That title is certainly a mouthful, but want a perfect steak? This method for dry-brining steak, paired with reverse-sear cooking, will result in the tastiest steak you’ve ever made—as long as you don’t commit the cardinal sin. Don’t be a cheap-skate and try to get away with a sub-par piece of meat. No matter what you hear or read, this method will not transform a cheap steak into an expensive one, it will merely improve it.
You will definitely need a meat thermometer to do this correctly, so if you do not have an instant-read Thermapen, go get yourself one now. Plus, each piece of meat needs to be at least 1.5 inches thick for the reverse sear method to work. I started with a 3.6 pound strip roast and sliced it down into four equal steaks. The roast was on sale for 50% off, and I had it tucked away in the freezer for just such an occasion.
Did you know that with this method, the salt gets deeper into the meat than with conventional seasoning. The salt crystals draw out moisture, creating a slick watery surface on the steak that eventually dissolves the salt, then the process of diffusion draws this salty brine back into the meat. Voila!
Yes, the steaks do look somewhat smaller after the brining process, but the meat has a more intense beefy flavor. A word to the wise, you’re going to want to make sure there’s nothing with a strong odor left uncovered in the fridge which could work it’s way into the meat.
Now you might be saying to yourself that it takes longer to cook with reverse sear than other methods. Admittedly, some of the better things in life do take longer, but ultimately, the steaks are ready to eat immediately because you’ve rested them prior to the sear!
Along with an eye-opening chimichurri sauce (recipe follows), we paired the steaks with two recent 5-star side dishes, Russel’s Russets and Green Beans and Blistered Tomatoes.
Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce—This recipe from Milk Street can easily be halved, but you’ll find uses other than steak for this delicious condiment such as on grilled pork, fish and other seafood. Chimichurri can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week; bring to room temperature before serving. Don’t substitute fresh oregano. The stronger flavor and texture of dried oregano is a hallmark of chimichurri.
The evening got started when our guests, Paula and Mike toted in the appetizer, and WOW, they did not disappoint! Along with a slate of four scrumptious cheeses, they also supplied a platter of low-carb crackers (that Paula made from scratch), meats, stuffed olives, and mustard/honey and fig spreads. Which, BTW, went nicely with the chilled rosé that we were sipping.
When it was time to start grilling, Russ transferred the rimmed baking sheet with rack and steaks from counter directly onto the indirect heated side of the grill. He kept it covered and maintained a temperature of 250°. After 45 minutes, he turned up the burners on the other side of the grill to high, oiled the grates and slapped the meat onto them for the final char.
Dry-Brine, Reverse-Sear Sirloins
- 3.5-4 lb. strip roast, cut into 4 steaks, fat trimmed
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Argentinian Chimichurri sauce (see recipe below)
- Cut the sirloin roast into 4 equal sized steaks. (Ours were 1 1/2″ each from a 3 1/2 pound roast.) Lay them on small rimmed baking sheet with rack. Generously salt and pepper each side.
- Place baking sheet uncovered into refrigerator for at least 24 hours, up to 3 days.
- Start up the grill using the indirect method. Turn on the burners on one side and cover until it reaches 250°. Place the steaks on the off side and close the lid. When the meat reaches 115°, they will be ready to sear over high heat. Our 1 1/2″ steaks took 45 minutes.
- Turn the burners to high and place the steaks over the direct heat to char the outsides, about 2 minutes per side, and the internal temp is 125° for medium-rare.
- Transfer steaks to a cutting board with a moat to catch any juices.
- Using tongs and a sharp knife, cut each steak into 1/2″ thick slices and pile all of the meat and any accumulated juices onto a platter along with a bowl of the chimichurri sauce.
- ¾ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
- ¼ cup sweet paprika
- ¼ cup red pepper flakes (you can reduce the amount if desired)
- ¼ cup dried oregano
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt
- In a small saucepan over low, combine the oil, paprika, pepper flakes and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir until the salt dissolves. Slowly whisk in the cooled oil mixture.