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Steaks on the BGE - embarrasment.

I've been cooking on my medium BGE for a few years -- nothing very adventurous but good.  Chicken, steak and vegetables -- just figuring it out as I go.
So I saw a video by mempey on youtube  about searing steaks on the BGE and I saw some things I hadn't known about, chiefly getting the Egg screaming hot for a good sear and then closing all the dampers and letting the meat sit for a couple of minutes.
Mempey used a small Egg.  His temp was between 6 and 7 hundred as I recall, two minutes per side, and he left the meat on the grill, vents closed for four minutes.
I got two very nice thick strip steaks ready with a little chipotle rub, brought my medium Egg up to 620 or thereabouts, and seared for three minutes per side.
I like my steaks rare, and the wife medium-well.  I figured that steaks this thick (11/2 inch) a little longer might work better.
When I turned them they looked pretty black and after a four-minute dwell they were charcoal.
Mine was inedible, or at least no fun.I mean, a certain amount is what we're after, but this was incineration and the meat was way overdone.  My wife's was still a little pink and after she scraped off a lot of carbon she said hers was good.
So my question is: does the medium Egg pack a bigger thermal wallop than the Mini.  What else might I have done wrong?  Lower temp? Less time?
Counsel from the wise ones is appreciated.


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 14,053
    No wise one here and all eggsperience is with LBGE-but when you get your answers to the main questions-another thing to avoid is shutting down the BGE with food in it as you describe here "closing all the dampers and letting the meat sit for a couple of minutes."  You have shut off air to your fire and end up with a smothered fire which produces nasty smoke that will have quite a negative impact on your food taste, regardless of how it's cooked temperature-wise.  You may want to also invest in a good quick-read thermo (thermoworks makes an instant-read  thermo of choice by many) to cook by temperature so you know what is happening with the cook.  FWIW-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.
  • GATravellerGATraveller Posts: 4,419
    I would never sear the steaks at that high of a temp for more than two minutes per side.  For mid-rare you are real close after searing alone.
    “Eighty-eight percent of my stories are true and the rest are embellished" 
                                                                -Col Bruce Hampton Ret.
    2 Large
    Peachtree Corners, GA
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 3,922
    I sear on the small and finish on the large. Small at 600 or so. Throw steak on, wait 90 sec and rotate 90 degrees then wait 90 sec and flip, wait 90 sec and rotate, 90 more sec and throw on the large at 350-400 and cook to whatever temp you want.

    You could do this with just one egg. After searing wrap in foil and set aside. Cool egg down to 350-400 and then remove foil and throw back on until desired temp.



     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 23,957
    lousubcap is dead on. 

    When you deprive the hot fire of all oxygen it stops burning and starts generating methanol, creosotes and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).  Needless to say, these chemicals aren't just poisonous (carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic), they taste like tar and chemicals.  It's bathing your food in the baddest of bad smoke, which is exactly why we get a good fire with good smoke to start with.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • jtippersjtippers Posts: 512
    I had a similar experience... What I learned, is that every piece of meat is different. He seared his steaks for 2 minutes on the video and it worked great. The variables are bound to be different on your setup though. Foremost, the thickness of the steak and exact temp of the fire.

    I started standing over my steaks when I grill them and flip them often. If you are feeling adventurous, go for a reverse sear as detailed by many on this forum or check out the article on reverse searing at That website has a wealth of information on grilling and the theory behind it. 

    Just don't give up... the perfect steak is out there... :)

    SBGE December 2012 •  XLBGE December 2013 •  Yoder YS640 July
    Location: Jasper, Georgia

  • In addition to what everyone has said above, your rub could have added to the problem. What was in it? Chipotle, paprika, etc. tend to turn black at high temps. For steaks, I just rub with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.


    Raleigh, NC

  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 739
    edited October 2013

    I use the same method you used.  Try it again, but just two minutes per side around 600*, but then when you shut everything off, just go two minutes total for yours and three to three and a half for the wife's.  That should be pretty close to perfect for both of you.

    I've cooked my steaks using that method since I got the Egg and have never experienced the negative impact that others speak fact just the opposite. 


    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 23,957
    bleck.  That hypoxic smoke smells, to me, like burning coal.  Same smell that you get when you start your fire.  I guess it's a matter of personal taste.  If you like the taste, keep on doing it that way. 
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,297
    edited October 2013
    To each his own, but the T-Rex method has never made sense to me using an egg. I mean one of the great advantages of the heavy ceramic is it retains the heat to give uniform cooking and baking temperatures. But to kick it to 700 or whatever and then remove the steaks and attempt to cool the egg down quickly is just so bass-awkward to me! I never T-Rex. I either will reverse sear for large cuts or if several steaks are involved or just choose to hot tub them for perfection time and time again. But again to each his or her own since it is your meat, not mine!
    L, M, S, Mini
    Dunlap, IL
    Re-gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time...

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,529
    edited October 2013
    When I T-Rex, I heat the grill with the lid open.  The ceramics don't heat up nearly as much.  After the sear, I close the lid and leave the DW holes open and bottom vent open about a 1/2".  Dome temp will rise to 350* or so.  In a couple minutes the steaks are done.  No bad smoke; no waiting for the egg to cool.

    The other thing I do is get two chimneys of coals going full bore and then dump them in the egg.  Less time heating the ceramics...

    One day I'm to try reverse sear, but I'm always concerned I'm going to over-cook them getting the sear just right.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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