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Starting meat at room temperature

WillusWillus Posts: 14
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I have seen multiple recipes on here that people perfer to have their meat sit out for at least 30 minutes before they put it on their BGE so it will begin at room temperature.

I am learning. Why do people do this?

Comments

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    Your guess is as good as mine. The meat doesn't get to room temperature. The internal temp of the meat won't change but a few degrees in that time. I've tested it.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    If you are cooking meat quickly (like a steak), you generally want it at room temp so that the interior temp comes up quicker, before you overcook on the outside. You will even see people do what is called the hot tub method to get the steaks to about 100 inside before going on the grill.

    There is also the reverse sear, where you slowly bring the steak up to about 95-100, and then give a quick sear on the outside.

    In contrast, if you are doing a lo-n-slo, it probably does not make any difference about the time and you generally get a better smoke ring if you start with cold meat, because the reaction that causes the color change stops somewher around 120 and the longer you have before then, the better.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Fidel wrote:
    Your guess is as good as mine. The meat doesn't get to room temperature. The internal temp of the meat won't change but a few degrees in that time. I've tested it.

    I agree that it takes longer than 30 minutes.

    Since I have started doing a reverse sear, I generally just leave the steaks out to let the rub melt in, while the grill is being lit and coming to temp.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    The hot tub method is a completely different animal where the internal temp of the meat is 100*.

    If you leave a steak on the counter for 30 minutes the temps of outer surface will increase several degrees but the internal temps will only increase a couple, if any at all. I know it seems counter intuitive, but think about it.
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    It can actually make a huge difference in my experiences. Especially for large roasts, example prime rib, that you would like a nice crust on the outside, yet an even med-med rare inside. They require 3-4 hours out of the fridge for the temp to balance out. I start a large roast high temp to sear (only for 20 minutes or so), then finish low and slow.
    In my experiences, it has helped the meat cook more evenly to the center.
    In opposition, with a steak that I want rare or med-rare, since it is thinner, I start the cook with it very chilled. It helps get a sear on the outside, yet remain rare to med-rare in the center.
    My opinion is it depends on the cut of meat, and the desired result.
  • NessmukNessmuk Posts: 251
    After I apply mustard & the rub, I return the products to the frig for 30 minutes to an hour. Then I take products from the frig & place them on the grill. I see no benefit of letting them warm to room temp.

    When I insert the temperature probe it typically indicates 40 degrees.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it's not possible to start meat at "room temperature", not without leaving it out four or five hours, anyway.

    i go to a restaurant once every couple years on business, and they have a stack of steaks that sit out in the open all night, maybe five hours. those DO get cooked at room temp.

    here, we have a few guys that will 'hot tub' a steak. that's prewarming it, in a bath of hot water. it raises the internal temp to 100 or so, and the finish sear is all that's required to take it to 130. there are lines of thought that the longer time warming up will allow enzymes to develop flavors and break down the meat. what it definitely does is reduce the depth of the sear.

    think about it. if you want 130 in the center, and you throw on a cold chunk of beef, the amount of time required for the sear to raise the center to 130 will be enough that you will desecrate the rest of the meat in the effort to hit 130 in the center. if it goes on warmer, you will have a minimal depth of the 'well done' portion. like this. seared is on the left. prewarmed is on right.

    hot_tubbed_steak.jpg

    this is also something you can achieve with a two-stage cook. "Trex" steaks are done by searing first to the desired level of sear only. then yank the steak off, choke the grill down to 400 or so, and put the steak back on to cruise until done. the roasting portion at the end is gentle, and won't create a deep layer of overdone meat like you'd get if you just sered until it reached the desired internal temperature.

    a reverse sear does this too. raise the internal temp gently, then sear. you can do this with a roast as well. i did my prime rib indirect by going at 200 for about 5 hours until it was 120 internal, then jacking the dome temp to 600 for 15 minutes or so.

    there are many reasons to do it. first is perhaps the best ability to manage the internal temperature. historically though it was too develop extra flavor, and minimize the overdone exterior
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Well said, and illustrated! Exactly what I was trying to say. More even cooking inside to out, but it can take hours for the temps to equalize depending on the cut. Well put, and well illustrated, again.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i remember, as fidel said he also experienced, that i left a steak out for an hour or so in great expectation of achieving the much sought-after'room temperature' experience.

    it came out of the fridge at 34. i took its temp as i was putting it on the grill and it was 40 degrees. hahaha

    so much for THAT!.

    someone posted the hot tub method as described by 'cooks illustrated', and it was for cheaper cuts (flank steak?), developing the esters that similarly arise from dry aging, and to allow enzymes to break down the muscle. all i know is it makes it a much better cross-section of 'medium-rare' when i put on a warm steak versus an ice cold one!
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,424
    Actually, the hot tub method raises the internal temperature of the meat to maybe 70° to 80°.

    When doing a reverse sear, XERT, Finney Method , or whatever you want to call it on a steak, you do bring it up to 100° or so, but it is removed from the grill for 5 or 10 minutes while the grill is ramped up to the 500° range. (Chris will tell you that is just as important as the slow cook to 100°) Then it's finished at a higher temp.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,424
    Stike,

    The CI recipe that featured the hot water bath focused on a London broil. One of their goals was to eliminate off flavors (I recall either "metallic" or "iodine" mentioned, neither of which I had ever experienced).

    Central to their method was the addition of salt to the meat before it goes into the bath, creating a brine-like situation for that one hour. When I use the hot tub method I always season before bagging it.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i don't understand why folks hot tub at 100-104. i use straight tapwater, at 140 or so. i hit 100 easily in about 15 to 20 minutes.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ah., that's it. london broil.

    i remember that they had 'other reasons' for doing it. i just do it for the indirectly intended result! hahha

    maximum cross-section of medium rare.
    good stuff
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    I do it similarly. I use water at 120-125 and keep it there for at least an hour.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,424
    i don't understand why folks hot tub at 100-104. i use straight tapwater, at 140 or so. i hit 100 easily in about 15 to 20 minutes.


    Without doing a side-by-side I could only guess that getting to 100° internal in 20 minutes might be too fast (you may be cooking instead of warming) and that 100° temp might be too close to your target finish temp of 125° to have control during the cook. How long does it normally take you to finish off a normal size steak?

    Getting the internal in the 75° range still gives you a bigger window of cooking and some time for getting some color on the surface.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Forgive me, but why do you want to do this? This whole hot tub thing? I simply don't get it, unless you are cooking for 600+ plates at one time. This technique (Sous Vide) is used for high volume banquets so that meat is not overdone for the masses. Why use this technique for a home dinner? I am NOT trying to sound like a wise aXX, I'm just confused why this would be an appealing cooking method for a regular dinner.... :huh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    because it warms the steak and gives me the better cross section of medium rare than i'd get if i did a straight sear. also, i usually cook after work, but still early enough that the kids eat with us at 6pm or so. frankly, helps speed things up. no time for Trex cook or reverse sear.

    light the grill while the steak are warming. when the grill hits 700 or so, i toss them on for maybe 90 seconds to 2 minutes a side. the time from lighting to plate is maybe 20-30 minutes, and allows us to do the veggies, have the kids set the table, etc.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,424
    9b42260f.jpg

    This method gives a very uniform doneness through the cross section while allowing you to produce undiluted flavors on the exterior of rare or low end medium rare steaks.

    I can't imaging it is very valuable if you like steaks on the high end of med rare or medium.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    No question about it! Those are beautiful! Exactly how I like them! I will try it! As I have always said, the day I stop learning is the day I hang up my knives! Nice cooks, guys! Thanks for your input. :)
  • I tried that too and posted about it after someone called me out on it ;)

    Bottom line was about a 1 degree difference for every 10 minutes sitting out. So you would be waiting for hours and hours for it to get to room temp.
  • I hot tubbed a couple of filets a couple of weeks ago that were from a group I had cut from a whole tenderloin. They had been frozen as were the other from that loin. These happen to be the last two in the freezer. The others I were very tender, but, these were a bit on the tough side. Not sure why, but, going to think twice before hot tubbing. I normally just thaw and trex.

    Gordon
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