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Reverse sear, pan grilled steaks!

Mark_B_Good
Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
edited January 2021 in Beef
Ok got myself (finally) a cast iron grill, and will be using it to reverse sear some steaks on the weekend.


Want to do something like this (gotta love this guy, lol) ...

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJGBeW85/

Anyone got some suggestions? I'm sure he added seasoning at some point, looks like it was on before he grilled (he just didn't mention what) ... just rock salt and cracked pepper, or Montreal spice, or Keg seasoning?

What temperature would you say the grill should be at for this cook, 500F/600F?
Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
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Comments

  • DainW
    DainW Posts: 159
    Do you have an adjustable rig or similar setup that allows you to have multiple levels in your egg? What I’ve done in the past with a cast iron is put the skillet on the bottom (fire ring level) and then cook the steaks on the upper grid at 250 (you can add some wood chunks to get some smoke on it) until they hit about 115 IT. 

    Pull the steaks off, remove the top grid, open up your bottom vent all the way, and remove the top cap and until you get a good fire going. Once the fire is good and hot melt some butter in the pan and sear away. Temperature for the sear is probably somewhere between 500 and 600 usually but i wouldn’t get two hung up on having that number dialed in, more about have a good fire down where your skillet is. I like to rest tented with foil and a pat of butter on top for about ten minutes. 

    Seasoning I would keep it simple. My got to lately has been salt, pepper, garlic, and a little bit of Montreal seasoning for texture, but just salt and pepper works great too. 
  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,765
    As above per @DainW.  I use my cast iron as the heat blocker and roast the steaks at 250 or so on an elevated grate directly above it.  When they get over 100 degrees or so I swing the grate out of the heat and open the vents to let the fire crank up.  I don't know what temperature it is when I sear because I don't close the lid.  And I learned from folks on here that it's best to close the bottom vent once you are happy with your fire and the cast iron is plenty hot.  So, when the fire is good, I add some butter to the pan and put the steaks on for 60-90 seconds per side.  

    To more directly answer your question about temp, I used to let the temp rise while the vents were open and the lid was closed.  I waited to 700+ a couple of times because I thought it was cool and I just wanted to do it.  The resulting bark is frankly better is the 450-600 range.  That's another thing I learned from this forum.  

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Canugghead
    Canugghead Posts: 11,331
    All good advice^^^ on technique. 

    If you want my honest opinion, I find flat bottom CI pan forms more uniform crust, easier to clean too. Ribbed bottom pan creates impressive grill marks but not much crust between the lines.
    canuckland
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    Foghorn said:
    As above per @DainW.  I use my cast iron as the heat blocker and roast the steaks at 250 or so on an elevated grate directly above it.  When they get over 100 degrees or so I swing the grate out of the heat and open the vents to let the fire crank up.  I don't know what temperature it is when I sear because I don't close the lid.  And I learned from folks on here that it's best to close the bottom vent once you are happy with your fire and the cast iron is plenty hot.  So, when the fire is good, I add some butter to the pan and put the steaks on for 60-90 seconds per side.  

    To more directly answer your question about temp, I used to let the temp rise while the vents were open and the lid was closed.  I waited to 700+ a couple of times because I thought it was cool and I just wanted to do it.  The resulting bark is frankly better is the 450-600 range.  That's another thing I learned from this forum.  
    Hey @Foghorn just trying to understand this ...

    You start by putting your pan direct, but dome is 250F ... and no butter in the pan, just the seasoned steaks, until you get to 100F internal. Then take out the steaks and leave the pan in the egg. 

    Then you crank the fire (to what 500F/600F?), and add the butter to the hot pan when you hit that target.

    Then add the steaks back and cook in the butter for 60-90 seconds per side?

    After that you go to high temperature direct fire sear ... and you're dome is probably at the 500F to 600F range?

    Let me know if I've got that right.

    The other option I have is to sear the steaks on my sear station on my Napoleon Prestige Pro 665 ... it runs at 1200F, and is meant for a quick sear. So I can take the steaks in the pan to say 110F, then go to the sear station, probably 20 second to 30 seconds a side ... then take them off.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Mattman3969
    Mattman3969 Posts: 10,457
    @Mark_B_Good - @Foghorn is using the pan to block directly heat instead of the plate setter.  He has a grate that he uses to ROAST the steaks for the initial part of reverse sear. (The cast iron is heating up during this stage).  Once the steak hits the desired roasting temp he pulls it and lets it rest while the egg is heating up even more to eventually sear in the cast iron.  

    IMHO the video shown above is basically 2 sear cooking not reverse sear.  Reverse sear is a easy slow cook stage then a hot sear. The video threw the steaks in a hot buttered pan then onto a hot fire. To me this is more like a hot fast cook.  

    -----------------------------------------

    analyze adapt overcome

    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,765
    "You start by putting your pan direct, but dome is 250F ... and no butter in the pan, just the seasoned steaks, until you get to 100F internal. Then take out the steaks and leave the pan in the egg."

    Yes.  As @Mattman3969 said, I just roast them to 105 or 110 or so.


    "Then you crank the fire (to what 500F/600F?), and add the butter to the hot pan when you hit that target.

    Then add the steaks back and cook in the butter for 60-90 seconds per side?"

    Yes.  Then they are done.

    The other comments were referring to how I used to do things before I got my swing grate.  They were just meant to specifically address your question about ideal temperature for searing.  Sorry for the confusion.

    Also, as @Mattman3969 said, the video just shows a low temp sear followed by a high temp sear.  That could be a very good way to cook a steak - it's just not how I've done it and not a classic reverse sear.  '

    Also, most of us use the cast iron just for to sear the meat.  We roast the meat on a regular grate.  

    I like my current method where I use the cast iron to be my heat blocker.  Before I had a two-level grate I would use the platesetter (ConvEGGtor) - then pull it out (a little challenging but very possible when it is hot) and put the grate back in while the fire cranked up.  This is much easier.

    I hope that's clear - although once again I was probably to longwinded and that has potential for confusion.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • NDG
    NDG Posts: 2,431
    edited January 2021
    Sounds good . . since not flat bottom cast iron . . I would say NO BUTTER for sear, just dry your steaks well, and lay on preheated very hot cast iron for ~1 min per side (maybe rotate each side to get more crust / purdy diamond shape) . . you can plop butter on after and loosely tent. 
    Columbus, OH

    “There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as if everything is” 
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    Oh, wow ... okay, learning something here.

    So, I want to try what they did on the video, which will mean I'm doing a two stage sear ...

    My brain is now thinking what is the advantage of either technique (low/slow reverse sear vs. 2 stage sear).  Obviously prep time is short (quick) for 2 stage sear .... that's an advantage. But I'd imagine low/slow reverse sear will be better for tougher steak cuts??  I'd imagine the quick two stage sear is going to result in tougher steaks ... so you have to start with a more tender cut.

    I'm cooking 2 T-bones and 3 sirloins ... perhaps the sirloins and sirloin side of T bone will be a bit tougher than with 2 stage sear, given that meat is typically lean of fat??

    Anyhow, I'll try the video technique, 2 stage sear .... I'll post results ... don't know if this will be a Saturday cook (tomorrow) or Sunday ... I'll see how I feel. Stay tuned ....
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,765
    The main advantage of slow roasting to temp and searing - in any order - is to maximize the percentage of the meat that is cooked to your target doneness.  When one just cooks a steak over fire in a traditional way, it is reasonable to expect that about 1/3 of the steak in the center will be medium rare - or medium - or whatever your target it.  The other 2/3 is brown and coo

    ked more than your target temp.

    Look at the "Medium Rare" steak on this link to see an example.

    https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/74286/is-it-safe-that-my-medium-rare-steak-is-cold-in-the-middle

    If you sear hot and quick and minimize the heat transfer during the searing phase (keep the lid open so you don't roast the whole steak at 500-600 degrees) you can get a steak that is wall-to-wall medium rare with a good sear.  

    Look at the pics here.

    https://www.omahasteaks.com/blog/steak-doneness-guide/


    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    That makes sense ... @Foghorn so do you think there's no way to beat a tougher steak cut with low and slow?  Doesn't that help to get things a bit more tender?
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • SGH
    SGH Posts: 28,791
    Foghorn said:
    Brother Horn, the link you posted made me remember something. A couple of years ago a friend of mine gave me some Omaha pre-made country fried steaks and gravy. You just warmed them in the oven. All kidding aside, they was simply outstanding. You would be hard pressed to do any better making them from scratch. 
    With that said, I have never had any of their other products so I have no idea about them. But those country fried steaks was par excellent. Any insight on their other products?

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • You have been given great advise above. I’d like to hear your thoughts (or anyone else) on that pan after you have used it for a bit. Wife bought one and I’m ready to toss it. It’s the hardest pan we own to clean and I am having trouble figuring out what it would be useful for. I guess you could sear meat but why would this be better than a flat pan that would sear the entire area of the meat? If you want to use butter or oil in it you need to put a ton in there to get it to touch the meat because the ridges are fairly tall. Am I missing the purpose of this type pan? 
    Snellville, GA


  • SGH
    SGH Posts: 28,791
    Am I missing the purpose of this type pan? 
    I have the Lodge square skillet (not the grill pan) and love it. It is my go to for frying bacon and sausage. I actually prefer the square over round. 
    My guess is the grill pan is geared towards folks that like to see sear marks. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • I can understand that. If sear lines are preferred this would be great, I guess. Until it comes time to clean. A flat bottom would be much more user friendly. 
    Snellville, GA


  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,765
    That makes sense ... @Foghorn so do you think there's no way to beat a tougher steak cut with low and slow?  Doesn't that help to get things a bit more tender?
    I know of 2 ways to make a tough cut tender.  

    1) Cook it until all the connective tissue softens and it pulls softens or pulls apart - at about 200 degrees.  Pulled pork.  Brisket.  Pulled beef, etc.

    2) Sous vide for a very long time. Somebody posted a chuck roast cook recently where the "cooked" it in the sous vide at a medium rare temp for 48 hours.  Bottom line is that to cook something to tenderness and keep it medium rare or medium takes a REALLY LONG time.

    I guess there are also mechanical ways to tenderize some cuts - beating it with a mallet, blade tenderizing, or something.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,765
    SGH said:
    Foghorn said:
    Brother Horn, the link you posted made me remember something. A couple of years ago a friend of mine gave me some Omaha pre-made country fried steaks and gravy. You just warmed them in the oven. All kidding aside, they was simply outstanding. You would be hard pressed to do any better making them from scratch. 
    With that said, I have never had any of their other products so I have no idea about them. But those country fried steaks was par excellent. Any insight on their other products?
    @SGH, about 15 years ago when I first got a shipment from Omaha Steaks I thought they were great but overpriced.  As our local grocery stores have gotten better meat and I've discovered places like Snake River Farms I don't think as highly of it.   

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    SGH said:
    Am I missing the purpose of this type pan? 
    I have the Lodge square skillet (not the grill pan) and love it. It is my go to for frying bacon and sausage. I actually prefer the square over round. 
    My guess is the grill pan is geared towards folks that like to see sear marks. 
    I got it to sear steaks (and ill use as much butter as I'll need to get it to hit the bottom of the steak, plus the video i posted shows using a spoon to dress the steaks with the juice). But the kicker for me was that I can use it to grill panini or make tramazini with it. Plus there are other things that can be done (like making smash burgers, etc). I also bought a lid (coming today) with grill marks on it and is have, so once that's preheated, it acts as the top press to cook from both sides.

    Cleaning it is no doubt a bit tougher than a Teflon lined pan, but have you tried to oil it before use. Normally l, it's a good idea to use a oil soaked paper towel (I think vegetable oil or canola is fine) to llap it on, wipe odd excess, and let that soak that in for about 24h, before you use the pan. Helps if it is done first time. The iron will have some pores and the oil gets trapped in, and once dried it closes those pores, which helps prevent food from getting trapped into them, causing sticking). It's basically a technique that the South Africans use for their Potjie Pots (like a Dutch oven). Look it up.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    edited January 2021
    Ok, just finished eating the steaks. Turned out great ... and have some minor improvements to make next time.

    I heated dome to 550F to 600F with pan in the bbq. Once it hit temperature, I added about 200g of butter and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh garlic (was pre-chopped and stored in oil in a jar). The butter frothed up as it melted quickly, but that did not cause an issue. Once the butter was fully melted, I cooked the steaks 3 minutes per side in pan, basting with juice on every minute.

    The pan could fit 2 steaks at most. So I cooked them all in the pan first, putting them to the side when they completed their turn in the pan, until all the steaks where done the first sear in the pan.
    .

    I then put them ALL direct on the grill at once for second stage sear (dome was 550F to 600F. I held them 25 to 30 seconds per side.

    Once done I took them off and let them rest about 5 to 10 minutes.

    The taste was really good, temperature was good on thicker steaks (medium rare) and maybe a bit too cooked on the thinner steaks (no more than medium though).

    Suggestions for next time ... pan cook thicker steaks on pan first, as when they are taken off and put to side to complete the pan cook of the rest of the steaks, they continue to cook.  Second, I would go 10 seconds per side for the thinner (1") steaks when going direct on the grill at 600F. Thicker steaks about 20 seconds per side at most. That should enable getting all the steaks to a consistent medium rare, which is what our family prefers.

    As for pre-oiling the pan and how that impacted cleaning ... I oiled it this morning, and it sat 8h with the coating of oil before I cooked. Washing was EASY, took no more than 2 minutes to clean. Nothing really stuck to the pan. Water beaded off, so no doubt the oil coating helped. Just don't know if I should recoat every cook, or maybe once in a while. 

    Here's some pictures of the finished product, as well as the grilling pan after scrubbing it for 2 minutes.






    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • SGH
    SGH Posts: 28,791
    edited January 2021



    Looks like a winner to me brother 👍

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • johnmitchell
    johnmitchell Posts: 6,508
    Great looking meal👏
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    Alright, so I pulled up this recipe tonight for some beautiful veal chops! These babies were about 1.5" thick.

    Heated the cast iron to 600F and dropped two sticks of butter in, along with two heaped table spoons of chopped garlic.

    Once the butter was melted, cooked meat 3 minutes per side in the cast pan, and once they were all pan seared, I put them on direct for 25 seconds per side. 

    Turned out great! Temperature was rare to medium rare. I loved it, and so did my wife. Mother in law likes it medium, so probably could have done 45 seconds a side for her (had to bring it back to the grill after she complained ... lol).

    Take aways ... meat type and thickness really determine how long to do the direct sear for.  I might probe the steaks next time with my instant thermometer to get them to target temperature.

    Second, I tried to smoke these with apple pellets during the direct sear. Not enough time, best to do that while it's searing in the pan, because at least then you get 6 minutes of exposure time. But even then, probably not worth it to smoke ... just not enough time to really penetrate.

    Here's some pictures.










    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    edited March 2021
    One thing I forgot to mention is that I season them after the direct sear, then save some of the hot garlic butter juice to drizzle over the steaks before presenting the plate.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503

    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    Another outstanding meal using this method ... veal chops again ... unbelievable. I won't do it any other way ... I might modify some minor things to bring different flavors to the meat ... but the method is straight up amazing.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • SonVolt
    SonVolt Posts: 3,314
    edited March 2021
    This may have already been mentioned above, but you'll be much happier without a "grill pan" and just a regular flat-bottomed skillet. Those raised ridges are working against you. They're a gimmick, unless you just want grill marks. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    I like grill marks! LOL, looks soooo nice.

    But doesn't it help the juice stay under the steak?
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    This is always a good meal. Last few times though, with pre seasoned meat, it got a bit salty in the butter reduction... so I tried cooking unseasoned, then added seasoning before I served ... now not salty enough lol. We corrected by adding a bit more salt, it worked ... but man, got to find the right magic to get it pre seasoned and not over salty ...






    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • pgprescott
    pgprescott Posts: 14,544
    This is always a good meal. Last few times though, with pre seasoned meat, it got a bit salty in the butter reduction... so I tried cooking unseasoned, then added seasoning before I served ... now not salty enough lol. We corrected by adding a bit more salt, it worked ... but man, got to find the right magic to get it pre seasoned and not over salty ...






    Beautiful. How do you like the  Napoleon? 
  • dbCooper
    dbCooper Posts: 2,024
    This is always a good meal. Last few times though, with pre seasoned meat, it got a bit salty in the butter reduction... so I tried cooking unseasoned, then added seasoning before I served ... now not salty enough lol. We corrected by adding a bit more salt, it worked ... but man, got to find the right magic to get it pre seasoned and not over salty ...







    Steaks look great.
    Why does the grid have wavy bars?
    LBGE, LBGE-PTR, 22" Weber, Coleman 413G
    Great Plains, USA
  • Mark_B_Good
    Mark_B_Good Posts: 1,503
    dbCooper said:
    This is always a good meal. Last few times though, with pre seasoned meat, it got a bit salty in the butter reduction... so I tried cooking unseasoned, then added seasoning before I served ... now not salty enough lol. We corrected by adding a bit more salt, it worked ... but man, got to find the right magic to get it pre seasoned and not over salty ...







    Steaks look great.
    Why does the grid have wavy bars?
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665 .... just the way they make grids.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!