I like to make reverse sear steak for evenly cooked and reliably juicy results. This technique takes longer, but the juicy result is well worth it!
I don't know about you, but I LOVE steaks. 🥩I just wish they weren't so expensive! Whenever I have some extra time, and I have some yummy steaks that I want to cook, I choose the reverse sear method.
Yes, this method requires more time commitment than other cooking methods. But I love the reliably juicy steaks it produces, and to me, it's well worth the extra time.
What is the reverse sear method?
This unique method is achieved by changing the usual order in which one prepares steak.
Normally, you would cook the steak in a very hot skillet for about two minutes on each side. Then you would transfer the skillet to a hot (500 degrees F) oven to roast until the meat is done, 3-5 minutes depending on how done you like your steak.
When making reverse sear steak, you change the order of these steps. First, you gently bake the steaks in a slow oven, bringing them to an internal temperature of 110 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.
How long does it take to reverse sear a steak?
That depends on the thickness of your steak and on your own oven. Generally, I find that for a 1.5-inch thick steak at fridge temperature, it takes about 20 minutes in the oven, plus a quick searing in a cast-iron skillet. But the only way to know for sure is to use a meat thermometer.
At what temperature do you bake the steak?
You have some flexibility when it comes to the oven temperature. You can go as low as 250 degrees F or as high as 300 degrees F. I usually opt for something in the middle, so 275 degrees F. Needless to say, the steak will need to stay longer in a slow oven.
What skillet should you use?
This is a very easy question to answer! When it comes to searing, the best tool is a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. It's superb in terms of heat retention and distribution, and sears steaks perfectly. It's the only type of skillet I use when cooking steaks. Although I admit that heavy-duty stainless steel can work too.
What are the advantages of this method?
The main advantage of this cooking method is that you get reliably juicy, evenly cooked steaks. None of those steaks that are nearly burnt on the outside but still raw in the inside!
In addition, since you rest the steaks before the final searing, you can eat them hot, right off the skillet. There's no need to rest them after cooking.
What are the disadvantages?
The main disadvantages are that reverse-seared steaks take longer to cook and that to truly make it work, you need a meat thermometer.
You also get less of a crust on your steaks because you only sear them for a minute or so. Take a look at the photo in my How to Cook Steak tutorial - you can see that those steaks have a thicker and darker crust on them, and that thick crust is very flavorful.
Still, whenever I have the extra time, I use this method when cooking steaks. I find that the juicy, evenly cooked result is well worth it despite the drawbacks.
Can you use ribeye steaks?
Yes, absolutely! In this recipe and video, as you can see, I used NY strip steaks. But you can use this cooking method with any type of steak.
And by the way, if you prefer to cook a whole roast, you should definitely try this super easy recipe for delicious, juicy ribeye roast!
How to serve reverse-seared steak
Serve it with any side dish that you would normally serve with meat, such as mashed cauliflower, arugula salad, steamed broccoli, or jicama fries. And if you happen to have some sauteed onions (or if you have the patience for making them), they make a great topping for steaks.
What to do with leftovers?
Keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them VERY gently so as not to dry them out, in the microwave, covered, on 50% power. Or slice them and use them cold in a steak salad or in a lettuce sandwich. That's actually my favorite way to use them.
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Reverse Seared Steak
- 1 (10 oz) NY strip steak, 1 ½ inch thick
- ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Season your steak on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper. You don't need to take the steak out of the fridge in advance.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Fit the baking sheet with a metal rack. Grease the rack.
- Place the steak on the rack. Insert the probe of a meat thermometer (I got mine on Amazon) into the steak. Bake the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 110 degrees F. For me, with a fridge-temperature, 1 ½ inch thick steak, this usually takes about 20 minutes.
- Remove the steak from the oven. Transfer to a plate, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- While the steak is resting, heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking hot, 5-7 minutes. If the skillet is well-seasoned, you don't need to grease it. Gently pat the steak dry with paper towels, then place it in the hot skillet. Sear the steak 1 minute on each side and a few seconds on the edges, then top with butter and serve.