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Steak, how do I do it?

ZaltydogZaltydog Posts: 71
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hi everyone-

Currently I only have the basic equipment that comes with the egg and a few firebricks.  I have done some great spatchcock chicken thanks to this forum (although I have still managed to get the chicken temperature too high to quickly as I have not fully realized how much quicker the egg can cook things).  I plan on cooking a steak dinner and watch the olympics tonight.

How do I cook the steak properly without the ability to sear?  What temperature?  Raised or not raised?  etc.

Thanks!

Comments

  • AdamdAdamd Posts: 160
    edited July 2012
    Why do you say you don't have the ability to sear?

    You can still get great results from the standard equipment in the egg. You can even take the fire ring out and put the grate right on the fire box to get the steak even closer to the fire.

    Even with the standard setup and letting your egg get as hot as possible 650+ can still cook your steak with great success. 

    Since you have what you have for tonight I would recommend you do what I said above and sear them for a few minutes each side, then back off the fire and finish them up or just sear them a bit longer each side and your steak will be done in minutes.  
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 6,924

    Here's a link about several ways to cook steak- http://www.nakedwhiz.com/recipes2.htm#beef Check out the Trex and Xert methods. 

    Given your set-up I would opt for Trex-get a good fire going and sear (with dome open) in the regular grid position-then shut dome and adjust vents for around 400*F (during the rest phase).  Once rest complete-finish the cook. This assumes your steaks are at least around 1 1/2" thick.  If thinner I would skip Trex and just cook on regular grid.  To get them right you need a decent instant read thermo or slice off a piece and track the doneness (a word??).  But just an opinion and we all know what those are worth.  Regardless jump in and have fun.

    Louisville   L & S BGEs 
  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 794
    Exactly. Just let your lump go for a little while...keep an eye on it as the temp can get out of hand. But 650 will give you a nice sear. I like to start them low (250-300) until about 5-10 degrees to desired temp, pull them off, crank the BGE and finish with a quick sear. 

    Good luck!
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the egg comes ready pretty much ONLY for searing.  you can certainly sear.

    there are a number of ways, and you are going to try them all.  but given that it's your fist time, and you are wanting to sit down and enjoy the olympics, i'm going to suggest the simplest thing for now.  explanations and rationale can come later.

    you've heard of "putting it on at room temperature' right?  this just means that (especially with a thick steak) you won't be trying to cook a very cold chunk of meat to your desired level of finish by blasting it with jet engione heat. that will incinerate the exterior, and leave the interior close to raw.

    so, try salting the steak a little (pinch of kosher each side), and let it sit out for an hour or more (yes, it's safe).  under a towel or napkin if you are worried about flies.

    pat dry when it is warmed and you are ready to cook.

    then, over a hot fire (don't feel the need to go to 700+, 500-600 is fine for starters), simply put it on to one side over the coals.  after a couple minutes (when it comes free, and is no longer stuck) flip it to another hot part of the grill.

    wait another couple minutes. 

    ideally you can tell when it is at your desired temp (done-ness).  whether by touch, or (better, for me) a thermometer.

    yes, there are 'better' ways, or different ways, faster ways, slower ways.  i'm just suggesting something right now that is essentially the same thing you have probably always done before.  toss, flip, pull. 

    you can also speed up the 'room temp' bit by putting it in a ziploc bag (no air) and submerging in hot tapwater.  but this, and other mthods like the Trex or Xert, are more for THICK steaks.

    if yours is thin (under an inch-and-a-half), you won't need to do anything besides warm it.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ZaltydogZaltydog Posts: 71
    Thanks to all for the detailed instructions!  I guess that I was thinking that I needed some apparatus to get the meat right down in the firebox to sear and then a sear plate of some sort to complete the task.

    Apparently not and I am on my way to a hopefully a great steak later today.  I greatly appreciate all the input.
  • probe1957probe1957 Posts: 215
    I am sure you can cook a great steak with the equipment you have.

    I cheat a little when I do steaks.  I get my Egg stabilized at about 400 degrees.  I have a sear burner on my gasser.  I sear the steak on that then toss on the Egg until it is done.  Being unskilled, I use a Thermopen to tell me when the steak is done.
  • ratcheerratcheer Posts: 189
    I haven't done steaks yet, but here are my detailed plans for this evening:

    1) Let the meat warm at room temperature for at least an hour. Dry them, then dry rub them.
    2) Try to get the BGE up to at least 650 with the lid closed.
    3) With lid open, grill for 2 minutes per side.
    4) Close lid, close vents and aim for 400. Cook steaks for about 4-5 minutes.
    5) Plate them and let rest for 5 minutes.

    If something sounds horribly wrong, please let me know before I make a mess. I plan on these being about 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick rib eyes, probably boneless.

    Tim
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 6,924
    @ratcheer-you may just want to get a good bed of hot lump and sear with the dome open.  Then shut dome and adjust vents to around 400*F (Trex method).  Heating the dome to 650*F will then make the cool-down quite protracted.  BTW-I would suggest not finishing the steaks with the vents closed.  The smoldering, air starved fire will impart a "sooty" taste almost all of the time if you go that route. Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth.  Check out the Trex method on The Naked Whiz site.
    Louisville   L & S BGEs 
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    don't close the vents.  this is bad voodoo.

    you'll have bad smoke, from a dying fire, and that nasty smoke has no place to go.

    blow out a candle that's been burning cleanly.  tell me how you like the smell of the smoke.  two seconds ago it smelled fine when burning.  once out, that dying ember of a fire will not burn very cleanly.

    incomplete combustion means soot, and the soot in your egg will be from dripping fat, too.  even worse.

    a two inch steak is almost a roast.  for your first foray, you might wanna stay around an inch and a half.  don't throw too many 'new' things at yourself.

    might want to go easy on the rub, too.  rub burns during a sear.  you might dig that, and that's cool, but it can also char.  personally, i use salt only.  salt is a rock basically.  only thing that won't burn when searing.  then i season after (if at all). usually just cracked pepper

    last picky bit of business.  you refer to time.  it's not really possible to consistently refer to time when searing.  try to pay attention to how it feels, and ideally use a thermometer.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 15,475

    I haven't done steaks yet, but here are my detailed plans for this evening:

    1) Let the meat warm at room temperature for at least an hour. Dry them, then dry rub them.
    2) Try to get the BGE up to at least 650 with the lid closed.
    3) With lid open, grill for 2 minutes per side.
    4) Close lid, close vents and aim for 400. Cook steaks for about 4-5 minutes.
    5) Plate them and let rest for 5 minutes.

    If something sounds horribly wrong, please let me know before I make a mess. I plan on these being about 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick rib eyes, probably boneless.

    Tim
    Between steps 3 and 4, pull the steak off and let rest for 20 minutes.  Damper down the vents to get the temp down, don't close them all the way.  Never cook anything with the vents closed - yucky, yucky chemical smoke flavor.

    Step 4 - cook to temp, don't go on time.  Use a decent meat thermometer and use the beef tables to cook the way you like.

    Try to never stab the steak with a fork - use tongs or a spatula to turn/move it.

    Good guidelines here http://www.nakedwhiz.com/trexsteak.htm

    Also, never
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you do the rest portion of the cook (20 minute rest), you can skip perwarming the steak for an hour.  the Trex cook 'res period't allows the meat to warm up.  no need to do it twice.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gte1gte1 Posts: 376

    You got great advice above, and if you only listen to one piece of it, it should be: DO NOT CLOSE THE VENTS AND KEEP COOKING.

    There are many ways to cook steaks and, when you try them all you will find what works best for you, but I can gaurantee you that no matter how perfectly it is cooked, if you close down the vents to finish your steak I will taste awful every time.

    George

    George
  • ratcheerratcheer Posts: 189
    Got it. Do not close the vents while cooking.

    I will try to keep everything else in mind, too. It's a lot of info for a newbie.

    BTW, on my CharBroil charcoal grill, over the past couple of years I have learned a reversed method of cooking my steaks. It is a large rectangular grill and I build the fire on one side. For the first 10-14 minutes, I have the steaks on the side without the fire and the lid closed. Then I open the lid and sear the steaks directly over the fire for a couple of minutes per side. Two different butchers recommended this method to me, and I have been turning out awesome steaks.

    But, I don't really see a way to adapt this method to the BGE, because the steaks are always directly over the fire.

    Tim
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited July 2012
    "It's a lot of info for a newbie"

    nah.  you are doing nothing different than you've ever done.

    you first used to ROAST (not over coals) your steak. this was gentle and raised the temp of the entire steak gently. this was where you cooked it

    then you dropped it over the fire for the sear. this was for color, carmelization, grill marks, etc.

    it was always a two part cook.

    we just suggested a few different ways to do the exact same steps, with minor variations, on the egg

    one way is A.)  step 1 prewarm the steak (on the counter, or in a water bath) step 2.  sear the steak

    yours is B.) step 1 roast the steak until it is heated evenly thru. then step 2. sear for color briefly

    or what someone else mentioned
    C.) Trex, which is step 1 sear to your liking then step 2. pull it off to allow the egg to drop to roasting temps and roast to finish. if you had a raised grid, you could instead put it in right away after the sear. putting the steak up high like that undercuts the direct blast from the lump, by moving it further away. you will stop the searing, and it allows you to roast almost right away.

    or D.) the opposite of Trex and basically your old way of doing the cook: step one, roast the steak at lower temps to gently raise its core temp then step 2 pull it off while you raise the grill temp to sear levels, and sear again

    these, in my simplistic mind, are the exact same thing achieved in four different ways. heat the steak by roasting (cook it), and then sear it (sear for color and caramelization)

    you see?
    you aren't doing anything new that you haven't done before.  you're just letting the whole 'egg' thing make you feel like a newbie.  it's a grill.

    with your old grill, you moved the lump to one side.  in the egg, you instead lower the dome temp, so that you are more gently heating it even though you are still direct
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ratcheerratcheer Posts: 189
    Thanks, stike.

    I got the steaks, but could not cook this evening. Major thunderstorms were moving through every hour or so.

    Tim
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 6,924
    Thanks, stike.

    I got the steaks, but could not cook this evening. Major thunderstorms were moving through every hour or so.

    Tim
    Last I checked BGE didn't care about T'storms or electriciy or anything else besides adequate fuel, an ignition source and air-flow.  Now, the cook....
    Louisville   L & S BGEs 
  • Why do you say you don't have the ability to sear?

    You can still get great results from the standard equipment in the egg. You can even take the fire ring out and put the grate right on the fire box to get the steak even closer to the fire.

    Even with the standard setup and letting your egg get as hot as possible 650+ can still cook your steak with great success. 

    Since you have what you have for tonight I would recommend you do what I said above and sear them for a few minutes each side, then back off the fire and finish them up or just sear them a bit longer each side and your steak will be done in minutes.  

    I only have original equip. My steaks are ok. :)

  • the egg comes ready pretty much ONLY for searing.  you can certainly sear.

    there are a number of ways, and you are going to try them all.  but given that it's your fist time, and you are wanting to sit down and enjoy the olympics, i'm going to suggest the simplest thing for now.  explanations and rationale can come later.

    you've heard of "putting it on at room temperature' right?  this just means that (especially with a thick steak) you won't be trying to cook a very cold chunk of meat to your desired level of finish by blasting it with jet engione heat. that will incinerate the exterior, and leave the interior close to raw.

    so, try salting the steak a little (pinch of kosher each side), and let it sit out for an hour or more (yes, it's safe).  under a towel or napkin if you are worried about flies.

    pat dry when it is warmed and you are ready to cook.

    then, over a hot fire (don't feel the need to go to 700+, 500-600 is fine for starters), simply put it on to one side over the coals.  after a couple minutes (when it comes free, and is no longer stuck) flip it to another hot part of the grill.

    wait another couple minutes. 

    ideally you can tell when it is at your desired temp (done-ness).  whether by touch, or (better, for me) a thermometer.

    yes, there are 'better' ways, or different ways, faster ways, slower ways.  i'm just suggesting something right now that is essentially the same thing you have probably always done before.  toss, flip, pull. 

    you can also speed up the 'room temp' bit by putting it in a ziploc bag (no air) and submerging in hot tapwater.  but this, and other mthods like the Trex or Xert, are more for THICK steaks.

    if yours is thin (under an inch-and-a-half), you won't need to do anything besides warm it.

    oh my god! Sanity returns to the forum! Some of the best steaks I have ever made have been done just like this. It ain't that difficult. keep it simple and then add tricks later as you get more comfortable.

  • BaysidebobBaysidebob Posts: 489
     

    oh my god! Sanity returns to the forum! Some of the best steaks I have ever made have been done just like this. It ain't that difficult. keep it simple and then add tricks later as you get more comfortable.
    Yup.  Hot and fast!  An often overlooked techinque.
    My actuary says I'm dead.
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