How to Reverse Sear Steak (Best Technique for Ribeye)
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If you’ve got a little extra time, reverse searing a steak (or almost any other piece of meat for that matter) is a great way to go!
This low and slow cooking method is followed by a hot and fast sear—leaving you with a juicy, evenly cooked steak with a beautiful golden brown crust.
This recipe takes it to another level by pairing the steak with a flavor-packed red wine compound butter (I call it a “bordelaise” butter since it’s inspired by the classic French sauce).
If you’re serving a crowd, I’d recommend using thick steaks (2 inches or thicker is best) instead of a single steak for each person, since you likely won’t have enough space in a single pan to sear more than two or three steaks at a time.
Then, after a 10-15 minute rest covered in aluminum foil, slice the steaks into thick pieces and arrange on a platter or cutting board before serving!
Serving a crowd? Use thicker steaks (at least 2-3 inches) and slice them into portions instead of serving a single steak for each person.
How to Reverse Sear Steak (Best Technique for Ribeye)
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 1 steak 1x
Easy (one-pan) reverse seared steak recipe and technique for ribeyes or any other tender cut.
Reverse seared steak:
- 1 ribeye steak (at least 1.5-2 inches thick)
- kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand) to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil (or other oil for searing)
For basting (optional):
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Red wine “bordelaise” compound butter:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ¼ medium onion, finely diced
- ½ cup mushrooms, finely chopped (4 ounces)
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand) or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 cup beef stock (unsalted or low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 275°F. Season the steak to taste with salt and pepper (best to do this an hour or so ahead of cooking if you have the time).
- For a medium rare steak, bake it on a tray for 30-40 minutes—flipping halfway to ensure even cooking. Ideally, you should use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak to determine when it’s done (medium rare will be 125-130°F). Remove the steak once it reaches your desired “doneness”, cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan (cast iron works great) over high heat until it just starts to smoke. Add the steak and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil once again, rest for another 5-10 minutes then slice and serve.
- For basting (optional but highly recommended): once the steak has been flipped, add butter to the pan along with the garlic and thyme. Tilt the pan toward you slightly and spoon the foaming butter over the steak—making sure to keep the garlic and thyme submerged in the butter so they impart their flavor.
- For the compound butter: cook the onion, mushrooms, garlic and thyme with salt and pepper in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until most of the water has evaporated (about 8-10 minutes). Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine and beef stock and reduce on high heat until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated (about 10-15 minutes). Cool the mixture on a plate in the freezer (about 15 minutes) then fold into the remaining 4 tablespoons of room-temp butter along with the chives. Roll into a log using cling film and chill in the fridge/freezer (or in an ice bath) before slicing into coins and serving on top of the steak.
Net carbs: 1.9g for 10oz of steak & 1tbsp of compound butter.
If you have a cooling rack, you can use it to cook the steak in which case there’s no need to flip it halfway through (personally, I like to use the same pan I’ll be searing the steak with along with some aluminum foil to minimize cleanup).
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Searing
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: how to reverse sear a steak, reverse seared ribeye
What is reverse searing?
Reverse searing is a technique that every home cook should have in their arsenal. It takes a bit longer than traditional methods like grilling or pan searing, but it’s more reliable and yields a more evenly cooked steak (a lower cooking temperature also makes it a more “fool-proof” method).
Using a low oven temperature and flipping the steak halfway through (or cooking it on a cooling rack) brings the meat slowly up to the desired internal temperature without the risk of overcooking it.
Contrast that with traditional cooking methods like grilling where you’re using a high temperature (500°F or more in some cases) and precise timing to quickly bring a piece of meat up to a desired internal temperature.
The problem with these traditional methods is that they require very precise timing (and, ideally, a thermometer) to achieve the desired “doneness” without overcooking the meat.
What’s more, parts of the meat just below the surface can become dry, tough and overcooked even if the very center is perfectly cooked (characterized by the grey-to-pink gradient that you often see when you cut into a traditionally cooked steak).
Another benefit of reverse searing is the deep, golden crust that can be achieved since the surface of the steak dries out slightly during the initial low and slow cooking step.
Reverse searing is a two-step technique for achieving a more evenly cooked (and juicy) piece of meat by cooking it in a low temperature oven to the desired internal temperature followed by a hot and fast sear—usually in a pan or on the grill.
How long does reverse searing take?
A steak that’s 1.5-2 inches thick should take approximately 30-40 minutes (flipped halfway through unless you’re cooking it on a cooling rack) to cook to medium-rare in a 275°F oven.
Timing will ultimately depend on how thick the steak is, what temperature your oven is preheated to and your desired steak “doneness” (the particular cut of steak you’re cooking can also be a factor).
For that reason, I highly recommend using an quick-read digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of your steak (or other meat) to determine exactly when it’s ready to be taken out of the oven—keeping in mind that the internal temperature will continue to climb a couple degrees even after it’s taken out.
Basting: is it just for show?
Basting meats and vegetables with butter is a classic French technique.
For beef, this extra step adds a layer of richness and flavor while preventing its surface from drying out.
Garlic and herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage or bay leaves are some of the go-to aromats used for basting meats, but you don’t have to stop there!
You can use pretty much any herb or spice (ground or whole) with a wide variety of meats or vegetables—like pork chops with cumin and chili powder or cauliflower steaks with turmeric and garam masala.
What is compound butter?
“Compound butter” is really just a fancy way of saying “butter with extra stuff in it” (usually a combination of raw ingredients like cinnamon and sugar or garlic and parsley).
This recipe takes it a step further by cooking a variety ingredients (borrowed from a classic French sauce recipe called, bordelaise) down to an intense and flavorful “paste” that’s combined with softened butter and fresh herbs.
This butter does take at least an hour to make from start to finish (all good things take time), but you can skip the log-forming and chilling steps if you’re short on time and just use the butter at room temperature.
In a hurry? Simply mix softened butter with flavor-boosting ingredients like stone-ground mustard, minced garlic or your favorite herbs and spices then shamelessly smear on meat or vegetables of your choice (no chilling or log-forming required)!
Hey there—I’m Nate! I’m passionate about developing delicious, healthy recipes and exploring better living through low-carb, wholesome cooking! Welcome! I'm glad you're here!
Perfect. Steak. Every. Time. Reverse searing is the way to GO!