Have you ever heard of the term reverse sear? What is it? Why would you want to do that to your steak? Is it healthy? Here I will break down the term reverse searing steaks and why I like to do it.


What Is Reverse Searing?

Reverse searing is the process of cooking a steak in the oven or on an indirect heat source before finishing it off on the grill. It’s a great way to add more flavor to your steaks, and it helps to tenderize them as well. If you’re not familiar with “reverse searing” already, then read on for some answers to questions you might have about this cooking method!

reverse sear

What are the benefits of Reverse Searing?

1. More flavor

Reversing the cooking process of a steak has a lot of benefits, but one of the most important is that it gives you more flavor. The reason for this is simple: when you sear a steak at high heat, most of the fat and juices from inside your meat get cooked away. When you reverse sear, however, those juices are now concentrated in the middle of your steak instead of being spread throughout.

The outside gets nice and crispy thanks to its time on high heat—which means this method will give even more texture to what can sometimes be an overly tender cut without much flavor. But because there’s also still some moisture inside (thanks to all that fat), cooking it with indirect heat ensures your meal stays juicy while giving it plenty of time to cook through completely before serving or slicing into thick slices like flank or hanger steaks


2. Your Meat is More Tender

Reverse searing is a method of cooking steak that produces more tender, juicy results. To reverse sear, you first let the meat come to room temperature and then roast it in low heat until it’s medium rare (or whatever temperature you’d like). It can be difficult to determine whether or not a piece of meat is ready to eat if you’ve never done this before—but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to tell when your steak is ready by its consistency and color.

When cooking steaks using this method, there are three things to keep in mind:

  • The cut of meat matters. You want to choose one with plenty of marbling (i.e., fat) so that it will remain tender after being cooked at high temperatures for an extended period of time without drying out too much.*
  • The thickness matters too; thicker cuts require longer cook times than thinner ones do.
  • * Finally—and most importantly—the temperature has an effect on how well-done or rare your finished product will turn out!


3. More Temperature Control

With reverse-seared steaks, you can control the temperature of your steak to cook it to the desired temperature without overcooking it. If you’re making a rare cut of meat, this is especially important because even cooking an inch or two above the desired temperature will cause enough damage to ruin the flavor.

When cooking on a flat top grill, I typically have problems getting my steak up over medium rare. It gets there after about 10-15 minutes but then starts cooking too fast once I flip it over—less than 3 minutes and I’ve got myself a well-done steak that’s tough to chew through. With reverse searing, however, this isn’t an issue! Because we’ve brought our temperatures down low and then moved them up slowly in small increments as we sear each side of our steaks (or burgers), they’ll come out perfectly medium rare every time!


4. No More Ruining Good Pieces of Meat.

With this method, you won’t be ruining good pieces of meat. When you’re cooking steak directly on an open flame or in a pan, there’s always the risk of overcooking it. When you reverse sear, you can relax and enjoy your meal knowing that every bite will be cooked to perfection—no matter what temperature you prefer or how thick the steak is. You’ll never have to waste any food by throwing away over- or undercooked portions again!


5. No More Uneven Cooking

Unless they’re perfectly seasoned and evenly distributed throughout your cut, seasonings can sometimes leave certain parts of a steak underseasoned while other areas are overpowered by spices. With reverse searing, however: no more worrying about unevenly seasoned steaks! Because all sides are exposed to high heat at once during the cooking process (which happens during your last 5 minutes on the grill), all parts of this method experience consistent seasoning from start to finish—leaving nothing behind but tender meat with just enough flavor for everyone’s taste buds’ delight!


How To Reverse Sear Your Steak


Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you’re using charcoal, make sure the coals are clean and glowing red before you start cooking. Oil the grates of your grill, then place the steak on one side of the grate as far away from direct flames as possible (this will prevent flare-ups). On gas grills you can use the rack above the grates and set the meat on there. 

Smoke for 20–25 minutes per side.* Turn once during this time period: about halfway through, flip over so that both sides are evenly charred and cooked through; when finished smoking on each side, remove from heat and let rest for 5–10 minutes before slicing into it (this will allow juices to redistribute throughout meat).*

Note: The exact amount of time needed will depend on how thick or thin your steak is—and whether or not it was frozen beforehand—but these guidelines should get you started in figuring out what works best for yours! On a gas grill, it can vary with how high you have the burners. I have had it up pretty high before but the higher the temperature, the more you need to pay attention to the temperature of the meat so you don’t overcook it. 


Select A Cut of Meat

steaks hanging from a hook


Select a cut of meat that is good for smoking. The best steaks to use are thicker cuts, like ribeye or strip loin. Avoid extremely thin cuts as they will cook very quickly and most likely be overcooked when you remove them from the smoker or grill.

The cut should not be too thick or too thin. If your steak is too thick it may take much longer than necessary to cook through and become dry, but if it’s too thin you run the risk of overcooking it before reaching a safe internal temperature which could lead to food poisoning!

Your steak should also not be too fatty or lean either—this can make it difficult for smoke flavor penetrates into the meat during the cooking process because fat holds in moisture better than muscle tissue does!


Preheat The Grill/ Smoker.

hot coals in a smoker for reverse searing

Preheat the grill for at least 30 minutes before you want to cook. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals are hot and covered with ash. You can also use a gas grill with a temperature gauge. If it’s on high, it should be between 500°F and 600°F (260°C and 315°C). If it’s on medium-high or medium, it should be about 400°F (205°C). If your heat doesn’t have settings like this, just wait until your grill is nice and hot before putting anything on it!


Time to reverse sear your steak!


You’re now ready to start smoking your steak. It is essential that you use a smoker grill in order to maintain the temperature needed for the reverse-searing process. If you don’t have access to a smoker grill, don’t fret—you can still do this at home with just a charcoal grill (and possibly some extra tools).

We recommend using apple wood chips as they impart a mild sweetness that compliments this particular cut of meat very well. We also recommend adding liquid smoke and herbs & spices such as garlic or onion powder if desired! Finally, don’t forget about salt & pepper!


Let your steak rest!

After you’ve seared your steak, it needs to rest. This is the key step that sets a reverse sear apart from other types of cooking. After cooking a steak in this way, you can pop it into a hot oven or under the broiler for just a minute or two and get an incredibly juicy medium-rare treat.garlic parmesan


But why do we need to let our steaks rest after a reverse sear?

The first reason is pretty obvious: the meat will be more tender. By letting the meat rest, juices have time to redistribute throughout your cut—and if you have any trouble cutting into a tenderloin with all those juices still inside, then I don’t know what to tell you! The second reason has less to do with flavor and more to do with texture—when you cut into your steak too soon after taking it out of the pan or grill (or of whatever heat source it was cooked over), there’s too much heat at its center for its fat cells to set properly.


Sear your steak!


To sear your steak, heat your grill to high heat. The temperature should be consistent throughout the cooking surface. Place your steak on the hottest part of the grill and sear it for 60-90 seconds per side. 

After 60-90 seconds, flip the steak over and sear it on that side as well. If you don’t have much experience with grilling meat, this may take some practice—don’t worry if your first few attempts aren’t perfect!

Once both sides are seared, use an instant-read thermometer (or another method) to check whether or not your steak is done: rare: 125 degrees F; medium-rare: 130 degrees F; medium 140 degrees F; well-done 150+ degrees F

smoked ribeye steak

Barbecued meat is ideal for family gatherings, such as picnics and barbecues. If you’re hosting a summer party at your house, consider making barbecued meat one of the dishes that will be served to your guests. Most people love barbecued food and it will likely go over well with everyone who attends your event!


You can now reverse sear a steak and have it turn out amazing. It is an excellent way to cook a steak that will impress all your friends and family members when they come over for dinner. Just remember, patience is key with this method so do not rush through the process or you might end up with dry meat instead.


I will include some links to some great recipes to try this technique with!

Reverse Seared Tri-Tip Sandwich

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Ribeye Steaks

Ribeye Steaks With A Herb Compound Butter

Roasted Garlic Chimichurri NY Strip Steaks

Below are some links to products that I use a lot when reversing searing meat!

Hasty-Bake Grill

Knitted Gloves

Cast Iron Skillet 

Meater +

Charcoal Chimney

Charcoal Starters

Firestarter Guard