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Searing steak just above the firebox

TRexTRex Posts: 2,709
edited 3:41AM in EggHead Forum
Has anyone ever tried putting the grill rack between the firebox
and fire ring, letting the Egg come up to 750+, and then searing steaks on the grill rack in that lower position, right next to the coals? I'm curious if this would give a better sear to the meat--maybe a better char crust as well. Thanks for your help!


  • TRex,[p]I've never tried what you're suggesting but it seems that it would work fine. Several folks here on the forum like to cook their steaks on the mini egg for the same reason....the cooking surface is closer to the lump.[p]On another note, several folks have reported good results searing the meat directly on top of the cooking grid! After they sear the meat on the lump, they replace the grid and put the meat on it for the dwell.[p]Good Luck!![p]Jeff[p]
  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    I'm trying to figure out why you want to get it so close to the fire. I know when I'm in the 700+ range, it doesn't take long to sear/char the outside.

  • TRex,[p] I use my small BGE for steaks (unless I've got a bunch of people to feed) because the grid is closer to the coals. What I find is that this allows me to cook the steaks at a lower reading on the dome thermometer. I figure that if the dome thermometer reads 550 but there are flames shooting through the grid (and out the top vent), it is probably hot enough! I cooked some Omaha filets a couple weeks ago this way and had them charred pretty good w/o getting the dome temp above 600F. Incidentally, I've given up the sear/sear/dwell method and now just do sear/sear . . . [p]MikeO
  • TRex,[p]Oh yeah...It works like a charm. The BGE grill won't fit down there. I use a grill from my Brinkman smoker. You can use any grill you want. I don't even need to remove the top ring, the grill just sort fits down in and jus to the top of the firebox.[p]Crank her up and for filets or ribeyes you're looking at about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes per side plus a shutdown dwell of another 1 1/2 minutes for medium rare.[p]Most times, I'll get that char-crust...Pittsburgh style when you cut through the outside crust and your knife just kinda slides through the rest of the meat like soft butter.[p]YUM

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,709
    Shelby,[p]I'm not really thinking time so much as temperature--I usually sear on the grill rack on top of the fire ring for about 1.5 mins/side with a dome temp > 750. What makes a good sear is how hot that grill rack is. I have a
    medium Egg, and if I sear two steaks back to back, the grill rack is usually almost not hot enough for searing the second steak. I just imagine that the radiant heat from the coals will be much more intense with the grill rack on top of the firebox, thus giving me a better sear, especially
    if I'm searing two steaks back to back.

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,709
    MikeO,[p]I've only used the sear/sear/dwell method once. A friend of mine who has been a chef in a couple of high-end steak houses told me that the key to a tender steak is letting the meat rest (of course, you have to start out with Prime beef, dry-aged if possible). So, after rubbing with pepper,
    Kosher salt, and spicy brown mustard, I sear each side at 750F for 1.5 minutes then let the steak rest at room temp for about 20 minutes. Then, I reapply salt and pepper and cook at about 400F for 5 mins/side for medium-rare on a 2" thick NY Strip. I throw in a couple of mesquite chunks
    for a light smoke flavor. The result is VERY juicy, VERY tender, AMAZING taste. MMMM . . . think I will do one tonight!

  • Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
    How long are you searing on each side? I cooked four sall venison chops last night on my small, ran temp up to 600 and put them on for 3/2/3. They looked ok on the outside, but were definitely on the rare side of medium rare. Actually, they were just plain rare - not quite what I was looking for. My wife finished hers off in the microwave, but I just ate mine like they came off the grill, but would have preferred them a little more done. I would like to do some filets this weekend, but want them to be "perfect". I could just do them on my large and get them exactly like I like, but I would like to be able to do the same thing with the small.

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    I have the same problem and have made the corrections.
    Here is how I have been cooking thick steaks (1.5 inch or greater) on my small BGE. I get the temp to around 550. I put the thick steaks on and sear for about three to four minutes per side. I then dwell for four more. At this point I pull my steak off and leave my wife’s on a dwell for another four minutes. There are times when she will still send the steak back to the BGE for another four-minute dwell. [p]This is also the way I cook Pork Chops. Except I increase the initial dwell to eight minutes and if I do not pull them off right away, oh well.[p]Hope this helps,

  • TRex,
    If you want a good sear, then don't use a grid. Just put the steaks directly on the red hot coals. [p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • Bama FireBama Fire Posts: 267
    Very interesting -- I've never heard of pulling a steak off to let it rest. Worth a shot I guess. [p]Thanks for the tip.[p]B~F

  • Steve-O,[p] Maybe it is because I like them rare. It'll depend on the fire but there is a balance to be struck here -- how much char vs. how done you want them. If you have a thick steak and want it done to medium or better, I think you're right in adding some dwell time so the outside isn't completely burnt . . .[p]MikeO
  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,709
    Bama Fire,[p]Yeah, it actually makes a difference from what my experience has been, and several of my buddies that do the same agree. Since meat is a muscle, it tends to "tense-up" when exposed to sudden heat. Letting the meat rest allows the muscle to relax, thus the meat becomes much more tender. Try it--I think you'll see a difference.
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