Reverse sear for steaks and roasts?

I just found a topic on another site that extols the virtues of roasting first THEN searing. I know I cook ribs that way but don’t recall ever seeing this recommended for steaks and roasts. Any experience with this here?

I’ve basically been doing that with thick steaks for years now. I “roast” using the indirect heat on the grill. My favorite technique is to use a mature fire primarily fueled by oak wood, which adds an extra layer of smokiness.

Works great for anything that needs a longer cooking time - chicken, pork roasts, etc. Keeps the kitchen clean too.

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it’s a technique that has been debated for ages.

methinks “searing” can be done either way - but only if one adds a bunch of qualifiers.

for stuff done “hot & fast” my experience is searing first generally works better.
for example steak - once the meat is cooked, it’s a bit tricky to develop a dark sear/crust short of an oxyacetylene torch; there is the distinct probability overcooking will result from the attempt…

for stuff done “low&slow” my experience is either way works. generally I prefer to sear first but as noted some dishes - like ribs - where a nice “final crust” is a good thing - searing at the end works better.

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I’ve had excellent results with beef roasts. 200°F until internal temp is about 125°F, rest for about 30 minutes or so, then 500°F+ for about 5-10 minutes. The only drawback is that it takes a lot longer. I think it’s worth it.


I do this when I sous vide a steak or roast. Cook in the SV for the appropriate time at the correct temperature and then added to a flming hot cast iron pan for the crust.

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I watch lots of cooking shows, and have many cookbooks. What’s interesting to me about this is that, except for ribs, I really don’t recall the ‘reverse’ method being taught. Maybe it’s just me.

Here’s a good article:

Only question: Can you achieve Medium Rare on a steak or roast?

Very good question. Deal breaker for me.

Why not?

Could be tricky if you’re used to the other way. I’ve never done it that way but I’d think you have to catch the meat at rather raw before taking it out to sear to medium rare. Needs a good instant read thermo… or foes the touch technique work for a steak this way?

I haven’t tried steaks, but you definitely can on a roast.

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Sure. After all it’s morally wrong to cook them more than that.

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TY, Deanna. Just bought a well-marbled beef roast this morning. I just might try this method soon…

Works great for steaks too. Just have to be careful not to over cook when trying to get a good crust. People who use a vortex can achieve a good crust. A Searzal also works well

I’ve been doing this for years. Have had wonderful results with all approaches.

The quality of the raw product, I think, has more to do with it.

I don’t get too caught up in the “science” of fibers constricting and forcing out moisture and all of that stuff. It either works for you, or it doesn’t. Whenever I hear some new proclamation like “this is the best way to do x,” I go out of my way to disprove it, and that typically doesn’t take much effort.

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