Ripples Recipe – The Perfect Steak (a.k.a. Reverse-Seared)

By Stephen Sapp

Having lived in South Florida for 40 years before moving to Lakeport in 2015, I never considered cooking a steak by any other method than outdoor grilling (even at this time of year!). When Mary asked for a steak for her birthday dinner late last month, I checked the weather forecast and realized that I did not want to be out on the deck grilling that evening! My search for an alternative method led me here, and we do not foresee ever returning to the grill when we have a steak. If you want a great deal more detail, including the theory behind this technique, illustrations of each step, and how to finish on a grill (if you simply must have that “outdoor flavor”), please visit

The Perfect Steak

Thick-cut beef steak(s), at least 1½ to 2 inches thick (such as ribeye, strip, porterhouse, T-bone, tri-tip, or filet mignon)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

1 tablespoon butter

Start the night before. Generously season steak(s) all over with salt and pepper. Place steak(s) on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate overnight, uncovered, to dry out the exterior. Preheat oven to 250°F. Place steak(s) in the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 105°F for rare, 115°F for medium-rare, 125°F for medium, or 135°F for medium-well (about 20 minutes for rare steak and up to about 40 minutes for medium-well, but check often since cooking time can vary dramatically depending on many factors and temperature will go up quickly at the end). Just before steak(s) come out of the oven, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a cast iron skillet and heat over high heat until smoking. Add steak(s) and butter to skillet and cook until each side is well browned, about 45 seconds per side. Using tongs, hold steak(s) sideways to sear the edges. Serve right away (no need to let reverse-seared steaks rest).

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