How to Reverse Sear T-Bone Steak

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Grilling may be your usual go-to method to cook T-bone steak, but it’s certainly not the only way to get this delicious cut ready to serve. In this guide, we’re going to talk about reverse searing and why it’s one of the best ways to cook a T-bone.


If you’ve pan-seared a steak and finished it off in the oven, you’ve already used the two techniques you’ll use to reverse sear a T-bone. However, reverse searing switches those steps around to sear after cooking, effectively holding in juices and leading to a potentially better sear.

Keep reading to learn how to reverse sear T-bone steak.

Preparation for Reverse Sear T-Bone Steak

Here’s how to prepare everything you need to reverse sear your T-bone steak. 

T-Bone Steak Prep

Season steaks generously on both sides with salt. Then, leave them at room temperature for 45 minutes. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper on steaks before moving them to the oven. 

Stove Prep

About 5 minutes before your steaks come out of the oven, prepare the skillet by adding a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and preheating it over medium-high heat. 

Oven Prep

When your steaks have 10 minutes of resting time left, move an oven rack to the middle notch in the oven and preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray before placing your steak on it.

Cooking Time

Expect a medium-rare T-bone steak to be ready in 1-1 ½ hours after you start cooking it with the reverse sear method. If cooking to a higher level of doneness, you may need to add more time. For example, a medium steak might take closer to two hours to cook.

Final Temperature

We’ve created the following temperature chart to help you gauge when to remove T-bone steaks from the oven before searing and the ideal final temperature range for each level of doneness. 

Steak DonenessTemperature to Remove from OvenFinal Temperature
Medium-rare125°F-130°F130°F-135°F
Medium135°F-140°F140°F-145°F
Medium-well145°F-150°F150°F-155°F
Well-done155°F-160°F160°F-165°F

Reverse Sear T-Bone Steak to Medium Rare 

Medium-rare is the most popular cook for a reverse-seared T-bone steak, and it’ll take about 1-1 ½ hours to reach that level. Start by seasoning the T-bone with salt on both sides before leaving at room temperature for 45 minutes. Sprinkle black pepper on both sides before moving the steaks to a preheated oven for 30-60 minutes until they reach 125°F-130°F. Sear in a preheated, oiled pan for 3-4 minutes on each side before resting for 5-10 minutes at room temperature.

Reverse Sear T-Bone Steak Tips

The following tips can help you cook your reverse-seared T-bone steak to perfection.

Dry Before Searing

When you take your T-bone out of the oven, it may have some moisture on its outside. If so, pat it dry with a paper towel before beginning the searing process. Removing moisture on steak can lead to a better, crispier sear. 

Use a Thermometer

Steak temperature accuracy is essential to making sure your steak meets the doneness level you were shooting for. The best way to ensure accuracy is with a steak thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the steak to check its temperature before searing it.

Choosing the Right Cut

Not sure which T-bone to choose when shopping? 

Definitely be sure to look for dry-aged or wet-aged T-bone. This indicates that the steak has aged over several weeks to bring out its best flavor and texture.

You also might see steaks labeled as Wagyu, USDA Prime, or Premium Angus. Any of these are good options, as they include the highest-quality cuts of T-bone based on color, marbling, and other factors. Wagyu is the most selective, as it comes from a specific breeding process using Wagyu cattle, so it’s typically the most expensive. If you need to lower the price tag, opt for one of the other two. 

Reverse Sear T-Bone Instructions

Here are the steps you need to know to reverse sear T-bone steak to perfection. Combine these instructions with the recipe below to get started.

Step 1: Prepare for Cooking

Salt steaks generously on both sides. Then, leave at room temperature for 45 minutes. This creates a dry brine that helps hold in moisture and allows the steaks to crisp in the oven. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 225 degrees about 10 minutes before you’re ready to cook. Spray a small amount of cooking spray on the baking sheet you’ll use for the steaks.

Step 2: The Cooking Process

Sprinkle steaks with black pepper on both sides before transferring them to the baking sheet and into the oven. Cook for 30-60 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness. Use the temperature chart above to determine when to remove the steaks from the oven.

Meanwhile, preheat a skillet over medium-high heat, adding a drizzle of oil to the pan. Once heated, sear the steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Step 3: After Cooking

Move steaks to a clean plate tented loosely with foil for 5-10 minutes to rest before serving. 

Reverse Sear T-Bone Steak Recipe

Serves: 2

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 1-1 ½ hours

Ingredients:

  • 1-1 ½ pounds of T-bone steak
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Salt T-bone steaks on both sides. Leave at room temperature for 45 minutes to create a brine. When there’s about 10 minutes left, preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle T-bone steaks with black pepper on both sides, and transfer them to a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Then, move them to the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 30-60 minutes to your level of doneness. Then, sear steaks in a preheated skillet with a drizzle of oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  3. Rest steaks for 5-10 minutes on a clean plate tented with foil.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Reverse Searing

There are so many ways to cook a T-bone steak, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what to consider about the reverse sear:

Advantages

  • Cooks steaks more evenly than other methods
  • Creates a rich sear on the outside
  • Leads to juicy and tender T-bone steaks
  • Holds in juices well

Disadvantages

  • Thick T-bone steaks can take a while
  • Not a good choice for thinner steaks
  • It takes some practice to get right

Reverse Sear vs Pan Seared

Although some people think of pan-searing and reverse-searing as the same thing, there’s one distinct difference between the two cooking methods. With pan-searing, you sear T-bone steak before finishing it off in the oven. With reverse-searing, you’ll cook it in the oven first and then follow with a sear. The reverse sear method helps the internal temperature of T-bone rise while in the oven, leading to a more thorough cook without drying out. 

FAQs for Reverse Sear T-Bone Steak

Can you reverse sear T-bone?

Yes, we recommend reverse searing as a top method to cook T-bone steak. This cut takes about 1 ½ hours to cook to medium-rare using the reverse sear method. 

Is reverse searing the best method for T-bone steak?

T-bone is popular for grilling, pan-searing, and reverse-searing. The reverse sear method may be the best option for ensuring an even cook on thicker T-bone steaks without drying out the meat.

How long does it take to reverse sear a T-bone?

In total, a T-bone steak takes about 1 ½ hours to finish cooking. That includes the time in the oven, the time to sear, and the time to rest a medium-rare steak. However, steaks cooked to higher doneness levels may need closer to 2 hours.

Is reverse searing a T-bone better than grilling it?

T-bone is a relatively thick cut of steak. Thick cuts can dry out on the grill quickly if you’re not careful about cooking them. However, reverse-searing can be a more foolproof method to get an even cook without drying out the steak.

ready to eat reverse seared tbone steak

Reverse Seared T-Bone Steak

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1-1.5lbs t-bone steak
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray
  • olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Salt T-bone steaks on both sides. Leave at room temperature for 45 minutes to create a brine. When there's about 10 minutes left, preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  • Sprinkle T-bone steaks with black pepper on both sides, and transfer them to a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Then, move them to the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 30-60 minutes to your level of doneness. Then, sear steaks in a preheated skillet with a drizzle of oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Rest steaks for 5-10 minutes on a clean plate tented with foil.