Over the years the popularity of steak houses has waned. One of the main reasons for this in my opinion is because more and more people are cooking better steaks at home. Also trends change over time and people move on to try new things. As every year roles by there are more and more choices of cuisines to try and if you can make the best steak at home why go out and pay over the odds for a lesser quality end result. In this article we are looking at what we believe to be the absolute best reverse sear steak method out there.
Reverse searing steak has been a popular method for quite some time and I strongly believe that once you put dry brining into the mix you will probably never go back to the way you did it before.
Preparing Your Reverse Sear Steak
To get this method off perfectly you really need to know in advance that you are having steak for dinner. Deciding at the last moment is not going to yield the best results. About six hours before you plan to eat take the meat out of its packaging and put on a board in the kitchen. Sprinkle about half a teaspoon on each side of the steak. You can use what ever sold you like. I prefer to use kosher salt but sea salt or general supermarket salt is also fine. Pat the salt firmly into the meat. Once the steaks are covered all over place them on cake racks.
Put the cake racks into the fridge. If you look at the steaks you will notice that they are slowing weeping moisture. However, fast forward a few hours and the meat will appear dry. This is because in fact the meat is actually retaining it. If you really plan in advance you could actually leave them for 24 hours to dry brine for what I feel is an even better end result, but six will still give you a fantastic finish.
I am sure at some point you must have seared a raw steak that has not been brined. When you do this all the water in the steak gets pushed to the surface and the meat boils in the water. This leaves the steak a horrible grey color or it will leave a damp crust on the outside. However, when dry brined you end up with the beautiful brown color that you see in all the pictures. This is because all of that moisture has been locked into the meat and the surface is dry.
Get the Steak Out the Fridge
About twenty minutes before you are ready to cook bring out the steaks from the fridge so that they can warm. This is also the time to add seasoning to them. When doing this I use a mixture of salt and pepper only. I like four parts cracked pepper to one part salt. Apply this evenly to the meat all over, you don’t want to be applying it too thickly keep it quite light.
Get the Smoker On
Bring your smoker up to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit/85 degrees centigrade. Its ok if the steak is a little dirty, steak does not mind it although your brisket will. Get a temperature probe in to the thicket part of the steak and smoke until you reach an internal temperature of 138/58C. This is still medium rare but getting closer to the medium side of things. If you are cooking a lean steak go a little lower but for a marbled piece or Wagyu you want to be right on this temperature.
Fat is flavor but if the fat is not rendered it is not tasty at all. Cuts such as Hanger, Flat Iron, Bavette and Tri Tip all like medium but if you prefer it rare then go for it.
Once the meat has reached the internal temperature discussed before it is time to sear over fire. There are various methods for this and it doesn’t really matter how you do it just make sure that the heat surface is really hot! You can do it on a grate in the offset, on a griddle or a cast iron pan will work. Get that steak over a really high heat/fire and keep turning it until the steak has reached the desired color. This should take just two to three minutes.
Once the steak is finished get it off the heat and onto a board. It is time to rest the meat. It is not a brisket so it does not need to rest for too long. You don’t want it going cold so just a couple of minutes is fine. Top the steak with flake salt and enjoy!
We would love to hear how you get on doing a steak this way and how it compares to your usual method. Is it the best or do you think your way is better? We are all friends here so no hurt feelings either way.