Reverse-seared steak is made by reversing the usual order in which one prepares steak. Normally, you would sear the steak in a very hot skillet for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a hot (450 degrees F) oven to roast until done, 3-5 minutes depending on how done you like your steaks.
When reverse searing, you first gently bake the steaks in a slow oven, bringing them to an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. You then rest them, allowing the juices to re-distribute; finally a quick sear, 1 minute per side, and you got yourself big, juicy, reliably medium-rare steaks.
When it comes to searing the steaks, the best tool is a well-seasoned cast iron griddle. It’s superb in terms of heat retention and distribution, and sears steaks perfectly. Cast iron griddles are relatively inexpensive and do not take up a lot of storage space. I use a reversible one by Lodge ($45 on Amazon), that creates beautiful grill marks on my steaks.
The main advantage of reverse-searing is that you get reliably juicy, evenly cooked steaks. In addition, since you rest the steaks before the final searing, you can eat them hot, right off the griddle. The disadvantages are that it takes longer, and that you need a meat thermometer.
These days, whenever I have the extra time, I use reverse searing when cooking steaks. I find that the juicy, evenly cooked result is well worth it.
A final word on the nutritional content of this recipe: I love fatty ribeyes and have no problem having an entire one, especially if I pair it with something light (a sliced tomato is great). Obviously you can split a huge steak between two people, eat half and save the leftovers for another meal, or choose smaller/leaner cuts such as tenderloin or sirloin. Click for the recipe