Medium Rare, also known as The Gold Standard, is what the vast majority of cooks are looking for when they cook a steak, but on thicker steaks that can be a bit tricky to achieve. (If you like your steaks well done, I'm sorry you will not find this blog helpful.)
For thinner steaks you can achieve a good medium rare on the grill, but for steaks at least one inch or thicker, the reverse sear method is going to give you the best outcomes, and the most flavor!
So what is the reverse sear method? If you follow my social media pages you've probably seen me talk about it endlessly, but might not have known what it was. Reverse Searing is when you smoke something, in this case a steak, for a period of time before finishing it off with a hot sear. When you smoke your steaks, you cook the entire piece of meat more evenly, where as searing something you really are cooking the outside portion much more then the center of the steak.
When I reverse sear a steak I bring the internal temperature about 2-3 degrees of my desired final temperature, then finish it off in a blazing hot cast iron pan with a splash of olive oil. I usually run my smoker about 250 degrees for this, and for steaks I love to use a blend of Oak and Cherry.
One mistake I made when I first started reverse searing was thinking that I could bring the internal temperature of my steak up 10 degrees with the sear. This will give you a large gray band of well done meat on the outside of your steak like you see below. I smoked this to 117 degrees, and tried to sear all the way to 127 degrees. Lesson learned.
Now on a reverse sear I make sure the internal temp of the meat is within 2 or 3 degrees of my goal. For the sear, I've found 30 seconds to a minute works best, and the hotter the better. If the smoke alarms in your kitchen go off, you know its going to be good! Below is a picture of a reverse sear that I recently did right. The steak was wall to wall medium rare, no gray band in sight.
So now that you know about the Reverse Sear method get out there and try it! If you cook anything using Spicer's Smoking Wood and would like to be featured on our Social pages send it to us and we will post it!