Home Advanced Grilling The Reverse Sear: How to Cook Perfect Steaks Every Time

The Reverse Sear: How to Cook Perfect Steaks Every Time

New York Strip steak sliced after cooked in reverse sear method

Are you trying to perfect your steak game and get that beautiful crust that can only be found at a steakhouse?  Well, I’m going to share the secret with you!

The outside crust of a steak has incredible flavor and is developed by searing.  Most people start with the searing process; I couldn’t disagree more with that technique for a thick cut of meat. Searing first “to lock in the juices” can leave you with overcooked grey edges on your steak and an undercooked raw middle. By doing a reverse sear, you’ll end up with even doneness throughout your steak. The ever so slight crunch from the crust, the center of the steak melting in your mouth—it’s perfection.

Once you mic drop after pulling off the perfect reverse sear, take the steak to the next level with some homemade herb butter. Give it a try, I promise you’ll be hooked!

Prep time: 1 hour | Cook Time: 70 minutes | Step-by-step with photos


2 NY strip steaks, at least 1” thick
Salt and pepper to taste


Charcoal grill
Chimney starter
Quality lump charcoal
Dependable Meat Thermometer (like the Thermoworks Signals or the ThermoWorks Smoke X4 RF)


Step 1: Remove steaks form refrigerator and let them come up to room temperature. This will take about an hour. Season with salt and pepper, or your favorite rub, about 20 minutes before placing them on the grill.

Step 2: 2. Start your charcoal using a chimney. Once the coals are white hot, pour them into the grill, keeping them to one side to create a hot zone and a cooler zone for indirect heat. Maintain the grill at 225-degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3: Insert a meat thermometer (either the Thermoworks Signals or the ThermoWorks Smoke X4 RF) into steak and place them in the indirect heat zone of the grill. Place lid on grill, and allow steaks to cook until they reach an internal temperature of 125-degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure that the steaks are as far away from the heat source as possible, this allows them to slowly come up to the proper temperature while taking in some added flavor from the charcoal.

Step 4: Once they’ve reached the correct internal temperature, remove the steaks from the grill, and allow them to rest.

Step 5: Light an additional half chimney of coals and when white hot, add them to existing coals. Be sure to pile the coals high in order to get the heat source as close to the grates as possible.

Step 6: Place steaks directly over the hot charcoal to sear the outside. Without high-heat searing you won’t get the Maillard reaction needed to cook a great steak.

I sear for about 5 minutes total on each side, but I flip constantly (every 15-30 seconds). Sure, grill marks look cool, but if you’re looking for the very best flavor you want that nice char all over the steak—not just on a grill mark. After the searing is complete your internal steak temp should be about 130-degrees Fahrenheit for a medium rare steak and the meat should be an even caramel brown color.

Step 7: When your steak hits the desired temp, remove from the grill and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Resting the meat (letting it sit at room temp) is important because the moisture inside needs time to redistribute back through the meat. If you cut into your steak too soon, the liquid will run out and your expensive and perfectly cooked steak will end up as dry as an old catcher’s mitt. By letting it rest, the moisture is able to re-absorb back onto the steak and the meat will be as tender and juicy as you’ve ever had. Trust me on this one, it’s worth the wait.

Speaking of waiting, how long do you have to wait you might ask? That’s a good question and everyone has an opinion but generally speaking about 8 -10 minutes per lb of steak.

As you can see, this technique results in an even level of doneness from edge to edge of the steak.