Reverse Seared Steak: a Step by Step Guide

By on January 6, 2016

You might not have heard of this method of cooking steak before, but we have found there is hardly a better way to get a perfectly succulent steak than to use reverse-sear method. By slow cooking the meat before searing it you get an evenly cooked center with an outer crust that’s to die for.

Because the steak conjures up such strong emotions and expectations, the pressure to make a perfect steak on the grill leaves little room for error.  If the steak is underdone, it’s like chewing on a dog toy.  Keep the steak on the flame too long, and it’s overcooked, grey interior becomes as appealing as a rain delay at the ballpark.

The best way to achieve steak perfection is by using a roasting thermometer.  This method  is often referred to as a reverse sear and it is the key to getting consistent results.  This is how I reverse sear a steak:


Reverse Seared Steak: Expose Your Meat

Take your steak out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature for about 45 minutes. Your cut of meat will cook more evenly and produce better results if it’s warmed up.

Reverse Seared Steak: Trim the Fat

I like to trim off any silver skin that is easily accessible and will often cut off and discard any excessive bits of fat as well. This will allow the seasoning to stick to your meat instead of melting off with the excess fat.

Reverse Seared Steak: Fire Up The Grill

Get your grill heated up and make some preparations for cooking.  Plan on having your grill stabilized at about 350F when you begin cooking.


Reverse Seared Steak: ‘Tis the Season

Season your meat about 10 minutes before you begin cooking.  I like to use a combination of a pre-made steak seasoning flavored with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and a favorite meat rub that has nuances of coriander, cumin, and coffee flavors.  You could also try this Coffee and Coriander Rub Recipe to spice up your steaks. Seasoning is simply a matter of preference and at times salt and cracked black pepper simply works best.  A word of caution: go easy when using seasonings and rubs that contain salt. Salt can often overpower the other flavors.


Reverse Seared Steak: Stick It

Insert a digital meat-roasting thermometer halfway up the thickness of the steak and slide it into the meat as close to the center as possible. Because digital meat roasting thermometer probes are often 4 inches or longer, when inserted in the middle and center of the meat, you get a relatively consistent temperature reading throughout.


Reverse Seared Steak: Indirect Heat

The meat will initially be roasted, and then seared before service. Start by roasting the meat indirectly, or not sitting it directly over the flames until your desired temperature is achieved. My grill does not allow me to easily roast the meat near or next to the flame, so I have found that I can achieve the same effect by raising the steak vertically away from the flame. This allows the meat to roast and heat up without being directly charred until I am ready.

Reverse Seared Steak: Let it Rest

Beef steak is cooked to medium rare at 135F.  It will continue to cook after it is off of the heat, so I like to roast my steak to about 125F and pull the meat off the grill to rest. Remove the meat thermometer and let the meat rest.


Reverse Seared Steak: Sear It

Resist all temptation to cut into the steak and instead go back to your grill and raise the heat.  After the meat has rested, the grill should be between 500 and 600F, an ideal temperature for searing.


Reverse Seared Steak: Create Those Grill Marks

Searing the meat at a high temperature will give it a beautiful crust, additional grilled flavor, and fabulous grill marks.  I sear the steaks for about one minute a side, taking precautions like using long tongs and gloves for hand protection.

Reverse Seared Steak: Eat it!

Plate the steak and serve!



By monitoring the internal temperature of the meat you can be sure that your steak will be cooked to your desired doneness.  Allowing the meat to roast slowly enhances the flavor of the meat while keeping it juicy.  The reverse sear method takes the guesswork out of grilling the perfect steak.  

Check out other ways to prepare steak:

Article contributed by, Paul Sidoriak of Grilling Montana.

About Paul

Grill master Paul Sidoriak created the website to showcase his culinary successes and failures on the grill. Knowing that cooking is a creative or artistic outlet for some people, Paul uses his grill as a blank canvas. Paul has been known to fire up his Kamado cooker almost 300 times each year, regardless of whether Mother Nature decides to cooperate with him at his home in western Montana. His grilling style is lighthearted, whimsical, and seasonally based, taking advantage of what is in season whenever possible. Some of his favorite creations take much less planning, prompted by his playful curiosity and the simple challenge of “What if …?” His book, Exclusively Kamado, shows you how to make almost anything on the Kamado grill. Follow along with his culinary adventures on Instagram and Twitter @GrillingMontana

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