How to Reverse Sear a Steak
Meat Hacks: How to Reverse Sear a Steak
Learn How to Reverse Sear a Steak with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Why Reverse Sear a Steak?
Reverse Searing a Steak is a process where you slowly cook the interior of the steak and then finish it off with high heat sear. If you follow this method you should end up with a steak that has the nice red color throughout the entire steak but still get that nice crust on the outside. The process does take a considerable amount of time but I promise you the end results are well worth the time and effort.
To begin, let’s talk about selecting the best steak for a reverse sear. You will want to select a steak that is at least 1.25 inches thick, this is to ensure that you do not overcook the product with the initial low heat phase. Next you will want to look at the marbling of the fat and choose a steak with marbling that runs throughout as much of the cut as possible.
The important next step that many people ignore is to take your steak out of the refrigerator 45 minutes prior to grilling which allows the meat to come up to room temperature. A cold steak thrown on the grill will not have the same taste or tenderness as a room temperature steak. After you take the steak out to allow it to equalize with the room temperature, then you will want to season it. You have probably heard some people say that salt and pepper is all you really need for a proper seasoning, while this can be true with extremely high end steaks such as Kobe, Wagyu or Heartland, the average and normal steak that we buy at from a local butcher, meat market, or grocery store can definitely benefit from additional seasoning. Our number one choice for steak seasoning is the Excalibur Ultimate Steak and Roast Rub. It is one of our best-selling shakers seasonings for a reason, it is simple yet delicious!
Before we begin cooking, we’ll need to pre-heat our smoker to 210-220 degrees. Once it is up to temp and our steaks have rested at room temp for 45 minutes, then place the steaks in smoker and leave them until the internal temperature reaches around 125-135 degrees (depending on the desired level of doneness). This can take up to an hour depending on thickness of steaks and type of smoker. You will need a meat thermometer for an exact and consistent temperature reading. Walton’s recommends one of the fast reading digital thermometers so you can minimize the amount of time the smoker or grill is open. Two of our favorites are the Slimline Digital Waterproof Thermometer and the Folding Probe Thermometer, which may be one of our fastest reading thermometers. Just visit waltonsinc.com and looking under Smoking & Grilling and Thermometers to find one of these thermometers or over three dozen different other thermometers.
Finishing by Searing
Once our steaks reach the desired internal temp, remove them from the grill and cover them loosely with tin foil. We then have two options for finishing our steaks and searing them. We can either turn our smoker or grill up to 500+ degrees and use the grill grates or we can put a cast iron skillet in the grill or smoker and finish the steaks on that.
This holding time is often called napping your steaks and there are different theories on its effectiveness. Since we need to take them off to allow the smoker/grill to come up to temperature, let’s assume that this method is effective.
Once your smoker, grill, or skillet is up to temperature put your steaks back on the grill or skillet for about 1-2 minutes per side. This will give it the desired sear, texture, and crispy crust on the outside. We also like to put a dollop of butter on the steak after flipping it one time. In our opinion, a cast iron skillet is the best option for searing a steak and better than just using a plain grill or skillet. Another good option is to use a Grill Grate. We still like cast iron better, but Grill Grates are a great option which is better than searing them directly on a grill because it funnels the heat from your smoker or grill up to the aluminum grates, and doing this will increase the temperature on the surface by about 100 degrees.
Once we’ve finished searing for 1 to 2 minutes per side, take off the grill and serve hot!
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Reverse Seared Steak
I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.