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Old 10-31-2016, 10:09 AM   #1
cayenne
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Question Help Needed: Grilling A Steak Right....

Ok, I dunno what has happened to me. When younger, I was pretty darned good at cooking a good medium rare steak on the grill. I'd usually just use the "poke" method to see how the steak felt.

But these days, even with using a Thermopen, and everything I can try...I can't seem to get a steak evenly cooked and medium rare any more.

Most of the time they are overcooked.

One thing that dawned on me, I used to cook thinner steaks in my youth...so, maybe a bit easier to judge.

I'm springing lately for prime grade steaks that are no less than 1.5 inches or thicker.

So, I'm hoping for a primer if someone could help me.

I have a Big Green Egg XL.
I have what I believe to be an accurate Thermopen thermometer.

I've tried variations...going "steak house" heat with quick grilling at 800F or more high temps, with varied success.

I've lately been trying to do in the 450 range or so. I have heavy cast iron grates for good sear marks.

I've been leaving the center a little cold from the fridge to give me some wiggle room I thought.

I've been pulling steaks when the center is about 120F..thinking that would be right for carryover heat.

But I seem to consistently get ends (especially on NY strips) that are well done...and only one section in the dead center that are at best medium to medium well.

Last time I did about 3 minutes one side, flip, 3 minutes flip and turn to start crosshatch grill marks...3 min more roughly and off the grill...dead center temp was about 120F...outer part overdone.

So, right now, I have a 2.34LB prime grade, nicely marbled, bone-in rib eye steak. It appears to be about 1.75 inches thick.

Please, someone give me some pointers on how to get this thing cooked properly to medium rare throughout on my BGE XL. I've reached the point where I know I need help...
[hangs head in shame]
:)

Thanks in advance!!

Cayenne
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:22 AM   #2
4ever3
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Check this out...


It's the way I do them in Waylon. Replace the oven with your BGE and the skillet with blazing hot coals, but the skillet will work great too!
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
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Try a reverse sear.

Cook the steak at a lower temperature until about 10-15 degrees or so below your desired doneness. The lower temp, longer cook allows a more even heating to avoid over cooking the ends and thinner sections. The ultimate is a souse vide, but you can also cook the steak at 275 on the Egg and add some smoke flavor. Starting with a cold steak is actually hurting you, so try to give it some time at room temp before cooking as well.

When the steak is at the desired temp, take it off and let the outside cool a bit while you prepare for the sear. I put it in the fridge, or on ice if the time to sear is going to be brief, just sitting on the counter works if your fire needs more time. Open the vents on the BGE to get it blazing, or you can build a fire in a charcoal chimney. Either way, as the steak cools get the fire HOT.

Ditch the cast iron grate. They are great for making grill marks, but with a steak you want to sear the entire surface if you can. Use a thinner grate with more gap and less bar. Place the grate close to the fire, such as lowered into the bowl of the BGE on a Spider or set it right on top of the charcoal chimney. If the fire is hot and you are close, it will sear the outside quickly without over cooking the inside, even on the thinner sections.

The exact temperature you will need to take the steaks off the slow cook will vary with how you sear and how and how long you let it cool pre-sear. Try to be deliberate and consistent and take notes so you know how to adjust if you over or undershoot on your first try.
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:41 AM   #4
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If grillmarks are important to you, I think picking up a good reverse sear method might be your thing.

Otherwise, let the steak come to room temp on the countertop before you cook it. Use this time to season with salt and let the salt dissolve into the uncooked steak. You'll get a more evenly cooked steak this way.

Once you put the steaks on the hot grill...don't be afraid to pull it off if it is getting engulfed in flames or seems to be cooking too "hot". Don't leave the steak hanging out on the cooler side of the grill...take it completely off and onto a resting wire rack. Let the steak cool off before you return it to the grill and repeat the process. This will let the heat transfer to the inside of the steak little by little and also not let too much of the outside edge overcook. If you want to help the steak cool off faster, you can baste it with flavored oil after you pull it off the grill to rest...it's like letting sweat evaporate on your neck.

I like to call this method "slow-grilling" and it works for me. This was last night...

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Old 10-31-2016, 10:50 AM   #5
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I am never 100% using the thermopen either...went back to the feel method...most of the time I can get close. But for 100% fool proof....sous vide then sear on a super hot fire or cast iron. It's like cheating...edge to edge goodness with black seared crust.

https://www.sousvidesupreme.com/
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:15 AM   #6
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I like cooking steaks reverse sear on my BGE. I'll put them on at 250 indirect until they hit an IT of 110. I pull the steaks off and loosely tent them for about a 20 minute rest while I pull the plate setter and get the Egg to around 550 degrees.

I'll put the steaks back on and sear for a minute and change a side looking for 125-130 IT.

I don't worry about grill marks. I just want the steaks cooked right.
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:42 AM   #7
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the reverse sear method is definitely the way to go if cooking any kind of meat that is over an inch or inch and a half thick. I set my Big Joe up with a half moon heat shield on one side and open fire on the other side. This allows me to somewhat smoke the steaks for about 20 min or when the internal is close to 110*. I then pull them off the grill and open everything up all the way to get the temps in the 900* range and pat the meat dry before placing on the meat directly over the fire and give it about 2 min per side to sear it. Steaks turn out perfect more often than not. Crust ->medium rare ->crust. No gray overcooked meat at all.
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:46 AM   #8
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+1 for Sousvide if you want to make it fool proof
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_kat View Post
the reverse sear method is definitely the way to go if cooking any kind of meat that is over an inch or inch and a half thick. I set my Big Joe up with a half moon heat shield on one side and open fire on the other side. This allows me to somewhat smoke the steaks for about 20 min or when the internal is close to 110*. I then pull them off the grill and open everything up all the way to get the temps in the 900* range and pat the meat dry before placing on the meat directly over the fire and give it about 2 min per side to sear it. Steaks turn out perfect more often than not. Crust ->medium rare ->crust. No gray overcooked meat at all.
Thank you and EVERYONE for all the great suggestions!!

The reverse sear seems to be the way to go, so I'll try that this evening.
I've salted my meat and put in fridge now...but will pull the steak for about a hour before it hits the heat.

I'll shoot for setting up a two level fire with a half moon ceramic over one half of the BGE XL and likely will use my fire pit brackets to make most of the coals under the open side of the grill set up.

I'll throw it on the cooler, indirect side, till about 110F-115F..then, remove to rest for about 20 min.

I'll open up the vents to get it blazing on the open side and do the quick sear/grill on the open side of the grill for about 1 min each side and see how it goes.....

Does that sound like a plan?

Thank you EVERYONE for the great advice and images!!

I'm now starving!!!

:)

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Old 10-31-2016, 12:03 PM   #10
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Your plan sounds good. Enjoy!
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:12 PM   #11
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Now your talkin!
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:17 PM   #12
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Cayenne, I have a Kamado Joe I just picked up a couple of weeks ago and have been cooking steaks on it successfully using the two level direct/indirect set up. I let the cooker come up to 500/550 and sear the steaks over the lower, direct fire for about 1 minute on each side with the top closed. Then I move the steaks to the higher-indirect side and cook to an internal of 125. I use a Thermapen to check temp. The steaks I cook are also ~1.5 inch thick and they have come out perfect every time. I've done rib eyes, bone in and boneless, and NY strip.

Here is the first one I did, this one was a little thinner than 1.5", but I followed the same method:

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Old 10-31-2016, 01:02 PM   #13
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Old 10-31-2016, 01:09 PM   #14
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For me steaks it just depends on how thick and what kind of steak it is, It's most definitely a moving target.
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cayenne View Post
Thank you and EVERYONE for all the great suggestions!!

The reverse sear seems to be the way to go, so I'll try that this evening.
I've salted my meat and put in fridge now...but will pull the steak for about a hour before it hits the heat.

I'll shoot for setting up a two level fire with a half moon ceramic over one half of the BGE XL and likely will use my fire pit brackets to make most of the coals under the open side of the grill set up.

I'll throw it on the cooler, indirect side, till about 110F-115F..then, remove to rest for about 20 min.

I'll open up the vents to get it blazing on the open side and do the quick sear/grill on the open side of the grill for about 1 min each side and see how it goes.....

Does that sound like a plan?

Thank you EVERYONE for the great advice and images!!

I'm now starving!!!

:)

cayenne

Your plan looks good.


One last thing...

If slicing and serving, rest the meat for 10-15 minutes after the sear so it doesn't lose too much juice to the cutting board. If serving whole and cutting on the plate, serve as soon as it come off the flame. The crust is better and the plate will hold the juices for you.
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