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How to Set Up Your Grill for Reverse Searing

Reverse-searing can be done on a charcoal or gas grill, but it’s easier to smoke with charcoal. The method requires little more in the way of special equipment than a grill with a lid and an accurate meat thermometer.

Ideally, you’ll use a wired remote thermometer, like ThermoWorks Smoke X2 or ChefsTemp Quad XPro, or a wireless meat probe, such as the ones made by Meater or Maverick. You can also use an instant-read meat thermometer, but you’ll need to open the grill several times to get a reading, which can cause the internal temperature of the grill to drop.

To give the meat a smoky flavor, you’ll need hardwood chunks or chips. Oak, hickory or mesquite go great with beef. If using chips, cover them with water and soak for 30 minutes, which slows their combustion when heated. Drain the chips well before adding them to the fire. There is no need to soak wood chunks.

When reverse-searing, you start with your grill set up for indirect grilling, that is, with the heat source away from where the food will cook.

On a charcoal grill, rake hot coals into two mounds on opposite sides of the grill and leave the center empty for the meat. On a two-burner gas grill, light one side and cook the steak away from the heat on the other side. On larger gas grills, light the outside or front and rear burners, keeping the center free for the steak.

After indirect grilling, and just before serving, set up your grill for cooking directly over high heat. On a charcoal grill, rake the coals into a mound in the center of the grill, adding fresh coals as needed. Let the new coals burn until glowing red. On a gas grill, simply set the burners on high.

Recipe: Reverse-Seared Steak

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