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FINALLY!! Trex success (w/ a hillbilly mod)

Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
So a few weeks back I posted some not so great pics of my 1st attempt @ Trex-ing some steaks (if you recall, I had over-charred them).

I read through & took pointers from all the comments, and am here to tell you that since then, I have had success (I've actually cooked steaks a few times since then, but this is the first set of pics I decided to take).

I did modify a couple things, so for those interested, here's what I did.

I "hot-tubbed" them beforehand, but I decided to "cheat" a little & use "Ye Ole Crock-a-Pot" as the vessel for the hot tub - it actually worked out wonderfully because I could maintain a consistent temp, I didn't have to worry about adding new, hot water, etc:

img0005ko.jpg

While they were hot-tubbing, I fired up the Egg, and the timing worked out perfectly as the coals were going nicely just as I removed the steaks from the Crock Pot. I heeded some WONDERFUL advice from you guys & bought a small grate so that I could place the grate directly over the coals (previous attempts I had let the Egg get WAYYYY too hot to sear w/ the default grate, and this caused the Egg to take WAY too long to cool back down to proper cooking temp). Anyway, here's the sear directly over the coals (~60 seconds / side):

img0009rg.jpg

Then, I took them off, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and let them rest (about 10-15 minutes). During this time, I rubbed my steak w/ DP's "Raising the steaks" and rubbed my GF's w/ a coffee-rub.

Then, I made sure the Egg was about 375-400, and cooked them until about 125-ish (next time I think I'll pull 'em @ ~115-118).

And, the end results (perfectly cooked, NOT overly charred, seasoned beautifully, and as my GF said, quite possibly the "tastiest" steak she'd ever eaten)!!

img0218jo.jpg


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I really liked how the hot-tub method allowed the steak to be uniform in temp, and cooked evenly throughout, as opposed to having "hot and cold" parts due to the outside being too hot (and thus risk getting too charred) while the inside was still too cold.


So, THANK YOU wonderful forum members / grill gurus, as you have helped to make me a MUCH better grill master (and if anyone can take any advice from me, for instance "cheating" by using the slow cooker, then I hope I can help out as well)!!
Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee

Comments

  • Hillbilly-Hightech, you've done it! Your steak looks perfect! :)
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,959
    Hillbilly-Hightech wrote:
    I heeded some WONDERFUL advice from you guys & bought a small grate so that I could place the grate directly over the coals...

    You're welcome! :) That steak looks great!! Glad it worked out and thanks for posting.

    4713265284_c67908d128_b.jpg

    As for hot tubbing, I haven't tried that yet. One of these days...
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Glad to hear about your successful steak cook. We get to eat the good and bad cooks but, It great to come up with something that works great for the both of you. Good going. ;)
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,237
    Using the slow cooker for the "hot tub" was a good idea. My slow cookers are too clumsy, I can only get 145 on "keep warm." However, if your "hot tub" can hold 125 F, just rub the steak, bag 'em. and bring them up to 125. Then sear the outside on the Egg. No need to sear and then wait for the Egg too cool to finish the cook. The steak is rare right out of the tub.

    Rest 'em under foil while plating up the rest of the food.
  • usc1321usc1321 Posts: 627
    Well Done!! Those look great. I will have to try the small grate next time. ;) B)
  • Great idea on the slow cooker!!! B)
  • fiver29fiver29 Posts: 386
    Very interesting!

    I have some questions.

    It looks like you have the crock pot on high. How long did you have it on high before adding the steak? How long was the steak in the crock?

    Looks great!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Yes.  I own a blue egg!  Call Atlanta if you don't believe me!
    [I put this here so everyone knows when I put pictures up with a blue egg in it]
    image
  • chocdocchocdoc Posts: 456
    You can add a sous vide magic controller to your slow cooker and get whatever temp you want. Newer slow cookers cook much hotter than old ones.

    http://freshmealssolutions.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=30&category_id=15&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=31
  • FluffybFluffyb Posts: 1,815
    HH - Great job on the steaks! That is exactly how I do mine, smaller grid set right on the coals.

    007-48.jpg
  • That pic was taken not long after I set the crock pot up & added the steaks - the temp read 115. I think when I first put the thermometer in, the water was 102 (I put hot water into the pot). However, at the "high" setting, the temp kept rising, and rising, and rising, and I was afraid it'd get too hot, so I quickly turned it to the "warm" setting, which I believe kept the water at 120 or so (I'd have to check again to make sure of this).

    Anyway, I kept the steaks in there long enough for the coals in the Egg to get going, and once the coals were glowing nicely, I put the small grate in there, took the steaks out, and placed them on the grate (approx 10-15 min). Keep in mind that the temp shows the temp of the water, which may not necessarily reflect the internal temp of the steaks (especially if the steaks were still cold from the fridge, or not quite up to room temp). So, I just sort of made an estimate & thought "well, if the water is X temp, and the steaks were Y temp when I put them in the water, then after Z minutes the temp of the steaks should be CLOSE to XX" (anyway, that was my logic, and it seemed to work out) heh...

    I think in the future I won't add such hot water, and I'll start the crock pot @ warm (to avoid over-heating the steaks) - I understand from "Gdenby's" comment that I can actually semi-cook the steaks to the appropriate temp, then just sear them on the Egg for the final high-temp sear, but I prefer to do some cooking on the Egg (rather than cooking in the crock pot), so I think I'll try to get the steaks up to 105-110 in the slow-cooker, then sear, then cook the rest of the way (searing increases the internal temp of the meat as well, as I've noticed the temp increases some during the "rest period").

    HTH,
    Rob
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • Chocdoc - thank you SOOOO much for the link to the "sous vide magic controller" - that's gonna keep me from having to "guesstimate" the temp & time of how long to keep the steaks in the water!!!

    AWESOME!! :woohoo:
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • fiver29fiver29 Posts: 386
    That is ..... awesome!!! Thanks for the replies and I think I'm going to be picking up a souvide majic! Awesome!!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Yes.  I own a blue egg!  Call Atlanta if you don't believe me!
    [I put this here so everyone knows when I put pictures up with a blue egg in it]
    image
  • choggchogg Posts: 30

    I cooked my way threw College @ a steak house as a broil man...never would I believed that " hot tubbing " would be something that I would try....but after reading these posts I have changed my mind.. So many times over the last 14 years I have been cooking steaks on my BGE I would get my arm hair removed from the back draft..LOL...The better the cut of meat the hotter I would cook em...just to sear in the juices. I would let the steaks sit on the counter all day to make sure that they were at room temp b4 I cooked them...OK next time.. a hot tubbing I will go..it just makes good since...

    Thanks for the Good advise...

    IF YOUR LOOKING YOUR NOT COOKING ..My Dog Likes it !!!
    C.Hogg....Shack Rag...GA.
  • wolfsburg18wolfsburg18 Posts: 78
    So with hot tubbing the steaks, are you measuring water temp and how long did you hot tub or are you measuring water temp?   I take it a vacuum sealed bag was used?
  • FlyingTivoFlyingTivo Posts: 319
    ChocDoc:

    You just gave me a great idea, i will try to turn my BBQ Guru DigiQ into sous vide.
    Will post result very soon!!!

    Felipe
    Men, easier fed than understood!!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    guys, an hour in hot water isn't quite the idea behind sous vide....
    you don't need special equipment for an hour soak, because the whole idea behind the stirring and vacuum and all is to hold things at consistent safe pasteurizing temps for much longer extended periods of time.  an hour is just 'warming up meat'

    :))
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • guys, an hour in hot water isn't quite the idea behind sous vide....
    you don't need special equipment for an hour soak, because the whole idea behind the stirring and vacuum and all is to hold things at consistent safe pasteurizing temps for much longer extended periods of time.  an hour is just 'warming up meat'

    :))
    I know we went round and round a little about this over the weekend, but with steaks and chicken and seafood, the max recommended time in a sous vide is 4 hours. They are no different after 4 hours than an hour or 2. roasts and butts are 24-48 and up to 72 hours but lean muscle cuts are just as done after a couple of hours in my sous vide cooker as anyone else's crock pot. Low and slow is really not the normal method for sous vide cooking. Things actually tenderize so much that they actually turn to mush if you leave them in there for too long. I have attached the recommended cook times chart that I got with my sous vide and the max times are on the far right. You can see that most steaks are 2-4 hours.


    big green egg 036.jpg
    2592 x 1936 - 2M

  • I'll scan that time and temp chart and post it so you guys can play around with it.



  • my scanner is acting up. I'll see if this works but if not, I'll scan it later and post:

    sous vide cook chart.JPG
    1936 x 2592 - 2M

  • Pretty bad. I'll work on the scanner



  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited May 2012
    So with hot tubbing the steaks, are you measuring water temp and how long did you hot tub or are you measuring water temp?   I take it a vacuum sealed bag was used?
    FWIW, this thread was started over a year ago (not sure how it got back in the spotlight). 

    But, at any rate, folks like Cen-Tex are the "sous vide" gurus - what I did was take a technique known as "hot tubbing" (the younger cousin of "sous-vide") and adapted it to suit my needs.  Rather than putting the steak in a hot tub (which is where the name came from), or in a sink full of hot water, then having to worry about refilling the sink w/ new hot water as it cooled down, I figured it would be better to put the steak in something that could keep the water @ a constant temp, and the only thing I had handy was the crock pot. 

    Also, yes, the steaks were vacuum sealed (though, I guess if you get a good quality Zip Lock & make sure there are no leaks, you'd be OK too). Also, my temp probe was reading the temp of the water, not necessarily the steaks (which is why I wrote up my little equation in my original post about having to "guess" how warm the steaks were). 

    That's also why the link that Choc-Doc provided could be VERY helpful to a person who chooses to use this technique often, as it essentially turns your crock-pot into a sous-vide style cooker, so you can ENSURE that the temp of your water is what you want it to be (If I'm not mistaken, I believe the lowest temp that a crock pot can go, by itself, is around 120-ish - some might be able to go lower, as I think some have a "warm" setting, which keeps food "warm" but does not necessarily cook the food).

    Anyway, the reason I did it was to ensure the pink was all the way through the meat, w/out that "gray area" around the perimeter that means you've overcooked the outside. 

    I was NOT trying to do "sous vide" or otherwise "cook" my steaks by throwing them into hot water.  Personally, I think that if I can achieve an internal temp of... say... 80-90* by using the "hot tub" method, that's good enough for me.  That way, the steaks are warmer than room temp, but not so warm that they are basically already "cooked" and the only thing left to do is a quick sear.  I WANT them to be ROASTED in the Egg as well - to be cooked that way!!  So, if the "hot tub" method can get them to 80-90, then I can roast them to say, 115-120, and after I let them rest, I can sear them quickly and VOILA - perfectly done steaks, done, on the Egg!!

    I'm sure that cooking sous-vide style can be quite satisfying, but for me, I wanna cook ON THE EGG, not learn a whole new technique & style of cooking.  I want the Egg to be the cooking vessel, and as such, I want the steaks to roast in the Egg, as well as being seared on the Egg (after all, that's what I bought the Egg for - if I wanted to cook the steaks a different way, there'd be no need for the Egg). 

    Also, this is really the only time I've done that method - for me, I came to the conclusion that if I roast at a low enough temp (say, dome temp = 200-250), then I can get my steaks to rare (~110-115) without too much of the "gray area", then I take the steak off the Egg, wrap in foil, add rub, let rest about 10 minutes, then sear - they come out PERFECTLY for me & my family - and I don't have to spend the time "hot tubbing" or otherwise using alternate techniques - the Egg does all the cooking, and I get FULL smoky benefits from it!!

    HTH,
    Rob
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • Yep- all true. Other than the fact that if your water was 120 in your crock pot, your steak would be 120 internal within a hour (not 80-90). Water is an extremely efficient heat conductor which is the premise behind sous vide or hot tubbing.

    I pretty much feel the same way as you, I prefer to cook on the egg most of the time. But I am always trying new stuff and I like those too.

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