How to cook a perfect reverse-sear steak

This is our new favourite food!  Since first trying this method, and especially since adding the American White Oak smoke to the mix, we just can not get enough of this style of steak!

We have chosen the trusty Kettle barbecue on this occasion, however the basic concept can be followed for any type of barbecue/grill

Step 1

Light your charcoal and pre-heat the barbecue to around 100-150°C.  Ensure to place your charcoal on one side of the kettle only as shown in the pic below.   Initially you want to cook/smoke the steak with indirect heat, and at a low temperature as mentioned above

Step 2

Prepare your steak.  We like to keep it simple and let the flavours of the meat and smoke shine by seasoning with just olive oil, a touch of cracked pepper and plenty of coarse salt.  But feel free to use your favourite rub/sauce/marinade instead. Our preferred cut for this is a Scotch Fillet or Rib-Eye due to the fat infused within the meat that melts and does amazing things during cooking.  The same method however will ensure tenderness and flavour for sirloin, T-bone, rump, eye fillet, sausages or almost any cut/type of meat (not just beef!)

Step 3

Once your barbecue is up to temp and the charcoal is burning nicely (turning from black to white), then you are ready to add the meat and the smoking wood.  Place your steak(s) on the opposite side of the grill to the fire, and add 2-3 of our Mini-splits smoking wood chunks directly onto the charcoal.  As mentioned our absolute favourite for steak (and beef in general) is our American White Oak,  imported from the USA for a true Texas style barbecue flavour!

Step 4

With the meat on and some mini-splits on top of the charcoal, place the lid back on the kettle, and position the lid vent opposite to the fire.  This will assist the heat and smoke to draw across the barbecue and through the meat

Step 5

Now the big question – how long to leave before you open the lid again and sear the steak…??

If you want to take away the guess work and are feeling technical you can use a meat probe/thermometer to ensure you reach the exact internal temperature for your desired level of ‘doneness’ (ie rare, medium, well done, etc).  Otherwise it’s up to practice and learning how to read the firmness of the steak…  In this example we went around 15-20 mins @ ~120°C to get to medium rare as seen in the photos further below.  Remember you are still going to sear your steak over high heat at this point, so it will cook a little further yet

Step 6

Sear your steak:  The grill directly above the charcoal should be quite hot at this point.  If it’s not, take a minute with the lid off the kettle to stoke the fire and really heat it up.  Once the grill is hot, move the steak to this area directly above coals.  You should get a solid ‘sizzle’ as the meat hits the grill, and you should only need a minute or two each side to get some char on the meat and those awesome grill marks we all love to see.  Keep checking the firmness or internal temp to be sure you don’t overcook!

Step 7

Tuck in!  Remove the meat from the heat and let rest for a few minutes (if you can wait…).  Slice or serve whole while still warm – vegetables are optional however quality Australian red wine or craft beer are mandatory accompaniments!

We hope this guide is useful.  Please leave a question/comment below about how you do the perfect steak, or show us your best steak on Instagram tagging @aromawoodau or #aromawood

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