How to Achieve Steakhouse-Quality Steak at Home Without a Grill

Are you craving a perfectly cooked, mouthwatering steak with a luscious compound herb butter, but don’t have access to a grill? Perhaps your grill is buried under snow or you simply don’t own one. Well, worry not! I’ve got you covered. In this guide, I will show you step-by-step how to achieve a steakhouse-quality steak without ever leaving the comfort of your kitchen. Plus, I’ll share five reverse-sear tips to ensure your success.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Can this method really produce a steak that’s better than what you get at a steakhouse? Absolutely! While steakhouses rely on high-heat broilers for their cooking process, which is great for thinner cuts of steak, it may not be ideal for thicker ones. But fear not, I’m here to show you how to recreate that outdoor grilling experience using your oven and a trusty cast iron skillet.

I understand that not everyone has access to a grill, but if you have an oven and a cast iron skillet, you can still achieve that perfect reverse-sear result. Cooking steak in the oven requires a bit of time, but it’s easier than you might think to achieve exceptional results. So, let’s dive in!

What is the Reverse Sear Method?

You may have heard of the traditional method of searing a steak first to lock in the juices. However, not everyone has the equipment to sear at high temperatures effectively. That’s where the reverse-sear method comes in. Instead of searing the steak first, the reverse-sear method involves slowly and evenly bringing the meat’s temperature up in a low-temperature environment, around 225 °F. After a short rest, the meat is then introduced to high direct heat to create that flavorful charred crust we all love.

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How Hot Should a Cast Iron Skillet Be for Searing Steaks?

To achieve a perfect sear, you’ll want your cast iron skillet to reach at least 500 °F, but ideally around 650-700 °F if possible. Don’t worry about the pan, as quality cast iron can withstand these high temperatures without any issues.

The Benefits of the Reverse-Sear Method

Using the reverse-sear method offers two key advantages. First, it allows you to achieve that coveted coast-to-coast doneness without overcooking the exterior of the steak. Second, because you don’t need to rest the steak at the end of the cooking process like with other methods, you can enjoy a piping hot steak right away.

Should Every Steak Be Cooked Using Reverse Sear?

Not all steaks are created equal, and the reverse-sear method is best suited for cuts that are at least 1.5 inches thick. While this guide features a massive tomahawk steak, you can use the reverse-sear method for any thick cut of meat, such as a porterhouse or even a prime rib. It’s also highly effective for cuts like filet mignon, which can be challenging to cook perfectly due to their shape and thickness. For thinner cuts of steak, you may opt for other cooking methods.

5 Tips for Reverse Searing Using a Cast Iron Skillet and Oven

Now, let’s dive into five essential tips to ensure your reverse-searing success:

  • The Skillet: Contrary to popular belief, cast iron doesn’t heat evenly. To achieve as even heating as possible, preheat the cast iron pan in the oven along with the steak before placing it on the stovetop burner.
  • The Exhaust: Cooking at such high temperatures can generate a lot of smoke. Before you start searing, open your windows and turn on the exhaust fan above your range to minimize any smoke-related issues.
  • The Lip: If you’re using a smaller cast iron skillet, be mindful that the bone of a large steak like a tomahawk may hang over the raised edge of the skillet, preventing some surface area from contacting the pan. In such cases, a cast iron griddle works well.
  • The Flip: Cast iron cools rapidly when cool or warm food is placed on it. When flipping the steak, avoid placing it directly back onto the same spot in the skillet. Instead, choose a new, hotter spot for each flip.
  • The Fat: When searing at high temperatures, refrain from using oils with low smoke points, such as olive oil. Instead, use beef fat trimmed from the steak. This provides excellent flavor and has a higher smoke point.
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Alright, enough chit-chat. Let’s get down to business and prepare that delicious tomahawk steak!

Reverse-Seared Tomahawk Steak Recipe

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 70 minutes


  • 1 tomahawk ribeye steak
  • 2 tbsp compound herb butter
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste (or your favorite steak rub)

How to Reverse Sear a Tomahawk Steak in an Oven and Cast Iron Skillet

Step 1: Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about an hour. This helps achieve even doneness.

Step 2: Season the steak liberally with kosher salt and pepper, or your preferred steak rub. Insert a reliable leave-in thermometer into the thickest portion of the steak.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 225°F and place the cast iron pan inside to heat it up.

Step 4: Put the steak on a cooling rack, and place the rack on a baking sheet (you can line it with foil for easier cleanup).

Step 5: Place the steak in the oven and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 122 °F (approximately 45 minutes for medium-rare, adjust according to your desired doneness).

Step 6: Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest while monitoring the internal temperature. It should peak at around 129-130 °F, which usually takes about 7-8 minutes.

Step 7: While the steak is resting, heat the preheated cast iron pan over medium-high heat on the stove. Add the sliver of fat removed earlier to the pan and let it render down. This will be used for searing the steak.

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Step 8: Once the steak’s internal temperature has peaked and starts to decrease, add a sprig of rosemary to the rendered beef fat, and increase the heat to the maximum for 1-2 minutes.

Step 9: Place the cooked steak directly onto the scorching hot skillet, flipping it every 30 seconds for about 5 minutes in total to develop a beautiful dark crust.

Step 10: Remove the steak from the skillet and top it with the room-temperature compound butter. Slice and serve immediately.

And there you have it! Enjoy your mouthwatering, perfectly cooked reverse-seared tomahawk steak. In the unlikely event that you have any leftovers, they make fantastic Philly cheesesteak sliders. Happy cooking!

For more delicious recipes and grilling tips, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.