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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Perfect Steak

I am a true believe that the perfect steak is rare or medium rare. Anything beyond that is cooked improperly. That being said, using this method for grilling a steak can improve steaks cooked beyond medium rare as well.

My favorite steak of all time is the bone in ribeye and that is exactly what I cooked for this meal. This particular steak was indeed a monster. I put my cell phone into the picture for reference. My cell phone is a standard Motorola Razr.

Another angle to get the idea of the shear size of this thing

All I did was add a little coarse salt and fresh cracked black pepper to this bad boy. To some this is all one needs. Normally I marinade my steaks, even filets. The key is using the right kind of marinade for the right kind of cut. But for this one, and for my first demonstration here I went with a simple, almost pure steak.

First off, let the steak come up in temp. Pull it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Second is the real trick to cooking the perfect steak - two zone cooking. Coals on one side. Nothing on the other. Sear the outside on each side to form a nice crust to seal the juices in, then pull off the heat to the side with no coals, put the lid on and bake till desired doneness.

And when I say sear, I really mean sear. I don't jerk around with searing. I get the coals flaming hot and then I pour on some sort of veggie oil and flame sear my steaks. ***Disclaimer - I do not recommend doing this near siding, a wood deck or anything else that could melt or catch on fire. Also avoid doing this in high wind. I almost learned that one the hard way.

To give you some perspective in the day light. Here is a picture of me grilling steaks at my folks this last Summer. This is the flame searing process and thus the necessity for the disclaimer. And yes the GrillinFool did have hair at one time before he started shaving it all off:

The hardest part is having the patience to let that expensive cut sit over those flames without flipping it. Sear for a couple of minutes and rotate 90 degrees and sear for a couple more minutes for nice grill marks. I don't really care about grill marks so I just sear it.

For this steak I seared it and then pulled it over to the side with no coals for maybe 5 minutes. Realize that this bad boy was close to 24 ounces. Smaller steaks (and more importantly thinner steaks ) will take less time to bake to the desired doneness.

Now comes a very critical step. Resting. You just created a nice crust to seal the juices in. You just pulled that steak off a hot grill. Those juices are in a very excited state. They are moving a million miles an hour inside that steak. If you slice it now all the juices will run out before you get to your 3rd bite. Hence the criticism of using a grill fork to turn steaks over in my inaugural post.

The ideal resting place would be on a cooling rack for cookies so that the juice that does leak out (and there always will be just a little) will not soak through the crust on the bottom. I'm not that anal. I just put it on a plate to rest. More perspective on the size of this thing. It is resting on a standard size Fiestaware dinner plate.

A steak of this size needs to rest about 5 minutes. It should rest long enough to allow the juices to settle down. You're not going for letting it rest until it gets cold. Just till those all important juices calm down.

Those of you who are not fans of rare or medium rare steaks usually get to this point and assume that the blood and juice is going to leak all over the plate when I slice it open. I will prove you wrong with what I like to call the money shot

And here's an even closer view of the money shot

Normally I like my steaks just a little redder than that, but this thing was so huge that I baked it for a little longer than it probably needed. Despite that, it was juicy and delicious from the first bite to the last. And I ate the whole thing....


  1. Oh my goodness! That steak looks amazing, nice job.

  2. I bought this steak for 'g-fool' and didn't get a bite!

  3. My mouth actually dropped open when I saw the bird's eye pic of this beauty alongside your phone - good job!

    Hungry Jenny x