For years I was a “sear” guy meaning I would sear the steak first and then finish it in the oven. My steaks always turned out very good and I was always very happy with that method but over the past couple months I have been a reverse sear convert. Simply put with a reverse sear you cook the steak in a low temperature oven (250 degrees or so) until it comes to just below your desired temperature. Pull it out, let it rest for 10 minutes or so, and then sear the heck out of it for about a minute or two per side in a ripping hot cast iron pan. Here is the finished product:
First off, let me talk about these steaks… These steaks are the American Kobe Ribeye Filets from Snake River Farms (Snake River Farms gave me these steaks to review and if you buy through my link I earn a few bucks but don’t worry, the money will go directly to me buying more meat). Their American Kobe beef comes from a cross of Waygu and Angus cattle and gives you the best of both worlds. The marbling in these steaks is much better than what you would get with even Prime beef but it still retains enough of the beefy flavor you get from the Angus cattle. These are very, very delicious steaks and very high quality beef. If you are looking for some awesome steaks give these a try. I had the 8 oz. versions and they can be had for as little as $27 each. Order yours today and use code FREEAFF during checkout for free shipping. They would make for an awesome Father’s Day dinner.
So why do I like the reverse sear more than a regular sear? Here are 5 reasons:
1. The doneness is more consistent throughout the whole piece of meat meaning that the pink or red section (you really wouldn’t cook a beautiful piece of meat like this past medium rare would you???) takes up more of the steak and there is less of the grey band around the outside. Here is what this steak looks like when cooked:
2. I think the low, slower cooking time gives the inter-muscular fat (marbling) a better chance to melt. When you sear the steak first it won’t cook for as long so the fat ends up a different texture. I really do prefer the texture of the meat with the reverse sear and I think most of that comes from how melty and delicious the fat is.
3. I like the timing on this method of cooking. Tonight we gave the kids their dinner and put them to bed before my wife and I ate (seriously, will a 3 year old really appreciate a cut of meat like this more than fish sticks or a quesadilla?). I put the steaks in the oven while we got my son ready for bed which usually takes about a half hour. When he was down the steaks were ready to come out and rest for 10 minutes which was perfect for frying up some potatoes and frozen corn. Searing only takes a couple minutes so we were eating 15 minutes after the kids went to bed. If I would have seared the steak it would have taken at least 30 minutes between searing and cooking.
4. With the reverse sear I think the seasoning of the steak (just salt and pepper in this case) has more time to flavor the meat while the steak cooks in the oven. When you sear first I don’t feel like the salt penetrates the meat as much and the flavor stays more on the surface. Of course I am no meat scientist so I could be totally off on this but it makes sense to me.
5. There is also a greater margin for error with the reverse sear. Ultimately if there is somewhat of an emergency while the steaks are in the oven (like a kid blowing out a diaper) you could just turn the heat down, turn the oven off, or even pull the steaks out for a while with no adverse effects. With a seared steak once you start you are committed.
Those are 5 reasons I like the reverse sear method. I am sure the more I cook steaks like this the more reasons I can come up with why I prefer reverse searing the steaks. Start with a quality piece of meat, season it, and make sure the temperature is right and you will end up with an awesome dinner.