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We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

The reverse sear is the redneck version of sous vide...

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  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    cazzy said:
    Good for you!! :)

    I'm really to young to fully retire... I may do another project at sometime but, no rush for that.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    edited April 2013
    Written by Meathead Goldwyn from Amazingribs.com Extreme Steak: Wild And Crazy Ways To Get A Killer Sear In my article on how to make great steakhouse steaks I discuss the importance of getting a good sear on the exterior. Here are four highly unconventional methods that work amazingly well: The Afterburner Method, the Vigneron Method, the Caveman Method, and the Stripsteak Method. The afterburner method So I was doing some 3/4" ribeyes the other night. I started some charcoal in a chimney to toss on my trusty Weber Kettle because I wanted max heat for that great dark whiskey colored exterior. When I looked at the chimney and noticed it looked like the afterburner of a fighter jet. Big blue and red flames, hardly visible. So I put a cast iron frying pan on top and read the temp in the pan with an infrared laser thermometer. Almost 800°F! So I took the pan off, put a wire rack right on top of the chimney, and tossed the meat on. Watch 5 minutes of Meathead on WGN-TV cook a skinny steak on the Afterburner and thick steaks with reverse sear. And they were perfect! Whew! Perfect dead on sear, deep mahogany brown, in less than three minutes per side and cooked perfectly to medium rare in the center! Now keep in mind that cooking at Warp 10 is not right for all steaks. It works best only on steaks 1/2 to 3/4" thick. It is ideal for skirt steaks for fajitas. The secret is that it puts massive amounts of heat on one surface at a time and cooks it so quickly that the interior doesn't get too hot. At lower temps the heat progresses through the surface to the interior, and by the time you have a good dark sear on the outside, the inside is overcooked. That's the problem with fajitas. You have such a tasty piece of meat in the skirt steak, but the center is almost always grey. Nevermore. A few tricks: Make sure to salt the meat but don't pepper it. The heat will carbonize the pepper and make it bitter. Make sure you pat the meat dry first otherwise it will steam the surface. In fact, if you want to paint the surface with a little oil, that will help crisp it even more. When the meat is on, move it around a bit because the wire grate can brand the meat with some serious black grill marks, too black. Just make sure you have all the side dishes cooked before you put on the meat because it cooks in about 2 to 3 minutes per side. For slightly thicker steaks, you can cover them with a metal bowl so the meat will cook from the top by convection. Postscript: I'm a huge fan of the Food Network's Alton Brown, and readers have pointed out that in a 2010 episode titled "Porterhouse Rules" he attempted to duplicate the extreme heat that steakhouses use to broil steaks with heat from above. He took a chimney, fired it up, lifted it, dusted off the grate, placed the steak on the grate, placed the chimney above the steak, cooked for 1 minute, flipped the steak and repeated. Well I tried this and, as AB warned, the steak got a light dusting of ash and a coal fell onto it. Sorry, AB, my method is better. I can flip the steaks often on top, and there is no ash. The vingneron method When visiting wineries in Bordeaux, the French region that makes wine perfectly designed for steaks under 1" thick, I saw a cooking method that blew me away. Every winter vineyard owners prune most of the new branches, called canes, off the vines. They then have huge piles of grapevine wood, rarely thicker than a pencil. During the fall harvest season vignerons will take a big stack of dried canes, and set them on fire. They quickly burn down to a glowing mound, and the workers will grill meats over the embers. The flavor is exquisite. The French call this method sarment (pronounced sar-mahn), and the Spanish call it sarmiento. Here in Illinois grapevines abound wild in the woods and grow on fences along the roadside. I even planted a few Himrod table grapes (the best I have ever tasted) and I save the prunings. Each year I get enough wood for one cook per every two vines. I crumple two sheets of newspaper and put it in the bottom of my Weber Kettle. Then I stuff as many dried vine prunings as I can fit on top of the paper, all the way to the top of the kettle. On goes the top grate. I light the paper from below, and the whole thing goes poof in a few minutes with 5' flames. VERY impressive. Came close to melting the television cable running overhead. Within a few minutes I have glowing white hot embers. I wait until I can no longer see yellow flame. For some reason this makes the meat slightly bitter. Then I clean the top grate, on goes the meat, usually about 3/4" thick, lid is off, turn in 3 to 4 minutes, and it's done in another 3 to 4 minutes. The burning fruitwood creates temps in the 800 to 1000°F range and gives it a fine flavor. That's Warp 10, Mr. Spock. I've also done this successfully with tree twigs from my neighbor's cherry tree. As with the Afterburner method above, this technique applies scorching heat to the surface and cooks it in a hurry, so it is best for steaks under 1". I love it for flank steaks. As above, salt only, pepper just scorches, pat the meat dry so it doesn't steam, and if you wish, oil the surface for even better browning. The caveman method There is another method that can get the surface cooked dark and fast. It has a lot of appeal among men for its machismo, but it is best for steaks 1" thick or less. You get your charcoal scorching hot, pat the meat really dry, and lay the meat right on the coals. You heard me. Right on the coals. Surprisingly, there will be little ash stuck to the meat when you turn it and when you remove it, and it produces a very dark sear in a hurry. But the operative words are very little ash. Every time I've tried it, small amounts of ash and even whole coals have stuck to the surface. They are easily brushed off, but I still can't recommend this method. It is much better to place a wire rack on top of the coals or very close to them. Then you can check the meat, and there is less scorching and no ash. Be a caveman if you wish, but know there are better ways.
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 1,567
    HogHeaven said:
    Thanks Chubbs... If they made that CI grate 1/2 inch wider you wouldn't need a spider. I'm not a big fan of grill marks so I like my cheap GX grill extender. I prefer to have my steaks that dark brown mahogany color all over instead of just on the dark lines. Throwing the steaks right on the coals huh... Some people have done that but it seems barbaric to me. No thanks on that.

    ha seems barbaric? Your cooking a piece of dead animal over a fire but putting on the coal is barbaric? Hah. I've done cavman style a few times. It's fun to show off with guest occasionally but not my go to method
    Boom
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,143
    edited April 2013


    HogHeaven said:

    Thanks Chubbs... If they made that CI grate 1/2 inch wider you wouldn't need a spider. I'm not a big fan of grill marks so I like my cheap GX grill extender. I prefer to have my steaks that dark brown mahogany color all over instead of just on the dark lines. Throwing the steaks right on the coals huh... Some people have done that but it seems barbaric to me. No thanks on that.


    ha seems barbaric? Your cooking a piece of dead animal over a fire but putting on the coal is barbaric? Hah. I've done cavman style a few times. It's fun to show off with guest occasionally but not my go to method

    It's actually really good. No flare ups because you are cutting oxygen at contact. Ash doesn't stick at all. Perfect even sear if you have a good bed of coals. image
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    I know... Even Meathead from Amazingribs.com says he has done it before. He tells me that very little ash sticks to the meat. Somehow something in my brain will not allow me to throw a fine piece of meat in a pile of ashes and then eat it. The list of recipes that I want to try and the list of technics I want to try... That one is way down on the totem pole.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,143
    HogHeaven said:
    I know... Even Meathead from Amazingribs.com says he has done it before. He tells me that very little ash sticks to the meat. Somehow something in my brain will not allow me to throw a fine piece of meat in a pile of ashes and then eat it. The list of recipes that I want to try and the list of technics I want to try... That one is way down on the totem pole.
    i hear ya, i did it first out of novelty but after reading charred and scruffed by adam perry lang i got into it more as a tool.  i've been reading your posts and love you "beef love" idea.  that being said you would like adam perry lang, he does bastes for steaks and uses a different technique(hot potato method) but it can be adapted for reverse sear.  he also has great recipes for board sauces and such.  all about building layers of flavor and most of all its fun.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    I looked at Lang's website... He has some interesting recipes that will work for me. Thanks!
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,460

    "Somehow something in my brain will not allow me to throw a fine piece of meat in a pile of ashes and then eat it."

    I'm going to do exactly that for each of the next two nights as my son and I camp by a river.  I've done it many times with different cuts of steak and have concluded the following.

    1) Don't throw the fine meat into a pile of ashes.  Throw it into a pile of hot, orange embers.  If you wait for it to look like ashes it is still pretty good, but better if the coals are bright orange.

    2) It is defintely best if the steaks have warmed up to room temperature before you throw them on. @U_tarded is right. The contact with the coals cuts some of the oxygen and cools the coals down somewhat at the meat remains in contact with it - that is why it doesn't turn the meat into charcoal.

    3) I can't decide if it is my "go to" method or not.  It is in the running.  The first time I tried it was with a prime T-bone over a campfire with a large bottle of Chimay in one hand and grill tongs in the other.  When we tasted the meat I felt compelled to say "That is the best g%*&#@mn steak I've ever tasted" and my son agreed.  Since then I've had some caveman cooked steaks that were only "very good" while I have also improved my skills with Trex and reverse sear so I can't really say caveman is better.

    4) It is really fun to do with unsuspecting guests so when all other things are equal I sometimes give the caveman technique the nod just for the novelty of it.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Hmmm... Not sure I'll moving that technic up the totem pole on things to try. It does have a VERY appropriate name!
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Well ladies and gentlemen... This was an interesting discussion, debate and exchange of information. I hope everyone gained something from the exchange of information. We will have to do it again sometime... Egg on and Dine Well, tipping my hat to you all.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    One last thought... This is from Amazingribs.com, Meathead's site. Let's look at chicken breasts. Fatty skin on one side, lean meat on the other. If you start over high heat, there's a good chance you'll blacken the skin before the inside is cooked. You could cook it skin side up, but then the meat on the bottom gets overcooked and dry, and the skin stays rubbery. The better strategy is to cook the meat in the indirect zone, flipping it occasionally, with warm convection air and smoke, bring it close to the desired temp, and them move it over direct radiant heat, skin side down, to crisp it. Then you can serve tender, juicy meat, and crispy skin! Check out my update of the classic Cornell Chicken recipe to see the concept in action. It even works for prime rib and other roasts. Start low and slow, and never have that 1" band of overcooked meat again. I have a whole article on that subject too. Even baked potatoes are best when reverse seared. In fact, many things reach perfection ourtdoors with 2-zone cooking, and reverse sear. Master these techniques. This page was revised on 3/8/2013
  • Have a lot to learn...... Tried to reverse sear but was not able to get to the second stage as temp of the steaks was 130 after only 10 min at a temp of the dome of 325
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    edited April 2013
    Have a lot to learn...... Tried to reverse sear but was not able to get to the second stage as temp of the steaks was 130 after only 10 min at a temp of the dome of 325

    There is only one answer to that statement... Check the temp gauge in your dome. There is no way in hell that a steak cooked at 325 degrees from the fire ring level will cook that fast. Take it off of your dome. There is only one nut. Boil a pan of water and when it is at a full boil stick it in there. It should read 212 degrees. Mine was off by 50 degrees when I first got it. I'll bet your's is off way more than mine was. Think of it this way... If you put that same steak in your indoor oven at 325 do you think you could cook it to 130 degrees in 10 minutes? The good part is if you pulled it off and ate it 130... You still had a pretty good steak. But your first cook sucked. Sorry about that.
  • HogHeaven said:
    Have a lot to learn...... Tried to reverse sear but was not able to get to the second stage as temp of the steaks was 130 after only 10 min at a temp of the dome of 325

    There is only one answer to that statement... Check the temp gauge in your dome. There is no way in hell that a steak cooked at 325 degrees from the fire ring level will cook that fast. Take it off of your dome. There is only one nut. Boil a pan of water and when it is at a full boil stick it in there. It should read 212 degrees. Mine was off by 50 degrees when I first got it. I'll bet your's is off way more than mine was. Think of it this way... If you put that same steak in your indoor oven at 325 do you think you could cook it to 130 degrees in 10 minutes? The good part is if you pulled it off and ate it 130... You still had a pretty good steak. But your first cook sucked. Sorry about that.

    "There is only one answer to that statement" Thank God HH is here to throw down the gospel for all of us backyard grillers. We are saved! please understand that there are many answers to your question and your thermo is only one part of the puzzle.

  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Cen-Tex... Could you be so kind to tell us how a steak can go from room temp to 130 degrees in 10 minutes when it is 7" from the direct heat and it is cooking at 325 degrees? I personally can only think of 1. Please fill us in.
  • I did calibrate the thermometer in boiling water at 100C when I assembled the Egg Tomorrow I am doing my first shoulder and will use the dual probe IGrill and see how the numbers match up The spaghetti squash (recipe from this Forum), and the baked potato was fine Nice meal. Thanks for advice
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Jim... If I put a room temp steak on my LBGE with the grid at the fire ring level, my dome temp stable at 325 degrees, in 10 minutes my meat will be no hotter than than about 75 or 80 degrees. How in the world did your's get to 130 in 10 minutes???
  • HogHeaven said:
    Jim... If I put a room temp steak on my LBGE with the grid at the fire ring level, my dome temp stable at 325 degrees, in 10 minutes my meat will be no hotter than than about 75 or 80 degrees. How in the world did your's get to 130 in 10 minutes???
    You are correct in being suspicious of the temp. I will compare with probe reading when I do the shoulder tomorrow
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 4,936
    edited April 2013
    HogHeaven said:

    Cen-Tex... Could you be so kind to tell us how a steak can go from room temp to 130 degrees in 10 minutes when it is 7" from the direct heat and it is cooking at 325 degrees? I personally can only think of 1. Please fill us in.

    We're missing one key variable to the equation. How thick was the cut of meat?

    I'd also like to know the cut and grade of the meat. Also, was it grass-fed beef?

    Ultimately, I think cen is trying to point out is that many things can affect cooking time, not just dome temp. Otherwise, every brisket and pork shoulder would be exactly "x" amount of time per pound.

  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    edited April 2013
    I've cooked a lot of steak in the last 45 years and never seen one even as thin as 1" go from room temp to 130 in 10 minutes at 325 degrees from 7 inches away from the heat source. That's a stretch. Just put one in your oven and try it. He was baking it not Trexing it.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    HogHeaven said:
    Jim... If I put a room temp steak on my LBGE with the grid at the fire ring level, my dome temp stable at 325 degrees, in 10 minutes my meat will be no hotter than than about 75 or 80 degrees. How in the world did your's get to 130 in 10 minutes???
    You are correct in being suspicious of the temp. I will compare with probe reading when I do the shoulder tomorrow

    Jim... How thick was your steak. Not that I have a clue how what it ate in it's life will effect the cooking time but was your steak from a corn fed cow or was it grass fed? I don't think corn fed cows cook turbo but I'm curious now.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 4,936
    edited April 2013
    Ok HH, this is not that serious so please don't take any of this discussion personally. :)

    Several markets sell grass fed beef and grass fed is leaner by the nature of what they consume. Grass fed beef will cook much faster due to less fat, so yes, what they eat has an affect on cooking time.

    Different cuts and grades of meat have different levels of fat, which can mean less or more cooking time. A rib-eye is a different cook than a filet or sirloin. A prime grade of beef cooks differently than a choice cut. Just as in a brisket, the point usually takes longer to cook and protecting the leaner flat is always a focus.

    Thickness can have a huge affect on how quick a steak cooks. Have your butcher cut your steaks at a few different thicknesses and I promise you that you won't be able to cook them the same. The thinner cuts will cook much faster.


  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    Also, Dry aged steak cooks a lot faster than non aged or wet aged. Also Jim, is your watch calibrated? :D

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    cazzy said:
    Ok HH, this is not that serious so please don't take any of this discussion personally. :) Several markets sell grass fed beef and grass fed is leaner by the nature of what they consume. Grass fed beef will cook much faster due to less fat, so yes, what they eat has an affect on cooking time. Different cuts and grades of meat have different levels of fat, which can mean less or more cooking time. A rib-eye is a different cook than a filet or sirloin. A prime grade of beef cooks differently than a choice cut. Just as in a brisket, the point usually takes longer to cook and protecting the leaner flat is always a focus. Thickness can have a huge affect on how quick a steak cooks. Have your butcher cut your steaks at a few different thicknesses and I promise you that you won't be able to cook them the same. The thinner cuts will cook much faster.

    The thickness of the beef is the single biggest factor in cook time. Moisture content effects it too. Dry aged cooks faster because it has less moisture in it. A 2" filet will cook faster than a 2" ribeye but not by a whole bunch, a minute or 2 at the most, if they are cooked side by side. I have experience with that cook. My wife only eats filet's because they are leaner. I prefer a ribeye for flavor. So I cook them side by side often.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    edited April 2013
    Ok HH, this is not that serious so please don't take any of this discussion personally. I don't at all. We all do things different and have a different learning curve. There is nothing wrong with a good debate. Sometimes you just have to smile and agree to disagree. I take no offense to ANYONE having a different opinion than me. I like hearing what all of you have to say. Happy Egging.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    I would be willing to bet that a 2" ribeye 65 days dry aged (from a whole primal) would be to temp as fast as a 1 1/4" "fresh" one in a side by side

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 4,936
    Cool, good to hear. The whole point I was trying to make is that BBQ is not black & white. Every cut of meat has it's own character, which is why the saying around these parts is "cook to temp, not to time".

  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    Same with baking bread, cook to 190 to 205 degrees. They used to use the toothpick test now they use the thermapen.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    edited April 2013
    cazzy said:
    Cool, good to hear. The whole point I was trying to make is that BBQ is not black & white. Every cut of meat has it's own character, which is why the saying around these parts is "cook to temp, not to time".

    There is a lot of ways to skin a cat... I listen to how people do their cooks and there is a wide range of technic. I would love to get a big ribeye roast and cut them into steaks and give all of these guys one to cook and see the finished product. You would have some Trexer's some Reverse searer's and some baker's... You would have some really, really beautiful steaks and some not so beautiful, but they would all taste pretty darn good.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 243
    I would be willing to bet that a 2" ribeye 65 days dry aged (from a whole primal) would be to temp as fast as a 1 1/4" "fresh" one in a side by side

    I agree... It's moisture content is much less than the 1 1/4" steak. More moisture, slower cook.
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