How to reverse sear a steak

I am both a traditionalist and love trying new things when it comes to cooking, especially cooking steak. I love the hot grill, the barbecue, I love sous vide, skillet and all the ways we know and love. I also like trying new things, which is how I came across the reverse sear method.

I had been told about it by a friend of mine who had heard it from an American friend. It is apparently popular in some American cities as a way to cook steak slightly differently. It goes against everything common sense tells us about cooking steak but somehow works.

Reverse searing steak

Reverse searing goes something like this:

  1. Bring the steak up to room temperature and set your oven to its lowest setting.
  2. Add the steak to your oven and cook it until it’s at your desired doneness.
  3. Add a frying pan or skillet to the hob and get it nice and hot.
  4. Remove the steak from the oven and sear it all over in the pan.
  5. Allow the steak to rest before plating up.

While you would think that a low oven would dry the steak out, it doesn’t. It dries the surface out while leaving the middle nice and juicy. Searing it this way round caramelises the outside and traps all the juice inside and delivers an exceptional finish.

You can reverse sear any steak but it works particularly well on thicker cuts or larger steaks.

Cook time varies but should be around 15-20 minutes per 500g of steak. You can cook the steak straight out of the refrigerator if you like but you will need to adjust the time accordingly. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Approximately 46C for rare, 52C for medium rare and 58C for medium.

Rest time varies depending on the thickness of the steak but five minutes should be enough.

You can of course, season the steak before cooking or after as you see fit.

While this cooking method seems wrong on every level it actually give a lovely steak. The inside is juicy and rick while the outside is dark and tasty. It’s my new favourite way to cook steak!

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