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Reverse Seared Steak with Tomato Chutney

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Try this reverse seared steak recipe and it might just change how you grill steaks forever.

I’m a big fan of grilling steaks over hot coals or wood. The smoky flavour of those charred steaks just plain gets it! This reverse seared steak recipe is from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy BBQ’, and it’s really the only recipe you need for amazing char grilled steaks.

Reverse seared steak

What is reverse sear cooking?

With this method, you first roast and smoke the steaks over indirect heat in your barbecue until the internal temperature is just under your desired doneness.

Then those smoky steaks are thrown either directly onto hot coals or onto a sizzling hot grate to char the exterior for a couple of minutes. As your steaks have already been resting in the barbecue, you can serve your steaks immediately off the coals.

Do you need a meat thermometer for this style of cooking?

Yes. It is essential that you watch the internal temperature carefully so that your steak is cooked to perfection. Any meat thermometer will do but you will love the one I use which is the Meater. All you need to do is stick the thermometer in one of the steaks. You can monitor the internal temperature via your mobile phone, so you never need to lift the lid of your barbecue while your steaks are cooking. 

You might also be interested in checking out the Thermapen which is another meat thermometer I use often.

How do you make the dry rub for this recipe?

 There are many good dry rubs for steaks at specialty shops and online. Below is my own steak rub blend which you can make quickly and easily. This recipe can be scaled down if you like as it makes more than needed, but it is good to have on hand so you might want to make it all.


4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp light brown sugar or grated jaggery 4 tbsp granulated garlic
3 tbsp granulated onion
2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tsp ground black pepper
11⁄4 tsp ground cumin
11⁄4 tsp ground coriander


Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar and mix well. Store in an air-tight container a cool, dry place until ready to use – it will keep for up to 3 months.

Can you use different cuts of steak for reverse searing?

Yes! In the recipe below, I used tomahawk steaks which are my personal favourite for flavour and presentation.

You can make this reverse seared steak recipe using other cuts such as ribeye and sirloin. They will be spectacular cooked this way. 

Can you cook reverse seared steak in an oven and pan?

For best results, you are going to want to cook these steaks on your barbecue! That smoky flavour and beautiful char are what this reverse seared steak recipe is all about.

That said, you could do it in your oven and a hot pan too.

To do so, just follow the barbecue instructions below, setting your oven to the same temperature to cook. Then sear the steak in a flaming hot pan to finish it off.

What do you serve with reverse seared steak?

If you’re going for a Western style meal, baked potatoes and a good salad are all you need. On the other hand, you might like to give your meal an Indian touch.

You can’t go wrong making naans or chapatis. Wrap the meat in a naan or chapati with that delicious tomato chutney and you will be in food heaven. Here are a few recipes you might like to try, Instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans. If you want to make things even easier, try these homemade chapatis.


Yield: 2 - 4

Reverse Seared Steak with Tomato Chutney

Reverse seared steak
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 x 900g (2lb) tomahawk steaks
  • 3–4 tbsp all-purpose rub (see recipe above), minus the sugar
  • Oil, for brushing
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 4 red bullet chillies
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • Juice of 1 lemon Salt, to taste


  1. Rub the steaks with the all-purpose rub, coating both sides. Set aside while you set up your barbecue for indirect heat cooking. If using a normal kettle barbecue, place a drip pan with a little water in it opposite the coals. This isn’t necessary if using a ceramic barbecue. When the barbecue has reached a steady cooking temperature of between 110°C (225°F) and 120°C (245°F), you’re ready to get cooking. I tend to aim for the lower temperature for a longer cook.
  2. Cover the long bone extending from the tomahawk steaks with foil and place them directly on the grill over the drip pan or opposite the coals and close the lid. You can maintain the cooking heat by adjusting the top and bottom vents.
  3. Allow to cook until the steaks have reached an internal temperature of 47°C (116°F), then transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest. The residual heat will continue to cook the steaks before you finish them back on the grill.
  4. Meanwhile, spread your coals out in the barbecue and add more charcoal if needed. You might like to get some charcoal fired up in a chimney starter so that it’s ready to add. At this point, you can open both the top and bottom vents wide open to get the grill as hot as possible.
  5. Rest the tomatoes and chillies directly on the grate and cook for a few minutes, turning regularly until they are blackened all over. Remove to a board and finely chop, then add to a bowl with the rest of the chutney ingredients.
  6. When the steaks have rested and you’re ready to finish cooking, open the lid and lightly brush the cooking grate with a little oil. I usually place the steaks back on the grill when they reach 53°C (128°F) for medium rare. Place the steaks directly over the hottest part of the fire and cook on one side for about a minute until nicely charred (flare- ups are fine as the steaks are only over the fire for a short time), then flip the steaks using tongs and char the other side.
  7. This method generally achieves my preferred and recommended internal temperature of 56°C (133°F). Transfer to a plate to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the tomato chutney.

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