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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

Are Grill Marks Bad?

I just read this article on Amazing Ribs about how grill marks on steaks are actually bad.  It's a counter-intuitive claim, but the logic made a lot of sense.  I've always cooked steaks on the stainless steel grill my egg came with, and I usually get some pretty fantastic looking grill marks.  But this has me thinking about searing on a griddle instead of the grill, or maybe getting some of the grill grates he talks about and cooking on the underside of them.  Have any of you read this?  Thoughts?

Southern California

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,889
    The mailard reaction is what you want for flavor, and you get that best by broiling or cooking in a pan.  Flipping often makes it cook faster and more evenly.  Grill marks look sexy but they can, if the grate is hot enough, basically be burned meat and while some people like that taste, others don't.
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  • bicktravbicktrav Posts: 448
    The mailard reaction is what you want for flavor, and you get that best by broiling or cooking in a pan.  Flipping often makes it cook faster and more evenly.  Grill marks look sexy but they can, if the grate is hot enough, basically be burned meat and while some people like that taste, others don't.
    Got it.  So if you're doing steaks on the egg how do you finish them off?  On a griddle?  In a pan?  Or do you use a standard stainless steel grate?
    Southern California
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261
    My favorite steak is one cooked on cast iron.  But if the steak is good that your serving and it has grill marks I will eat it and smile.
    Cookin in Texas
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,889
    I just use the factory grate.  You want to sear - get that meat surface temp into the mailard range - 300s.  You don't need a glowing red-hot grate.  Cook a steak at nuclear temps - if you like the burned taste (some do), keep doing it that way.  Otherwise don't go too hot.  500 dome temp is fine for a sear.


    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • GK59GK59 Posts: 446
    They are only bad if they are not at a 60* grid pattern.

    Smitty's Kid's BBQ

    Bay City,MI

  • bicktravbicktrav Posts: 448

    I just use the factory grate.  You want to sear - get that meat surface temp into the mailard range - 300s.  You don't need a glowing red-hot grate.  Cook a steak at nuclear temps - if you like the burned taste (some do), keep doing it that way.  Otherwise don't go too hot.  500 dome temp is fine for a sear.


    Great suggestion about using the 500 degree dome.  I've been using higher temps than that.  I'll give it a try in that range next time I do steaks.  Question though: if you're using the factory grate, wouldn't the only portion of the meat subject to the Mailard Reaction be the portion in direct contact with the metal of the grate?  The non-grill-marked areas wouldn't receive the same heat, so they wouldn't have the Mailard Reaction the way the grill-marked areas would, and the non-grill-marked areas actually constitute a larger portion of the steak.  So do you compensate for that by constantly moving the meat around to ensure every portion of it is in contact with the metal at some point?  Or could you use a griddle or cast iron pan at those high temperatures?  What do you think?
    Southern California
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,289
    Everything gets the maillard reaction around 310 F. Heat transfer through steel is more efficient than air so it will brown more quickly.It is not necessary to have it touch the metal, although it would have a better crust. This is why a pan can give the best crust.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,459

    Grill marks have been discussed many times over the years.  Sure, they are pretty and make a really strong statement about the meat, but many high-dollar restaurants reportedly draw their grill marks on with a meat-marker, while others brush on a coat of sugar water prior to it hitting the hit grill.  Either method makes it look good but does absolutely nothing to the flavor.  But magically, it justifies the extra $10 you paid for the steak

    Personally, I like to see grill marks but I don't fret if they aren't there.

    Spring "Smoke Rings And Grill Marks Are For Judging Not Flavor" Chicken

    Spring Texas USA

     

     

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,889
    I honestly don't mind a little char on my steaks.  At least when it's on the fat....man that's good. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,500
    You want grill marks...mangrate baby.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,363

    Grill marks have been discussed many times over the years.  Sure, they are pretty and make a really strong statement about the meat, but many high-dollar restaurants reportedly draw their grill marks on with a meat-marker, while others brush on a coat of sugar water prior to it hitting the hit grill.  Either method makes it look good but does absolutely nothing to the flavor.  But magically, it justifies the extra $10 you paid for the steak

    Personally, I like to see grill marks but I don't fret if they aren't there.

    Spring "Smoke Rings And Grill Marks Are For Judging Not Flavor" Chicken

    Spring Texas USA

     

     

    First we had meat glue, now we gots meat markers.  Is meat tape next??   8-|
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