Perfect Reverse Sear Ribeye Steak

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Learn how to easily and perfectly reverse sear ribeye steak for flavorful, tender steakhouse-quality results! It's the best way to easily make a juicy steak at home without any expensive, fancy tools!

Reverse searing is the only way I'll make/eat a steak at home. I don't mean that to sound snobby, because reverse searing isn't some frou-frou cooking method that needs a lot of fussing and high end equipment. 

overhead view of a reverse seared ribeye steak in a cast iron pan wit ha pat of compound butter on top

Elevating Your Steak House Game with Reverse Seared Steak

The biggest struggle most home cooks have with cooking a steak is getting a good sear on the outside while keeping temperature on the inside.

A perfectly medium rare steak is difficult to get using traditional methods for a person at home who really just wants to get a tasty steak at home without having to go to a restaurant.

a reversed seared ribeye steak sliced on a cutting board with a pat of compound butter on top

So this post is a step by step guide on the perfect reverse seared steak in the oven, specifically using the ribeye steak.

We're going to breakdown what to look for when buying a steak at the market, how to prep the steak and get it ready for cooking, what tools you'll need, chef tips that take your steak to the next level, and some great accoutrements for the perfect steakhouse style dinner.

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What is the reverse sear method?

Most cooks have a hard time getting the steak's insides to their desired internal temperature while also getting a crispy crust. Trying to master the high temperature of the pan or grill and not end up with overcooked/raw insides and burned outsides is difficult even for the average restaurant cook.

So enter the reverse sear process: unlike traditional methods of searing the steak on a grill or in a cast iron skillet until done or finishing it in the oven, reverse searing is backwards!

We're taking a raw steak, cooking it at a low temperature in the oven, and then searing the steak in a hot skillet on all sides.

an angled view of a reverse seared ribeye in a cast iron pan

The reverse sear steak method results in perfectly cooked insides (I can hear Gordon Ramsay now, the 'it's raw!' echoing away) and a beautifully seared crust without overcooking the steak itself.

Traditional sear techniques are the reverse of that: trying to cook the outside to a beautiful sear while hoping that the inside isn't raw or overcooked. Without a lot of practice and learning, this is pretty difficult for a person at home to do.

My husband's confidence in cooking soared when he actually tried reverse searing via sous vide steak, and we found out that a lot of people felt the same way! It's a total game changer and it's our preferred method of cooking steak.

Benefits of Reverse Searing Steak

  • You don't have to rest the steak, since searing on the skillet is so quick it doesn't affect the internal juices and protein stands. So juicy steak fresh off the pan!
  • You are able to control the temperature much more easily than just cooking the steak in the pan. Besides the steak still cooking once it's off high heat (called carryover cooking) it also is hard to determine the actual temperature inside while you're cooking just in the pan. Stabbing it with a thermometer while it's cooking in a hot pan will run all the juices out, leaving it dry. And cooking over high heat by itself can lead to a burnt outside and raw inside!
  • You keep a consistent temperature inside while minimizing the overcooked grey ring thanks to slow roasting in the oven.
  • Speaking of the oven, it helps dry out the exterior of the steak so when you sear it in the pan, the Maillard Reaction --the many simultaneous chemical reactions happening between amino acids, proteins, and sugars in food when you heat them up causing the distinct flavor found in browned foods-- gives you that nice browned, flavorful crust.
  • And that low and slow cook actually activates the enzymes in the steak that help tenderize the proteins as it's cooking in the oven.
  • As long as you have all the tools needed, it is more affordable than my other favorite foolproof steak method: the sous-vide.
reverse seared ribeye steak resting on wire rack after searing


  • A wire cooling rack -While in the oven the steak sits on a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. This helps the air flow around all sides of your steak, ensuring proper temperatures and dryness of every side, which will help you get a great sear.
  • A rimmed baking sheet - Also called a cookie sheet, make sure you have a rimmed baking sheet to catch any rendered fat. Lining it with foil makes for easy clean up.
  • A meat thermometer - you want an instant read thermometer to tell you the internal temperature. This is my favorite digital thermometer, it always gives consistent and accurate results.
  • A cast iron pan - To get the Maillard reaction you need a screaming hot pan. Cast iron not only holds all that heat really well, even after laying the steak down, but it will give a fantastic, consistent sear to your steak. And when you're done searing, they keep the fond and juices so you can make an incredible pan sauce. Also, they last forever, so they're a great kitchen investment.
  • Tongs - Aht, aht. No stabby-stabby with the forks. Invest in a good set of tongs.


Full ingredients, measurements, and printable instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • A Thick Ribeye Steak - we go over how to find the best one at the market later in the post, but you do need a thick ribeye!
  • Salt - use kosher salt for cooking and some flaky salt for finishing!

Butter Basting

ingredients needed to butter baste a ribeye steak
  • Butter - I also used beef tallow (a high heat fat) to protect the butter from burning while basting. Salted or unsalted is fine.
  • Herbs - fresh herbs are the key, I use thyme and rosemary here but you can use sage and parsley, too.
  • Garlic Cloves - some peel them (I do!) some don't, but either way use large, whole cloves so they don't burn and give your steak and butter baste a bad flavor.

Selecting the Right Steak

So this post is focusing on a ribeye steak recipe specifically, and I want to go over what to look for in a great ribeye steak:

The ribeye steak is considered one of the most flavorful and prized steak cuts on the cow, and for the best results you want to get a choice or prime cut of steak. It consists of three parts: the ribcap, the ribeye filet, and the costarum.

raw ribeye steak before being salted

The ribcap is the part above the strip of fat in the steak. It's super tender, really flavorful and for some reason it's gone viral as its own cut which...I have thoughts about but we'll move on.

Next is the 'eye' of the ribeye, which is separated from the cap by a strip of fat and is marbled with fat and tender. 

And the last is the costarum which is meat from the rib bone, but it's not always attached to a boneless ribeye.

Size Matters

The thickness of your steak is important in this recipe. Thicker cuts will let you have more leeway, they're more forgiving during the searing process. Reverse searing works best with a thick-cut steak, thin steaks will overcook easily with this method. Any steak under 1-½ inches thick will end up way over temp.

a 2.5 inch thick ribeye sits on a wire rack, we see the thickness from the side.

When you go to the butcher/grocery stores/market we want to find thick steaks, at least 2 inches thick. It's unlikely you'll find thick ribeyes in the refrigerated section of your usual grocery store, so head to the butcher area/meat department instead.

What is Butter Basting?

Okay, this is an optional step in the process; it has nothing to do with reverse searing...but it has everything to do with creating gorgeous color, perfectly seasoned steaks, and getting the perfect sear. 

someone spooning butter over a steak searing in a cast iron pan

Unlike using the traditional method, we are not going to be butter basting for many minutes, this is simply a quick lathering of the aromatic, buttery goodness over the steak while it's searing.

This helps give us that nice crust and elevate the maillard reaction while also giving even more flavor with garlicky herb butter.

How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Part One: Preparing the Meat

raw ribeye steak before being salted

Step 1 | Remove the steak from the fridge to bring them to room temperature and season steaks in kosher salt for at least 30 minutes up to an hour. Cover every part of the steak in kosher salt and let it rest.

This step is basically a mini dry brining session, letting the steak absorb the salt and season the inside. You can do this up to a day ahead, salt the steak on the wire rack and have it rest uncovered in the fridge until the next day.

raw ribeye steak after being salted and dry brined

Step 2 | Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F with an oven rack in the center. This is how we are going to cook the steak, low and slow, until its internal temperature in the oven is 100ºF.

The photo is showing the steak after a 1 hour dry brine at room temperature.

Part Two : Reverse Searing the Steak in the Oven

ribeye steak being reverse seared and is at 86 degrees F

Step 3 | After thirty minutes, check the temperature of the steak with your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the steak (I put it in the middle of the eye filet away from the fat strip) to check how long you have left. At this point, my ribeye was around 86ºF. Put it back into the oven and check on the temperature again every 10-15 minutes.

a ribeye steak in the middle of reverse searing from the oven at 100 degrees temperature

Step 4 | We are bringing the steak to 100-105ºF so we can sear it to medium rare (around 125º degrees in the cast iron skillet and let it rest to the correct temperature).

Once the internal temperature of the steaks come to 100 degrees, remove it from the oven. Yes, it looks like this. But the next part is what gives us that beautiful crust.

Part Three : Sear the Ribeye

a reverse seared ribeye steak being pan seared after cooking in the oven

Step 5 | It's time to sear the steak. Do this in a hot, hot cast iron skillet. Heat a high-smoke point fat like avocado oil, vegetable oil, or beef tallow over medium-high heat.

Now place the steak into the skillet and sear for at least 2 minutes, or until that seared side has a golden brown crust.

a hand holding a large spoon to butter baste a seared ribeye steak

Step 6 | This is where the butter basting comes in. Don't be scared, it's not as hard as cable tv makes it look.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the butter the herbs and garlic cloves (there will be spitting butter!), carefully flip the steak, and use an oven mitt to carefully tilt the pan slightly so the butter pools.

Use a large spoon to scoop up the butter and aromatics while you sear the second side until it's also golden brown.

tongs holding a ribeye steak on its side to sear and render fat

Step 7 | Now the final sear: sear the edges. Those tongs are coming in handy here, get the sides of the steak! Sear for another 1-2 minutes, searing all around the outside of the steak and and render that fat cap down.

someone pouring the butter and aromatics over the ribeye on a wire rack

Step 8 | Place the ribeye onto a plate and pour the hot butter and aromatics over the steak as it rests.

Steak Temperature Chart

This chart is going to help you with the desired temperature range you want to both pull the steak from the oven and the temperature to sear to in the pan.

a butter basted steak resting on a baking sheet

The oven temperature is 'lower' than what you'd expect to give you leeway in searing and butter basting, because I know that this may be someone's first time cooking steak and we can get a little crazy with the butter basting because it's fun.

Desired TemperatureTarget Temp. in OvenTarget Temp. in Pan
Rare95º-100ºF / 35º-40ºC120ºF / 60ºC
Medium Rare100º-105ºF / 40ºC-45ºC130ºF / 70ºC
Medium110º-120ºF / 50ºC-60ºC135ºF / 75ºC
Medium Well130ºF-135ºF / 70ºC-75ºC145ºF / 85ºC
Well Done (but why?)140ºF-145ºF / 80ºC-85ºC155ºF / 95ºC

Either way, it's all temperature focused here. Poke a thermometer into the steak, get great results.

Ideal side dishes


Serve your steak Oscar Style with sautéed asparagus, jumbo lump crab meat, and bearnaise sauce (a sister sauce of the classic hollandaise sauce).

Top with a yummy compound butter, like I did in this shoot. I mixed up an easy chimichurri butter from the chimichurri sauce my husband made for another steak.

overhead view of a ribeye steak that is sliced to show the medium rare insides

Steakhouse Sides

Of course we also want to have really great classic sides with our steak so let's make rosemary garlic mashed potatoes, and gentleman jack bacon mac and cheese for that steakhouse touch.

Expert Chef's Tips for the Best Steak

  • This recipe is less about time and more about temperature, so a thermometer is a must have to get the right temperature. I suggest an instant read meat thermometer or a probe you can keep in the steak while it cooks.
  • High heat oil for the pan is important, even if you're not butter basting. Use canola oil, It's needed to give you that great sear, don't use a dry pan!
  • A great ribeye steak has great flavor on its own, a generous hit of salt on all sides is all it needs.
  • This reverse sear steak recipe is a guide, and it works for any other boneless type of steak: new york strip, filet mignon, etc.

Storage and Reheating

Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheat: Place the steak onto a baking sheet and into a low oven, about 325ºF, for 15 minutes or until warmed through.

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📖 Recipe

overhead view of a reverse seared ribeye steak in a cast iron pan wit ha pat of compound butter on top

Reverse Seared Ribeye Steak

Eden Westbrook
Reverse seared steak is consistently juicy, perfectly cooked, and gains a stunningly beautiful sear after a quick stint in a hot skillet. Once you reverse sear a steak, it'll change everything you thought you knew about cooking steak forever.
4.55 from 37 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 1 ribeye steak
Calories 660 kcal


  • 1 2 or 3-inch thick ribeye steaks
  • 2 tablespoon high heat fat i.e. avocado oil, ghee, beef tallow

Butter Basting

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic smashed
  • Fresh sprigs thyme and rosemary


  • Preheat oven to 200°F/95°C with a rack in the middle.
  • Generously season all sides of the steak with kosher salt and let come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes, up to one hour.
  • Place the steak onto a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about 30 minutes before checking the temperature with an instant read meat thermometer in the thickest part of the steak, away from the fat strip. Check the temperature of the steaks every 10 minutes until the internal temperature reads about 95ºF for rare, 100ºF to 105ºF for medium-rare.
  • Heat the high smoke point fat of choice in a 10 inch cast iron pan over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on one side, until dark golden brown, then flip.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme sprigs to the hot pan, and spoon the mixture onto the steak. It will sputter, so be careful. Baste for about 2 minutes or until the other side is dark golden brown as well.
  • Using tongs, turn the steak on its side and cook to render off any excess fat. Check the steak temperature, ensuring it's no more than 125-130ºF for medium-rare, as the temperature will rise as it rests.
  • Let the steaks rest on a clean plate or wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain on a cutting board and serving.


See steak temperature chart in post for the target temperatures for Rare through Well Done steaks.

Storage and Reheating

Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat: Place the steak onto a baking sheet and into a low oven, about 325ºF, for 15 minutes or until warmed through.


Serving: 1gCalories: 660kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 29gFat: 59gSaturated Fat: 24gPolyunsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 158mgFiber: 1g
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