If you love steak, by now you’ve probably been indoctrinated into the reverse-sear method: a two-stage cooking process for cooking steak (and other thick cuts of protein). The technique begins by first cooking meat with gentle heat until it reaches a target temperature, then blasting it with high heat to build up a beautifully burnished crust.
In warm weather we like to do our reverse searing at the grill, but we add a flavor-boosting twist: Instead of simply moving the steak from the low-temperature zone to the hot side of the grill, we get a Field Skillet and sear the meat there while basting it with a mixture of melted butter, garlic, and herbs. This not only gives you more evenly browned meat (thanks to cast iron’s even heat distribution PLUS the hot butter bath), but since you don’t need to rest a reverse-seared steak, making the whole thing an easy grill-to-table affair.
This technique works on any thick cut of meat (at least 1½ inches thick), on or off the bone. Speaking of bones, it’s a myth that a bone-in steak absorbs flavor from the bone itself. What the bone does do, however, is insulate the meat around it, which means the meat closest to the bone will come out slightly less cooked than the rest of the steak. This can be a good thing, if you tend to overcook your meat, but using the reverse sear (along with a trusty instant-read thermometer) will ensure that the meat is evenly cooked, so the bone is mostly there for show—or for your dog.
Recipe: Grilled and Seared Steak
One ribeye or other thick steak, 1½ to 2 inches thick
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 sprig rosemary and/or a small bunch thyme
The Field Method for Cast Iron Care
If time allows, season the steak generously with salt and place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
Prepare a two-stage grill with hot and cool sides. Set the steak over the cool side and cook uncovered, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 105°F for rare, 115°F for medium-rare, or 125°F for medium. Depending on your grill, this can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Resist the temptation to speed things up by covering the grill; this will cook the steak too quickly. Transfer the steak to a plate.
Set a No.8 or No.10 Field Skillet over the hot side of the grill and let it heat up for a few minutes. Add the butter, garlic, and herbs to the skillet. When the butter foams, add the steak and cook, basting constantly with the butter, until well browned on the bottom, 30 to 45 seconds. Turn the steak over and cook, basting with butter, until the other side is browned, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
Transfer the steak to a plate and pour the contents of the skillet over. Carve or serve right away (no need to let the steak rest).