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What Did I Do Wrong? (Steak Problems)

Hello fellow Green Eggers. Second time using my BGE. I have a large. 

I cooked hamburgers the other night and they were too smokey tasting. I soon realized I put them on too early before my lump had a chance to burn down.

Tonight when I grilled I let it burn until the smoke was clean. 

Anyway back to my problem. I grilled at 400 to 450 on a cast iron cooking grid. I was nervous about burning them, so I flipped them every two minutes. As you can see in the pictures one of them got a little more charred than I wanted, but from looking at some other pics it appears that some people like them with this char on them. 

My problem was the taste. This was 1 1/4" rib eyes. It is the same steak I always grill on my charcoal grill. In all honesty they didn't taste near as good as they did when I grilled them on my charcoal grill. Needless to say we were disappointed and shocked. They almost tasted like they were grilled on a gas grill or worse yet in the oven. Not at all what I expected. 

Now I have enough sense to know that I must be doing something wrong. I used the regular lump charcoal my dealer gave me when I made my purchase last week. He also gave me a bag of Jack Daniels hickory chips, but I didn't use them. Since I am just starting out I wanted to start simple. 

Do you guys have any suggestions as to why they didn't taste as good as they do on a charcoal grill?  I like the charcoal flavor and would like to replicate it. 

All of our friends that have BGE have told us that it will be the best steak you have ever put in your mouth, but I think a lot of them were grilling with gas and not charcoal. I love my BGE, and I am certainly not complaining. I am just hoping that you experts can help me figure out what I did wrong. I want to nail it with great tasting steak that really is the best steak I have ever put in my mouth!!!!!!

Please help me out!
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Comments

  • Sorry about the disappointment, but it WILL become the best steak ever.  There are lots of opinions regarding the best way to cook steak.  T-REX, Reverse Sear, Sous Vide, and many others.  I don't know which is the best, but I like to just grill it at a high temp until it reaches temp.  The main goal is to cook to temperature.  You must cook to internal temp!  Salt and Pepper and let her go.  We like ours rare to medium rare, so I shoot for 130 for a red center and juices a plenty!

    GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!!!!

  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,901
    If you like them without char next time try to not put so much lump in the chamber or look into getting a raised grid setup.  There are endless amount of ways that people achieve a raised grid from firebricks to grid extenders to products available at ceramicgrillstore.com. If you were turning them every 2 minutes as you said the temperature of the fire is probably higher then your dome reading by a lot since you are opening and closing the Egg so much. Just my two cents.  Welcome to the cult.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,127
    Grilling is harder on the egg. That is why a lot of steaks are done trex or reverse sear. The problem is when grilling assuming normal grid height right on the fire ring is the burnt fat getting on the steak because you are so close to the coals. To do it as you described you want to get your grid closer to the felt line. This can be achieved many ways beer cans, adjustable rigs. Second grids with bolts and washers.

    Here is my preferred setup and I got it from the forum. Firebox full of coal, light and stabilize to 250 ad 2 oak chunks, cast iron grid, plate setter, then stainless grid. Roast for until 10 degrees below final temp. Pull plate setter let the bge rip and sear about 90 seconds a side to sear. Near perfect results everytime. We eat steak about 2 times a week so I've tried a lot of methods play around and have fun!
  • njlnjl Posts: 729
    Another way to cook steaks, avoiding char, is use the plate setter, and efectively bake them at really high temp on the egg...then lightly sear at the end (gotta remove the plate setter).  I've done ribeyes this way a couple times and been happy with the result.  If they're really fatty, watch out for fat catching fire on the plate setter.

    Be very careful (take precautions) handling and placing the plate setter.  It's amazing how well heat transfers through grilling gloves when you're cooking at 600-800F and grab the plate setter out of the egg.

    I had a free source (back yard) of oak, so I've been using a few discs of oak for smoke flavor recently.

    What did you use to start your lump...and (esp if fire starters) are you sure it was totally burned up?
  • Thanks for the replies guys. 

    What do you think about the flavor or lack thereof in my case? I love the charcoal flavor I got on my old grill. I think with enough practice I can learn to cook without burning them, but I really have to have the flavor or else I am going to have to break out the old charcoal grill, and in all honesty that would be heartbreaking. 

    I can't stand the thought of cooking steak on a $200 Walmart grill when I have a $1,400 BGE sitting right there beside it!
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  • bmac55bmac55 Posts: 20
    edited January 2013
    I look forward to seeing this solved as I,too, am a new egg owner looking forward to the best steaks ever. John, the photos would leave me to think they would be delicious.
  • If you figure it out bmac55 please let me know. 


    image
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,127
    Ad some wood in. Or change lump brands some are very neutral in flavor (wicked good, cowboy and royal oak/bge are all rated neutral). Even a chunk of hickory or mesquite will change the dynamics of flavor greatly.
  • johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 481
    edited January 2013
    Do you think I had added some of the Jack Daniels chips it would have helped?

    I am not sure what lump I am using other than it is made by BGE. It comes in a green bag from my dealer. I guess it is just like a basic lump? I have never seen any other lumps at his store, but I will check!
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  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,127
    Should steak is so fast it doesn't take on a lot of smokey flavor unless you reverse sear. What kind of coal did you use before out of curiosity.
  • I am posting a pic of my lump. I got it from my dealer. I have the Jack Daniels chips, but I didn't use them. 

    Should I be using a different lump? Also can I find information about the reverse sear here on the forum? I keep hearing about it, but I don't know what it is or how to do it.
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  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,127
    That's good stuff I meant before the egg. Go to www.nakedwhizz.com info on all things ceramic. I think reverse sear is under exert. And also info on trex. Njl threw down some basics on it or ya.
  • I am sorry I misunderstood your question. When I was using my charcoal grill I was using Kingsford burn the bag. Simple as it gets and certainly nothing fancy. 


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  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,127
    That's the taste you're missing probably lighter fluid in it. Lump burns way cleaner. You were actually tasting beef and fire add your jack chips it will give you some nice wood flavor.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,586
    edited January 2013
    I use TRex for my steaks and always taste great. Sear for a minute or two over the coals at "hot" temp. Remove and cover steaks in foil until egg comes down to 400. Put them back on and finish them off. I use Dizzy Pig Raising the Steaks for seasoning
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • U_tarded said:
    That's the taste you're missing probably lighter fluid in it. Lump burns way cleaner. You were actually tasting beef and fire add your jack chips it will give you some nice wood flavor.
    I think you are right. I guess we have gotten used to the charcoal and lighter fluid taste. Doesn't sound very healthy, but the taste was great. Bridezilla likes her steak ruined (well done), and doesn't want to use a rub 

    I am trying to convince her that we are going to have to use a rub and eat them more on the medium side. I like mine medium rare. 

    I think next time I will try the T Rex method and use some hickory chips. Should I use the chips when I do the initial sear or wait until I bring it down to 400? Or should I use chips both times? 

    Also do I wet the chips or just toss in a handful straight out of the bag?
    image
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,127
    edited January 2013
    Wait until you drop the temp tey will just burn up at high temp. Straight from the bag is fine you only need like 8 mins of smoke. As far as the well done good luck! I don't know maybe progressively cook hers less until you get to like medium ish to conditio her to the texture. That's what I would do.

    Best part of learning more steak nights!
  • Man i'am kinda of new to the egg, march of 2012 but i have never messed up a steak. i cook filet's every week, dizzy cow lick, some hoover sauce and jack dainels chips. cook at 400 till it hits 135, best thing i ever put in my mouth..

     

  • Thanks to all of you for the help! I greatly appreciate it!
    image
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,258
    Are you putting the lid down while they cook?
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 4,837
    U_tarded said:
    Grilling is harder on the egg. That is why a lot of steaks are done trex or reverse sear. The problem is when grilling assuming normal grid height right on the fire ring is the burnt fat getting on the steak because you are so close to the coals. To do it as you described you want to get your grid closer to the felt line. This can be achieved many ways beer cans, adjustable rigs. Second grids with bolts and washers. Here is my preferred setup and I got it from the forum. Firebox full of coal, light and stabilize to 250 ad 2 oak chunks, cast iron grid, plate setter, then stainless grid. Roast for until 10 degrees below final temp. Pull plate setter let the bge rip and sear about 90 seconds a side to sear. Near perfect results everytime. We eat steak about 2 times a week so I've tried a lot of methods play around and have fun!
    I have been promoting the technique above for some time. Reverse sear, easy and it moves slowly so you can be sure not to have it run away on you. 
    Get the egg stable at 250, as above. The key is the meat will accept some smoke and the rub on your steak has a chance to flavor the meat without being burned to oblivion. 
    Drop SWMBO's steak on, keep your off. When her's reaches 100, put your steak on. When yours reaches 10 below final, for a guy, I'm thinking 115-120 max, pull both steaks. Probably 20 minutes after yours hit the the grid. Loose foil and hold while you remove the SS grid and setter and let her hit after burn. (Bottom vent wide open and daisy off). When the dome hits 500 or more, lift the dome (carefully) drop your steaks, dome down, max 60-90 seconds each side. rest for a moment (you already rested for probably 5 minutes), plate them. She will smile, hers will be over 160, look like grey brain matter and taste like shoe leather, your will be melt in your mouth juicy goodness, (Sorry I just drooled on my keyboard) 
    Delta B.C., Canuckistan - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • njlnjl Posts: 729
    I suspect those chips won't last long enough to give you much smoke duration on a high heat cook.  They're more for low & slow smoking.  Get some hickory chunks.  That's what I used for steaks before slicing up a big branch of oak that fell in the back yard.  Put 2 or 3 good size chunks in once you have the fire going.

    I used to do steaks seared in cast iron on the stove top and then baked (in the same cast iron) in the oven, and was real happy with them.  After doing it on the egg a few times, I don't really like oven steaks anymore. 
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 9,529
    Huge fan of the reverse...one chunk of mesquite. Get a thermapen...
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    @ U_tarded .. When u talk about cast iron grid, then plate setter, then stainless grid..... Is the plate setter legs up or down? Also, are you filling the firebox completely full to the top?

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • They do look great in the photos!
  • Hello fellow Green Eggers. Second time using my BGE. I have a large. 

    I cooked hamburgers the other night and they were too smokey tasting. I soon realized I put them on too early before my lump had a chance to burn down.

    Tonight when I grilled I let it burn until the smoke was clean. 

    Anyway back to my problem. I grilled at 400 to 450 on a cast iron cooking grid. I was nervous about burning them, so I flipped them every two minutes. As you can see in the pictures one of them got a little more charred than I wanted, but from looking at some other pics it appears that some people like them with this char on them. 

    My problem was the taste. This was 1 1/4" rib eyes. It is the same steak I always grill on my charcoal grill. In all honesty they didn't taste near as good as they did when I grilled them on my charcoal grill. Needless to say we were disappointed and shocked. They almost tasted like they were grilled on a gas grill or worse yet in the oven. Not at all what I expected. 

    Now I have enough sense to know that I must be doing something wrong. I used the regular lump charcoal my dealer gave me when I made my purchase last week. He also gave me a bag of Jack Daniels hickory chips, but I didn't use them. Since I am just starting out I wanted to start simple. 

    Do you guys have any suggestions as to why they didn't taste as good as they do on a charcoal grill?  I like the charcoal flavor and would like to replicate it. 

    All of our friends that have BGE have told us that it will be the best steak you have ever put in your mouth, but I think a lot of them were grilling with gas and not charcoal. I love my BGE, and I am certainly not complaining. I am just hoping that you experts can help me figure out what I did wrong. I want to nail it with great tasting steak that really is the best steak I have ever put in my mouth!!!!!!

    Please help me out!

  • I have had my large egg since Thursday, and have cooked steaks twice, both times were unbelievebale.  The best advice i can give you is check out "steaks on the big green egg" on you tube, this guy has it down to a science.  I have done pizzas a few times and i made an early mistake as well, you need to let the charcoal fire well or that is all you will taste.  I did a 6LB TBONE that served 6 people and it was off the charts.  I started with a very hot sear on all four sides about 700 degrees, then removed the grill so i could put in the plate setter, replaced the grill, and let the egg do the rest. it took about 45 minutes at 450 degrees. 

    Happy egging   

  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,127
    shtgunal3 said:

    @ U_tarded .. When u talk about cast iron grid, then plate setter, then stainless grid..... Is the plate setter legs up or down? Also, are you filling the firebox completely full to the top?

    Legs up, sometimes I will ad my bge extended grid to get more steaks in or to raise th higher in dome. I fill it so it is almost touching the cast iron grid. Fresh lump seems to burn hotter. I don't sort just dump.
  • tyenic1tyenic1 Posts: 136
    Sorry your having problems with steak. I would just experiment a little with the Trex and reverse Trex I guarantee your gonna get a good steak eventually, might want to switch to sirloin while experimenting otherwise it might get expensive. Oh and by the Congrats on the win today, your Bulldogs sure took it to my Huskers in the second half.
  • SmokinDAWG82SmokinDAWG82 Posts: 1,701
    I had the same problem with my first cook, I thought it was a flavor caused by the Starter cubes, after discussing with my dealer I did a 4 hour temperature burn just to clean any flavors out of my egg. I went for an hour at 250, then an hour at 350, then an hour at 450 then tried to get it back down to 250 for about an hour. After that I have never detected that smokey taste again. I use the BGE lump or WGWW from Ace Hardware.

    Keep at it, it will come!

    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
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