Reverse Seared Ribeye Steak Recipe
Perhaps the biggest treat in a carnivore’s diet, steak has long been the grillmaster’s pride and joy. But it’s easy to ruin a steak. We’ll show you the best way to grill a steak so you can easily have better-than-steakhouse results in your own backyard.
For this recipe, we brought in Greg from Ballistic BBQ. He's using the Slow ’N Sear® Kettle with the Slow 'N Sear® insert for reverse searing.
Before we cook it, we need to buy it! First and foremost is meat selection. You have to pick a good steak if you want to eat a good steak. Learn more about USDA grades of beef, how to pick the right steak, and it will help you in finding the best ones.
Dry brine the steak by seasoning it with as much kosher salt you would typically use to season a finished steak (1/2 teaspoon per pound is a good starting point). Our ribeye is 24oz. Place the steak on a rack (to allow air to circulate), and place it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
Prepare the kettle by scraping off the cooking grate with your preferred grill brush or scraper, and then fully light 25 charcoal briquettes in a chimney starter. Place the lit briquettes in the Slow ’N Sear® (no water needed), and open the vents fully until the cooker reaches 225° - 250°F. Then close the vents enough to stabilize temps.
Our favorite way to get all-over sear and tremendous flavor is to reverse sear using the “Cold Grate Technique". You’ll get wall-to-wall color (no tan banding) and all-over brown crust, not just grill marked strips of flavor.
Cook the steak at 250° over the indirect side of the grill. If you want some added smoke, add a chunk of hickory. Once the meat hits 80°F, flip it over to ensure even cooking.
When the internal temperature hits 90°F, begin lighting a full chimney of charcoal to prepare for the sear while the steak continues to cook indirect. Once the steak reaches an internal temp of 115°F, pull the steak and the grate off the kettle. This will allow the grate to cool completely. Add the chimney of now fully lit briquettes to the Slow 'N Sear®. Even out the briquettes and open the lower vent completely. (leave the lid and grate off at this time.)
Prep the steak for searing by blotting any moisture off the steak’s exterior with paper towels. Coat the exterior with olive oil and black pepper to taste. For searing, place the cold grate back on the grill with the steak on the cold side of the grate. Then spin the grate so the cold grate and the steak are on the hot side for 45-60 seconds. After 45-60 seconds, flip the steak to the cool side of the grate and spin the grate to the other side of the cooker for 45-60 seconds. Repeat the process until each side of the steak has been seared for 1.5-2 minutes total, or the exterior has reached the color you desire.
When is it done?
How you like your steak cooked is as personal as what you’ll eat with it. Arguably, the most tender, juicy, flavorful and palatable steak comes from medium-rare. If you’re new to cooking your own steak, we’d like to encourage you to give medium-rare a try! Despite what you may have heard, pink beef doesn’t mean it's undercooked, and pink juices are not blood! Unless you have a lot of experience, a lot of luck with your timing, or are a professional steak chef cooking dozens of steaks every night, you must use a digital thermometer if you want repeatable, foolproof results.
Rare, 120-130° F A finished internal temp of 120-130° F will give you a rare steak. This is not the most popular serving temp, but rare steak has its fans. The center will be bright red and will be only lightly warm, and very juicy.
Medium-rare, 130-135° F (CHEF’S TEMP) A finished internal temp of 130-135° F will give you medium-rare. This is also known as the “chef’s temp”, the temp at which most quality steakhouses prefer to serve their masterpieces. This, with a deep brown crispy sear on the outside and a properly salted interior, will be your best tasting, juiciest steak.
Medium, 135-145° F If solid pink is not an option for you or your guests, but a little pink is ok, we’ll recommend medium. This a finished internal temperature of over 135°, particularly 140-145° F. Still juicy, still some pink, but warmer and a little more firm, medium is still a good choice.
Medium-well, 145-155° F Next comes medium-well, with a temp between 145-155° F. This will give you only a hint of pink deep in the center, but this is also where the meat begins to lose its juiciness.
Well, 155° + Well done, at 155-160° and above, contains no pink color and yields a much firmer and drier steak. Well done steaks are often worthy of using a steak sauce to add moisture and a juicier mouthfeel. We highly recommend that you use a good quality digital thermometer to measure your steak’s internal temperature for best results. Please do not be fooled by those that tell you to cook over ‘medium heat for x-amount of minutes’, or to push on your steak, those aren’t the best measure of doneness.