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Newbie horrible steak cook

edited 1:14PM in EggHead Forum
Hello all, as you see I'm a newbie, newbie with the egg, and newbie cook. I recently purchased an XL and have had phenomenal results with ribs, thanks to the late CWM. Also have mastered the burgers. However; last night I cooked some 26 ounce plus bone in prime grade ribeys that I've been wet aging for 2 weeks. The steaks looked great! 1 1/2 inches in thickness. I cooked them 3 minutes per side, and closed everything off for an additional 3 minutes, pulled them let them rest....ect. They were terrible. I experienced some pretty extreme flame ups will flipping the steaks which at the time thought was going to help acheive the searing I had hoped for. The finished result ended up with a charred smoke flavor that was overwhelming. It was just bad! The other mistake I may have made was adding soaked hickory chunks to the 650 degree fire. As I had read on the forum I let them burn off about 30 minutes prior to the cook. By doing so I sacraficed my gasket in the process. Any suggestion on where I went wrong. Thanks for the great support of this site.


  • 61chev61chev Posts: 539
    I never soak my smokin wood even for long cooks actually the chips or chunks don't do that much on a short cook like steaks your bad taste probably came from the hickory chips more steaming than burning
  • Do you have any photos of the steaks? If so that could tell us something. Not sure what it could be by your description? Did you have the BGE open when you did the burn off for 30 minutes? If so that is why your gasket is burnt. Shame to hear all that prime beef was not enjoyable. Sounds like you did the cook right.
    Welcome to the forum
    BGE'er since 1996 Large BGE 1996, Small BGE 1996, Mini BGE 1997
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    I'll bet it was from the few minutes with the vents shut. The steak was dripping it's fat juices into the lump, making nasty smoke and since all the vents are shut, a bunch of it settled on the meat. I would try a reverse sear. Or try the hot tub method.
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,958
    3 minutes on each side @ 650 ° seems really high. I would think it would be burnt to a crisp.

    Try the Trex method. Most everybody has fantastic results by doing it this way.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • the dwell method, where you close the vents and let the steak roast, has a HORRIBLE flaw....

    any fatty steak (and a rib eye is about asd fatty as you can get) will continue to drip fat into the fire. that fire has no oxygen (you are staving it), so when that fat hits it, it just smolders.

    if something is burning poorly, it will give off lots of inefficiently burned soot, which isn't pleasant.

    think of a candle, when lit, barely any smoke. blow it out, and that little ember is still hot, but can't burn the wick very well, so it just smokes with a sooty unpleasant smelling smoke.

    there are a few differents way to cook a steak, but io think the sear and dwell method is about the worst...

    sorry you had that experience. i would try the other methods out on less costly chunks of beef next time, until you get the hang of it.
  • yep, rib eye is the achilles heel of the sear and dwell method
  • TampaQTampaQ Posts: 40
    TREX method!!! It is just about impossible to mess up....
  • Morro Bay RichMorro Bay Rich Posts: 2,227
    I tried the "sear and dwell method" and my wife said there was a bitter taste she did not like. The next time I used the same method but instead of closing both the top and the bottom vents I closed only the bottom vent, leaving the top totally open (i.e. no daisy wheel). This got rid of the bitter taste. I think what happens is with all the vents closed you trap any smoke generated by steak fat dripping on the hot lump. By keeping the top open, you let that acrid smoke escape and it doesn't deposit on the steak.
  • The egg was closed during the burn off of the wood chunks. The steaks had alot of fat due to the prime grade and I attribute that to the significant flame up. Also the dome temp was 650, therefore I realize I had considerably more heat at grate level. As soon as I put the steaks on the smoke was boiling from the open top. As for the doneness of the steaks all agreed they were perfectly medium. The smoke and charred taste just overwhelmed any other factor. Maybe it was the soaking of the chunks where everything went wrong. Do ya'll use seasoning woods with steaks. As for the gasket I'm confident the fatality occured due to a combination of extended high heat, and extreme flame-ups that occured when I turned the steaks. Seems like I needed a pair of three foot long tongs. Sorry I didn't take any photos, it was not a memory I ever want t revisit. Lots to learn.
  • 61chev61chev Posts: 539
    I will speak up again I know alot of people use a very hot fire for the sear my wife does not care for a big sear so i use my cast Iron grid and a temp of 450 to 500 let the grid get good snd hot then enter steak for 90 second then rotate 90 degees for another 90 then flip and do the same to other side slow fire down as much as it will for abot 2 more min to desired temp we like 135 then rest for a bit to let the juices settle and enjoy maybe not popular but we like it just keep trying the egg can produce some of the best steaks ever
  • telling you man, it's the sooty fat.

    done it myself, and tested it with filets (much less fat), and there was an improvement.

    any time you shut the egg, you create a low oxygen environment. that smoke has nothing good about it, especially when you trap it in the egg.

    soak chips or don't, they won't affect it as much as that sooty burning fat

    closed vent means smothered poorly burning fire. and a poorly burning fire produces bad smoke
  • ibandaibanda Posts: 549
    These guys know what they are talking about. Trapping your steaks with all the vents completely closed in acrid smoke killed your steaks. I would also recommend reducing your sear time down to 90 seconds to 2 minutes a side.

    Yes, you want a roasting stage after the sear, but it works better with the vents open at 400°. Try the T-Rex method, it's the bomb! It changed my life!
    "Bacon tastes gooood, pork chops taste gooood." - Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction
    Small and Large BGE in Oklahoma City.
  • RVHRVH Posts: 523
    We keep the dome temp down to around 350°F-400°F when we grill steaks. The sear is achieved by the use of a "spider" (see which allows a smaller cooking grid to be placed very low in the egg, righr abouve the lump. As the lump temp can exceed 1200°F, a really great sear sizzles right up. Then the steaks are removed to a platter while the "regular" cooking grid is placed on top of a WooII ring (yep, more toys from the The effect is to raise the grid to the gasket level. The meat is tossed back on and finish roasted at a very forgiving temperature with the dome closed, to the desired doneness. (I have friends that will now offer to bring over some steaks if I will but grill them, so I guess people like them.) The vents are open, both top and bottom, during the entire cook.
    As for wood, chips are used because the entire cook is quite short and the chips seem to give enough smoke, and fast. They are always dry because some of the folks on this forum said they would beat me up if I ever soaked chips/chunks. Works for me.
    If one lacks the special goodies mentioned, we used to use a cheap grid from Lowes placed directly on top of the lump, with three small pieces of fire brick about 3/4 inch thick placed on top. The cooking grid was placed on the bricks in order to keep it just above the lump.
    For the raised grid used in the finish roasting, one can use three fire bricks turned on edge and placed on top of the fire ring, with the regular cooking grid placed on top of the bricks.
    Also, keeping the temps down somewhat certainly won't hurt one's gasket.
  • thebtlsthebtls Posts: 2,300
    Look into the instructions link above for TRex...I use the TRex method with the grid raised an additional 2" and get perfect results on 1.5" steaks every time since moving to that method. Keep On Eggin'
    Visit my blog, dedicated to my Big Green Egg Recipies at You can also follow my posts on FaceBook under the name Keep On Eggin' or the link!/pages/Keep-On-Eggin/198049930216241
  • I agree with St!ke but would like to add 2 things that are my personal preference:

    1) I never use smoking wood when I'm at hot, searing temps. Roasting temps, sure, but not when it's that hot.

    2) At those hot temps, I never leave the meat on for more than 60 seconds per side. typically I follow the guideline of 1 minute per side, per inch of thickness. So at 1.1/2" thickness, I'll either flip every 45 seconds or do 1 minute and flip, 1 minute and flip, 30 sec and flip, 30 sec and flip.

    if I'm doing all my cooking via sear, I would do the hot tub method. otherwise I like the reverse sear also.

    sorry about your steak, I've never purchased or tried to cook Prime beef. Now get back on that horse!
  • bamagirlbamagirl Posts: 24
    Might want to burn off your grill if it keeps happening.
    With the amout of smoke you were talking about you may
    have some build-up in the cooker if you have been cooking lots of pork and other fatty stuff that didn't
    get caught in a pan. It will effect everything you cook if not burnt off.
  • I'm sure you've been bombarded by advice from the forum, but with me, you're going to get restaurant advice. I worked in high-end fine-dining for about 15 years total, most of that in $$$$$ steakhouses.

    My two cents: Not everything needs smoke and steak is one of those things. Just forget about smoke when you're doing ribeyes. Also, you don't need to do sear and then close the vents, or reverse sears either. You just need to sear that sucker on each side (direct heat) and then make sure to undercook a bit. You finish cooking by pulling your steaks and resting them under foil for 5-10 minutes. You'll get the hang of it after awhile.
  • NC-CDNNC-CDN Posts: 703
    I usually run around the 500F range and do 2 minutes and change, flip, do 2 minutes and change, then flip and close everything.

    I think for doing a steak chunks of wood are way overkill. If I want a taste of smoke I may throw a few chips in there. Not alot. It's only a steak and it's only cooking for a few minutes. I use my chunks for low and slow cooks.

    Just the way I roll. My steaks turn out tasty with no issues. You'll have to do them a few times to learn how long to cook a certain thickness of steak. Usually I bake it in the end a bit longer for a thick steak and shorter for a thin one.

    Hope you get it figured. Less wood IMO.
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    I'd agree with both of you, particularly with the closed-vent dwell. I don't know what it is, but I always seemed to get a lot of ash on my steaks when I completely closed the Egg. Just bringing it down to a steady 400-450* for the dwell seems to work much better.
  • Thanks to all for the wonderful advice. If at first you don't succeed, grill, grill again!
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