Jump to content

Searing Steaks


Recommended Posts

Good Morning. I am brand new to the whole Kamado Joe process. My first cook was an absolute disaster. I did not let the charcoal burn long enough, and the wings I cooked tasted like charcoal. Next cook was hot dogs and nachos which was super easy. 

 

Tonight I am trying steak. I've had strip loins marinating in the fridge over night. I know they need to be room temperature before cooking. When I do cook them, I understand I am to get my Kamado to the searing zone, sear for 2 mins, rotate for another 2 for cross hatching, flip steak and repeat. Once seared, I shut down both vents and let the meat cook for another 5 mins?

 

Does this sound right?

 

I also have an electric fire starter. From the videos I have seen, you should have those little fire starter cubes to light different zones. Should I get those instead of a electric starter. 

 

Sorry for all the questions and thanks for the help.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

It really depends on the thickness of the steak but on anything 1.5" or thicker (I generally have my strips/ribeyes/t-bones cut to 2") I prefer a reverse sear. My reasoning for that is it is a lot easier to bring the grill up to searing temps than it is to bring it back down from searing temps. The end result is a much more even cook throughout the steak, imo. Rather than having a thin strip of medium rare center then progressing to well done as you work your way to the outside of the steak, you get medium rare all the way through and a thin seared crust on the outside.

 

For what its worth my method for doing this is to put the meat on with the grill in the 225-250 range, then flip once you hit an internal temp of 60-70 degrees. At an internal temp around 120 (rare) I pull the meat off and open the dampers to get the coals good and hot and ready for searing, I also remove my main cooking grate as I have a weber grate that fits on the the heat deflector tabs just above the coals. Once the coals are ready for searing I put the meat on the lower grate and flip every 30 seconds or so until I have a nice sear. Pull the meat back off and let it rest a few minutes, at that point it'll generally probe at a perfect medium rare, 130-132 degrees and is ready to serve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Donnie_Brasco_9 , on this site the search engine can be your friend.  Search on sear, reverse sear, lighting charcoal or anything that you think might show you some previous discussion(s) on your topic of interest.

 

Having said that, here's John's take on steak searing.  Like him, I'm not a fan of the reverse sear.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with JDEaston. The reverse sear on thicker steaks is a great way to go. Produces a pink steak all the way through with no grey line. On thinner steaks like a flat iron, grill to 500 steak on for 2 minutes, flip then 2 more minutes, then close everything down and let it ride for another 6-8 minutes depending on thickness and how done you like your steak. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both ways work, on thick pieces of meat I prefer the reverse sear though. That said there is no wrong or right way, its personal preference. So I would try both ways and see what works best for you. 

 

The reverse sear works well on thick pork chops as well. I remember the first time I asked for 2" thick chops from my butcher, the lady that I asked looked at my like I was crazy, they normally sell thin chops. She asked me if I was sure because once they're cut they're mine, i said yeah I have a plan. I'll likely never buy thin pork chops ever again, thin chops just dry out too quick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, pmillen said:

@Donnie_Brasco_9 , on this site the search engine can be your friend.  Search on sear, reverse sear, lighting charcoal or anything that you think might show you some previous discussion(s) on your topic of interest.

 

Having said that, here's John's take on steak searing.  Like him, I'm not a fan of the reverse sear.

 

 

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on why you don't like reverse sear. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Snoozeboy said:

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on why you don't like reverse sear. 

 

Here are the thoughts that readily come to mind. 

 

It’s all related to difficulties in getting the results I want when I reverse sear–

 

I get a more controllable sear (better sear) when searing raw meat as opposed to cooked meat.

 

When I’m trying to reach a specific IT for serving, it’s much easier for me to do that by searing first and then finishing the steak with indirect heat.

 

I think that searing after smoking burns off the smoke flavor that is only on the meats surface.  Meathead Goldwyn writes (apparently quoting Dr. Blonder), “Smoke includes as many as 100 compounds in the form of microscopic solids including char, creosote, ash, and phenols, as well as combustion gases that include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, syringol, and liquids such as water vapor and syringol, an oil.” 

 

What happens to them when they’re exposed to searing heat in the direct-zone?  One at a time–

Char . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It’s what’s left behind if wood is burned without adequate oxygen.  Wood char is charcoal.  Searing the meat will burn off the char.

Creosote. . . . . . . . . . . It burns as anyone who’s had a chimney fire will tell you.  So, it burns off during searing.

Ash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It’s not combustible.  It stays behind after searing.

Phenols . . . . . . . . . . . Phenols will sublimate and boil off at searing temperatures.

Carbon monoxide. . . . It’s a gas.  If it hangs around the meat, it’ll burn and become carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide. . . . . . It’s a gas.  I doubt that it stays with the meat but if it does, it’s without odor or taste.

Nitric oxide . . . . . . . . It’s a gas.  It’ll burn and become nitrogen dioxide.

Syringol. . . . . . . . . . . It ignites at about 285°.  Searing will burn it.

Syringol oil . . . . . . . . It's a mix of syringol and water.  The water evaporates and the syringol burns.

 

So, smoke flavor sitting on the meat’s surface is hit with our searing heat and all but ash boils or burns off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments, which I think are well thought out. I really like Goldwyn's website and have learnt a lot from there. 

 

I suppose on the other hand:

- it's easier to reverse sear on a kamado because it's easier to increase the temperature quickly, but takes a long time in the other direction. 

- I get a better sear on the already cooked meat, because it's usually a lot drier. For me, searing raw meat gives too much grey meat between the sear on the surface and the perfectly cooked. 

- I haven't noticed the lack of smoke flavour from a reverse sear. I'll think about it more,next time I do it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting discussion, the theory of reverse sear is good and the visual effects are great but I do feel that demand for this visual effect or for the crust are driven by steakhouse type cooking rather than true flavour and involve heats that are too nuclear. Try telling an Argentine griller for example that either way is the right way. Until you have had meat grilled in Arg style/SA Braai way over a bed of medium hardwood coals to a perfect medium rare you've missed out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first time in Argentina was in 2004. I was amazed at the beef there. It was beyond anything I had tasted before.  I went several times again, up until 2012, when a change of job took me elsewhere for business. 

 

I was given a kamado 2 years ago and it set me on an obsession with the perfect beef, using the kamado and also a sous vide circular. Long story short, i never got there, finding that there were many great ways to cook steaks, but for me there's always a compromise; no method was perfect. 

 

I found the chance to visit Argentina again, about a year ago. I was kind of disappointed with the steaks, despite visiting some very good restaurants, recommended by my local contacts. 

 

Either Argentinean beef got worse, or my own got better. Probably, a bit of both. 

 

I've never been to RSA, however. One day...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, I agree with you about the erroneous pursuit of steakhouse style cooking. 

 

After reading a lot of Meathead Goldwyn I ditched my caste iron grates and went back to stainless steel, in order to get a more even Maillard effect crust. 

 

I also found some of the best crusts can be achieved by the caste iron pan and butter/ghee method in John's video above. However, I don't get enough smokey taste from that method. There's always a compromise. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I go between sear and reverse sear and I am not sure I’ve ever been able to discern a difference, although I’ve had family members tell me the best steak I ever did was a reverse sear of a Tomahawk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...