Memorial Day is this weekend and June is National Steak Month. That means grilling season is upon us and soon we'll have friends and families gathering in our backyards looking for incredible steaks off of our grills. It's time to brush up on our skills to perform the reverse sear for the perfect steak.
Reverse searing steak is one of the most important skills anyone can have on a grill since it's one of the best ways to get juicier and more tender steak as well as impart great flavor into our meal through the smoking process. In this article, we'll show you how to set up your grill and perfect your technique to get smoky flavored caramelized crusted steaks we all love to eat.
The Grill Setup
- 2-piece heat diffuser in place and the access door closed. (This will simplify the transition from low temperature to direct heat.)
- Variable Displacement Damper (VDD) is pushed in 6” from the outer right position.
- 3-panel set of GrillGrates on the left side of the main cooking level. Standard Yoder grates on the right side.
- Half-depth shelf above the main grate. (At 9” deep, the half-depth shelf provides adequate room for cooking, yet leaves plenty of room for positioning the steaks and completing the sear underneath.)
- Grill temperature: 200-degrees.
With the grill set up in this configuration you are creating a smoking area on the top shelf where you will begin your steaks. Then you will quickly transition into your searing station where the steaks will finish cooking. You goal for this portion of the cook is to get the internal temperature of your steak to 100°
Transitioning Into The Sear
Once the steaks have been smoked to reach 100° internally, you will want to open the diffuser access door to allow the flames to reach the GrillGrates and the food above.
- Slide your GrillGrate panels over to the right resting on top of your standard grates.
- Use a heavy duty grilling glove to quickly grab the diffuser door access panel and slide it to the right. It should be resting on top of your diffuser with an open hole over the firebox on the left.
- Slide your GrillGrates panels back in place over the firebox
- Push the VDD handle all of the way in to the left
- Set your grill temperature to 600°
Pro Tip: Allow 5 minutes for the Grillgrates to get hot.
Now that you have your grill set up for over-the-flame cooking, it will achieve temperatures well over the 600° setpoint, but you can begin cooking as long as flames are coming up into the grates. This is where the cook turns hot and fast.
Place each steak on the grill at a 45° angle to the lines of your GrillGrates Cook each steak for one minute on the first side, then rotate 90° while cooking on the same side.
Cook for one additional minute. Flip the steak and repeat. This will provide your steaks with the grill marks that are the hallmark of a great steak chef.
PRO TIP: To achieve an internal temperature of 135°, cook over high heat until the internal temperature nears 130°. Pull the steaks from the grill, cover with foil, and allow them to rest for 10-minutes. The thermal inertia in the steaks will carry the internal temperature to ~ 135°.
The Yoder Smoker's multi-zone cooking capability makes light work of the low temperature portion of the cook and the high heat searing portion of the Reverse Sear Method. At low temperature, you are infusing that hint of smoke while drying the surface of the steak. At searing temperatures, you are using the Maillard reaction to set the beautiful crust that adds amazing texture and flavor.
Remember, the key here is technique, not on precise grill temperatures so you will be focusing on the meat temperature instead. Cooking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of the meat you are preparing. Larger pieces of meat will have to cook longer before they reach 100° during the first portion of the cook and may take longer during the searing portion to reach desired doneness.