Reverse Sear Ribeye: Every Single Time

Reverse Sear Ribeye

Reverse Sear Ribeye. If you’re looking for a steak that’s cooked to medium-rare from edge to edge with a thin well-charred crust, this is the technique to try. I’m using an oven set to 250 degrees F. and a smoking hot charcoal grill, but you can do the searing with a cast-iron skillet on the stove top too. If you’ve ever cooked meat using sous vide technique then the idea of slow-cooking a steak before finishing it off with a hot sear will seem familiar. However, despite the fabulous results, I think sous vide takes a lot of the joy out of cooking. I probably cook pricey cuts of beef like this bone-in “tomahawk” ribeye once or twice a year. I consider it a special event – one of which I want to enjoy every minute.

This post came about in an unusual manner. I was at the market and I impulsively bought a giant “tomahawk” steak. I say impulsively because it’s not a steak I usually see at the market. Besides, I don’t buy $50 slabs of beef on a whim. Except of course when I do…

You see, I made this unusual (for me) purchase because I’d coincidentally seen my brother post a most-impressive Reverse Sear Ribeye on Facebook. It was even a “tomahawk”. It was an amusing post and he gave very precise cooking instructions for his Reverse Sear Ribeye in just two or three sentences. I’m glad his high school buddies were impressed and I enjoyed reading their comments of awe. However, a big flashy steak is not really my “thing” and I had no plans of jumping into the “tomahawk” game. Still, I found myself thinking about his steak more and more as the days went by. I’m not saying there was any sort of sibling rivalry at play. Don’t get that idea. My brother is a chef trained in the French tradition and he’s a far better cook than I’ll ever be. Honestly.

Reverse Sear Ribeye

The thing that intrigued me about his reverse sear ribeye is how easily formulaic the process seems. As long as you start with a steak that is 2‑inches thick and weighs a bit more than two pounds this technique should work every single time. I like cooking procedures that work exactly as expected every single time. I make a two-pound Tri-Tip in the oven by a simple formula. Not only is it one of my most popular posts, but it makes weeknight cooking as simple as it can be.

So before I had time to chuck that “tomahawk” back in the case I decided to give my brother’s oven-to-grill method a try.

Guess what? It works perfectly. I’d love to say it works perfectly every single time, but let’s face it, this may be the only single time I spend $50 on a steak. GREG

PS In case you don’t know a “tomahawk” steak is cut from somewhere between the 6th and 12th rib of the beef cow and weighs between 2 and 3 pounds. Technically it’s a bone-in rib-eye with extra bone. That extra portion of bone is Frenched to give the steak its distinctive “handle” resembling something Fred Flintstone might order at the Drive-In. You know, that steak that turns his car on its side.

Tomahawk Bone-In Ribeye Reverse Sear Ribeye

Reverse Seared Ribeye 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 3–4Source Adapted from Grant HenryPublished
Reverse Seared Ribeye


  • salt and black pepper (as needed for seasoning)
  • 1 (2 to 2 ½ lb) bone-in ribeye (2‑iches thick)
  • canola oil (as needed for grates)


Generously season the steak on all sides with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned steak onto a wire rack set into a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 hours to dry the surface of the meat. This will result in a better crust.

Bring the meat to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Place the steak in the heated oven and cook until an interior temperature of 115 degrees F (for medium-rare) to 125 degrees F (for medium) is achieved, about 40 to 50 minutes depending on size. Use a thermometer to be accurate.

While the steak cooks prepare a charcoal grill for high heat. Once the coals get going put the cooking grates in place and lower the lid. Adjust the vents so that the interior temperature will reach 600 degrees F. It may take some fiddling to get the temperature just right. Use a thermometer for best results.

Once the steak comes out of the oven open the grill and carefully oil the grates. Use an oil-soaked rag and an oven mitt. Place the steak directly on the grates and lower the lid. Sear the meat until nicely charred on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Use your judgment.

Move the steak to a cutting board and let it sit for a couple of minutes. A reverse-seared steak does not need to rest as long as meat cooked by other methods. Slice and serve.