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How to Reverse Sear Steak

If you’re looking for a cooking method that allows you to consistently serve delicious, juicy steaks, you want to learn about reverse searing. This time-tested technique combines low-temperature cooking in the oven with high-temperature searing in a stovetop pan. With the reverse searing approach, you’ll get a tender and evenly cooked cut of meat with a perfect browned crust. 

It’s a cooking technique that works best with 100% grass-fed steak, whether it's a sirloin steakFilet Mignon or a Delmonico steak cut. The reverse searing method allows the flavors of grass-fed beef to develop slowly and evenly during the cooking process, resulting in a steak with richer, more complex taste.

how to reverse sear steak

What is the Reverse Searing Method?

The reverse sear method involves two main steps: low and slow cooking steak in the oven then searing in a heated pan. We’ll provide more details below on how to reverse sear a steak in the oven, but here’s an overview of how the method works.

Start by preheating your oven to a low temperature, usually around 250°F. Before placing in the oven, season your steak however you like it. Place the seasoned steak in the oven on a wire rack over a baking sheet.

Once the steak reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat a skillet or grill pan over high heat. Add an oil with a high smoke point (like vegetable oil). Place the rested steak in the hot skillet or grill pan and sear it for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until a golden-brown crust forms.

Once the steak is seared to your liking, remove it from the pan and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to be redistributed throughout the steak. That’s a very good thing when it comes to making a steak more flavorful.

Why Reverse Sear?

Cooking steak in the oven and then searing results in a consistent, better-tasting steak. Many home cooks know the traditional approach of pan-searing thick cuts of beef to achieve that coveted golden crust and juicy pink center. But it’s usually hit or miss. Sometimes you land on the spot-on doneness. Other times, you end up with a steak that’s too rare or overdone. That’s disappointing, especially when you start with a premium cut of meat.

Reverse searing offers a time-tested solution. It gives you precise control over cooking, ensuring a perfectly cooked steak every time while maximizing its natural flavor. 

What Are the Benefits of Reverse Searing a Steak?

The advantage of reverse searing is that it ensures even cooking throughout the steak, eliminating the risk of overcooking the center while achieving a nice sear on the outside. This is especially beneficial for thicker cuts of meat.

It also requires less “babysitting” than methods such as sous vide, which requires precise temperature control and immersion in water for an extended period, or grilling, which demands constant attention to avoid burning the exterior. While it’s important to know that reverse sear oven time can vary depending on the cut, overall the method gives you more flexibility and control.

What Are the Disadvantages of Reverse Searing a Steak?

The disadvantage of reverse searing is that it requires a certain level of planning and attention to temperature - for example, you must monitor the internal temperature of the steak to ensure it reaches the right stage in the oven before pan searing. It also takes longer to do than simply pan-searing a steak.

Reverse searing is also best suited for thicker cuts of steak. Thin steaks cook through quickly, and using the reverse sear method might lead to overcooked meat by the time you get a good sear.

How to Choose the Right Steak for Reverse Searing

Before using the reverse searing method to cook steak, it’s important to choose the right cut of beef. Reverse searing works best with thick steaks (at least 1.5 inches). Also, certain cuts are the best to use when reverse searing for a variety of reasons. The following provides a few examples.

Best cuts for reverse searing


A ribeye is a well-marbled cut. This internal marbling bastes the steak as it slowly cooks in the oven, making for a juicy and flavorful steak. Ribeye also has a rich, beefy flavor that pairs well with the caramelization of fat during the final sear. The slow cooking process in the oven also enhances the natural beefy taste.

Thick-Cut New York Strip

While a New York Strip has a slightly less intense beefy flavor compared to ribeye, the reverse sear method still elevates its taste. The slow cooking allows the muscle fibers to relax and become more tender, unlocking a deeper, meaty flavor. While it’s a leaner cut than a ribeye, the slow cooking allows the internal fat to dissolve and keep the cut moist and flavorful.

Filet Mignon (Tenderloin)

Filet mignon is known for its exceptional tenderness due to a  minimal amount of connective tissue. However, this also makes it prone to drying out with traditional cooking methods. The reverse sear's gentle pre-cooking at a low temperature ensures even cooking without reaching high internal temperatures that could dry out the leaner meat. Using a high smoke point oil during the final sear also provides an exceptional crust.


Sirloin is a leaner - and budget-friendly - cut of steak. But watch out, because when cooked improperly, you’ll end up with a chewy piece of meat. The reverse sear's low and slow pre-cooking allows the tougher muscle fibers in sirloin to relax and break down gradually. This results in a more tender, flavorful eating experience.


Much like a ribeye, theDelmonico steak has a good balance of marbling and is an excellent candidate for reverse searing. The internal fat bastes the steak as it cooks slowly, keeping it moist and adding rich, beefy flavor. During the final sear, the fat renders and helps create a beautiful browned crust. A reverse sear plays to the strengths of a Delmonico steak, ensuing even cooking and maximizing its juicy and flavorful marbling.

Thickness of steak matters

The best thickness for reverse searing a steak is generally considered to be at least 1.5 inches. Because reverse searing relies on a pre-cooking stage, a thicker cut allows for even heat distribution throughout the meat. Thicker cuts also provide more control over achieving the desired doneness in the center without overcooking the exterior and tends to retain moisture better during the pre-cooking stage. 

Some people prefer using steaks even thicker than 1.5 inches, like ribeye roasts or thick-cut porterhouses. This allows for even more control over the internal temperature and a potential for a more dramatic crust during the final sear.

Choosing grass-fed beef steak

Thick cuts of grass-fed beef steak are the perfect choice for the reverse searing method. Grass-fed beef offers richer, more complex and “beefier” flavor than conventional cuts of grain-fed beef. It also is healthier due to factors such as higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and improve heart health and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) that is linked to reducing body fat and improving immune function. 

Grass-fed beef steaks, such as that offered by Acabonac Farms, also have a lower overall fat content. You can try your favorite cut of steak and taste the difference for yourself, including a grass-fed New York Strip or grass-fed ribeye.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reverse Searing Beef Steaks

The following provides a step-by-step guide to reverse searing a grass-fed beef steak. Remember to use a thick cut of meat that is at least 1.5 inches.

Before starting these steps, make sure you have all the equipment you’ll need. That includes an oven, stove top, pan (preferably a cast-iron skillet or carbon steel pan that offers excellent heat retention and distribution), a meat thermometer and a wire rack and baking sheet. You’ll also want a high smoke point oil and your choice of seasonings.

1. Prepare your steak

Allow the grass-fed beef steak to come to room temperature. Pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove surface moisture. Season to your taste. Keep in mind that with the bolder, richer flavor of grass-fed beef, it’s often best to allow the natural flavor shine by seasoning it with simple ingredients such as salt, black pepper, and a touch of olive oil or butter.

2. Preheating the Oven

As you prepare your steak, preheat the oven. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat to about 250°F (120°C). The exact temperature can vary depending on factors such as the thickness of the steak, desired level of doneness, and personal preference.

3. Cooking in the Oven

Place the steak on the wire rack set on a baking sheet.  After about 15 minutes, start to check the meat’s internal temperature. Use the following chart as a starting point for determining the right level of temperature your steak needs to reach for the desired level of doneness.

Steak Doneness

Internal Temp to Reach in Oven

Finished Temp

Approximate Time Needed


105ºF to 115ºF


20-25 minutes

Medium Rare

116ºF to 125ºF


30-35 minutes


126ºF to 135ºF


35-40 minutes

Medium Well

136ºF to 145ºF


45-50 minutes

Well Done

146ºF to 155ºF


50-55 minutes

4. Searing on the Stove

As the steak gets closer to the temperature you want, heat your skillet or pan over medium-high heat on the stove top. Once hot, add a high smoke point oil and allow it to shimmer. It’s optional to melt a bit of butter in the pan to add flavor and enhance browning.

Once the meat reaches the designed temperature, carefully remove it from the oven and place it in the hot pan. Sear the steak on each side for about two minutes or until the desired internal temperature is reached. 

5. Resting the Steak

Transfer the steak to a clear plate. Allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat, a key step in how to make beef tender.

Once rested, slice the steak against the grain for maximum tenderness and serve immediately. Enjoy your perfectly cooked reverse-seared grass-fed steak!

Where to Buy the Best Grass-Fed Steaks for Reverse Searing

Once you’ve learned how it’s done, reverse searing offers a straightforward cooking method that consistently results in delicious steaks. The low and slow pre-cooking ensures even heat distribution throughout the steak without overcooking the exterior. The final searing in a pan gives your steak a beautiful browned crust. Your reverse seared steak also retains more moisture compared to other cooking methods.

The first step is to find the right cuts of meat. Grass-fed beef, with its richer flavor profile and high level of nutrients, offers the best choice for the reverse searing process. 

At Acabonac Farms, we offer 100% local grass-fed beef, as well as pasture-raised chicken that’s also good for the reverse searing process. Our products come from regeneratively raised livestock on our acres near the Atlantic Ocean. We’re committed to providing the best possible products to health-conscious people who want a steak that matches its nutritional value with exceptional flavor.

You can shop Acabonac Farms online and order directly from us, including the option to buy meat in bulk. We flash freeze your purchase and ship it to you via UPS anywhere in the nation. We also offer free shipping for orders of more than $175.

Perfectly cooked reverse seared steak

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