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Burnt/Bitter Steak Surface after Sear using T-Rex method - help

I've been using the T-Rex method and love the tenderness of the meat and flavor of the meet overall, but the sear step (1 minute to 90 seconds a side on 1.75 inch thick ribeyes) leaves the outer surface with a burnt taste and black grill marks. 

I use a lump reducer ring in my XL and put the cast iron grid directly on top of the reducer ring for the sear.

Any ideas or suggestions on what  I might be doing wrong?  I do the 400 degree portion of the cook on the normal grid at the normal position.

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