Get a perfect steak the way you like it every time. Normally a side benefit of the reverse sear technique is slow cooking with smoke to impart a smoke flavor to the meat. But the greatest benefit is the slow ramp of the internal temp of the meat so that you get a nice red inside and flavorful crust on the outside. So is reverse sear really all that much better? Maybe not but you are hedging against overcooking the meat when you do indirect roasting first because you reduce the temperature ramp speed. Our friends at ThermoWorks recently did a comparison of the two methods. Bottom-line, I like reverse sear for two reasons. One is temp control and second is the ability to add smoke flavor. You can always add wood chips in a foil packet when using the technique described below.
What you need:
- Sirloin or New York Strip Steaks at least one inch or more thick. The thicker the better. We usually cut steaks in half or into 6 to 8 ounce servings after cooking.
- Seasonings - Salt, Pepper, maybe garlic powder. Add a little cayenne if you like it hot. We use a blend of Zest Coast Beef and Zest Coast Espresso.
- On a gas grill, set up for direct and indirect cooking (a very direct hot zone and an indirect zone). For me this means the left two burners are high and right two are off. This gets the grill to an oven temp of 500 degrees without any heat directly under the steaks as they roast.
- On a charcoal grill, set coals to one side and begin cooking steaks as as soon as possible on the indirect side so that hot side is still hot enough to sear when the time comes. Alternatively, you can do the sear on a cast iron or other pan on the stove.
What to do:
Place seasoned meat on the indirect side of the grill and monitor temps. Temperatures are the key to successful steaks. We always use a probe thermometer (ThermoWorks DOT) to monitor the cook and a quick read thermometer (Thermapen MK4) to verify doneness.
When the internal temp of the steaks reaches the 120 to 125 range, move to the direct side of the grill for searing.
Cook your steaks to desired doneness. I like to pull ours around 130 and then the steaks will finish out at around 135. A perfect medium rare. You can always throw the steaks back on if someone wants it more done.
After pulling the steaks at 130, I re-probed them and you can see that they drop a few degrees, but the steaks will continue cooking and finish out at around 135 after a five minute rest.
Allow meat to rest five minutes before slicing.
Folks with argue the rest period, but after five minutes rest period I only had a modest amount of juice escape and the grains of the meat are filled with juice. Note that we cut against the grain.