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How to Reverse Sear a Steak on a Pellet Grill

By Pellet Grill Pros March 31, 2022 0 comments

Although reverse-searing takes more time and effort, the result is worth it. However, getting it wrong can result in your steak being raw in some places and well-cooked in others. Here’s how you can reverse sear a steak on a pellet grill at your next BBQ.

What is Reverse Searing?

Reverse searing is a cooking method that combines both low and high-heat cooking. When reverse-searing a steak, the steak is cooked slowly at a low temperature and then finished at a high temperature for a short length of time.  

The slow and low-temperature cooking, which can be done in a smoker or oven, causes the steak to cook evenly inside. The high-temperature searing, which is usually carried out with a grill, gives your steak a chargrilled exterior. 

A pellet grill is adopted in this guide because it can handle the entire process, including both low-heat cooking and high-heat searing.

Why Cook a Reverse Seared Steak?

You wouldn’t want a steak with a perfect brown crust on the outside but uncooked (or unevenly cooked) inside. Our professionals say that with reverse searing, you can cook the inside of your steak to perfection at a desirable temperature without having a horribly overdone exterior.  

Reverse searing makes a more delicious steak, where you’ll have a well-cooked interior and a semi-crispy chargrilled exterior.

What You’ll Need (Ingredients and Equipment)

To know how to reverse sear a steak on a pellet grill, here are all the things you need to get started:

• A pellet grill
• 4 1½” to 2” thick steak – New York Strip preferably
• 4 tablespoon butter (a tablespoon of butter per steak)
•  4 tablespoon canola oil
• Steak seasoning, such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, and so on
• Spices
• Thermometer (a probe thermometer is best)

    How to Choose a Steak

    Our experts say that this step is very important, especially if it’s your first time reverse-searing a steak. While the grade of the steak is important, the thickness is the most important. 

    This is because reverse searing is not suitable for a thin piece of steak. When choosing a steak, look for something that’s about1½” to 2” thick or thicker. It’s also fine if you’ve got a whole prime rib [1] instead.

    Preparing the Steak: Brining, Seasoning, Etc.

    The first step to reverse searing a steak is to brine and season the steak. Place the steak on a grilling rack. Sprinkle some brine and season on both sides. If necessary, our experts recommend that you place a tray or cookie sheet underneath to catch extra brine and seasoning.

    After brining and seasoning both sides, wait for a few minutes to allow the brine and seasoning to work their way into the steak before grilling or you may proceed instantly with cooking.

    How to Reverse Sear a Steak: 5 Easy Steps

    Carefully follow these steps recommended by our grilling experts to reverse sear a steak on a pellet grill.

    Step #1: Set the Temperature on Your Grill

    While preparing your steak, set the temperature of your pellet grill to exactly 225°F and preheat for about 10 to 15 minutes with the lid closed.

    Step #2: Place the Steak on the Grill

    Place the steak on the pellet grill and let it cook for about an hour.

    Step #3: Remove Once You’ve Reached Target Temperature

    Once the steak’s internal temperature is about 110°F to 120°F, remove it and set it aside, covering it with a foil. If you’re using a thicker steak (more than 2 inches), allow for an internal temperature of about 125°F.

    Step #4: Heat up the Cast Iron Skillet

    Now heat up the cast iron skillet to get up to its maximum temperature. Ideally, it should get to about 450°F to 500°F. Let it heat up for about 10 minutes.

    Step #5: Place the Steak Back on the Grill

    Place your steak back on the grill and sear for about 4 minutes (2 minutes per side). Don't forget to add the oil and butter to flavor the steak and improve the browning. 

    Once the steak’s internal temperature is about 130°F to 135°F (medium rare), the steak is done. The objective is to get a steak with a good exterior crust and not a burnt steak.

    For rare steak, aim for a temperature of 125°F. This should be 140°F for medium and 160°F for well done steak.

    FAQ

    1. How long does it take to reverse sear a steak at 225?

    It takes between 45 to 60 minutes to reverse sear a steak at 225°F. However, this can vary depending on the size and thickness of the steak. Nevertheless, it’s generally recommended to remove your steak at 10°F to 15°F below the target temperature.

    Conclusion

    When learning how to reverse sear a steak on a pellet grill, it’s important to choose the right steak, set the right temperature, and get the right timing to perfectly cook the steak. Following the steps our grilling team shared above can get you a juicy, well-cooked steak.


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