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How To Reverse Sear a Tomahawk Steak in an Oven and Cast Iron Skillet

How to reverse sear steak using the stove and oven

How To Reverse Sear a Tomahawk Steak in an Oven and Cast Iron Skillet

Want that edge-to-edge even doneness on your next steak, but just not sure how to achieve it without a grill? Maybe you don’t own a grill, or your grill is buried under three feet of snow. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here, I’ll show you how to get a restaurant quality steak without ever leaving your kitchen.

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What Is a Reverse Sear?

Quite simply, reverse searing meat is the method of bringing the temperature of the meat up slowly and evenly in a low temperature environment, around 225°F. Then, after a short rest, you introduce the meat to very high heat to create the Maillard reaction that’s responsible for the charred crust that’s oh so delicious.

This is a technique that’s usually associated with grilling. If you’ve watched many of my Instagram stories, you’ve seen me doing it countless times. Today we’re taking it inside and making use of the oven and a cast iron pan to simulate as closely as possible the outdoor grilling experience. It’s a damn dirty shame, but I recognize not everyone has access to a grill.

What Are the Benefits of Using the Reverse-Sear Method?

For an in-depth look, check out my blog post on the benefits of reverse searing. It’s very informative, if I say so myself. In short, this method serves two distinct purposes. First, it’s a foolproof way to achieve that perfect coast-to-coast doneness without overcooking the outside of the meat. Second, you get to eat a piping hot steak because you don’t need to rest the steak at the end of the cook like you do when using other cooking methods.

Should All Steaks Be Reverse Seared?

NO! I love this method of cooking, but it’s best served for cuts of meat that are at least 1.5″ thick. While this post features a massive tomahawk steak, reverse searing is ideal for a king cut ribeye, or the equally impressive king cut T-Bone. What might be the most effective use of this method, though, is for the perfect filet mignon. That’s a notoriously difficult cut of meat to cook perfectly just based on its shape and thickness.

If I’m cooking a standard cut steak, or any piece of meat that’s cut to less than an inch and a half thick, I don’t use the reverse-sear method. For the thicker cuts of steak, though, and even the king cut pork chop—the reverse-sear method is highly encouraged. 

OK, enough talk. Whatdoya say we get to this tomahawk?

Reverse Seared Tomahawk Steak

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 70 minutes 

Ingredients
1 tomahawk ribeye
2 tbsp compound herb butter
1–2 sprigs fresh rosemary

How To Reverse Sear a Tomahawk Steak in an Oven and Cast Iron Skillet

Step 1: Remove steak from refrigerator and allow it to warm up slightly to room temperature for about an hour. While the steak is warming up, cut just a sliver of the fat from around the edge of the steak and place it back in refrigerator. We’ll use that later.

Step 2: Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper, or your favorite steak rub. Insert a reliable leave-in thermometer into thickest portion of the steak.

steak seasoning to prepare for a reverse sear in the oven

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 225°F.

Step 4: Place steak on a cooling rack, and place rack in a baking sheet. I cover the baking sheet with foil just to cut down on the cleanup later.

reverse searing steak with an over and pan

Step 5: Place steak in oven till it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F; about 45 minutes depending on the size of the steak. (This is the timing for medium rare, cook to your desired temperature.)

Step 6: Remove steak from oven and let rest while continually monitoring the internal temperature on the leave-in thermometer. Temperature should peak at around 129°–130°F (usually about 7–8 minutes).

reverse sear steak

Step 7: While steak is resting, preheat a cast iron pan over medium high heat on stovetop. Place that sliver of fat we removed earlier in pan and allow it to render down. This is what we are going to sear the steak in. Once the steak’s internal temperature has peaked and starts decreasing, add a sprig of rosemary to the rendered beef fat, and crank the heat under the cast iron pan to max for about a minute.

reverse sear steak using a cast iron pan

Step 8: Place steak directly onto the scorching hot cast iron pan, flipping every 30 seconds for about 5 minutes total to develop that dark crust via the Maillard reaction.

reverse sear steak using the stovetop

Step 9: Remove steak from the cast iron pan and top with compound butter. Slice and serve immediately.

final reverse seared steak

Reverse Seared Tomahawk Steak

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How to reverse sear steak using the stove and oven

How to Reverse Sear a Tomahawk Steak in an Oven and Cast Iron Skillet

4.19 from 98 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Remove steak from refrigerator and allow it to warm up slightly to room temperature for about an hour. While the steak is warming up, cut just a sliver of the fat from around the edge of the steak and place it back in refrigerator. We’ll use that later.
  • Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper, or your favorite steak rub. Insert a reliable leave-in thermometer into thickest portion of the steak.
  • Preheat your oven to 225°F.
  • Place steak on a cooling rack, and place rack in a baking sheet. I cover the baking sheet with foil just to cut down on the cleanup later.
  • Place steak in oven till it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F; about 45 minutes depending on the size of the steak. (This is the timing for medium rare, cook to your desired temperature.)
  • Remove steak from oven and let rest while continually monitoring the internal temperature on the leave-in thermometer. Temperature should peak at around 129°–130°F (usually about 7–8 minutes).
  • While steak is resting, preheat a cast iron pan over medium high heat on stovetop. Place that sliver of fat we removed earlier in pan and allow it to render down. This is what we are going to sear the steak in. Once the steak internal temperature has peaked and starts decreasing, add a sprig of rosemary to the rendered beef fat, and crank the heat under the cast iron pan to max for about a minute.
  • Place steak directly onto the scorching hot cast iron pan, flipping every 30 seconds for about 5 minutes total to develop that dark crust via the Maillard reaction.
  • Remove steak from the cast iron pan and top with compound butter. Slice and serve immediately.

Notes

Want that edge-to-edge even doneness on your next steak, but just not sure how to achieve it without a grill? Maybe you don’t own a grill, or your grill is buried under three feet of snow. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here, I’ll show you how to get a restaurant quality steak without ever leaving your kitchen.

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