I often get asked how to grill the perfect steak. Whilst there are many factors to consider, it's important to look at the weight of the cut you've purchased first. In this blog post, I'll be focusing on the Reverse Sear Method which I use for steaks 400 grams (14 ounces) and above in weight.
These cuts include ribeye on the bone and the humongous tomahawk that is a showstopper at the dinner table all around the world. Smaller sized cuts and thinner ones can be grilled fast over fire in a cast iron skillet to achieve the Milliard Effect (beautiful crust) or directly over high heat.
I grew up in an all female household with my single mother and 3 sisters. Us girls taught ourselves to BBQ, which back then wasn't the norm. Typically, females made the salads and men were at the BBQ. It's fair to say, that I watched uncles and family friends who grilled directly over fire burning the good old Aussie chop. They never accepted feedback. Geez, how times have changed. To be honest, I stopped eating meat as a teenager because eating a mouthful of charcoal didn't appeal to me. I'm convinced if I had known to measure internal meat temperatures of steaks when I was a kid, they would have been 170f and above. Holy Moley!!
On social media these days I still get the occasional person commenting that a steak is raw when they see red juices as I'm slicing. I giggle to myself and think back to those charcoal black chops growing up. A steak that has an internal temperature of 135f (57c) is definitely medium rare, hopefully with more steaks being showcased on social media, more people will embrace a nicely cooked steak. Before we continue, let's take a look at the internal temperatures of cooked steak. Using a meat thermometer, the temperature is measured at the thickest part of the steak.
Rare 120f to 125f (49c to 51c)
Medium Rare 130f to 135f (55c to 57c)
Medium 140f to 145f (60c to 63c)
Medium Well 150f to 155f (65c to 69c)
Well Done 160f+ (71c+)
Now that we have the internal temperatures of steak out of the way, lets look at one of my favourite cooking methods - The Reverse Seared Method using a BBQ!
What is the Reverse Sear Method?
It's combining the indirect and direct cooking methods of grilling. To put it quite simply, it's starting with low heat and then moving to high to finish.
How to Reverse Sear steak using a gas or charcoal BBQ
If you're using a gas BBQ with let's say 3 burners, you would turn the center burner off and turn the outer two on and at medium heat. If you're using a 2 burner BBQ, you'd turn one side off initially and place your steak on the unlit side.
If you're using a charcoal BBQ, you'd set it up for indirect heating and initially place your steak approximately 20 cm opposite to the heat (less if the cut is big).
Regardless of which fuel source you are using, cover the BBQ with a hood/lid if you have one. If you don't, you can still achieve a good result.
Cook the steak until the internal temperature reaches 125f (50c). Then give the steak a quick sear on each side of the steak (around 2 minutes) over direct heat. Using charcoal, that would be directly over the coals and using gas it would be over the flames.
Then rest the steak for at least 5-10 mins before serving. Ideally, 10-15 minutes if you have the time.
The steak will reach around 135f (medium rare) as it rests.
The beauty of the Reverse Sear Method is that you'll always have an even cook throughout the steak retaining the juices and tenderness.
I would love to see your Reverse Seared steaks on Instagram. Be sure to tag me so I can check them out - Come Grill With Me. Love, Irene