How to reverse sear on the barbecue

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How to reverse sear on the barbecue

Have you ever wondered if there's a way to elevate the quality of your grilled meats? Enter the reverse-sear method. While traditional searing involves cooking meat over high heat and then moving it to a cooler part of the grill to finish, reverse-searing does just the opposite. And the results are nothing short of divine.

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Why Reverse-Sear?

Reverse-searing brings several benefits:

  1. Even Cooking: Traditional searing can leave you with an overcooked outer layer by the time the centre reaches the desired doneness. Reverse-searing ensures even cooking from edge to edge.
  2. Better Flavour: Slow cooking at a lower temperature helps to break down fats and connective tissue, releasing more flavour.
  3. Perfect Crust: After slow-cooking, the high-heat sear at the end forms a delicious, crispy crust.
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Step-by-Step Guide to Reverse-Searing on the Barbecue

1. Choose the Right Cut: Thicker cuts work best, usually those at least 1.5 inches thick. Think ribeye, sirloin, or a thick-cut pork chop.

2. Season the Meat: About an hour before grilling, remove the meat from the refrigerator and season it generously with salt and pepper. This not only flavours the meat but also aids in forming a better crust during searing.

3. Set Up a Two-Zone Fire: Whether using a gas or charcoal grill, you’ll want to set up two cooking zones:

  • Indirect Zone: A cooler area where the meat will cook slowly. On a gas grill, simply set one side to low or off, and on a charcoal grill, pile the coals to one side.
  • Direct Zone: A hotter area for searing. This will be the side with the burners on high (gas grill) or directly over the coals (charcoal grill).
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4. Start Slow: Place the meat on the cooler side of the grill (indirect heat). Close the lid and allow the meat to cook slowly until it's about 10-15°F below your desired final internal temperature. This could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on the thickness and type of meat.

5. Monitor Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. Here are some general temperature guidelines for beef:

  • Rare: 120-125°F (48-51℃)
  • Medium-Rare: 130-135°F (54-57℃)
  • Medium: 140-145°F (65-68℃)
  • Medium-Well: 150-155°F (48-51℃)
  • Well Done: 160°F and above (71℃)
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6. Time to Sear: Once the meat nears its target temperature, move it over to the hot side of the grill (direct heat). Sear each side for 1-2 minutes or until a beautiful crust forms.

7. Rest and Serve: Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute. After resting, slice against the grain, serve, and savour every bite!

Reverse-searing might seem counterintuitive if you're used to traditional grilling methods, but once you taste the results, you'll be a convert. The combination of even cooking, enhanced flavour, and that coveted crust will make your barbecue the talk of the town.

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Posted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand