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I've made a couple of good steaks in my life but it's hit or miss. I think a lot of my failure comes from not wanting to invest in anything too good for fear of ruining it so I've mostly used thin, inexpensive cuts. I've been very successful with thicker cuts. Tonight I'll be cooking up a 2" "Delmonico” which is apparently not a specific cut but rather a way of cutting a thick steak.

 

Anyway, my question is about two pieces of steak advice that seem to conflict. First, sear it as hot as you can possibly get your grill. Second, use an oil, preferably butter. I'll be searing on the cast iron griddle, flat side, and I can get it raging hot. I have two high temp oils available to use, avocado or ghee. I'd rather use the ghee for flavor. 

 

But while I can get my grill going at 600°+ for the sear, the smoke point of these oils is well below that. Don't I want to keep my temp under the smoke point? Is that not a concern?

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I think for searing going past the smoke point isnt a big deal. I used to work for a chef who would do Pittsburgh Rare steaks, and he would only put the steak on after the skillet was severely smoking. And I've seared like that and the steak always comes out great. How did your delmonico turn out?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm no longer a fan of the reverse sear.  I'm back to my original method of searing first.  Here's one of John Setzler's excellent videos on the subject.  You can't go wrong if you follow this.

 

 

He has produced a newer video where he sears the steak in a cast iron frying pan.  I don't search well on this forum so I'm having trouble locating it.  If I find it I'll pass it along, too.  Perhaps another member can do a better job of searching and can locate it for you.

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Often in my opinion folks over complicate a steak.  It's possibly the easiest piece of meat to cook.  It does require a good cut of meat such as a rib-eye, t-bone, NY Strip or porterhouse 1.75" - 2.25" thick.  Season it with a good amount of salt and black pepper (or similar).  No need for oil but you can brush it if you like.  The cuts I mention have plenty of fat in them.

 

With a nice hot fire in the 550f-650f range.  Throw the steak on and flip almost constantly, maybe every 20 seconds to avoid the flareup from burning it badly.  Before long the fat will be sizzling.  Keep going until it looks golden with some dark charring here and there.

 

Exactly how I just did this large rib-eye:

 

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I like rare steak so adjust for your own taste or the taste of your guests.  If I have guests that like it more done than medium rare they are out of luck :).  Fortunately Mrs philpom enjoys them bloody like I do!

 

Using this method you can have 5-10 guests bring you a raw steak of their choice out to the grill, cook it to their liking in a minute or 2 while you visit. (think chow line) They'll enjoy watching the process and get a great steak right off the grill. 

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On 2/1/2020 at 8:12 AM, Brandon Store said:

I think for searing going past the smoke point isnt a big deal. I used to work for a chef who would do Pittsburgh Rare steaks, and he would only put the steak on after the skillet was severely smoking. And I've seared like that and the steak always comes out great. How did your delmonico turn out?


I know Alberta rare:  knock it's horns off, wipe it's butt and drop it on the plate.  What is Pittsburgh rare? ;)

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2 hours ago, JeffieBoy said:


I know Alberta rare:  knock it's horns off, wipe it's butt and drop it on the plate.  What is Pittsburgh rare? ;)


a very hot sear on the outside while still being rare/raw on the inside. Had the burner on high heat with oil on a metal skillet waited until the oil was well passed its smoke point and then he dropped a thick cut sirloin, 2 minutes each side. Had a very nice outer crust/sear. And a very rare inside. Usually topped it with buttery garlic shiitake mushrooms. 

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4 hours ago, philpom said:

Often in my opinion folks over complicate a steak.  It's possibly the easiest piece of meat to cook.  It does require a good cut of meat such as a rib-eye, t-bone, NY Strip or porterhouse 1.75" - 2.25" thick.  Season it with a good amount of salt and black pepper (or similar).  No need for oil but you can brush it if you like.  The cuts I mention have plenty of fat in them.

 

With a nice hot fire in the 550f-650f range.  Throw the steak on and flip almost constantly, maybe every 20 seconds to avoid the flareup from burning it badly.  Before long the fat will be sizzling.  Keep going until it looks golden with some dark charring here and there.

This is how you do it! 

Particularly on a hot Soapstone or griddle or CI pan. 

Flip, flip, flip, flip, repeat. 

Butt:

10 hours ago, pmillen said:

I'm no longer a fan of the reverse sear.  I'm back to my original method of searing first. 

I have seen a single cogent argument for "reverse searing". It was suggested that protein can only absorb smoke flavor up to a certain temperature. That theory is that if you "forward sear" it will drive the outer layers past the temperature of absorption and prevent the 

smoke from flavoring it. 

This may suggest that "reverse sear" only has the potential to increase flavors during low and SLOW. 

I have no idea if this is a valid theory or not. But I did get to use the word cogent. I don't know what it means but, I am winning! 

Quote

 

This video is included in the quote because I was unable to discard it. 

 

C'Ya! 

Have Fun Kamado Kammandos! 

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11 hours ago, JeffieBoy said:


I know Alberta rare:  knock it's horns off, wipe it's butt and drop it on the plate.  What is Pittsburgh rare? ;)

Pittsburgh rare comes from the old steel mills in Pitt, legend has it the workers would bring raw steak to work and drop them on the glowing steel to sear the outside, but they'd still be "blue" in the middle

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@SeaBrisket

 

Here's another video I made....

 

 

I have some opinions on this topic for sure.  MY preference is sear first and then finish over indirect heat.  I like to be able to control the quality of my sear and I have much better control of that when searing raw meat rather than cooked meat.  

 

I do prefer higher smoke point oils.  GHEE is my go-to.  It provides the best of both worlds in terms of flavor and high smoke point.  Searing on a flat surface such as an iron pan or griddle gives you a better quality crust IMO as well.  

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On my KJ I started reverse searing thick (2+ in.) steaks and pork loin steaks about 5 years ago. I am always successful. I use the Montreal Steak seasoning.

 

Sometimes I sear (not reverse) on a hibachi with great results.

 

Tomato or to-mah-toe type discussion to me. A regular sear cook is bit shorter most of the time for me.

 

Try both methods and decide.:)

 

M.

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On 2/10/2020 at 10:30 PM, lnarngr said:

It was suggested that protein can only absorb smoke flavor up to a certain temperature.

This has been proven false by a number of food writers specializing in BBQ/smoking.  I'll see what I can locate and post a link.

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