This Reverse Seared Steak Oven to Cast Iron method produces restaurant quality steaks right in your own kitchen with minimal effort. Beautifully seared crusts and tender juicy insides easy to cook to your liking might make you never want to cook steak any other way again.
Every now and then, you come across a way of doing something that makes you wonder how you’ve ever lived before discovering it’s pure glory. You know, something that is just so good, you can hardly see yourself doing it any other way again. Well, friends. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that reverse searing steak is absolutely one of those things. If you love a good steak but hate the price tag that comes along with dining out at fancy steakhouses or if you just love a good steak, this Reverse Seared Steak Oven to Cast Iron method is life changing. Heck, I’d even venture far enough to say that even if steak is not exactly your favourite thing in the world, reverse searing steak might just be enough to change that.
Way back before I started cooking regularly, I always used to see steak as a fancy dinner only meant for special occasions. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that we never really ate it much growing up, except for special occasions. Lol. We hardly went out to eat for dinner as a family (probably where my love for home cooking comes from) and when we did, it was never to a fancy steakhouse. I mean, don’t get me wrong. My entire family, till this day, loves a good steak. But it could get pretty pricey when we’re talking about feeding a family of five grown adults.
Fast forward to now where I still love a good steak, I do all the cooking and I only have to worry about feeding two hungry mouths instead of five, we have steak pretty often. Believe it or not, the meal I used to believe was oh so ‘fancy’ is the one I most rely on when I don’t know what to make for dinner. We still don’t go out to eat very much (I told ya….I just LOVE home cooking!!!) But when we do, it’s sometimes to a fancy steakhouse. What can I say….we love our steak.
Since seeing this method of Reverse Seared Steak on a cooking show I was watching, I just knew I had to try it. The initial low heat from the oven produces the tender and juicy insides cooked to perfection. The high heat at the end produces perfectly seared outer edges and a nice crispy crust. By cooking steak in this way, you can control the temperature of each steak and make them come out perfect every single time. It’s seriously fancy steakhouse quality and so easy to perfect. Let’s just say I’ve cooked at least a dozen steaks since then and have yet to look back.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE RESTAURANT QUALITY REVERSE SEARED STEAK AT HOME
Do these ingredients seem a little simple and basic to you? That’s because they are! Making restaurant quality steak at home doesn’t require very many ingredients. Therefore, you want to make sure that everything you’re using is fresh and of the best quality. Let’s discuss them in a little bit more detail down below:
- Steak: Use fresh, good quality steaks that are at least 1.5-2 inches thick. I used a grass fed striploin (also known as a New York Strip). But you can use whatever kind of steak you have on hand or prefer. Filet mignon, ribeye, tri-tip, t-bone and porterhouse steaks all make great options.
- Salt and Pepper: The only seasoning we need when it comes to a good steak (as I learned first hand in Argentina). Enhances the beef flavour. If you prefer, use only salt. But don’t do without the salt. It helps tenderize the meat and allows it to create a perfectly crisp and browned crust when seared.
- Oil: Helps the steak form that perfect cast iron skillet sear. An oil with a high smoke point works best in this recipe (I used avocado oil). The cast iron skillet will be extremely hot coming out of the oven and continue to cook at high temperatures on the stove top. Canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil or ghee will all work fine, too.
- Butter: Optional but adds a delicious and mouthwatering flavour to the steak. Also reinforces the perfect browning and crispiness in the crust. If you’re feeling a little bit adventurous, try adding other aromatics as well such as garlic or fresh herbs for an extra boost of flavour.
HOW TO PERFECTLY REVERSE SEAR STEAK (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to perfectly reverse sear steak in the recipe card down below. But here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Get steaks that are at least 1.5-2 inches thick. Make sure they’re all quite similar in size and thickness. This will ensure even cooking in the same amount of time. Anything thin or less than 1.5 inches thick will cook too fast and therefore, overcook. RECIPE NOTE: That being said, though, the reverse sear method for cooking beef also works on anything thicker than 2 inches. I.e. A roast.
- Let the steaks come to room temperature (for up to an hour) before beginning. This ensures even cooking all the way through.
- Pat the steaks dry with a clean paper towel to absorb their excess moisture. This will help the steaks in forming that beautiful brown and crispy crust.
- Be generous with the salt and pepper. Yes, I know. Salt and pepper might almost seem a bit too basic to use on a good steak. But trust me, that’s all you need. Be generous and make sure that both sides of the steak are properly well seasoned for best results.
- Use a wire rack on top of a baking sheet to cook your steak while it’s in the oven. The holes in the wire rack allow air to circulate around the steak resulting in more even and thorough cooking (no need to flip halfway through).
- Heat the cast iron skillet in the oven the entire time the steak is in there cooking. This will kick start the cooking process and reduce the time it will take for the steak to sear and produce that perfect crispy browned crust. EXTRA TIP: Be careful when/after removing the cast iron skillet from the oven and transferring it to the stove top. Use gloves. It’s going to be EXTREMELY HOT and will burn you if you touch it with your bare hands at any point.
- Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness after the oven stage. Since you don’t want to cut or slice into the steaks to physically see the inside, using a meat thermometer will not only give you a fast but accurate reading of the inside temp of the steak.
- Don’t cook the steak all the way through in the oven. Remember, it’ll finish cooking as it sears on the stovetop and rests after cooking. See the recipe card down below for target internal temperatures at each stage of the process.
- Sear in batches, if you have to, and be sure not to overcrowd the pan. The steaks need to make direct contact with the hot skillet as well as have enough room around them for air and steam to circulate (and spoon the butter on top, if using). If the steam has nowhere to go (which happens when you overcrowd the pan) it will make the steaks steam rather than sear and you won’t get that perfect cook.
- Don’t forget about searing the sides of the steak. Use tongs to hold the steak sides and edges against the pan searing them all the way around one at a time. EXTRA TIP: Work quickly to ensure the other steak in the pan doesn’t overcook during this process.
- Let the steaks rest after cooking. This goes for any steak (and almost any meat). Be sure to always allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices in the steak to reabsorb and redistribute giving you the juiciest results. EXTRA TIP: Tent the steaks with aluminum foil as they rest to trap in the heat. EXTRA EXTRA TIP: Slice the steak against the grain for best and most tender results.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Reverse searing steaks require cooking steak at a low temperature in the oven first and then transferring to a hot pan and stove top with extremely high temperatures. The initial low oven temperatures slowly cooks the steak giving you the flexibility to cook it to your liking every single time. The hot sear at the end produces a nice crust and crispy edges making the reverse sear method perfect for those who love a perfectly cooked steak both inside and out.
How long your steak takes in the oven depends on its thickness and how well you like your steak cooked. The steaks will take anywhere between 10-25 minutes in the oven before being transferred to the stovetop to sear. Always use a meat thermometer to check to see if the steak is cooked to your liking. Start checking at 15 minutes and then again every 5 minutes thereafter.
Remember, the steak will finish cooking in the cast iron skillet as it sears. Therefore, you don’t want to cook it all the way through in the oven or you’ll end up with overcooked steak.
A good and tasty steak dinner is not hard to come by in our house. Here are some of our favourite side dishes to serve up with it: Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Oven Baked Crispy Potato Wedges, Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad, Broccoli with Crispy Garlic, Easy Sautéed Mushrooms, Creamy Bacon Brussels Sprouts or Roasted Sweet Potatoes. We also love adding this reverse seared steak on top of bowls or salads. It’s great on top of this Kale Caesar Salad, this Strawberry Spinach Salad or this Loaded Taco Salad.
- 2 Steaks, at least 1.5-2 inches thick*
- 1 tbsp High Smoke Point Oil such as Avocado
- Fresh Cracked Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp Butter, optional
- With the rack adjusted to the center position, preheat the oven to 275°. Place a large cast iron skillet on the rack below the center. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then place a wire rack on top.
- Pat the steaks dry with a clean paper towel to absorb their excess moisture (resulting in a crispier crust). Transfer to the wire rack. Generously season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper.
- Pop the steaks into the oven and cook for 10-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steaks and how you like them cooked. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness (see the notes down below for target internal temperatures). Remove the steaks from the oven.
- Using gloves, carefully transfer the cast iron skillet from the hot oven to the stove top over high heat. Add the oil. Once VERY hot, carefully add the steaks. Sear for about 2 minutes or until a nice crisp and brown crust is formed.
- Flip and cook an additional 1.5-2 minutes.
- Add butter, if using. Use tongs to turn the steaks on their sides to sear the edges and render the fat all the way around. Work quickly (about 2 minutes in total) to avoid overcooking. Spoon the melted butter over the tops and sides of the steaks for that extra boost of flavour.
- Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes, under a foil tent, before slicing and serving.
You can use your favourite cut of steak for this recipe. Filet mignon, striploin, ribeye, tri-tip, t-bone and porterhouse steaks all make great options.
Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steaks. Start at 15 minutes, then every 5 minutes again thereafter until target doneness is reached, When taking your steaks out of the oven, you want them to register at 90 to 95ºF (32 to 35ºC) for medium rare, or 100 to 105ºF (38 to 41ºC) for medium.
In the searing step, aim for an internal temperature of 120 to 125ºF (49 to 52ºC) for medium rare or 130 (50ºC) for medium.
In the final step of adding the optional butter, you can also try adding other aromatics such as garlic or fresh herbs for an extra boost of flavour.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 888Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 230mgSodium: 315mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 7gSugar: 1gProtein: 60g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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