Reverse searing is a steak cooking method that flips the traditional cooking of a steak upside down. Usually, when you cook a steak, you quickly sear it all over on the outside, and then lower the heat to finish the cooking process. However, when you choose to reverse sear steak, you cook it on low heat in the oven, or on the grill, first and then you sear it all over, creating that perfect, browned crust on the outside of the steak. Our friends at Chicago Steak provide these insights about this cooking method.
Why Reverse Sear Steak?
Switching your cooking method to reverse searing gives you several benefits.
Ready-made sauce in the pan
One great advantage of reverse searing a steak is that the pan drippings can be captured for use in creating a delicious sauce for the final product, if you desire. Traditional cooking methods typically evaporate most of the sauce, but reverse searing lets you use those drippings so that none of that delicious beefy flavor is wasted.
Perfect outer crust
When you put steak in the oven or grill to cook (before searing) the outer surface of the meat becomes dehydrated from the heat. Not only does this make the inside of the steak juicy and delicious, but this also means that when it does come time to sear the steak, it will quickly achieve that browned crunchy crust that gives it the perfect exterior look.
Better control over doneness
This cooking method is great for thick cuts of meat overall, but especially for cowboy ribeye steaks. These massive steaks are 2 to 3 inches thick, and they need a special cooking method to completely cook them without overcooking them. The reverse sear prevents this accidental overcooking and gently cooks the steak with an even amount of doneness throughout.
Different Cooking Methods
The most common method for reverse searing a steak involves using an oven to slowly bake the meat and then using a skillet to complete the final sear. However, you can use other things. You could slowly bake the meat in the oven and then sear it on a hot charcoal or gas grill. Additionally, if you use a grill, you can slowly cook the meat on the grill at a very low temperature for the allotted time. Remove the meat from the grill while you get it very hot, and then return the meat to the grill to sear it over the flame.
Tips and Tricks for recipe success
- Be sure to allow adequate time for this cooking method. The steak will spend between 45 minutes to a little over an hour in the oven. Then it will need to rest for 5 minutes before you sear it in the pan. Searing will take about 1 to 2 minutes, and then it will need to rest again before serving. When you consider all the steps, it can take over an hour and a half to use this cooking method.
- Be sure to allow the steak to sit out at room temperature for an hour or two before you start cooking.
- This method of cooking is appropriate for thick cuts of steak–ones that are 1 1/2 inches or more.
Instructions For the Steak:
- Let the steak sit at room temperature for about 1 to 2 hours to come to room temperature.
- Pat the surfaces of the steak dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle the steak all over with salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and place a meat rack in a baking pan to catch juices. You do not want to cook the meat in the juices.
To Cook the Steak:
- Put the steak on the rack in the pan. Put the steak into the oven and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit according to the chart below. Remember, always go with the internal temperature rather than the time.
- After you bake the steak in the oven, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes as you heat a heavy skillet over high heat.
- Place the steak in the skillet and sear it well all over until it has a golden-brown crust on all surfaces, about 45 seconds per side.
- Let the steak rest, covered with foil on a plate for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Top with a generous dollop of garlic herb butter and serve.
Be sure that your steak is completely thawed before you try to begin cooking it.
You will definitely need a meat thermometer to cook your steak using the reverse sear method.
Here are the times and temperatures you will need to cook your cowboy ribeye steaks:
- Rare–In the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or 110 degrees Fahrenheit. After searing, the temp should read 120 to 125 F.
- Medium Rare–In the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. After searing, the temp should read 130 to 135 F.
- Medium–In the oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or 130 degrees Fahrenheit. After searing, the temp should read 140 to 145 F.
- Medium-well–In the oven for 65-70 minutes, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. After searing, the temp should read 150-155 F.
- Well–In the oven for 75-85 minutes, or 150 degrees Fahrenheit. After searing, the temp should read 160-165 F.
If you struggle cooking thick steaks, the reverse sear steak method is almost foolproof. It will allow you to cook to perfect doneness every single time without a ton of cooking angst. Cowboy ribeye is a wonderful cut of meat, and it is also expensive! Be sure that you cook it to perfection by using the reverse sear method.