Food & Drink

Reverse searing is the best steak-cooking method you’ve probably never heard of

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Matt Tate
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If you were sitting down to write a not-even-slightly cliched ‘How To Be A Man’ guidebook, somewhere in that book there would undoubtedly be a chapter – probably sandwiched between the bit slagging off electric razors and the the French bulldog appreciation section – on how to cook the perfect steak.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re serving up your favourite cut for supper. What to use for seasoning? What kind of pan do you need? How long on each side? What about resting time? Do I really stand here tonight as a man who trusts his own judgement? Get it right and you’re king of the kitchen. Get it wrong and, well, hope you like sad faces and chewing.

Everyone’s got a Best Steak Take (like this one, from ourselves), but there’s a technique that some foodies reckon trumps them all. They call it reverse searing. 

It’s as simple as its name is catchy, and Serious Eats insist that it will give you a perfectly medium-rare steak with a crisp crust. It’s not a particularly new idea, but it’s not a hugely well-known one either. 

A reverse seared steak. See, we told you you'd want to try it

To reach steak nirvana, you slow-cook the meat first before finishing it off with a hot sear. Serious Eats go into a lot more detail about the process, but basically you want to start by channelling your inner Saltbae and seasoning the steak – ideally between one and a half to two inches thick. After that’s done, place the meat on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and put it an oven heated at somewhere between 93 and 135°C. 

This is when precision comes in. It’s recommended that you use a thermometer to roast the steak until it’s just under the final temperature you’d usually serve it at, then add a tablespoon of oil to a heavy pan and transfer the meat as soon as the oil starts smoking. It’ll need roughly 45 seconds on each side. 

And the best thing about this technique? No need to let them rest. If only the cavemen had had access to the internet. 

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Matt Tate

Matt Tate is a freelance journalist

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