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Is a Reverse Sear really worth it?

I've been searching through posts about Reverse Searing this morning and everyone says that it makes steaks taste so good but my question is: What makes it so much better than me cooking my steaks at 600 for 2min per side for a nice medium rare? I would think naturally it makes the cooking process take 5 times longer. If its so amazing why do I not hear about high end steak houses doing it? They do however cook under 600-1000 degree broilers which is essentially the same as what I do on the egg so what gives? What makes Reverse searing sooo amazing? Is this just some cooking fad? Convince me!!!

Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

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Comments

  • LegumeLegume Posts: 8,471
    it's a method, people have opinions, go with what you like.

    done well, it minimizes the wellness gradient of a steak so you get more edge to edge consistency and it maximizes the exterior crust  for me, it also gives me more control with thick cuts to get the wellness I want vs over or undershooting - the window is larger when you're cooking slowly

    and beer time.
    Austin, TX
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,969
    edited June 7
    Excellent answer Son Volt. 

    Edit: You make great music too!

    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • Brisket_FanaticBrisket_Fanatic Posts: 2,682
    Also with the slower cooking up front it gives the egg more time to "flavor" the steak with smoking wood or just the natural grill taste. I have tried the same technique using a Sous Vide  on for the long slow process and the steak in my opinion has much less flavor than a traditional reverse sear. Give the RS a try and if it adds nothing to your favorite way of cooking steak then go back to the way you have always done it. 

    NW IA

    2 LBGE, 1 SBGE, 22.5 WSM, 1 Smokey Joe

  • johnnypjohnnyp Posts: 3,067
    I've been searching through posts about Reverse Searing this morning and everyone says that it makes steaks taste so good but my question is: What makes it so much better than me cooking my steaks at 600 for 2min per side for a nice medium rare? I would think naturally it makes the cooking process take 5 times longer. If its so amazing why do I not hear about high end steak houses doing it? They do however cook under 600-1000 degree broilers which is essentially the same as what I do on the egg so what gives? What makes Reverse searing sooo amazing? Is this just some cooking fad? Convince me!!!

    Don't overthink it. It's your food, cook in how you like.

    In general, Reverse Sear is a way to ensure proper IT on thick steaks.  Personally, I rarely Reverse Sear if the steak is < 1.5".  On thin steaks, there just isn't a need for it.

    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 12,064
    You pick up some smoke with a RS.  Hot and fast you pick up zero.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." - NdGT

    "The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand." - DT


  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,969
    edited June 7
    I use the egg for a reverse sear only when cooking a large piece of meat, especially my 3" top sirloin. I like the smoke in that. I'm not crazy about a strip or filet with smoky flavors so I use my kettle for that. 
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 966
    I don't like smoke on my steaks either. I want pure unadulterated beef flavor. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 966
    edited June 7
    One benefit I forgot to mention... it's great for dinner parties when you want a bit of a grace period. You can reverse sear the steaks until you've reached the desired temp, then keep them covered in foil for almost an hour while you hang with your guests. Then when you're ready to sit down and eat you can quickly sear them off and plate 'em.  Sometimes I get ill when I've cooked the perfect steak and some assshole has wandered off flirting with the neighbor's wife  while his perfectly cooked steak is getting cold. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 356
    Dobie said:
    Not worth it for 1/2 inch steaks  =)
    But it's the prestigious Safeway cut.  ;)
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,100
      1voyager said:
    Dobie said:
    Not worth it for 1/2 inch steaks  =)
    But it's the prestigious Safeway cut.  ;)

    I don't want to get that mess started again because I think this thread could be of benefit to someone later in the search function (So no Buffalo Callings please) however, funny enough I did hear on the radio this morning the guys on the show talking about how the Dollar Stores around here had Ribeye steaks on sale for $1 each recently. They happened to mention that they were 1/2" or maybe even 1/4" thick. hahaha =)

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • HendersonTRKingHendersonTRKing Posts: 1,257
    Reverse sear also adds a more consistent crust, using cast iron to finish, than a flip-flip-flip at high heat over a grid.  At least in my experience that's been the case.  I was a high heat guy and now am all RS, all the time.  But YMMV and I have zero need to convince anyone of anything -- do what works for you and enjoy the ride.  It's all good!
    It's a 302 thing . . .
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 17,410
    One way to get a very hot sear is to go cavemen for the finish.  Just get the lava flowing and toss right on the coals.  Flip to another section of the lava and finished.  FWIW-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,100
    So do most of you use the Platesetter for the low and then remove it and crank it up for the sear or do most of you do what @Theophan does and just close down the vents for the low and then take the steak off for a few and get to searing temps? Does it even matter which way?

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • GATravellerGATraveller Posts: 5,673
    I sous vide steaks then sear on cast iron.

    "Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community [...] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It's the invasion of the idiots."

                                                                                  -Umberto Eco

    2 Large
    Peachtree Corners, GA
  • EoinEoin Posts: 1,746
    I like reverse sear for thicker cuts where you get the benefit of a nice even cook through the meat without over cooking the outer portion. Always do the slow cook indirect, works well with a half stone on the XL to avoid having to remove the hot platesetter to finish.
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,100
    I'm wondering too if you could somehow (in order to get the smokey flavor for the sear) Sous Vide the steak, then crank the egg to 600-700 and just before searing throw wood chips on the lump or would that give you too much of the white bad smoke and still not enough good smoke penetration on the crust.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • tenpenny_05tenpenny_05 Posts: 222
    The deciding factor is definitely the steak thickness.  Takes the guess work out of cook temp and like said above there is less or no gradient. Just beautiful Med-Rare from edge to edge sandwiched between two well seared crusts. Oh and it helps render the fat too!  Typically with a ribeye or strip there are always a few bites of fat that never get finished with a fast/hot cook.  Not with reverse sear, every bite is relished.
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 966
    You could do that, but I think if I wanted smoke I'd just do it all on the Egg. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • SSQUAL612SSQUAL612 Posts: 1,023
    I did some Filets  recently & did the sear on a Himalayan Salt block.   Also did a Tritip last weekend & I’ll be using Reverse sear on those almost exclusively now.


    SoCal, soon to be Tyler, TX via Temple, TX.  XL BGE 2016, MES, 18.5 WSM,  36"&17" Black Stone, Adj Rig, Woo, Grill Grates, SS Smokeware Cap, KAB,  FB 300, Thermapen 
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,100
    The deciding factor is definitely the steak thickness.  Takes the guess work out of cook temp and like said above there is less or no gradient. Just beautiful Med-Rare from edge to edge sandwiched between two well seared crusts. Oh and it helps render the fat too!  Typically with a ribeye or strip there are always a few bites of fat that never get finished with a fast/hot cook.  Not with reverse sear, every bite is relished.
    I do like the idea of the fat rendering better. My wife hates fat on a steak. She will cut off every ounce of fat because she’s A WEIRDO. I don’t mind it a bit but sometimes you do get a good bit that just doesn’t go away.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • LegumeLegume Posts: 8,471
    lousubcap said:
    One way to get a very hot sear is to go cavemen for the finish.  Just get the lava flowing and toss right on the coals.  Flip to another section of the lava and finished.  FWIW-
    which lump works best for caveman?
    Austin, TX
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,082
    Legume said:
    lousubcap said:
    One way to get a very hot sear is to go cavemen for the finish.  Just get the lava flowing and toss right on the coals.  Flip to another section of the lava and finished.  FWIW-
    which lump works best for caveman?
    The kind you put a grid over.
  • tenpenny_05tenpenny_05 Posts: 222
    The deciding factor is definitely the steak thickness.  Takes the guess work out of cook temp and like said above there is less or no gradient. Just beautiful Med-Rare from edge to edge sandwiched between two well seared crusts. Oh and it helps render the fat too!  Typically with a ribeye or strip there are always a few bites of fat that never get finished with a fast/hot cook.  Not with reverse sear, every bite is relished.
    That picture didn't look nearly as blurry on my phone.... haha
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • unoriginalusernameunoriginalusername Posts: 286
    edited June 7
    https://youtu.be/FjSc6YK3dq4

    The results might surprise you ... comparing a 250 steak to a 900 charcoal sear 
    Large BGE 2013, Minimax 2018 
    Cedar table
    Burlington, Ontario 
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 966
     Oh and it helps render the fat too!  Typically with a ribeye or strip there are always a few bites of fat that never get finished with a fast/hot cook.  Not with reverse sear, every bite is relished.


    That's another really good point. Fat rendering is a product of time + temp so the longer you take bringing it up to temp the more succulent and juicy a fatty ribeye will seem. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,276
    I've been searching through posts about Reverse Searing this morning and everyone says that it makes steaks taste so good but my question is: What makes it so much better than me cooking my steaks at 600 for 2min per side for a nice medium rare?...
    2 things:
    • I usually sear only for 1 minute at 600° or so, and doing it twice as long makes it probable that you have at least a little bit more gray meat under the seared surface.
    • If grilling it for 4 minutes makes it medium rare, it cannot be a very thick steak, and that may be the biggest difference.  If it's thinner than 1", I never reverse sear.  It's not worth it!  If it's a nice, thick 1.5-2" steak, I'll reverse sear it.  If it's thinner than an inch, I do it your way.
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,276
    edited June 7
    SonVolt said:
    ... You absolutely do not get the same results on your BGE that a high-end restaurant can achieve on a 1,800F overhead broiler.  You may be thinking you're close, but you're not even in the same ballpark flavor-wise.
    Help me with this, please.  I sear for 1 minute a side at 600°-650°.  If they're searing THREE TIMES HOTTER than that, there are only two possibilities: either they're charring the steak more, so the "flavor" you're talking about is mostly how much of the surface is actually burned, not seared, or they're searing it much less long than I am, but achieving a similar result.  Here's a steak I reverse seared:



    I wouldn't want it any more seared than that -- any more and it would be burned on the outside.  And there's only a very thin layer of gray meat under the sear.  What do you think is making a flavor difference with an 1800° sear, then?  Blacker sear?  Even smaller gray area?  

    I've never had a steak in a restaurant that is as good as the ones I cook at home.  But I've never been to the great steak restaurants in NYC, for example.  My guess is that if their steaks really taste better, it's because they've got better meat than I have, not their 1800° broiler.  The main cooking is done in their oven, not the broiler.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but what am I wrong about, exactly?
  • I try and get a few layers of flavour 
    - slow cook to get an SV like consistency but with all the wood / charcoal flavour 

    - high temp fire charcoal sear for great colour and carmelizarion 

    - garlic, butter and thyme 

    - salt 

    to do this, I sear first for just a min per side. Remove and cool down the egg. Put back on at 300-350 and brush on melted butter mix until finished. 

    Rest, adding finishing salt and then serve. It’s awesome 
    Large BGE 2013, Minimax 2018 
    Cedar table
    Burlington, Ontario 
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