Reverse Sear Technique

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Cook first, sear then!

Reverse sear is a grilling technique, which helps you in securing more uniform doneness throughout the meat. In early days, chefs were definite that meat should always be seared before cooking. Thought process was that searing would help keeping juices in. Today we know better. Searing has nothing to do with keeping juices in or out. There are other techniques for keeping meats juicy, but searing is not one of them.

Reverse sear turns the old thinking upside down. You cook first and sear then. Cooking is done in gentle, indirect heat, close to the desired target temperature of the meat. This way the meat cooks as evenly as possible throughout the cut. Finally, you sear surfaces on direct high heat. This allows Maillard reaction, which again secures color and flavor.

So, is reverse sear better technique than others? No, I think it is just different and it works for me. Surely it is worth of trying. Here is how you do it.

Method:

First, make sure you have good quality, fast reading thermometer available. I use Thermapen MK4, but there are other good ones also. Now you can start cooking.

Prepare your grill for indirect grilling. 250°F (120°C) is a good cooking temperature. When you are aiming at medium rare doneness, internal temperature of the meat should reach 134°F (57°C).

Steak goes first onto “cool” side for slow cooking.

Reverse sear

Take the steak out at 116°F (47°C) and foil for 15 minutes.

Reverse sear technique

Temperature carries over few degrees, but that is OK. Meanwhile, heat up your grill for good 360°F (180°C) searing temperature. Unfoil the steak and sear both sides quickly on direct heat.

Reverse sear technique

Take out and serve immediately.

You will see that meat has nice, uniform doneness due to slow cooking period. Final searing gives perfect color and taste to the surface due to Maillard reaction.

There is your dinner reverse seared!

Reverse sear steak

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