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Steaks - Dome up or down?

LGE owner with great results on smoking butts, chicken, turkey, ribs, but only so-so results searing steaks. Cooking over a very hot fire, grate just above the firebox, I have not been able to get that charred outside with med rare to rare inside. One area I am confused on is whether to cook steaks with dome up (open) or down. Reading the blogs, have not provided a clear answer. I have only cook steaks with top open due to fear of the famous BGE flashback with a hot fire. Am I doing it wrong? At suggestions or help is greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • TFolsTFols Posts: 185
    I do my steaks at 500* dome on a CI grate down low on the Spider for 3mins per side to sear then finished raised for a few minutes until 125* (using Thermopen to check temp). Dome closed accept to flip or check temp. The steaks I buy are usually 1-1/2" to 2" thick. I also rotate 90* during the first 3mins to get a nice diamond pattern.
    Bloomfield, NJ
  • If you're lookin' you not cooking.

    Steaks go fast, but still done with the dome down.  You might finish a touch with the dome up if you have a real hot fire, but you are not getting convection action going with the dome up, and you are whisking away moisture.

    Flashback happen when you forget to burp, and if you have the Egg sealed up on real hot conditions.  Steaks should not really be a problem.

    Tfols described my routine pretty well.
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • Outlaw77Outlaw77 Posts: 71
    edited November 2012
    @coolbees I use the reverse sear method with steaks that are 1 1/2" plus. I will cook the steaks raised grid with the dome down at 400-450 dome temp until internal hits approx. 115. Then I open the bottom vent all the way with lid open to get the hottest fire I can get and sear steaks on lowered grid with lid open for 60-90 seconds. I'll also hot tub steaks sometimes then sear on egg. You can search hot tub on here or I can explain further if needed.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,262
    For me, the main problem w. searing w. the dome open is that the steaks burst into flame, and it can be very hard flipping them even wearing welders gloves. Not that they don't also sometimes burst into flames when I open the dome, but I usually get at least a few seconds before that happens.

    While a flashback is very startling, they are rarely hazardous to much more than one's forearm hair. FWIW, you can get them at lower temps. I had one at 450F dome. So I always burp.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,622
    anything i do (except wok) is dome down
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,260
    Dome open or shut-how 'bout both...I sear with the dome open as I'm not concerned with anything but the radiant heat from the hot lump, then shut the dome and adjust vents for around 450+/- and finish to desired final temp.  A couple of good write-ups are here- http://www.nakedwhiz.com/recipes2.htm#beef Great site.
    Louisville
  • pasoeggpasoegg Posts: 222
    i'm with lousubcap on this one....have thermopen ready to check temp for your desired finish....is easy and have not had flashbacks....easy to make perfect steaks after a couple of cooks!

    "it is never too early to drink, but it may be too early to be seen drinking"

    Winston-Salem, NC

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 883
    edited November 2012
    What's a little forearm hair among friends? I always do my steaks lid down at 550 to 600 Degrees using the cast-iron grill grate. The cast-iron grill grate is what gets you the great sear marks. At that temperature a 1 inch steak is only on for a little over three minutes a side. I also turn the steaks a quarter turn at the midway point so it's 90 seconds, one quarter turn, 90 more seconds flip, 90 more seconds one quarter turn and 90 more seconds and pull one of the steaks and check it with an instant read thermometer. The reason I pull it off the grill is so I can put the lid back down otherwise I'll get flame build up while the lid is open.

    Regarding the flashbacks, just be sure to burp the Egg. One thing the dealer told me was do a double burp if you're having trouble with flashbacks. You should slowly raise the lid to 1 inches high, pause for second or so and slowly raise it to 6 inches high and then finally raise it the rest of the way. Doing it with the double burp I've never had a flashback. I did get several flashbacks when I only lifted it 1 inch, I must have not waited long enough before raising at the rest of the way. Forearm hair is so overrated.

    Jim
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • I hot tub my steaks. Then I sear with dome open. Usually that is all that is needed. My sear is always open dome. Sometimes with a thick steak I will bring dome temp to 450 and finish.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,216
    I sear as low to the coals as possible, dome open. Close dome and adjust vents, this helps keep the ceramic mass from getting too hot and taking a long time to cool, once at desired temp I roast to finish with a chunk of oak for flavor. I only salt before the sear then season to roast. Only so this with steaks 1.5 inch or greater, anything smaller will finish quickly and I usually hot tub those.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,216
    You can sear on the coals too its fun!
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    And raise the grid to roast I like to finish with butter.

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    Also have a good hot fire with red coals to get the best radiant heat like so:

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
  • Thank you all for the good info. My apologies for not acknowledging sooner...
  • People with minis... Have you realized that the steak is more tender on a mini vs. A large number bge? It is in my case.. But I'm not sure why... Anyway I do closed lid at 400 degrees for 3 minutes a side. Then I take it off and rev up the temp to 650 to sear
  • Best steak I've done up to this point (had my egg for 3 months now) was this past Friday. I set the egg up with the CI grate, plate setter, then factory grate. Grilled steak at 350 on top grate with JD chips and a heavy dusting of S&P until internal temp reached about 118-120. I removed filets, factory grate, and plate setter, opened up the vents to get dome up to 700+, and seared for about 90 seconds a side on the CI grate, turning 180 degrees for those perfect grill marks. Steak came off and rested while the kids tater tots finished. I cut into the prettiest piece of meat I've ever cooked on a grill and the taste was phenomenal.image
    image.jpg
    3264 x 2448 - 2M
    Two Large Eggs - Located in Marietta, GA (East Cobb)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,054
    i do it either way depending on what i want. how much char are you looking for, this was seared around 800 plus, then rested until the temps came down to 350, then roasted. sear was done dome up

    image

    lots of char

    image

    same cook temps dome closed

    image

    no rub or pepper on the sear, just salt, rubs go on after the first sear
  • Mickey said:
    anything i do (except wok) is dome down
    Yep, except I don't wok on my egg, I find it easier to control the temp on my turkey fryer burner. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • fiver29fiver29 Posts: 386
    This is how I get the best char on steaks, tenderloin, flank, tri-tip, and so on. 1. I get the fire going above 500 and wait until the entire fire box is lit and going. U tarded has the best picture of that above. 2. Once there I open the dome and then close the bottom vent completely. You will get some flames or a few sparks. After a few minutes that dies down. Once in a while it won't die down and that's ok, too. 3. I'm using a large. Forgot to mention that. Then I take the meat. The thicker the better. If you use thin meat it will overcook every time no matter what method you use. I also slather a touch of olive oil on my steak before seasoning. To help prevent sticking. 4. Put the meat on dome up. 3-4 minutes a side then check meat temp. If its done pull it. If its not I do 2 minutes a side checking meat temp every time I open the dome. This produces perfect char for me every time. Others may have different results.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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
  • LBGE - Start at 650*. Open lid - throw steaks (1") on  CI grid. Close Lid. Set timer for 2.5 min.- Open Lid - flip - Close Lid - set timer for 2.5 min. Open Lid - Remove steaks - Throw them on a plate... eat em.= Rare to medium rare every time. Perfect. Temp goes below 500* each time the lid is opened but that's O.K. 
    Tip: Always start with the steaks at room temp.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... Because those that matter... don't mind ... and those that mind... don't matter !
  • ratcheerratcheer Posts: 189
    It's a pain in the butt, but I still get the best results with the T-Rex method. 1) 700-800 for 80 seconds per side with the dome closed. 2) Remove steaks, cool grill down to 400. This takes about 20 minutes. 3) Steaks back on for around 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness, dome closed.

    Perfection.

    Tim
  • LBGE - Start at 650*. Open lid - throw steaks (1") on  CI grid. Close Lid. Set timer for 2.5 min.- Open Lid - flip - Close Lid - set timer for 2.5 min. Open Lid - Remove steaks - Throw them on a plate... eat em.= Rare to medium rare every time. Perfect. Temp goes below 500* each time the lid is opened but that's O.K. 
    Tip: Always start with the steaks at room temp.
    I agree 95%.  My only difference would be due to usually starting with cold steaks, after the 2nd 2.5 min, I close the air (both top and bottom for about 2.5) then remove.  Oops, just drooled on the laptop thinking about it.

    Ernie McClain

    Scottsbluff, Nebraska

    (in the extreme western panhandle of NE)

  • Thanks for all the information. Looks like there are a few options that produce similar results
  • brianbala said:
    Best steak I've done up to this point (had my egg for 3 months now) was this past Friday. I set the egg up with the CI grate, plate setter, then factory grate. Grilled steak at 350 on top grate with JD chips and a heavy dusting of S&P until internal temp reached about 118-120. I removed filets, factory grate, and plate setter, opened up the vents to get dome up to 700+, and seared for about 90 seconds a side on the CI grate, turning 180 degrees for those perfect grill marks. Steak came off and rested while the kids tater tots finished. I cut into the prettiest piece of meat I've ever cooked on a grill and the taste was phenomenal.image
    Great cook, as the champion of the reverse sear (I get a commission you know) you have snatched the pebble, grasshopper. Excellent cook, Thanks for sharing. 
    I've been down every road searching for the perfect steak, the reverse sear makes the most sense and provides results we like the best. 

    Somehow that first indirect gentle cook seems to set the rub flavor without burning it. That's why the sear first technique is best with nothing but salt. The reverse sear allows the meat to take a touch of smoke and rub flavor. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • I guess I am very lucky when it comes to the infamous flare-up.   I have had it up to ~900 with no flare-up.  (it was accidental as I forgot and left the vents wide open with wind blowing directly into the vents.   IIRC it only took about 10-15 minutes to get it that hot.

    If you are in a hurry to get the BGE hot (500-600), a well positioned [old] hair dryer or even a 150mph gas-powered leaf blower works very well :) :) :) 
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    Another vote for the small CI grid on the spider... if you want a good sear without a huge fire.
  • I second cooking on coals Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
    Boom
  • Use a chiminey starter with a grid on top.  You get 1200 degrees with flames all over the fresh meat.   This finish off in a 400 degree Egg.

     

    Many ways to cook a good steak.

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

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