Have You Heard Of Reverse Searing Steaks?
We're carnivores in our house, so we like steak. I'm more of a ribeye steak person as a good choice cut with plenty of marbling seared at high heat is mouth-watering delicious.
Until recently my favorite way to cook a steak was in one of my cast iron pans. It's hard to beat that hard crust sear you can get on the outside with preparing it that way. I stopped over and visited Tig, from Tig's Smok'n Pig BBQ a while back and noticed he was doing some grilling and smoking.
He told me he was reverse searing steaks. I hadn't heard of it, so of course I had to inquire. If the guy who makes banging BBQ for the masses is cooking steaks this way, it has to be good, right?
The short version is that you smoke a steak first, and then using a cast iron pan or really hot charcoal, sear it after. After I talked to Tig that day, I hit up Uncle Google for some more inspiration and recipes. I used a combination of what others suggested and came out with a pretty damn good steak, so good that reverse searing is now my preferred method of cooking them.
Here's a run-down of what I do: I buy thick steaks, like I said, ribeye is the preference, though you'll see in the photos there are some cuts of choice chuck I wanted to try using as well. I use Coarse Kosher Salt and crushed black pepper pretty generously on both sides of the meat, then lightly wrap in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for at a minimum one hour. Longer is better though because it will absorb into the meat more.
I pre-heat the smoker to 225 degrees and get it setup with cherry wood chips for the smoke. Cherry is all I have used at this point and might change it up going forward but this has proved incredibly delicious.
Next I smoke the steaks until the internal temperature is about 15 degrees less than the final desired temp. We prefer medium rare which is 130 degrees, so I take them out at 115. At that point I have charcoal roaring hot in the grill and close to the grates, or have a cast iron pan that is oiled and ready for the sear. It won't take long on each side, maybe thirty seconds to a minute to get it to our desired medium rare. The first time I reversed seared a steak I actually cooked them to a smidgen past medium and they were still incredible. It's a bit of a learning curve, so be patient if your first time isn't perfect.
If you haven't heard of reverse searing steaks, I highly suggest you give it a try. You can even do the initial step in the oven if you want, though you won't get that smokey flavor, it will still be delicious.