The Best Way to Sear a Steak (Hint: We Use a Secret Ingredient)

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Getting a perfect sear without overcooking a steak can be tough. Bridget Lancaster shows how to sear steak & with the Test Kitchen’s secret technique for perfectly seared steaks. Learn more in the Cooking School:

WATCH: Learn how to Make the Most Perfect Bacon Ever

WATCH: How to Quickly Defrost Meat

The Best Way to Sear a Steak:

To get a deep brown char on the meat without overcooking it, the meat must be completely dry. To achieve this, we use a two-pronged approach. First, place steaks on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Rub entire surface of steaks with mixture of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place steaks, uncovered, in freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes.

Light a large chimney starter filled with charcoal (about 6 quarts) and allow to burn until the coals are partially covered with a thin layer of ash, about 20 minutes. Build a single-level fire by arranging the coals evenly over the bottom of the grill and place the wood chunks directly on the coals, spacing them evenly around the perimeter of the grill. Set the cooking grate in place, cover, and heat the grate until hot, about 5 minutes. Use a grill brush to scrape the cooking grate clean. Dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding the wad with tongs, oil the cooking grate.

How to Cook Steak:

Season the steaks with black pepper. Place the steaks on the grill, cover, and cook until the steaks begin to char, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover the grill, flip the steaks, and cook on the second side until beginning to char, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip again and cook the first side until well charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip one last time and continue to cook until the second side is well charred and the center of the steak registers 115 degrees for rare (about 2 minutes) or 120 degrees for medium-rare (about 4 minutes) on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a large plate and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

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Tom tommyL says:

Somehow putting a coating of flour or cornstarch on a steak is counterintuitive.
Unless you’re making meat for stew and want to brown/sear it before putting in the pot for some slow cooking.  because then the flour becomes part of the gravy of the stew.

haterallday says:

I don’t know how but I knew I was going to dislike this video before watching it

Javier Ontiveros says:

This lady is crazy! Do It do this!

ZZS D says:

will this work on chicken?

Eric jones says:

Why not say ‘SEA SALT’ instead of Kosher? They are basically the same grain size. Cheaper too.

Bflatest says:

I always thought room temp before it goes on the fire. not half frozen?

Korova Milk Bar says:

she was FIRED before she could show us how to INCORRECTLY cook them on the grill

EducateMe.TV says:

replace the corn starch with Ground white pepper and this recipe improves in everyway

J. C says:

Why Americans use soo much Salt on meat! .. It’s unnecessary! and TACKY!

WhyBother says:

Aren’t grill marks better than sear. At least I love em.

BertNL says:

for how many persons is this dish?

chefaaron77 says:

I missed the part that said “do not try this at home”

James Skelton says:

I disliked this video only cause you did not show how it looked after you cooked it.

superjet2771 says:


journeytowest83 says:

she forgot to say april fools at the end.

Robert Zeurunkl says:

Hmmmn. I missed the “searing” bit. Perhaps this should have been titled “How to PREPARE for the best sear?”

Peter Lindsey says:

Nope. Freezer????

Andrew Thomas says:

stakes lol

John Melland says:

Thank you Bridgette!

Pieter Roos says:

Yeah; they will char, and probably blacken. I was taught that the heart foundation considers burnt carbohydrates as carcinogenic – that includes burnt toast and starch dusting over a grill; and quite unnecessary if you let the steak dry naturally. Rub them with a black pepper based spice rub – if you want, no salt yet, then place them on the wire rack in a cold room or roomy fridge, not freezer, for at least 12 hours(overnight). Let them sit lightly covered on the counter until they reach ambient temperature – very important! Salt them by pressing the salt into the now dry steak just before they hit the grill. Try this once; its been working very well in South African braais for ages.

Ermac06660 says:

This is why i don’t let my wife cook our steaks.

A. Li says:

you ate a Donald steak.

Rick Riccar says:

Or you can just use a hot grill !!!!

Bruce Maddox says:

bad video

Al Kraus says:

NEVER…EVER cook red meat that is not at room temperature!!!

David Hughes says:

We’re not heading outside 🙁

theartist says:

Go fuck yourselves you stupid motherfuckers can’t cook for shit.

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