5 Reasons Why You Should Reverse Sear Your Steak
If you’re a fan of steak, you’ve probably heard of reverse searing. This popular cooking method involves slowly roasting a steak in a moderately warm oven (around 225-300°F) until it reaches your desired internal temperature, then searing it on the stove at high heat to lock in flavor. While it may sound complicated, reverse searing is quite simple, and the results are truly delicious.
If you haven’t yet experienced the mouthwatering tenderness of a reverse-seared steak, here are 5 reasons to try it for yourself.
GIVES YOU MORE CONTROL OVER THE COOKING PROCESS
Traditionally, steaks are cooked over high heat (either on a grill or in a cast iron skillet) until they are close to done and then left to rest as they come up to temp. However, this can often lead to an overcooked or dry steak as you don’t have a lot of control over temperature or the speed at which the inside cooks compared to the outside.
Reverse searing solves this problem by slowly cooking the steak until it’s just shy of being done, then searing it over high heat. This will ensure that your steak remains juicy and rare on the inside while giving it a beautiful char on the outside.
HELPS TO LOCK IN FLAVOR
There are a lot of benefits to the reverse-sear technique, but its ability to lock in flavor is what really makes this cooking method shine (and hey, it’s the preferred method of Gordon Ramsay)! And it all comes down to science.
See, meats contain a natural enzyme called cathepsin, which helps to break down muscle protein. When you reverse sear a steak, the gradual heating at the beginning helps to activate this enzyme, which will work to make the meat more tender over time. As a result, your steak will be full of flavor, making it more enjoyable to eat.
HELPS PREVENT THE FORMATION OF GREY BANDS
When you cook a steak using the traditional method, the outside tends to cook faster than the inside, which can often lead to a steak that’s cooked unevenly. That can cause the formation of grey bands, which are those thin, grey-colored layers around the edge of your steak that come from overcooking.
They’re absolutely safe to eat, but they can ruin the appearance of your steak and make it less appetizing. However, when you reverse sear steak, you can cook it evenly from edge to edge, resulting in a perfectly cooked steak that looks as good as it tastes.
PERFECT FOR LARGE GROUPS
Okay, unless you’ve got a restaurant-sized kitchen, cooking steak for a large group of people is almost never easy. But it can be made simpler with reverse searing.
Reverse searing is perfect for large groups since it takes the guesswork out of grilling multiple steaks. You can easily cook multiple steaks at once and then quickly transfer them to a grill or large cast iron skillet to sear them. Plus, you’ll be free to spend more time with your guests while the steaks are in the oven!
CREATES A BEAUTIFUL CHAR
Any steak lover knows that a good char is the key to the perfect steak. But what you may not know is that the best way to achieve that char is through something called the Maillard reaction.
Named for the French chemist who first described it, the Maillard reaction is what happens when proteins and sugars are exposed to high enough heat, resulting in caramelization or browning. So how does reverse searing come into play?
See, moisture (or water) is the biggest enemy of a good sear, so any process that can help reduce the amount of moisture on the surface of the meat is going to help it brown. And because the steak first cooks through in the oven, the moisture on the surface of the meat evaporates—meaning that the hot pan or grill doesn’t have to work to evaporate the moisture. The Maillard reaction kicks in almost instantaneously, leaving you with a beautifully charred steak that’s tender and juicy on the inside.
The next time you’re thinking of firing up the grill, try reverse searing your steak instead. Not only will you enjoy a deliciously juicy and tender steak that’s beautifully browned, but you’ll be able to sit back and relax with a bottle of wine while you wait!
Looking for some inspo for your next steak night? Check out our library of recipes!
This is the only way we make steak in my household now. Perfect every time!