How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Reverse searing a steak isn’t overly complicated. Essentially, it is infusing a steak with flavor prior to getting a nice sear on the outside or giving it a nice crust. For Chef Phil, the best reverse sear method is to season and smoke a steak prior to getting a nice sear on the steak. His reverse sear steak recipe is one that is super easy to do on your own. You can watch the full video of how he does it right here.

Now, there isn’t a need for fancy seasonings. A simple coating of salt and pepper and smoking some NY strips at 200 to 220 degrees really locks in the natural flavors of the steak. The added flavor from the smoke process gets locked in to get the steaks ready for a high-heat sear. Now sometimes, people like to smoke their meat before they throw it on the grill. To reverse sear a steak on a grill is a great option, but Chef Phil sears his steaks in a hot old-school cast-iron pan that absorbs heat really well.

A Pro Tip from Chef Phil: keep your steaks moving to avoid sticking and to ensure a nice even crust. The searing of your steaks is going to be a super quick process. The total pan time should only be about 4 minutes! 2 minutes at high heat and 2 minutes at a lower heat. Let’s break that down:

You’ll want to add olive oil to your already hot pan. You should see some light smoking coming from your pan. Once your olive oil has had time to heat, you put your steak right into your pan. Like we said earlier, keep those steaks moving to keep the cooking even and avoid sticking. You’ll have your steaks going on high heat for about 2 minutes. This is the point that you’ll want to flip your steaks “up”.

render your fat on your reverse sear steak

Have the fat lining against the pan to really break down the flavors that are locked in there. You’ll be able to lock in the juices and flavor by rendering the fat from your steak in this way. This will help you add another layer of flavor of your steak. Now you’ll want to turn your temperature down a bit. Don’t worry, the pan is going to hold a lot of the temperature to continue to give your steak a nice crust. Besides, the searing is nearly done at this point. You can flip it so that the non-seared side of your steak is facing down in the pan. At this point, you’re about to take it up a notch! Add in some butter, shallots, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and oregano and let that melt together into your pan.

baste your reverse sear steak

Continuously baste your steak with the melted butter and herbs to add complexity to your flavors. Chef Phil says to cook your steak to medium rare, just the way Roland Dickey Jr likes it.

Take your steaks off the heat, again you’re only going to want it in the pan for about 4 minutes. (You can 100% learn how to reverse sear a steak without a thermometer. Until you get the hang of it, you can use the palm trick! Learn about the palm trick by watching this video with Chef Phil and Roland Dickey Jr.) The reason you want to take your steaks out after a short sear is that you’re going to leave your steak to rest for about 6 to 7 minutes. This is going to allow time for “carry over cooking” and it gives the meat time to rest and keep the juices locked in. I know it’s tempting, but DO NOT slice your steak before it is allowed to rest! After you allow your steak those 6 or 7 minutes to rest, the next step is to slice and enjoy your total sensory experience!

sliced reversed sear steak

Don’t forget to share the deliciousness! Send us your best photos of your reverse sear steak attempts! Follow us on FacebookPinterestInstagramTiktok, and YouTube for more fun recipes and how to videos. Don’t forget to tag us! #athomepitmaster


Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next barbecue event, from recipes to rubs, meats, or even craft sausages, we’ve got you covered here at Barbecue at Home! Come back and see our blog for more tips to become your own backyard Pit Boss!

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