With a delicious, savory crust and a warm, pink center, there’s nothing quite like a great steak. In Basics by The BakerMama: How to Reverse Sear a Steak, I teach you a simple, two-step process to grilling the perfect steak every time.

Basics by The BakerMama

Welcome to Basics by The BakerMama! I created this how-to series to help beginner cooks hone their skills, make the most of their time in the kitchen, and create great family memories. I hope you enjoy!

What’s Reverse Searing?

What does it mean to reverse sear? I’m so glad you asked! In short, reverse seared is the only way to cook a steak. Often when you cook a piece of meat, you’ll sear it in the pan and then move it to the oven to bake. This is… the reverse of that. Cook first, sear second. The goal of reverse searing is to get a perfectly cooked steak end-to-end with a crisp, browned crust without overcooking the outside or undercooking the middle. The reverse searing method works best with a thick cut steak, usually 1.5-2” thick. Our go-to is a New York strip or ribeye with good marbling but any cut works.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Prep Your Steak

Start by patting your thick-cut steak dry with a paper towel. Then season it generously with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper on all sides. Pat the salt and pepper into the steaks.

The less moisture, the better with a reverse sear. So you can even refrigerate the steaks uncovered overnight to really dry them out to develop a better crust at the end. Otherwise, you can put the steaks on the grill as soon as it’s ready.

You’ll need a good instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the steak throughout the cooking process.

Prep Your Grill

Create two zones on your grill. If you have a gas grill, turn half of the burners on to low-medium. For a charcoal grill, light the coals only on one half under the grill. During the first cooking step, your internal grill temperature should be around 200-300°F. Speaking of temperature, if you need a good guide for steak doneness, here’s a handy chart!

Steak Temperature Chart:
Rare: 120-125 degrees F
Medium-Rare: 130-135 degrees F
Medium: 140-145 degrees F
Medium-Well: 150-155 degrees F
Well Done: 160-165 degrees F

Now Let’s Reverse Sear a Steak!

The two-step method is simple. The first step cooks the steak over low, indirect heat, which slowly raises the internal temperature of your meat for overall even cooking from edge to edge. During this step, you slightly undercook the steak. The second step is all about the heat and creates that amazing crispy brown crust

Start by cooking the steak over low, indirect heat on one half of the grill. Place the steak directly on the grill grates on the cool side, away from the heat or fire. If you’re cooking a New York Strip, position the steak so that the fat side is facing the heat source.

Cook until the steak reaches an internal temperature that is 10-15°F away from your desired steak doneness (we remove at 115°F for a nice medium rare). Timing will depend on the thickness of your steak and the temperature of your grill, so use the thermometer to check the steak often. On our grill, a 2-inch thick steak takes about an 45 minutes to an hour to reach our desired temperature.

Once it reaches the desired temperature, move the steak off the grill. Heat your grill to the highest heat possible. Once it reaches full heat, return the steak to the hottest part of the grill. Sear the steak over high heat, flipping frequently (every 15-20 seconds), until crisp and charred all over (about 2-3 minutes total).

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Searing the steak over the highest heat of your grill gives you that delicious crispy brown crust and finishes cooking your steak those last 10-15°F degrees to get to your desired doneness for your perfectly cooked steak.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Now you have a perfectly cooked steak! Serve right away and enjoy! Might I suggest pairing it with a delicious baked potato?

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Ready to Learn More?

Looking for more of Basics by The BakerMama? Try How to Bake Bacon for the most scrumptious, crispy (and camera-ready!) bacon every time. Or learn How to Poach an Egg!

I hope you find these simple basics helpful! When you make something with the help of my BakerMama’s Basics series, be sure to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @thebakermama so I can see and others can be inspired!

xoxo,

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Basics by The BakerMama: How to Reverse Sear a Steak

  • Author: The BakerMama

Description

In Basics by The BakerMama: How to Reverse Sear a Steak, I teach you a simple, two-step process to grilling the perfect steak every time.


Ingredients

  • Thick-cut steak (1.5-2 inches thick)

Instructions

  1. For a gas grill, turn half of the burners on to low-medium. For a charcoal grill, light the coals only on one half. Heat to an internal grill temperature around 200-300°F.
  2. Place steak directly on grill grates on cool side, away from the fire. Cook until the steak reaches an internal temperature that is 10-15°F away from your desired steak doneness.
  3. Move the steak off the grill. Heat grill to the highest heat possible. Once it reaches full heat, return the steak to the hottest part of the grill.
  4. Sear the steak over high heat, flipping frequently (every 15-20 seconds), until crisp and charred all over (about 2-3 minutes total).

Notes

Steak Temperature Chart:

Rare: 120-125 degrees F
Medium-Rare: 130-135 degrees F
Medium: 140-145 degrees F
Medium-Well: 150-155 degrees F
Well Done: 160-165 degrees F

About The BakerMama

Maegan is the author of the best-selling Beautiful Boards and its next-level follow-up, Spectacular Spreads. She started blogging in 2012 and has over 700 original recipes on The BakerMama. She truly enjoys sharing her easy, family-friendly recipes, creative meal ideas, food board creations, and entertaining spreads to encourage others to get in the kitchen and make something memorable for their loved ones to enjoy together. Learn More

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Comments

  1. Reverse-searing is a beautiful way to do a steak… and… 😉 If you happen to have a sous vide/immersion circulator (I was lucky enough to score one as a birthday present!), I highly recommend trying it for the first part of the process. The finish on the grill/stovetop is still the same, but sous vide gets it so perfectly cooked on the inside, it’s out of this world.

    In lieu of sous vide, though, the reverse-sear is totally my go-to. I wish I’d known about it years ago before I charred so many steaks on the grill… 😮

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