Let's All Stop Saying "Reverse Sear", OK? OK. [PLUS - The Perfect Steak Recipe]

Let's All Stop Saying "Reverse Sear", OK? OK. [PLUS - The Perfect Steak Recipe]

I'd like to propose we stop calling the cooking method wherein you slowly bring a thick cut of meat up to temperature then, after a short rest period, sear the outside by directly applying high heat "The Reverse Sear Method". It's just the right way to cook a steak of any sufficient thickness. There's nothing "Reversed" about it. 

The reason anyone ever called it that has to do with the long accepted - and misguided - method of searing a steak first, then cooking it slowly and resting it that almost every cook has been doing for ever and ever and ever. 

But, as we all know, knowledge advances, and we often come to learn that some accepted truths just aren't, well... true. But! Something we also know about humans is how slow we are to change. 

Now before we get into the method and why it's superior to the old way, I have a confession. I've presented a problem here but I've offered no solution. I've proposed we stop calling it "The Reverse Sear Method" but I have no suggestion for what we actually should call it. 

I can't name it after me because I didn't invent it (anyone who knows me knows how much I still REEEEALLY want to name it after me). So I'm open to suggestions. Leave a comment here or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook if you have any ideas. 

How To Cook The Perfect Steak - Every time. 

The __________ Method:

1. Season steaks with salt and pepper and allow at least one hour for them to come up to room temperature. Meanwhile preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Place steaks on a rack and sheet tray in the oven with a digital probe thermometer* (such as THIS ONE) into the thickest portion. 

*This is important. If you don't have a probe thermometer CLICK HERE and buy one. It's like $20 and you'll never ruin an expensive piece of meat again.

3. When your steaks reach an internal temp of 120F (this may take up to 45 minutes) remove them from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10-15 minutes. (120F will result in a medium-rare steak, go to 130F for medium.) 

4. While the steaks are resting, get a cast iron pan or grill as hot as you possibly can, then sear the rested steaks for about a minute a side.

For these Rib Eyes I used a very hot gas grill and put the steaks directly on the fire. 

5. Serve NOW.

Because you've already rested the meat and only given it a very quick hot sear you can slice into the steaks straight away without risking any excessive moisture loss.*

*This is how steak houses can serve you a hot steak that doesn't turn your plate into a red pool of meat juice when you cut into it. 

Main Benefits Of This Method:

  • No guesswork. The slow cooking method and use of a thermometer mean you'll nail this every time. 
  • That edge-to-edge mid-rare. The gentle heat applied in the first step ensures that you get even cooking top-to-bottom, rather then the usual doneness gradient that starts with well done at the edge, then goes to medium a little farther down, and only gives you a nice medium-rare strip right in the very middle. 

Additional Thoughts:

  • You can absolutely use a Sous Vide machine for the initial slow cook, but you probably won't get as good a sear because the exterior of the meat won't get nice and dry during the cooking. Quick shoutout to Jess Pryles for bringing this up. Check out her blog if you haven't already, and please note: I'm pretty sure she's NOT a fan of the Sous Vide. 
  • Searing first does not "lock in the juices" or anything like that. It just doesn't. 
  • If you want to forearm bounce sprinkle salt on your sliced steak all SaltBae style, go right ahead, just please don't tag me in your video. 
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Simply Crushing National Burger Day*

Simply Crushing National Burger Day*

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