How to Reverse Sear a Steak On a Pellet Grill

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If you’re struggling to achieve perfect steaks or you’re just looking to upgrade your grilling technique, it might be time to start reverse searing your steaks. This method of cooking steaks is widely considered the best for getting a delicious piece of meat. 

While it might take a bit of extra time and effort, the final product is well worth the wait. So, if you want to learn how to reverse sear your steaks, you’ve come to the right place. 

Below, we are going to go through the full guide on how to reverse sear a steak on a pellet grill so you can enjoy delicious steaks with your family without having to go to a restaurant. Let’s get to it!

Start With the Right Steak

The most important thing to consider when you want to reverse sear a steak is its thickness. The grade is certainly important, but reverse searing doesn’t work with thin cuts since the final sear will end up cooking through most of your steak.

The best steaks for this technique are those that are at least 1.5 inches thick, and there’s really no limit to how thick your steak can be. Choice, select, and prime grades are types that will work well for this technique. 

Equipment and Preparation

Besides your pellet grill, you will also require a thermometer to reverse sear properly. It works best to use one that lets you keep the thermometer in your steak throughout the cooking process. Instant-read models also work, but you’ll need to open and close your grill occasionally to get a reading. 

The final thing you’ll need is some good seasoning. A little sea salt and cracked pepper work well to enhance the steak’s full flavor, but we recommend adding a little garlic powder for an extra kick. Also, consider adding a good steak seasoning to boost the flavor. 

Sliced grilled medium rare beef steak served on wooden board

The Process

Now that you have everything ready, you can begin reverse searing your steak. Here’s how:

Step 1

Depending on your particular pellet grill, you should set your grill’s temperature to 225°F or any low-temperature setting. Throw your steak on the grill and exercise your patience. If you are measuring with a digital or instant-read thermometer, begin checking the temperature of your meat after about 20 minutes. 

It’s important to note that, with very thick steaks, this step can take an hour, often longer. When it comes to the internal temperature of your meat, you can start pulling your steak out when it gets to 10°F below the target temperature. 

To achieve a medium-rare steak (the only acceptable kind!), remove the steak from the grill when it gets to about 120°F. 

Step 2

Step 2 also happens to be the last step in this process!

Once your steak is at the desired internal temperature, you can remove it from your grill. Cover the meat with some foil and turn the temperature of your grill to its maximum. Patience is a virtue here yet again, so get ready to wait up to 10 minutes for the grill to reach its top heat.

Don’t worry – if you’ve covered your steak properly, it will be more than fine as you stand by for the grill to heat up. You’ll want to wait until the grill is up to 500°F, or as close to that temperature as possible. 

After the grill is hot, place the steak back onto it for a minute and a half on each side. It’s important that you keep the grill closed so that it stays hot. 

After you have seared both sides, you’ll be done and your steak will be ready to eat. And, because you brought the inner temperature of the meat up fairly slowly, you won’t have to rest it. Still, if you really want to, you can let it sit for a few minutes. 

Why Reverse Sear?

It seems logical to sear the steak first so that you lock in the juices, but this method doesn’t actually hold up in practice. What’s more, if you start by searing your steak, then cooking it through after, you’re going to get more of a gray band on the outer sides. 

Finally, cooking the meat low and slowly first will dry the outside out, which may not seem like the most desirable effect, but the absence of moisture will make the sear turn out better. 

Final Thoughts

Reverse searing might have a fancy name and seem daunting, but it’s a relatively simple process if you can be patient enough. And once you’ve mastered this technique (which won’t take long,) you’ll never want to go back, trust us. So all that’s left now is to fire up that pellet grill, grab some steaks and your family, and enjoy delicious cookouts with the best seared steaks!

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