Print Friendly, PDF & Email



Perhaps the biggest treat in a carnivore’s diet, steak has long been the grillmaster’s pride and joy. But it’s easy to ruin a steak. We’ll show you the best way to grill a thick or thin steak (hint: they require different methods), so you can easily have better-than-steakhouse results in your own backyard.


  • Prep: trim and salt (overnight preferably)
  • For thick steaks (> 1.5″ thick) cook using reverse sear and the “Cold Grate” searing technique
  • For thin steaks (< 1.5″ thick) use high-heat front sear
  • Cook to desired temperature, check doneness with an instant read thermometer


Before we cook it, we need to buy it! First and foremost is meat selection. You have​ to pick a good steak if you want to eat a good steak. Your special seasoning or secret marinade is only a small part of the equation. Learn more about USDA grades of beef, and how to pick the right steak and it will help you finding the best ones.


If you are cooking a thick steak (over 1.5″ thick) follow a reverse sear variation of our Slow ‘N Sear “low & slow” lighting below. If you are cooking a thin steak (less than 1.5″ thick) follow our Slow ‘N Sear “hot ‘n fast” lighting method. Again, we’d like to point you to an amazing resource, the steak page has the best steak grilling methods perfected and laid out for you to slice into. Then come back here and we’ll tailor your cook to your Slow ‘N Sear using the above lighting techniques.

With your Slow ‘N Sear®

If you’re doing a thick steak (over 1.5″ thick), begin by lighting about 1/4 chimney of charcoal (20-25 briquets) however you choose. Wait until they are all well-lit or ashed over, then add them to the charcoal reservoir of your Slow ‘N Sear. Allow your grill to heat up to ~225° F, as measured by a good digital thermometer probe placed about 1″ above grate level on the indirect side, NOT you grill’s lid thermometer. Cook the steaks, indirectly, until they reach about 15-20° under your target finished temp. Then follow the “reverse sear” technique (below)- when it’s time to sear place the steak on the grill grate directly over a new blazing hot batch of charcoal in the Slow ‘N Sear, rotating every few seconds as described, until your target temperature is reached. Remember, we go by temperature not feel, and not a clock. Temperature on steaks is foolproof.

For a high-temp “reverse sear” using your Slow ‘N Sear. When doing reverse sear on a thick steak (or a roast), about 10-15 minutes before you are ready to sear your steak- or let’s say when your steak gets to about ~80° F internal temperature, fill your charcoal chimney anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 full of charcoal (40-60 briquets) and light it however you please, an easy and relatively mess-free way is to use a starter cube. Once the blue smoke dies down and heat waves or flames are visible from the top, you are ready! Add these well-lit coals all at once to the charcoal reservoir. You are now ready to sear! Leave your lid off!


Begin searing when your steak temp is 15-20° under your target temp (Note: if you’re aiming for 135°, medium-rare, begin searing when your steak is around 115-120° F).  Our favorite way to get all-over sear and tremendous flavor is to use the “Cold Grate” Technique as demonstrated in the recipe video on the right.  You’ll get wall-to-wall color (no tan banding) and all-over brown crust, not just grill marked strips of flavor.  Searing generally takes around 4 minutes or until desired target temperature, as measured by a reputable digital instant-read thermometer, is reached.

Using custom-fit GrillGrates is another option.  Or some folks will use a cast iron pan that’s been well heated up directly atop the coals. You have options!If you’re doing a thin steak, be sure to try Meathead’s “afterburner” method, which can easily and effectively be done directly over the blazing coals on your Slow ‘N Sear. With a Slow ‘N Sear, just use the hot & fast lighting method.

When is it done?

How you like your steak cooked is as personal as what you’ll eat with it. Arguably, the most tender, juicy, flavorful and palatable steak comes from medium-rare. If you’re new to cooking your own steak, we’d like to encourage you to give medium-rare a try! Despite what you may have heard, pink beef doesn’t mean its undercooked and pink juices are not blood!

Rare, 120-130° F A finished internal temp of 120-130° F will give you a rare steak. This is not the most popular serving temp, but rare steak has its fans. The center will be bright red and will be only lightly warm, and very juicy.

Medium-rare, 130-135° F (CHEF’S TEMP) A finished internal temp of 130-135° F will give you medium-rare. This is also known as the “chef’s temp”, the temp at which most quality steakhouses prefer to serve their masterpieces. This, with a deep brown crispy sear on the outside and a properly salted interior, will be your best tasting, juiciest steak.

Medium, 135-145° F If solid pink is not an option for you or your guests, but a little pink is ok, we’ll recommend medium. This a finished internal temperature of over 135°, particularly 140-145° F. Still juicy, still some pink, but warmer and a little more firm, medium is still a good choice.

Medium-well, 145-155° F Next comes medium-well, with a temp between 145-155° F. This will give you only a hint of pink deep in the center, but this is also where the meat begins to lose its juiciness.

Well, 155° + Well done, at 155-160° and above, contains no pink color and yields a much firmer and drier steak. Well done steaks are often worthy of using a steak sauce to add moisture and a juicier mouthfeel.  We highly recommend that you use a good quality digital thermometer to measure your steak’s internal temperature for best results. Please do not be fooled by those that tell you to cook over ‘medium heat for x-amount of minutes’, or to push on your steak, those aren’t the best measure of doneness.

Unless you have lots of experience, lots of luck with your timing, or are a professional steak chef cooking dozens of steaks every night, you must use a digital thermometer if you want repeatable, foolproof results. We like the Maverick ET-732 for a leave-in wireless, and the Maverick PT-50, ThermoWorks’ ThermoPop or Thermapen for a quick, accurate instant-read.  For a list of reviews on these and other field-tested thermometers tested with lab-grade equipment by an electronics engineer, see the Searchable Thermometer Database. With all that in mind its time to enjoy your steak, so get cooking.




  1. Michael Shulver July 8, 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Cook report from Birmingham UK, 170708 20:11

    Hi All,

    Just had a go at this one using 22″ Slow n’ Sear in a mildly modded Weber (just a Nomex seal around the rim). Meat was a 750g Aberdeen Angus sirloin, cut about 5cm thick. I left the fat cap on because I like it. I used a variation on the rub recipe from amazing – I had no onion powder so doubled up on the garlic powder. Put the rub ont on dry.

    The plan was to cook it for me and the wife, but she is working tonight so it’s just me. Went for medium rare, slow method. I let the grill temperature come up a bit high, at one pint the grill was up to about 290. In a bit of a panic I closed all vents.

    However, no drama in reality; the meat steadily came up to 122 which was when I started searing. I had ran out of briquettes to do the sear, but had plenty of charcoal so used that. Figured the higher heat from good charcoal would be better anyway. First phase of cooking took about 45 mins, and searing was about 10 mins.

    Instead of using a pen-type thermometer to test during the sear, I just left my probe in the sirloin. It worked fine until I burned my fingers pulling it out.

    I have never had a steak like this in my life (55 y/o). This was extraordinary. Perfect. Had it with mashed potato and spinach.

    I left a little bit for the wife. She is home in a coulee of hours.

    Thank you for making the slow n’ sear, and for the recipes.

    Best wishes,


  2. Ryan January 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Do you season with salt again before or during the cook after dry brining?
    Do you recommend using any type of wood forl flavoring?
    I’m doing a 2 inch strip steak tomorrow. Hopefully it will turn out as good as these looked!

    • Adrenaline Barbecue Company January 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      No additional salt before or during the cook is needed. If you’d like some smoke flavor, you certainly can use wood during the low ‘n slow portion of the cook. (To us, that’s one of the advantages of reverse sear – the slow cook time that gives the meat a chance to pick up smoke flavor) Type of wood is personal preference; experimenting is one of the great things about barbecue! Hickory is quite common, but other woods work well too! Keep us posted on the cook – can’t wait to see photos!

Leave A Comment



HAVE A QUESTION? CALL (704) 425-1023

New Combo Packs! Always free shipping to lower 48 U.S.! Dismiss