Four….YES, FOUR ways to Reverse Sear a Steak

  • Recipe Type

    Red Meat

  • Skill Level


  • Grill Time


  • Method

    Reverse Sear

  • Servings

    Serves 1-2

Just like the old phrase, “there is more than one way to skin a cat”, we will show you today that there is more than one way to sear a steak.  Each method will produce a bit of a different crust, but I promise you this, you will enjoy each and every one of them.  We are looking to achieve what is known as The Maillard Reaction.  This is a browning of the exterior that occurs, well, because science.  It will create a caramelization of the natural sugars and amino acids found in the protein that will create a total Umami bomb!  The four methods of reverse searing steaks that we will cover are as follows:

  • Raised Grate searing
  • Pan Searing
  • Grill Torch Sear
  • Caveman Sear

Let’s take a look at each method and see how each works.

Raised Grate Searing- When I use the term “raised Grate”, it doesn’t mean that we are raising the grate any more than normal.  It simply implies that we are searing the steak on a grate which is suspended over the hot coals.     The grate will normally be about 6” over the hot coals.  The coals should be red hot and have flames.  We will leave the lid to the frill open while searing the steak.  Carefully monitor how much char the steak is getting as this method can easily produce too much char and give an off putting, bitter taste.  It may take anywhere from one minute up to about 2 ½ minutes to get the finish that you are looking for.  Simply flip and repeat for the other side.

Pan Searing- This method uses the same prep as the Raised Grate Searing except that you put your Carbon Steel Pan on the grate and heat it up before searing.  You will want to add just a thin coat of high heat oil to the pan while it is heating up to prevent sticking and burning.  Once the pan and oil are hot enough (water droplets will dance and evaporate immediately) you are ready to add the steak.  When placing the steak into the pan, be very careful as the oil may splatter and we do not want to see you get burned.  Lay the teak in the pan starting at the edge nearest you and lay it down across the pan away from you.  This should only require about one minute per side to achieve a beautiful golden-brown crust that will have your taste buds tingling.   

The great part about pan searing is that you really don’t even need a grill to do it.  You can reverse sear a steak if you don’t have a grill!  If you live in an apartment, condo or someplace else that doesn’t have a grill, this is how you do it.  Simply use the oven for the indirect part of the process and the stove top for the pan sear.  You will enjoy it immensely as this is the best way to cook a steak without a grill.

Torch Sear- This method, just like the pan sear method doesn’t even require a grill to do.  You can make a great steak at home, even if you do not have a grill by using your oven and a good grill torch.  Once the steak comes off of the grill or out of the oven, simply use the torch to give it some char.  Move the flame steadily back and forth over the steak until the crust has formed to your liking.  Be careful though, it is very easy to burn the steak or create too much char.  Nobody wants to bite into some burnt charcoal.  That is what it will taste like if you burn it too much.

Caveman Sear- Caveman searing is both fun and effective.  It is the process of taking your cooked steak and dropping it directly on the hot charcoal to achieve the sear.  We use this process quite often when cooking events because it is such a show stopper.  Nobody can believe that you can sear right on the coals without your steak tasting like ash.  Actually, when the coals are white hot, it is almost like the intense heat creates a barrier in between the coals and the meat.  I relate it to throwing a raw chicken cutlet into a hot fry pan.  It will stick at first, but in a minute, it releases.  This is very similar to the way that caveman searing works.  You may get a small piece of charcoal or ash that will stick but just knock it off and you will be fine.

If you really want to wow your guests and give a great show, this is the method for you.  It should only take a minute per side to sear, but it can take a bit longer.  Everyone is always amazed at this spectacle of fire and beefy goodness and are even more amazed once they taste the incredible steak that you just prepared.   

So, there you have it folks, 4 ways to reverse sear a steak.  Whichever method that you decide to use, if you follow my simple instructions here, you will be in absolute steak heaven.  Each method will give a slightly different flavor, but each is guaranteed to make the folks smile.  We hope that you enjoy the video and will give each of these searing methods a shot.  Let us know which you like better.  Until then , make sure to get out and grill and we will see you the next time on The FOGO Life!  Captain Ron, out….


  1. Fill your grill with FOGO Premium Charcoal. Use your Blazaball & FOGO Firestarters to light said charcoal.  Prepare your grill for indirect cooking at 250°.
  2. At least 15 minutes before you begin cooking, place the steaks on the Drip n Griddle pan rack. Coat the steaks with Jacobsens Garlic Salt and the black pepper on the tops and bottom as well as the sides.  Allow the steaks to sit for a MINIMUM of 10 minutes.  Longer is even better.
  3. Insert your Meater+ Thermometer into the side of a steak so that the tip is directly in the center of the steak. This will allow for the most accurate temperature readings. 
  4. Place each steak on the grate, close the lid and cook until the steaks reach 120° on the Meater Thermometer. Remove the steaks to a platter or tray and rest while you crank the heat on the grill.  Remove the thermometer.
  5. Using your Outset Grill Leather Gloves, remove the Conveggtor or other heat deflector from your grill. PLEASE, be careful as it will be extremely hot.   Open your vents and get those coals hot, hot, hot.  Replace the grate in the grill for all methods, except for caveman searing.  Whichever method you choose to sear the steaks, you will want ripping hot coals.
  6. Grill Grate Sear- Once the coals are super-hot, place your steak in the center of the grate and let it sit for roughly one minute. Do not burn it, you just want to sear it and build a slight char.  After one minute, use the X-Long Tongs to flip the steak over and sear the other side.  Once both sides are done, use your knife to slice it.  Serve and enjoy your masterpiece!
  7. Pan sear- Place the carbon steel pan on the grate and add just a thin coating of a high heat oil such as Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil or even Canola Oil. Allow the pan time to heat up.  Once it is hot and water droplets instantly dissolve when dripped in the pan, you are ready to sear.  Place the steak in the pan and enjoy the sizzle for one minute.  It should have a beautiful golden-brown crust formed on it.  Once you have achieved that, use tongs to flip the steak over and repeat for the other side.  Remove the steak from the pan, slice and enjoy the heavenly bites of beefy deliciousness that you have created.
  8. Torch Sear- This one is easy. Once you are ready, simply light the Grill Torch and go back and forth over the steak until the desired char is achieved.  Do not rush the process.  Keep the flame moving over the steak.  Go from edge to edge, back and forth at a steady pace.  You will have a much more even crust and better flavor than if you rush it too much.
  9. Caveman Sear- For this method, we will not be putting the grill grate back in the grill. This will involve placing the steak directly on the hot FOGO charcoal.  The coals must be glowing for this to work properly, or you risk getting ash and coals sticking to your steak.  No thanks!  Yes, you did read that correctly, right on the coals.  Once the coals are ripping hot, simply use your tongs to lay the steak directly on the hot burning charcoal.  Leave it there for one minute and check to see if the crust has developed enough for your liking.  Believe it or not, sometimes it may take a bit longer than the other methods.  Once you are satisfied with the char, use the tongs to flip the steak over.  If it is possible, place the steak on coals that have not had the meat on them yet.  These will be hottest.  Once the steak is placed on the coals, it will damper out the heat a bit and not give the kind of sear that we are looking for.  When the second side is fully seared, remove it from the grill, slice and enjoy.


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