Learning How to Reverse Sear a Steak is a must for any home chef! Instead of searing a steak then cooking it in the oven as most of us are prone to doing, this easy method flips that process around to yield the BEST results every time. This will be your new go-to method for cooking the perfect steak!

A spoon is adding more pan juices to the top of a cooked steak.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

If you’re a naysayer of the reverse searing method, it’s likely because you’ve been told that searing the steak before thoroughly cooking it really seals in the juices. I’ve got news for you… That’s just not true! Searing the steak either before or after cooking it all the way does nothing but add flavor and texture to the meat. While you should never skip searing your steak, I highly recommend trying this method and doing so as the final step – not the first!

Still wondering what reverse searing a steak even means? Well, it’s just like it sounds. Instead of searing your steak first, then allowing it to thoroughly cook at a lower temperature, you do the opposite!

Using this method means cooking your steak at a low and steady temperature in the oven, then searing the cooked meat on your stove top at a high heat to achieve that perfectly seared exterior.

There are real scientific reasons to reverse sear your steak! According to The Food Lab, The gradual and low heating temperature in the oven below 300°F not only gives a gentle and consistent heat treatment but also activates enzymes that tenderize the meat.

Cathepsins are natural enzymes that help to break down muscle proteins. Gradual heating increases enzyme activity, working to make the meat more tender over time. At about 122°F (50°C) the activity reduces, but the 15 to 25 minutes of slow heating allows the enzymes to work their magic. 

Two raw seasones steaks are placed on a wire rack.

How to Make It

Prepare your oven. Preheat oven to 275˚F (135˚C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a sheet pan with foil and arrange a wire rack on top. Place a large, oven safe skillet, preferably cast iron, on the bottom rack of the oven.

Prepare the steaks. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and arrange on the wire rack. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.

Cook the steaks. Place the sheet pan on the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak. (An internal temperature on an instant read thermometer should read 120 to 125˚F for medium-rare (49-52˚C) or 130˚F (50˚C) for medium.) Remove the steaks from the oven and keep warm.

Sear the steaks. Place the skillet on the stove top over high heat and add the oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot and simmering, add the steaks to the pan. Sear the steaks until a deep golden brown crust has formed, approximately 2-3 minutes. Flip the steaks and sear on the opposite side for an additional 2 minutes. Turn the steaks on their side and continue to sear until a crust has formed all around.

Baste the steaks. Add the butter to the pan and melt. Using a spoon, baste the tops of the steaks. You can add garlic and herbs with the butter for added flavor, if you’d like.

Rest, then serve. Transfer the steaks to a platter and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately with the remaining melted butter/pan juices for drizzling.

Two cooked steaks are presented with herbs in a black skillet.

Why should I reverse sear a steak?

There are plenty of advantages to reverse searing, but here are just a few of the biggest reasons why you should use this method!

  • You can control how “done” the steak is. When you reverse sear a steak, you have a lot more control over how cooked your steak is to your liking. When done correctly, a reverse seared steak is typically cooked more evenly throughout.
  • It’s much more tender. Scroll back up in this post to read the scientific reason as to why reverse seared steaks are so much more tender than traditionally seared steaks!
  • The crust is beautifully brown. The real magic of perfectly reverse searing a steak is that delicious brown crust. Don’t forget to baste for the best flavor in that crust!
A steak has been sliced into, revealing a perfectly cooked center.

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A steak has been sliced into, revealing a perfectly cooked center.

Get the Recipe: How to Reverse Sear a Steak

The best way to cook a steak is easier to do than you think! Reverse Seared Steak is the most juicy, tender and melt in your mouth beef recipe you'll ever try. Top with your favorite steak sauce or compound butter for extra decadence.
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Ingredients

  • 2 Beef Tenderloin Steaks, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Garlic cloves, optional
  • Fresh herbs, optional

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 275˚F (135˚C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil and arrange a wire rack on top.
  • Place a large, oven safe skillet, preferably cast iron, on the bottom rack of the oven.
  • Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and arrange on the wire rack.
  • Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Place the sheet pan on the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak. (An internal temperature on an instant read thermometer should read 120 to 125˚F for medium-rare (49-52˚C) or 130˚F (50˚C) for medium.)
  • Remove the steaks from the oven and keep warm.
  • Place the skillet on the stovetop over high heat and add the oil to the pan.
  • Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the steaks to the pan.
  • Sear the steaks until a deep golden brown crust has formed, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip the steaks and sear on the opposite side for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Turn the steaks on their side and continue to sear until a crust has formed all around.
  • Add the butter to the pan and melt.
  • Using a spoon, baste the tops of the steaks. (Optional, add garlic and herbs with the butter for added flavor.)
  • Transfer the steaks to a platter and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with the remaining melted butter/pan juices for drizzling.

Notes

Reverse Seared Steak is best served soon after cooking.
Leftovers make a great steak sandwich or salad topping.
Calories: 504kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 175mg, Sodium: 3703mg, Potassium: 844mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.03g, Vitamin A: 366IU, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 4mg