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Reverse Sear or Front Sear?

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  • cgrover60
    Club Member
    • Mar 2016
    • 385
    • Albuquerque NM

    Reverse Sear or Front Sear?

    When finish timing isn't super important I like front searing first with a controlled indirect heat finish to the exact target temp. The trade off of course is less sizzle when finished. Is the trade off worth it? Is reverse searing over rated? What say you?

  • HouseHomey
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 5278
    • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
    • Equipment
      Primo Oval xl

      Slow n Sear (two)
      Drip n Griddle
      22" Weber Kettle
      26" Weber Kettle one touch
      Blackstone 36” Pro Series
      Sous vide machine
      Kitchen Aid
      Meat grinder
      sausage stuffer
      5 Crock Pots
      Akootrimonts
      Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
      cast iron pans,
      Dutch ovens
      Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
      The help and preferences
      1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
      KBB
      FOGO
      A 9 year old princess foster child
      Patience and old patio furniture
      "Baby Girl" The cat

      Erik S.

    #2
    Nah... not over rated. Just another tool in the arsenal.

    Comment

    • Dewesq55
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 1862
      • The Poconos, NEPA
      • Smoker:
        Landmann Smoke Master Series Heavy Duty Barrel Smoker (COS) - With mods including 2 level rack system with pull-out grates
        Masterbuilt 40.2" 1200W Electric Smoker
        Masterbuilt ThermoTemp XL 40" Vertical Propane Smoker

        Gas Grill:
        BBQPro (cheap big box store model) Stainless steel 4 burnerswith aftermarket rotisserie.

        Charcoal Grill:
        Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill 14"

        Thermometer:​​​​​​
        Fireboard 2 with Drive cable and 20 CFM fan and Competition Probe Package
        Fireboard 1st Generation
        ThermoWorks Mini Instant Read
        Lavaworks Thermowand Instant Read
        2 Maverick 733
        ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
        ThermoWorks ThermaPen Mk4 x 2
        Govee Bluetooth Thermometer with 6 probes

        Miscellaneous:
        Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - 1st generation
        Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - wifi/bluetooth connected

        Favorite Beer:
        Anything to the dark side and malty rather than hoppy. Currently liking Yuengling Porter and Newcastle Brown Ale. In a bar or pub I will often default to Guiness

        Favorite Spirit:
        Bourbon - Eagle Rare for "every day"; Angel's Envy for special occasions, Basil Hayden's, Larceny

        Favorite Wine:
        Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Super Tuscan Sangiovese (Including Chianti Classico Riserva) Brunello di Montalcino

        Favorite Meat(s):
        Pork - especially the darker meat. I love spare ribs and anything made from shoulder/butt meat
        Chicken - Mainly the dark meat and wings
        Beef Ribeye steak

        Favorite Cuisine to Cook:
        Can't list just one: Indian, Chinese, Thai, West Indian/Carribean, Hispanic/Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, BBQ

        Favorite Cuisine to Eat:
        Indian, followed closely by BBQ.

        Disqus ID:
        David E. Waterbury

      #3
      I prefer front sear for the reason you suggest. I'm not sure I know what you mean about "less sizzle" though.

      Comment

      • rickgregory
        Founding Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 693
        • Seattle, WA

        #4
        Depends what you're wanting to end up with. When I reverse sear, I add a small wood chunk to the coals so I"m basically smoking the steak to the target temp, then searing. If I didn't want that, I'd probably just cook over direct heat until target temp.

        Comment

        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 12715
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            SNS
            Pizza insert
            Rotisserie
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            Chefalarm
            Dot
            lots of probes.
            CyberQ

          #5
          I prefer a front sear for several reasons.

          I can get the exact sear I want without overshooting my final temp.
          Temps rise slower during the slow part, so easier to hit my final temp.
          Less carry over rise from a lower temp so it is, (again), easier to hit my final temp.

          I use a front sear for steaks, chops, and boneless/skinless chicken breasts.
          Last edited by RonB; August 22, 2020, 12:28 PM.

          Comment


          • cgrover60
            cgrover60 commented
            Editing a comment
            Agreed for sure RonB. I guess I was just wondering why reverse is usually touted as "the method".

          • RonB
            RonB commented
            Editing a comment
            cgrover60 - I think it just caught on. I haven't tried doing a side by side test, but I don't think anyone could tell the difference between front and rear sear.

            I can say that people who eat my steaks almost always say it's the best they ever had...
        • Jerod Broussard
          Moderator
          • Jun 2014
          • 9742
          • East Texas
          • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
            Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
            Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
            Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
            Weber Smokey Joe Gold
            Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
            Vortex
            Maverick ET-732 White
            Maverick ET-732 Copper
            2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
            Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
            Thermoworks Timestick
            Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
            B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
            B & B Pellets

          #6
          depends on thickness for steaks

          hamburgers front sear in HOT oil, then wrap in foil......currently working on a soundtrack

          Comment

          • Steve B
            Club Member
            • Jun 2016
            • 2980
            • Rockland county New York
            • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
              Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

              22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

              Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

              1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
              1 maverick et-733 - gray
              1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
              1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
              1 thermoworks thermopop - red

              Pre Miala flavor injector
              taylor digital scale
              TSM meat grinder
              chefs choice food slicer
              cuisinhart food processor
              food saver vacuum sealer
              TSM harvest food dehydrator

            #7
            I'm making a boneless prime rib tomorrow which I will be front searing for the exact reason RonB said. In fact I'll be putting the roast in the freezer for about 30 min. Prior to searing it. To further help get that edge to edge pink. Ok I just got myself hungry.
            Last edited by Steve B; August 22, 2020, 01:17 PM.

            Comment


            • Jfrosty27
              Jfrosty27 commented
              Editing a comment
              Me too. 😋😉

            • RonB
              RonB commented
              Editing a comment
              Me three...
          • TripleB
            Club Member
            • May 2017
            • 711
            • La Crescenta
            • Jambo Backyard Smoker
              Weber Smokey Mountain (22" & 18.5")
              Portable Kitchen 360
              Portable Kitchen Grill
              Pit Barrel Cooker
              Weber "Brownie" Circa 1978 22"
              Weber Gas Grill, Silver A
              BBQ Guru ATC
              Favorite Beer: Peroni
              Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

            #8
            For steaks, Tri-Tip, 1 bone Rib Roast (aka the Tomahawk Ribeye) I front sear because flavor is more important to me than temperature doneness. With front searing I have control over the char (fond, bark, the Milliard process, whatever you want to call it). The char is where the flavor is. The cuts of meat I have identified, because of their thickness, never get over cooked while grilling. After I get the char I want, I move the steak over to finish indirect. I have over cooked my meat on occasion because the cut is irregular or I get caught up with something and don't pay attention. But the flavor is always fantastic. Again, flavor (the char) is the most important thing to me.

            For rib roasts over 1 rib, I reverse sear. I don't have to worry that I may possibly over cook the meat while I achieve the char I want.
            Last edited by TripleB; August 22, 2020, 06:00 PM.

            Comment

            • ecowper
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 3268
              • Maple Valley, WA
              • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
                Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

                Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
                Thermometer = Maverick ET732
                Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
                Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
                Thermapen Classic = Grey
                PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

                Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
                Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
                Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
                Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

                Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


                Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

              #9
              Since I discovered reverse sear, it’s pretty much the only method I’ve used for steaks, chicken, roasts, etc. I love the outcome and feel strongly that I have immense control over internal temp and external outcomes compared to front sear methods.

              Which just goes to show that we are all different.

              Comment

              • HouseHomey
                Club Member
                • May 2016
                • 5278
                • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
                • Equipment
                  Primo Oval xl

                  Slow n Sear (two)
                  Drip n Griddle
                  22" Weber Kettle
                  26" Weber Kettle one touch
                  Blackstone 36” Pro Series
                  Sous vide machine
                  Kitchen Aid
                  Meat grinder
                  sausage stuffer
                  5 Crock Pots
                  Akootrimonts
                  Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
                  cast iron pans,
                  Dutch ovens
                  Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
                  The help and preferences
                  1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
                  KBB
                  FOGO
                  A 9 year old princess foster child
                  Patience and old patio furniture
                  "Baby Girl" The cat

                  Erik S.

                #10
                Nowadays I just stare at my steaks intently while subliminally telepathing my desired internal temperature. Then I put them on my plate, their ready.

                Comment


                • Stuey1515
                  Stuey1515 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Telekinesis sear, ground breaking stuff sir, I'll give it a crack haha
              • DavidNorcross
                Club Member
                • Nov 2017
                • 1523
                • Virginia
                • Rec Tec RT-680
                  Coleman RoadTrip LXX
                  Javelin Pro Duo
                  More Cast Iron than I care to admit

                #11
                I have gotten used to the reverse sear method and that is my go to.

                Comment

                • fzxdoc
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 5085
                  • My toys:
                    Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                    Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
                    Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
                    Weber Kettle Premium 22"
                    Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
                    Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range


                    Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
                    Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
                    Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
                    Grill Grate for SnS
                    Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
                    Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
                    2 Grill Grate Griddles
                    Steelmade Griddle for Summit gas grill

                    Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                    Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
                    Additional Fireboard probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
                    2 Fireboard Driver Cables
                    Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                    Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                    Thermoworks Thermapen MK5 (pink)
                    Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
                    Thermoworks Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
                    Thermoworks Extra Big and Loud Timer
                    Thermoworks Timestick Trio
                    Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
                    Maverick ET 733
                    Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

                    Grill Pinz
                    Vortex (two of them)

                    Two Joule Sous Vide devices
                    VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer
                    Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                    Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                    Charcoal Companion TurboQue
                    A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

                    BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

                    Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
                    Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
                    Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
                    Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

                  #12
                  David Parrish has a really good You Tube video comparing front- vs reverse- seared steaks on his SnS Kamado Grill set up to mimic a Santa-Maria-style cook




                  Kathryn
                  Last edited by fzxdoc; August 23, 2020, 06:20 AM.

                  Comment


                  • cgrover60
                    cgrover60 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Interesting video fzxdoc, thanks. Since the results are basically the same and I tend to overshoot target temps with reverse sear, forward sear just works better for me.
                • JeffJ
                  Charter Member
                  • Feb 2015
                  • 2409
                  • Michigan
                  • Jeff

                  #13
                  Reverse sear all of the way. Since meat cooks from the outside in a front sear overcooks the part of the meat just beneath the surface. Front-sear works for real thin pieces of meat or burgers but other than that, especially when cooking steaks, reverse sear works better IMO.

                  Comment

                  • Dadof3Illinois
                    Club Member
                    • Jul 2017
                    • 860
                    • Southeast Illinois

                    #14
                    I’ve been doing a front sear for most of my hot and fast cooks the past year +. IMO placing a grate over a 1/2 full charcoal chimney starter to sear something then dumping the hot coals into my SnS and kettle to finish seems easier. Plus I don’t season the meat until after the sear as to not burn it.

                    Comment

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