The Art of Perfectly Smoked Steak: Unveiling the Reverse Sear Technique

If you thought grilling a steak over a hot fire was the pinnacle of flavor, brace yourself for a game-changer. Imagine achieving a juicy, perfectly pink medium-rare steak, with an elegant sear on the outside, that even rivals the offerings of top-quality steakhouses. If that sounds enticing, then the reverse sear technique is for you.

The Game-Changing Reverse Sear Method

The reverse sear method involves a unique combination of dry brining, smoking, resting, and a final sear. By following this recipe, you’ll create a smoked ribeye steak that surpasses anything you can get at a restaurant.

To begin, generously sprinkle kosher salt on a plate of ribeye steaks. For ¾ inch steaks, a single-sided brine is sufficient, but thicker cuts benefit from brining both sides. Then, let the steaks sit uncovered in the fridge, allowing the salt to draw the meat juices to the surface, creating a flavorful slurry that ultimately gets reabsorbed into the steak.

Once the dry brining process is complete, apply a Texas-style rub to both sides of the steaks. The rub, with its blend of seasonings like cayenne and garlic, elevates the flavor profile. Allow the steaks to rest at room temperature while you set up your smoker.

Smoking the Perfect Steak

Prepare your smoker by setting it to a temperature of 225°F (107°C) and creating indirect heat. Cherry wood is an excellent choice for smoking, although pecan and oak also work well. Once the smoker is ready, place the seasoned steaks on the grate or use a pan for easy transportation.

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Maintain a light wood smoke for at least an hour, ensuring proper airflow for optimal smoking. Use a digital probe meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. Aim for around 120°F (49°C) since the steak will continue to cook during the searing process, bringing it to a perfect medium-rare at 130°F (54°C).

When the steaks reach the desired temperature, remove them from the heat and let them rest, tented with foil, for approximately 10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a tender and succulent steak.

The Searing Finale

To achieve a tantalizing sear, place a cast iron skillet on a high heat burner. Add a splash of vegetable oil and allow it to heat until smoking hot. Carefully place the smoked steaks in the pan, rotating them to distribute the oil evenly. Sear each side for about a minute, adjusting the time based on your desired level of char.

Embrace the spectacle of smoke that accompanies the searing process. If possible, use a side burner on a grill or ensure proper ventilation if using a kitchen burner. After searing, let the steaks rest, without foil, for approximately 5 minutes. This step allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a steak of unparalleled deliciousness.

Now, it’s time to proudly serve your guests their perfectly smoked, perfectly seared steaks. Pair them with delectable sides to complete the ultimate dining experience.

Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ


If you’ve been searching for a way to take your steak game to new heights, the reverse sear method is your answer. Through the artful combination of dry brining, smoking, resting, and a final sear, you can achieve a steak that surpasses the offerings of even the most esteemed steakhouses. So, gather your ingredients, fire up your smoker, and prepare to embark on an unforgettable culinary journey. Masters of the grill, this technique is for you.

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