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Burnt/Bitter Steak Surface after Sear using T-Rex method - help

I've been using the T-Rex method and love the tenderness of the meat and flavor of the meet overall, but the sear step (1 minute to 90 seconds a side on 1.75 inch thick ribeyes) leaves the outer surface with a burnt taste and black grill marks. 

I use a lump reducer ring in my XL and put the cast iron grid directly on top of the reducer ring for the sear.

Any ideas or suggestions on what  I might be doing wrong?  I do the 400 degree portion of the cook on the normal grid at the normal position.


  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,562
    Could be burnt seasoning. Try to season after the sear during the 400 deg roast.
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    U_tarded said:
    Could be burnt seasoning. Try to season after the sear during the 400 deg roast.
    My thoughts exactly... Anything but salt will burn during a high temp sear.
  • Thanks -  I am getting ready to throw one on with a new cast iron grid -  i will apply salt only -  will let you know how it goes!
  • I actually got the same results -  steak was great but still had the bitter black strips from sear
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,560
    I'd try less time (e.g. 30 - 45 secs) or raise the height of the grid.   Any chance you are knocking dust up into the air because the grate is on the ring? 

    Do you have a spider or something that would be lower than normal but higher than directly on the ring?
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • Do you wire brush your cast iron before you cook on it ? 
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,015
    edited February 2013
    Are you adding wood to this fire? It should incinerate rather quickly, but it may leave a bitter taste from the VOC's burning off if you do it and then cook right away.
  • I used a brand new cast iron grate -  no wood added for sear -  i could raise the grate but i thought the idea was to get it as hot as possible.  I will try that today
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,015
    Also, did you use any oil on the meat? EVOO? It actually has a low smoke point and can cause that bitter flavor as well. Try brushing off the CI grid as stated if otherwise, and go for a lower time.
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