How to Reverse T-Bone Steak


Prepare the perfect medium-rare cut of BBQ beef steak with this upside-down browning recipe. Grilled over smoke before searing over high heat, this is the best way to enjoy that precious T-bone.

T-bone steak recipe for browning upside down

Reverse browning has gained popularity among meat lovers, and the grilling world is no different. It’s one of the best ways to cook a thick steak to a juicy medium and crispy on the outside with those charred grill marks we’re all looking for.

In this recipe, we slowly cook the meat to the perfect temperature in our BBQ smoker before browning it over high heat. The end result is the perfect blend of barbecue smoking and outdoor grilling. Let’s get into that.

Grilled ribeye steak over charcoal grills

What is reverse abrasion?

The roasting process includes two different cooking stages. The first stage of reverse browning is cooking at a temperature below 150°C(300°F). This moderate heat activates the enzymes in the meat, tenderizing it and drying out the meat surface. In the second stage, the meat is browned over high heat. Now that the surface is dry, this sear can develop a delicious crust thanks to the Maillard reaction.

Because it cooks meat at a low, constant temperature, we can grill thick cuts of steak that grilling methods can’t achieve.

Often used in reverse in the kitchen with the help of a cast iron stove and skillet, the replica outdoor charcoal grill takes things to a new level.

It’s a method of cooking meat that’s a lot easier than it seems, and the results speak for themselves. The process gives us a tender cut of beef with a nice crispy golden color on the outside.

To save yourself the stress, it helps to have a two-stage appliance that can smoke and grill. The point is to increase the internal temperature of the steak and cook it at a lower level. Since the steak cooks from the inside, the outside is relatively preserved. This is the first phase of your reverse lookup.

Then from here move on to the second phase where you cook the rest of the steak and get the cooked, browned exterior with the right crust. Here you use high temperatures.

Round plate with grilled beef steak on wooden table
Turned ribeye steak gives us a better crisp on the outside and a tender juicy center on the inside

Advantages of reverse abrasion

  • Evenly cooked. Grill smoking is based on the principle of cooking meat at a lower, slower heat, which transfers heat more evenly than high-heat grilling. By smoking it at a temperature just below medium rare, we ensure the ribeye is cooked evenly every time. This maximizes the amount of pink flesh inside and creates the gray color around the edges.
  • Best browning and crust. The first stage of reverse browning dries out the outside of the meat, making the browning phase much more effective. The dry surface is more prone to a phenomenon called the Maillard reaction. This is a chemical reaction caused by exposing the proteins and sugars in meat to high temperatures. The result of this is a beautiful and delicious crust.
  • Tender Results. Slow cooking of meat stimulates enzymes in the meat known as cathepsin. With increased activity in the heat, they break down the tough muscle proteins in the steak.

The best cuts of beef to brown upside down

Reverse searing is best for thick cuts of beef such as T-bone, tomahawk, rump steak, ribeye, New York strip, and filet mignon. These cuts are usually at least two inches thick and have enough meat and marbling to take advantage of the low and slow cooking.

The method is suitable for thinner cuts such as flank and tri-tip steaks. However, you will need to adjust your time in the smoker and reduce it to 30-40 minutes to ensure you don’t overcook the meat.

White round plate with grilled ribeye isolated on table

Meat preparation

To grill a steak, you want to make sure the steak is thawed but still cold. You can then use a rub of your choice to ensure you get the flavor you want. Simply season with just salt and pepper or add other spices to the mix for a dry rub.

Whatever you decide, make sure you dry your fillet in brine. This allows more flavor and moisture to be retained, especially when grilling. It’s a simple step, but it will make all the difference. Simply spread a layer of kosher salt on the steak and refrigerate for a few hours before roasting.

Indoor temperatures

Reverse searing steak is all about making sure the steak is cooked the way you want it. T-bone steak is prepared in different ways than chicken. I’m a well-done steak guy, but for some, this is the mortal sin and they’d rather have their steak raw or with a little pink.

A certain internal temperature must be reached in order for it to be manufactured to your specifications. However, the internal temperature achieved depends on how the steak is to be cooked and how thick it is. Cooking times and internal temperatures can also vary depending on the type of preparation and the shape of the meat.

  • Rare: Cool red center and 125°F
  • Medium Rare: warms red center and 135 °F
  • Medium: warm pink center and 145°F
  • Medium Well Done: Light pink center and 150°F
  • Done Right: Little to no pink and 160°F

Remember that the steak can continue to cook after it has been removed from the grill. Allow about 5°F to rise, meaning you can remove it from the grill when it’s within about 5°F of your desired internal temperature.

How to reverse t-bone steak

Tanning a ribeye upside down doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s pretty easy once you know what to do and what not to do. How to sear your steak perfectly. Also, it works best when the steak is about 1 inch(2.5 cm) thick or thicker.

Rib eye roasted upside down

Prepare the perfect medium-rare cut of T-bone steak with this upside-down browning recipe. Grilled over smoke before searing over high heat, this is the best way to enjoy that precious T-bone.
Course dinner, main course
American cuisine , BBQ
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serving 1


  • 1 rib eye , at least 1.5cm tail
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper


  • Turn on your smoker at 107°C. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure it is set to 2-zone grilling.
  • Steak with kosher salt and black pepper seasoning
  • Place steak on smoker racks. Close door/lid and smoke for 60 minutes or until internal temperature of steak reaches 55°C(130°F).
  • Increase smoking or grilling temperature to brown. Sear the steak over low heat for a minute on each side.
  • Remove steaks from the grill or smoker. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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