If you research the best way to cook a steak, you’ll see the term “reverse sear” come up frequently. The conventional way to cook a steak is to sear it over high heat to form a savory crust, then finish cooking in the skillet or in an oven. The reverse sear does just the opposite (or reverse) by cooking a steak at low temperature to obtain an ideal degree of doneness. The finishing step is to sear the perfectly cooked steak on a hot skillet. The end result is a steak that has a Maillard-reaction rich surface that’s crisp and brown on the outside and has a juicy edge-to-edge center on the inside.
The reverse sear is easy to master. All you need is a skillet, an oven and a digital thermometer. A beautiful Snake River Farms Gold Grade Cowboy steak was used for this demo, but it’s a great method to use for any thick cut steak.
Start by heating the oven. A low temperature is used so the steak cooks slowly and evenly. The lower the temperature, the longer the oven time but the more even the internal cook. The range that is commonly used is between 225 and 275 degrees. 275 was used for this demo.
Generously season your steak. The Gold Cowboy Steak is super marbled and rich so the Jacobsen Black Pepper Infused Salt was a great pairing.
Cover a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up) and place a metal rack on top. This elevates the steak and lets it steak cook evenly. Place the pan, grill and steak in the oven. Let it cook until the steak’s internal temperature matches your personal preference. For medium rare, target an internal temp of 120 degrees. See the attached chart for more options. Cook times will vary depending on the size of the steak. For this 2.5 lb. steak at 275 degrees, it took 50 minutes to come to 120.
Put a thin layer of a neutral vegetable oil on a cast iron, carbon steel or other heavy skillet or fry pan. Grape seed oil is the pro’s choice because it has high smoke point and holds up well to heat. Place the skillet on a burner and turn to high heat. Sear the steak on each side for about one minute or until a beautiful brown crust forms.
Remove the steak from the pan and serve. It’s best to eat it while it’s hot!