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The Best Steak I've Ever Cooked!

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I want to share the method for cooking the best steak I've ever cooked and one of the best I've ever eaten.

Normally I grill all my steaks. The thought of cooking a steak indoors goes against everything I was raised to believe in. But I read this method in Cooks Illustrated and had to try it. Below is my take.

Use two thick cut ribeyes (mine were an inch and a half or so but could be much thicker)

Place the ribeyes on a wire cooling rack used for baking and place rack over a cookie sheet (I covered it with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier)

Pat steaks dry with paper towel

Season as desired (I used cracked black pepper, coarse sea salt, garlic, and red pepper)

Place steaks still on cooling rack in a 250degree oven (Speed bake helps if you have it but not necessary)

Leave in oven until the top of the steaks are no longer shiny with moisture or 25-30 minutes (you're trying to dry out the very top layer of the steak and warm the center a bit, not cook it)

While you are doing this take your best skillet and get it as hot as possible (do not use nonstick and they recommended not using cast iron because at the heat you are using it can impart some unpleasant flavors...I'm trying mine next time though)

Once steaks are very dry on the outside remove them from the oven

Place both steaks directly in the very hot skillet (don't use oil, butter, anything)

Cook on one side for 1 1/2--2 minutes depending upon how done you want it to be.

Remove from skillet and give it a minute or so to warm back up and repeat with other side

If you don't have to disable the smoke detectors you aren't doing it right. After you're done you'll remember this meal from the smell in your kitchen for a couple of days)

I topped mine with patts of garlic infused butter (I forget the brand name) right after they came out and that made them even better)

Eat and enjoy!

(The key here is getting the outside of the steak as dry as possible so you get a good char on the outside. I you don't get it dry you just end up steaming the meat...yuck!)

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  1. that sounds good, i use Alton Brown's recipe,and it's killer to.

    1. That's basically exaclty the opposite of how I cook my steak indoors.

      I use the never fail sear and blast method of wicked hot pan to hot oven finish. Good crust, flavor, tenderness. I am pretty sure this is AB's method, too, but then again it's very widely used.

      You can get an excellent crust on a steak that isn't bone dry if your pan is hot enough.

      3 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        Yep,that's it...'love it!

        1. re: C. Hamster

          Give the alternative method a try. I think the sear is far superior. And it came from Cook's Illustrated so it's got that going for it...which is nice.

          1. re: GrillMaster

            I will certinly give it a try,it sounds good.thx fo the tip.

        2. You're talking about the current CI right? I read the article too, and they gave an interesting reason why flipping the order in which we usually cook steak: to avoid the gray thin matter that develops if u sear first and finish in oven. Reason being that steak is too cold when we start the searing process.

          With this method, the steak is warm when you sear it, which produces the gray-less steak.

          Anyway, article made sense, and I wanted to try it. Glad you tried and looks like it does work.

          1. I also tried the method from that article last night and it came out great. I used my cast iron and didn't notice any unpleasant flavors.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Brian Lindauer

              I'm glad to hear that...I'd rather use my cast iron skillet than just about anything else.

              1. re: GrillMaster

                GrillMaster,

                Do you think it would work if you followed the steps for drying out the steak in the oven and then finished the steak over an extremely hot bed of coals or a hot gas grill? I'm just trying to think of a method that will keep the heat and smoke out of my kitchen, if possible.

                1. re: scoooter5

                  The whole point of my super hot outdoor grill is create an environment that blasts the meat with so much heat that even if the surface is cold/wet the sear will still be awesome SO I'd say that this method is completely overkill for a well functioning outdoor grill.

                  OTOH if you do the extra steps there is no reason to think that this won't work outside either with a pan over the heat or directly on the grate...

                  1. re: renov8r

                    Actually, on a gas grill you could do the drying-out part up on the shelf and away from the heat, then finish it down on the grill over the flame.

                    I never grill a cold steak anyway - I dry them thoroughly, then salt and pepper them and let them sit out on a rack under a clean towel for an hour or more, preferably two or three. If it's summer, four hours in my kitchen is not totally unlike 20 minutes in a 250º oven!

                    1. re: renov8r

                      IMOP the two methods produce a completely different steak. The point of the skillet method is to get an even sear over the entire steak. The other advantage is that you can get it while cooking the steak for no more than 3-4 minutes total. If you like a true rare steak it is very hard to get the outside of the steak well cooked while still having the inside rare. For instance, my time for cooking a steak over a very hot grill is 6 minutes on the first side and 4-5 minutes on the other. The six minute side is cooked pretty well while the other is not quite as seared as I would like but the best I can do with a normal steak that I can by regularly is about medium...maybe medium rare.
                      I admit the drying out may be a little over the top but I kind of enjoy going that extra mile to squeeze a little bit better taste out of my meal.
                      One thing I forgot to mention, I basted the meat with worcestershire first and then seasoned it so I was essentially evaporating all of the liquid out of the worcestershire as I dried it.

                      By the way, many gas grills now come with a gas burner on the side. They aren't the best for heat control...don't simmer well...but that isn't what you're going for. You want to get the skillet as hot as you possibly can.