I have to say that I have yet to overcook a steak after switching to this method of reverse sear cooking. You MUST give this a try! Every steak you make will be cooked to perfection, to the exact doneness that you intended. Serve them up with these Incredibly Simple Potato Cakes made with instant mashed potatoes and fried in avocado oil for that perfect shade of golden brown.
Growing up on well-done steak
Growing up, my dad always grilled steaks to the beyond-well-done point. If it didn’t resemble shoe leather, it would not be served to the Tyler family. I had no idea that you even could eat a steak that was medium-rare. My first time eating a medium-rare steak was so impactful that I actually remember it 30 years later! I was about 12 years old and we were on a road trip to Michigan to visit my dad’s co-worker. Our two families went out to dinner at a very nice steakhouse called Weber’s Restaurant, located in Ann Arbor. The fact that I remember the restaurant name and location shows you how much this information is embedded in my memory. They didn’t ask me how I would like the steak prepared, it just came medium-rare. It was already sliced thin and was swimming in what I imagine was a red wine reduction.
This may also have been the only time I had ever ordered steak in a restaurant. Thank goodness my dad’s company was picking up the tab that night. My parents were very frugal, so although they had saved a lot of money over the years, I wouldn’t have been allowed to order a steak at a fancy steakhouse. We wouldn’t have even been in a fancy steakhouse to begin with! We were a McDonald’s 59-cent-burger type of family. I honestly remember this number because my mom would often say something like, “while we’re out shopping, let’s just pick up a couple of 59 cent burgers for lunch”. Thankfully I loved McDonald’s, so I didn’t even know that I was missing out!
Now before any of you well-done-steak fans get too excited about the fact that I love medium-rare steak, I have to let you know that the USDA recommends cooking steaks to a temperature of 145oF with a 3 minute rest time.
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Essential cooking tools
There are a couple of essential tools I use for cooking these steaks, the most important of which is a good digital oven thermometer. To be honest, I do not love my current thermometer because it’s not really intuitive to use. Here is the one I’m going to try next. I put the probe into the meat before placing it in the oven and the thermometer will beep when it reaches the desired temperature. I insert the probe down the length of the steak as shown in the picture below. This helps it to stay put and not pull out of the steak when cooking or if I open the oven door.
Another essential item is a cooking / baking rack so that the meat can cook evenly. In the picture below, I was using a circular rack, but if you’re making more than two steaks you’ll want to use this larger one.
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Here is what my steaks look like right before I put them in the oven.
- two 2-inch thick New York Strip Steaks
- Salt and pepper to taste
- avocado or other high heat oil
- Remove thick layers of fat from the steak if desired.
- Evenly coat both sides of the steak with a layer of salt. You'll want to use more salt for a thicker steak.
- Pepper both sides of the steak
- Preheat oven to 275F
- Place the steak on a baking rack over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Insert your oven thermometer into the side of the thickest part of the steak.
- Place the steak into the oven.
- For medium-rare, cook to internal temperature of 125 Fahrenheit. This should take 45-60 minutes for a 2 inch thick steak. (The USDA Recommends cooking beef to an internal temperature of 145F with a 3 minute rest time).
- Remove steak from the oven and tent with additional aluminum foil.
- Let the steak rest 15 minutes. This is important! You want to let the steak rest so that it reabsorbs the juices prior to cutting. The temperature of the steak will continue to rise, up to about 135F (medium rare).
- After 15 minutes, heat a cast iron skillet on high heat on the stove. While it's resting, brush both sides of the steaks with avocado oil or other high heat oil.
- Place the steak in the skillet.
- Sear the steak for 1 minute on each side for a thinner steak and 1½ minutes for a thicker steak. This will re-warm your steak, but since you already let it rest, it won't lose too much moisture when you cut into it.
- Enjoy it immediately!
Cooking temperatures for desired doneness - take steaks out of oven 7 to 10 degrees before reaching the following temperatures:
For medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees F)
For medium (an internal temperature of 140 degrees F)
For medium-well (an internal temperature of 150 degrees F)
Remember that the steak's temperature will continue to rise after removing from the oven and will also rise when you sear it at the end.