How To Reverse-Sear a Steak

I’d like to preface this by saying that I love this method of cooking steak and prefer it to most. I would also like to share that I am someone without a grill (I live in NYC) and I am lazy. Most of the time. So this recipe/method is perfect for lazy people.

Weirdly enough, this is not a quick method. When I say “lazy,” I mean this recipe doesn’t involve much effort on your part, but it DOES take time. So if you’re looking for a quick “dinner on the table in 20 mins” situation, this aint it. It is definitely worth it though, if you do have the time!

Why should you reverse sear?? Because it’s a good way to lock in juices and get a perfectly cooked piece of meat, every time. Slow cooking gives you time to check the internal temp with a meat thermometer, if you’re really concerned about it. But I promise you, this is hard to fuck up.

If you really want to up your game, refrigerate the steaks uncovered overnight to dry out the exterior. In this case, “dry out” is a good thing because when you remove moisture, it helps create a nice crust when you sear in the pan after cooking in the oven.

Reverse-searing is one of the best ways to remove moisture as is, which is what makes it such a great method for cooking steak. As the wizard Kenji Lopez-Alt once said, “it’s a strange irony that to get the moistest possible results, you should start with the driest possible steak.”

While this method is prettyyyy foolproof, there is one area where you can fuck it up: if you’re too busy making content. I was so focused on getting that perfect butter-melting and garlic-sizzle shot in the pan…I accidentally overcooked my steak a little. It wasn’t well done, but it was a strong medium and I definitely prefer it medium rare. Still tasted good!

Here’s another thing. You have to pay attention to the thickness of the steak. The one I’m referring to above was a lot thinner than the ones I’m used to cooking this way, so I didn’t really take that into account and I probably should have taken it out of the oven a bit sooner.

Typically I make a ribeye steak or something around 1.5-2 inches thick. A thicc boi. But this guy was around 1 inch in terms of girth. He cooked very quickly.

So here’s what you should know: keep the heat low, like, 200 low. And cook the steak for 45 mins to an hour, depending on thickness. The thicker ones I’ve used in the past (the 2-inch ribeyes), I do for exactly 55 mins or 1 hour. This thinner one I took out at 45-50 mins, but I left it in the cast iron a touch too long. To that end…

The cast iron part is QUICK. Like 45 seconds-1 min each side. You just want to get that nice sear and crust on the outside. I like to baste mine with butter, garlic, and fresh thyme/rosemary, too. It’s not necessary at all, but I like the flavor. You can’t really go wrong with adding butter and garlic to meat, ya know?

Do you need a cast iron pan for this? I say yes. I actually have a nonstick cast iron pan and I love it. I know that might seem insane to some of you, but I promise I have used it tons of times and notice almost no difference, not to mention it’s 1000x easier to clean. As someone with arthritis in her dominant hand, I appreciate the things that make my life a little easier without sacrificing quality. Check it out here on Amazon (commission link).

Now, without further adieu, here is my recipe!

Reverse-Seared Steak


  • 1 Steak 1.5 – 2 inches thick (ribeye, porterhouse, strip)
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted butter (optional)
  • 2 sprigs Fresh thyme (optional)
  • 2 sprigs Fresh rosemary (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 200.
  • Place steak on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Season liberally with the salt and pepper.
  • Place steak in the oven for 50 mins – 1 hour, depending on thickness. Final internal temp should be around 130 for medium rare.
  • Heat cast iron pan over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Make sure the pan is HOT! The oil should smoke a bit to indicate this. Add the steak and throw in the butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Once the butter melts fully (it won't take long), flip the steak. Tilt the pan away from you until the butter pools a bit at the bottom of the pan, take a spoon and baste the steak with the butter/garlic mixture. Again, this part is not a long process so no more than a minute per side.
  • Slice and serve!

One Comment

  1. Wow, this article breaks down the reverse-sear method for cooking a steak. I’ve always been a fan of grilling my steaks, but after reading this, I will try reverse searing. The step-by-step instructions and the accompanying photos make it seem simple and achievable. I love your emphasis on using an instant-read thermometer to ensure the perfect temperature. I want to try this technique and see if it does result in a juicy and evenly cooked steak.

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