RECIPES > How to Reverse Sear a Ribeye

How to Reverse Sear a Ribeye

Recipe by Mary Cressler on Vindulge

It all starts with smoking at a low temperature for flavor, and then finishing on high heat for that sear. This is a similar concept to sous vide cooking (which is also all the rage right now for good reason), only done on the smoker (no sous vide appliances necessary).


First, we get the smoker preheated to 225 degrees (F). And you slowly bring the internal temperature of your meat up while smoking, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 110 degrees (F). (Note we like our beef rare or cooked to 125 – 127, if you are more a medium-rare, take the smoke internal temperature up to 120 degrees).

You’re not trying to cook the steak completely for this step, you’re just adding a layer of incredible flavor while slowly and steadily warming up the meat. Depending on the thickness of the cut this should take around an hour – but the temperature is king here! Always cook to temp, not time. This is where it’s vital to have a good thermometer.

Reverse Searing

Prepare your cooker for direct-heat cooking by targeting a 500-degree grilling temperature.


  • 2 16 ounce 1 1/2 inch Thick Ribeye Steaks We Love Snake River Farms
  • ½ tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ tablespoon Coarse Black Pepper



  • Salt the steaks on both sides and place them on a cookie sheet in a refrigerator for up to two hours for the dry brine. Remove about 20 minutes before smoking and add pepper. (we’re not using oil here due to the dry brine or salting)


  • Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F (we like cherry wood), and remove the steak from the fridge.
  • Apply the pepper on the steaks, and then place them on the smoker. They will take on that flavor and start to turn a reddish hue. When the internal temperature (IT) reaches 110 degrees (F), remove from the smoker and prepare for the grill. This takes roughly an hour.


  • Prepare your cooker for direct heat targeting 500 degrees F over the direct heat. In this case we used a Weber kettle grill. You can also do this before the steak reaches 100 degrees (F). Or you can wait while you prep your sides.
  • Place the steak over the direct heat for about 3 minutes. You’re looking for a nice crust. The IT will come up fast on the steak, especially if you have just taken off the smoker. (some may want to re-season at this point, it’s up to you. We don’t. The dry brine or salt with the pepper was all we needed. Try it without re-seasoning first and then adjust. It’s easier to add salt and flavor later rather than taking it away)
  • Flip the steak for another 3 minutes until the IT reaches your desired doneness, we like 125 degrees (F) for rare. Let rest for 10 minutes with a loosely tented foil for the juices to reabsorb into the meat then cut and serve.


I like my steak rare to medium rare so I remove it at 125 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit at the center. So once the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness, let it sit for a few minutes for the juices to redistribute and tent it with foil. It’ll also keep cooking a little bit with that residual heat.

Rare: 120-130 degrees F
Medium Rare: 130-140 degrees F
Medium: 140-150 degrees F
Medium Well: 150-160 degrees F
Well Done: 160 degrees F (and not recommended)