Reverse Sear Steak (with easy overnight dry brine option)
Yield: as many servings as needed
Pairing an unconventional cooking method with a simple dry brine delivers perfectly-cooked steaks with a golden sear every time. You may start the reverse sear process in the oven or on the grill, and the final sear may be done on the grill or stovetop.


  • Coarse salt (kosher and sea salt work well)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Steak, at least 1½ – 2 inches thick (like NY strip, ribeye, tenderloin, porterhouse, or T-bone steaks)
  • Special equipment: Quick-read thermometer


  1. Dry brine or simply season and cook: Liberally season the steaks all over with salt and pepper. Tip: ¾-1 teaspoon of Morton kosher salt (which is widely available and the brand I use) per pound of steak is generally recommended. Because of its larger granules, the Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt equivalent is 1½ teaspoons (this brand is less available in many regions). If dry brining, place on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for up to 48 hours. (One hour in the refrigerator is the minimum.) If not dry brining, season the steaks just before cooking.

    Before cooking, bring your steaks to room temperature. A rest of 30 to 60 minutes encourages quicker, more even cooking.

    For the reverse sear: Preheat the oven to 250℉ and place the steaks on a lightly oiled or sprayed rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. If you dry brined, you can use the rack they’re already on. Cook until the internal temperature is 15 degrees below your desired final temperature (see guide below), anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on initial temperature, thickness of steaks, and individual oven. Start checking the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer after 15 minutes to get a sense of where you are in the process and continue to check every 5 to 10 minutes – or less if you’re getting close. If you have an oven probe, this is a great time to use it. You may also do this over indirect heat on a grill, trying to maintain a temperature of 225 – 250℉. In this case, close the lid and flip the steaks frequently, checking for hot spots.

    When you’re closing in on your target temperature, preheat the grill to high heat. Alternatively, you can cook the steaks in an oiled cast iron or heavy stainless steel skillet. Either way, you want that grill or skillet to be HOT. Add the steaks and cook, flipping frequently with tongs and giving the edges a sear too, 1-2 minutes per side, or until both sides have a lovely brown crust. (Tip: Don’t close the grill lid – at this point we’re searing the edges and minimizing further internal cooking.) You may enjoy immediately, as there’s no need to let reverse-seared steaks rest.

    Target internal temperature after first stage of cooking, followed by final target temperature:

      Rare: 105℉ → 120℉
    •  Medium-rare: 115℉ → 130℉
    •  Medium: 125℉ → 140℉
    •  Medium Well: 145℉ → 150℉

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