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Grilling Steak

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mrpologuy, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    Skirt steak for dinner tonight, a cut I rarely eat but when I am eating it I always ask myself, why don't I eat this more often?

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Oh, it's a skirt steak. Jesus Ed, you had me freaked for a minute as this reminded me of that demented fellow in Germany(?) who cut off his own....
     
  2. volta

    volta Active Member

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    I think I'm the only one that likes any red meat well done.

    nah; i'm with you on that one. dont care for too much blood in my food
     
  3. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    [​IMG]

    These are starting to get old...
















    PSYCH! But, I have once again overdone this one a little bit (still very good, but not just right). I keep forgetting how thin they are. I learned a couple more tips today from the experience:

    Don't stretch the steak out over the grill - it cooks faster and throws off your timing, but more importantly it opens up the fibers and lets the juices out (see plate). When you put the steak down don't grab it by one end and let it stretch out - this one stretched probably .75" while putting it on, and I wasn't really thinking about it. Bad.

    That upper rack in the grill is a great place to put a plate(s) just as the steak is finishing up - move it onto the plate, turn off the grill, and when you pull it out a minute later the plate will be very warm and keep your steak from getting cold.

    If you like rarer steak with a good crust, try not to buy thin steaks. Difficult at the grocery store. Another option would be to pull it out of the fridge and not let it fully warm to room temp before putting it on, but this seems iffy to me so I haven't tried it.
     
  4. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG]

    These are starting to get old...

    PSYCH! But, I have once again overdone this one a little bit (still very good, but not just right). I keep forgetting how thin they are. I learned a couple more tips today from the experience:

    Don't stretch the steak out over the grill - it cooks faster and throws off your timing, but more importantly it opens up the fibers and lets the juices out (see plate). When you put the steak down don't grab it by one end and let it stretch out - this one stretched probably .75" while putting it on, and I wasn't really thinking about it. Bad.

    That upper rack in the grill is a great place to put a plate(s) just as the steak is finishing up - move it onto the plate, turn off the grill, and when you pull it out a minute later the plate will be very warm and keep your steak from getting cold.

    If you like rarer steak with a good crust, try not to buy thin steaks. Difficult at the grocery store. Another option would be to pull it out of the fridge and not let it fully warm to room temp before putting it on, but this seems iffy to me so I haven't tried it.


    One other tip, don't cut your meat as soon as it comes off the grill. Give it about 3-4 minutes to let the juices settle and for it to finish cooking. You'll get a lot less loss of "juice" and the steak will be more tender.
     
  5. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Yeah, I didn't - that's just from sitting on the plate for a couple of minutes.
     
  6. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    I usually let my steaks sit on a warm (hot, really) plate covered in two layers of foil for a good 7-10 minutes. Of course, to do this you want to take 'em off the fire a little sooner, but it gives me time to put the rest of the shit together. Plus I find the extra time actually does increase juice retention. IMHO about 10 minutes is where the benefits of letting steaks sit drop off.
     
  7. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    From a technical point of view letting a just-cooked piece of meat sit on a plate is a really bad idea. What happens is that one side cools faster than the other and you end up with a steak that is not as good as it could be. Even worse is to wrap it in foil which causes the meat to steam in its own juices and the crust to be lost.

    The correct way to do it is to put a rack on top of a cookie sheet and let the steak cool on that. This way the air can circulate all around and you will get a more evenly cooked, better tasting piece of meat.

    Also important is to salt and pepper both before and after grilling.
     
  8. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    From a technical point of view letting a just-cooked piece of meat sit on a plate is a really bad idea. What happens is that one side cools faster than the other and you end up with a steak that is not as good as it could be. Even worse is to wrap it in foil which causes the meat to steam in its own juices and the crust to be lost.

    The correct way to do it is to put a rack on top of a cookie sheet and let the steak cool on that. This way the air can circulate all around and you will get a more evenly cooked, better tasting piece of meat.


    I've done it both ways and never noticed a significant difference, but I'm no grill master so my starting product probably isn't finnessed enough, if you will, for that to make a difference.
     
  9. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Hmm, good to know. Next time maybe I'll put it directly on the upper rack of the grill (grill turned off) and let it sit there with the lid open for the couple of minutes before dishing up.
     
  10. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    that is even better because the left over warmth will make it so that the cooling is not quite as rapid and the juices will become more even throughout the meat.
     
  11. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    A few of my thoughts, some already mentioned. I don't claim to be an expert but I have cooked a ton of steak a ton of different ways.

    Don't be afraid to experiment with different cuts of meat, dry rubs/marinades, and different levels of 'done'. I see way too many friends limit themselves with the same old thing.

    Clean the grill before grilling with a metal scraper, and then follow that up by a quick once-over with a paper towel that's been dipped in a little oil. This will help with a few things but mostly will ensure you get those great, even grill marks.

    Speaking of grill marks- put the steak on and let it sit for about 3 minutes, then rotate it 90 degrees. Do the same thing when you flip it; aside from that, there's no need to touch it until you take it off the grill.

    You learn to tell how done a steak is over time with the finger poking method; if you want to be exact though, a meat thermometer is a must. Most people check it way too early though and end up poking holes everywhere.

    There is no need to let a steak get to room temp before grilling it. There is no appreciable difference in cooking time, and all decent steak restaurants I know of go from fridge to grill.

    As good as it can be and as fun as it is to cook steak at home, steak is one of the few things that the home cook has a hard time matching the restaurant cook. The best places have hell temperature ovens and grills that can sear like nobody's business. Even most of the best home grills are no match unfortunately.
     
  12. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Not to totally slam your post, because I agree with some of your points, but a few counter perspectives:

    Considering my fridge is set at about 35 degrees, I think the difference in a thick steak would be significant if I just pulled it out and slapped it on the grill. If the steaks were frozen, I usually have to pull them out just to get them to thaw all the way. For a thin one it might not matter as much, or might even be better to go quickly from fridge to grill.

    To be honest I have never had a restaurant steak, even at up to $50-60 a pop that could compare with the best results I've gotten on my home grill. Maybe I've never been to a really good steakhouse, but I've been to quite a few of the ones that claim to be.

    Also, leaving any steak on 3 minutes and not flipping it would murder it IMO. I don't care if the grill lines look nice personally, but if I really did I would rotate it after maybe 1 minute, then flip after another minute. For most steaks more than 3-4 minutes total on the first side is way too much IMO unless they are ultra thick or your grill is set low.
     
  13. Bandwagonesque

    Bandwagonesque Senior member

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    I don't have a BBQ [​IMG] but I've been getting good results using tenderloin cuts seared on a cast iron pan, then broiled in the oven. I think the missus and I generally follow Alton Brown's recipe.

    I could really go for a steak right now. It's just too bad my gut's in knots with some kind of stomach bug that the thought of meat is making me sick. Ugh.
     
  14. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    A perfectly seared pan-fried steak is often better than grilled. The crust is just one continuous surface of salt and pepper and browned crispy meat goodness. I just think it stinks up the house and splatters fat all over the range top.
     
  15. Bandwagonesque

    Bandwagonesque Senior member

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    A perfectly seared pan-fried steak is often better than grilled. The crust is just one continuous surface of salt and pepper and browned crispy meat goodness. I just think it stinks up the house and splatters fat all over the range top.

    That's true. The house does stink for quite a while, and I always have to disable the smoke detector.
     
  16. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    The best places have hell temperature ovens and grills that can sear like nobody's business. Even most of the best home grills are no match unfortunately.

    Oh, I don't know about that -- my grill gets over 600 degrees F, which seems to do nicely.

    But I'm not one of those guys who refuses to order steak in the better restaurants, either.
     
  17. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    Considering my fridge is set at about 35 degrees, I think the difference in a thick steak would be significant if I just pulled it out and slapped it on the grill.

    I have done it both ways and can't tell any noticeable difference in cooking time, taste, etc. This is the way steakhouses do it, for convenience, safety of the meat, and so on. If you notice a difference, cool, no big deal either way.

    The best steakhouses have ovens/grills that can get much hotter than most home grills, and that is key in cooking a thick steak. Not saying at all that it can't be done at home, and not disputing your experiences, but I've never made a steak at home that was as good as ones I've had from Del Frisco's, Peter Luger, Bobby Flay Steak, and so on. I've gotten close with a great cut of meat and cooking it just right with the right amount of heat.

    You must like your steak rare.
     
  18. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Maybe you need to leave it on 3-4 minutes a side because you grill it straight out of the fridge. [​IMG]
     
  19. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Tonights dinner, a boneless shell and a bone-in ribeye

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    Tonights dinner, a boneless shell and a bone-in ribeye

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
     

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