favorite flavors from the pellet smoke. That’s not something you can get from the oven in your kitchen!

    The Z Grills 600 series is the perfect solution for the reverse sear. You’ll have a cooking area to support the thickest steaks while having the precise temperature controls needed to get the meat temperatures right.

    With the Z Grills 600 series, you can skip the cast-iron pan or skillet by adjusting the grill to direct flame mode and cranking up the grill’s heat. Give it a few minutes to preheat, then give it that beautiful sear that will lock in all the flavor from the smoke.

    Once you’ve tried the reverse sear, you’ll never want to cook a thick steak the same way ever again. When you have a Z Grills pellet grill to use, you can make culinary perfection.

    Best Reverse-Seared Recipes

    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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