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Restaurant Quality Steak (ribeye)

  • Dapuma Feb 23, 2011 10:45 AM
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We bought some ribeye's and cooked them up, seared them in a cast iron pan, and the crust never really surfaced on the entire steak, just the edges a little bit

also the flavor was just ok, didnt have that wow factor, they were good cuts of ribeye

How do you get that crust all the way across the steak (brick with tin foil on it?)

Also what do you need to do to the ribeye to give it a bit of wow...salt and pepper and butter is our usual seasonings - what are we missing?

is it a rub, is it a marinade, worchester, etc - please help with your best steak ideas

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  1. I always get into this debate with my brother. I prefer to use the broiler over a cast iron pan.
    Turn it on and let it get really hot-20 mins or more.
    Make sure the steaks are room temp, I rub with a touch of canola oil, salt and pepper, and small amount of chili powder. Directly under the broiler. Keep an eye on them, they cook quick. I prefer thicker steaks for this process. Otherwise they cook through before you get that crust you seek. If the steaks are still soft (rare) after broiling, turn down the oven and let roast until done (5-8 min more). You have to adjust the process to the thickness of the steaks and heat of your oven. Once you get it down, its the second best way to cook steaks at home. The first being over a open hardwood charcoal fire.

    1. You need to have a dry (not watery) surface, since water saps energy. You need to have a little smear of oil, I think to conduct heat and help the rendering; I oil the steak, not the pan. Of course, you need a hot pan, I usually wait until I see the first wisp of smoke, drop the steak, then turn down the heat a little. For maximum sear, you'll only flip once. But if they are thick steaks, you should use the oven, too, or turn the heat down to medium, lest you burn the outside and have a raw center.

      To get some dry-aged funk, you need to leave it uncovered (on a rack, preferably) for about 3 days in your fridge.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jaykayen

        I agree with "jaykayen" that dry aging yopur steaks will improve the flavor. Also salting and peppering your steak a few hours before cooking allows the spices to penetrate deep into the steaks (some pre-salt a few days before cooking).

        Links to Food Network Host Alton Brown's Home Dry Aging Method for steaks:

        http://www.ifood.tv/blog/how-to-dry-a...

        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

        1. re: Norm Man

          never salt your meat too long before cooking, it sucks the moisture out...

          1. re: nljoh2

            I respectfully agree with Norm Man. The water loss is beneficial, and only improves the flavor of the steak. I will salt way ahead of cooking time to get that moisture out of the steak.Water is not what makes a steak tender and juicy.

            1. re: rudeboy

              Yep. Salting and giving it a day or two in the fridge, uncovered really concentrates the flavors.

            2. re: nljoh2

              That's also the idea behind dry aging, the way the finest steaks are aged.

        2. I have eaten at nearly every major steakhouse east of the Miss. River and all the chains...and have grilled steaks at home for 45 years. Here is how to get a good restaurant quality ribeye:
          First, the meat. USDA Prime is best, but only a few specialty grocery stores or butchers carry it. Try Lobel's in New York, or Allen Bros. Google them. They carry dry and wet aged, and in my opinion, dry is by far preferable.

          Also, the meat should be bone-in. It gives the meat more flavor and makes it juicier. If you can't get USDA Prime, get a nice grocery store steak which will most likely be Choice. Get it at least 1.5 inches thick, and again, bone-in.

          To prepare the meat, I get it out an hour before I want it to hit the grill. Since ribeyes are already heavily marbled, I open up the steak and cut out the large nugget and vein of fat, and then re-attach the spinalis dorsi (cap) back to the larger part with a skewer. This will cut down on flareups as well. The spinalis dorsi is the best part of any steak ever.

          Sprinkle the steak with kosher salt, and kind of pat it in. Use more than you think necessary. I avoid other seasonings until the steak is done (ground pepper, and particularly garlic, which will burn and get bitter.) The salt will help the steak crust over as well.

          Use an outdoor grill for best results. A small cheap Weber does the trick, and Weber is all that I have ever cooked on. Start a fire with real charcoal in a charcoal chimney with newspaper. The coals will be ready in about 15 minutes. Pour them out and let burn down until flames are gone and they are glowing. Charcoal burns hotter, longer, and cleaner than briquets. Steakhouses use professional broilers that get up to 1500-1800 degrees, and a charcoal fire duplicates that best.

          Cook the steak for a few minutes until seared, and then turn and sear other side. I like a little crustiness. Avoid flipping the steak every minute. Leave it there and the crust will develop.
          Finally, move it to a cooler part of the grill, and put the cover on grill. Allow to cook to medium rare.
          Take it up and let it rest for about 5 minutes for the juices to redistribute. Season with ground pepper and perhaps a pat of garlic butter.

          Meanwhile, your cabernet or petite sirah should be ready to pour and then, ENJOY!. I think this is an art and have spent a lifetime working on it!.

          14 Replies
          1. re: steakman55

            Good points, Norm and Steakman. I have come to like my results on the grill and the skillet, but recently fell in love with the broiler. It is an infrared job, and gets really hot. You can see the surface bubbling while under the broiler.

            One important and interesting thing not said yet is that, as I understand it, by salting at least a half hour in advance, you can actually first see the kosher salt pull water out of the steak onto the surface. What happens next is that the surface dries up again, as the now salted moisture is drawn BACK into the steak. Like a marinade, you bring flavor into the meat. I add a little oil, coarse pepper and some granulated garlic, and then cook. Fat steaks for me go about 4-5 minutes under the broiler, each side, then rest and come out nice and med to med-rare.

            1. re: woodburner

              another vote for the broiler
              nice
              I really prefer it to the cast iron pan sear

              1. re: AdamD

                Question, for the broiler pan, does it matter what type of material that it is, i have a very old broiler pan that has to be circa 1980 - is there any advantage to getting something from say a william sonoma that would conduct heat or hold heat more effectivly or is it more along the lines of a charchol grill, basic works just fine

                Unfortunatly i am not able to grill outdoors with my present location so will have to stick with broiler / cast iron

            2. re: steakman55

              After 50+ years...Couldn't have said it better myself Steakman ~~ Time permitting I do prefer burning down about 80% seasoned white oak, and 20% hickory to create the coals...Something magical about wood coals...Lump charcoal otherwise

              1. re: steakman55

                Steakman- Sans the butchering pre cooking, i use the exact same technique. There s nothing better than the crusty texture v a soft butter interior of a nice ribeye.

                1. re: steakman55

                  Ron Swanson...is that you? :-) this is supposed to follow Steakman's first post....

                  1. re: karenfinan

                    me? not him...

                    1. re: woodburner

                      it was a joke, but got placed in the wrong spot- Ron Swanson is a character on Parks and Recs, a tv show.Ron has made a study of steaks, grilling and steakhouses. It was meant for steakman 55

                  2. re: steakman55

                    Fairway has a case of dry aged prime steaks, too. I don't buy it because I want grass fed, but it sure does develop color.

                    1. re: steakman55

                      Steakman pretty much has it down. Hot, hot, hot is a major key to the sear. I don't know if anyone has mentioned patting your steak dry first, but that's another things some home cooks miss, especially if you are putting it in a pan, it needs to be dry, or it will steam instead of sear. If I'm feeling "southwestern" I make a rub of kosher salt, garlic granules, cumin, Mexican oregano, and cayenne. Otherwise, salt and butter is all a great steak needs.

                      1. re: arashall

                        All,

                        I know I'm coming in very late to this thread, or rather "reigniting" it just in time for summer. But I'll just second or third the need for a good dry surface on the steak to get the color and crust you want.

                        I've unwrapped, washed, patted dry the steaks and then let them sit overnight (maybe even two nights) uncovered in the fridge. This definitely dries out the surface and helps enormously. I do this with whole chicken before I roast it, also.

                        1. re: EarlyBird

                          I do much the same, after a dry rub, and I buy 2" thick ribeyes. I bring to room temp for an hour, then grill on direct high heat for about 4 minutes per side, then indirect high heat for about 4 more per side, then rest under loose foil for 10 minutes for med/rare (I take it off the grill when instant read says about 120-125). Great char all over with no sootiness (clean grill and lower grates) and very juicy inside.

                          1. re: mcf

                            Yum.

                      2. re: steakman55

                        Was really impressed with your post. Especially cutting out the fat nugget to help prevent flare ups.
                        I too love dry aged, long bone ribeyes. My favorite Steakhouses are Charlies in Orlando, Bob's in Dallas, Gibson's on Rush/Chitown. Charlies was the best, Bob's had the nicest char and gibsons is an all out steak event. Went to a Shula's in Pennsylvania and was grossly disappointed. Steak was pasty, dry and un-flavorful. Thanks for your post, I'm going to try cutting the fat rock on the middle tonight.

                      3. What restaurant are you talking about?

                        Morton's? Luger's? Sizzlers? Outback? Prime? Cut? Someplace else?

                        Without a specific restaurant, it's hard to give you direction or guidance.

                        For example, at a place like Morton's or Ruth's Chris you can request a char on your steak and they'll leave it under the salamander at close range for a bit. So, unless you have a salamander at home, it's going to be difficult to replicate.

                        But the best way to cook a steak at home -- regardless of whether you are trying to achieve "restaurant quality" one -- is to do the following:

                        1. preheat your oven to 450F
                        2. then get your cast iron pan screaming hot (like indoor fire alarm warnings hot)
                        3. sear your steak on each side in the cast iron pan for about a 1 minute per side
                        4. finish off in your preheated oven to the degree of doness that you prefer

                        Plate and rest the steak for 10 minutes then dig in.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Yep, that's my technique as well. You should also make sure that your steak is room temp. It sounds like you might have tried to griddle a cold steak.

                        2. Personally, I find the recommendation of using cast iron for steaks is over-rated immensely on this site. It's good for the initial searing, but when transferred to the oven, it promotes uneven cooking. I would agree that the broiler would give you the best char in the home oven....without using an outdoor grill.

                          17 Replies
                          1. re: fourunder

                            I get bagged on for it but I don't care anymore. I use the GFG and I get a pretty darn good sear on my steaks. Here's my recipe and method (and what I enjoy with it)...

                            Garlic Grilled Steak...

                            Plug in the GFG and let it heat up for at least 10 minutes.

                            Take 3/4 to 1 inch steak of your choice & warmed to room temp (I usually like either a rib eye or New York strip steak). Optional rinse with water and pat dry with paper towel. First one side, then the other...Squeeze on several drops of lime juice over the meat don't drench and spread it around with your finger to cover it completely. Sprinkle on a fair amount of meat tenderizer and poke over completely preferably with a meat fork. Coat over with butter-flavor non-stick cooking spray. Next sprinkle on a generous amount of garlic powder. Finally add a generous amount of fresh milled black pepper.

                            Place in the GFG and grill to desired doneness. Let steak rest approximately 5 minutes before eating.

                            I've found that the heat up time I recommend and 6 or 7 minute grilling time produces a great tasting steak with a seared crust top. I I could be wrong, but I think the seasonings recommended also help in producing the seared crust top.

                            Oh so good with my Baker Blue baked potato. Baked potato split mashed with a 'moist' blue cheese added & melted under a broiler & then drizzled with Mexican crema (a table cream) 'all mixed up'.

                            As far as a 'restaurant' quality steak is concerened? As far as I know you'll never be able to purchase one in any store/market as you can only buy Choice (grade) cuts there. Prime (grade) cuts are reserved for the restaurant(s) industry.

                            1. re: crt

                              You can absolutely buy prime meat at the retail level.
                              The main difference between what you buy in a store and what is served in a restaurant is the cooking process, aging process and for some of the larger chains, the animal's diet (Im not sure, but I think some of the chains like morton's have their suppliers raise their animals on a specific diet).

                              1. re: AdamD

                                I can only recount what I read in an article in either NYT or WSJ, but here it is:
                                Until the recession/great recession/whatever you choose to call it, buying Prime Meat at retail was extremely difficult - something like 98% of the prime meat available went wholesale (restaurants). But, since people are eating out less in general, wholesale is consuming less of the prime supply and more is going to retail, including to outlets like Costco.

                                But back to the cooking: If I can't grill (I live in NE), I prefer to sear on the stove top (stainless or cast iron) and finish in the oven (either in the same pan or on a pre-heating pan). I must admit that I am not knowledgeable on broiler usage. I have NEVER had an issue getting a good sear on the stove top, but the pan does have to be hot and the steak can't be wet, otherwise you get steam. If the steak is thin, I guess you can do the whole thing stove-top, but otherwise the all-around heat of the oven is needed to properly finish. The only other thing I will say about stove top is that it won't work well if your steak is bone-in because you won't get consistent meat-to-pan contact. So if you steak is bone-in, go broiler all the way.

                                1. re: DMW

                                  I have no doubt the best cuts go to restaurants. But for as long as I can remember (I am over 40), no matter where I have lived (CT/NY), there has always been a place to buy very very good prime steaks. They cost a fortune, but you can certainly get them. Usually a specialty meat store, as opposed to a supermarket, but always available.

                                  1. re: DMW

                                    Costco and many neighborhood butcher shops carry prime meats. A supermarket near me carries dry aged prime meats. Some local steak houses have butcher shops attached selling prime meats. You can mail order prime meats.

                                    Why you'd put lime juice, tenderizer or use GFG for any of them is a whole 'nuther thang.

                                  2. re: AdamD

                                    There are also, of course, varying levels of Prime. Restaurants like Luger snatch up the best. Supermarkets get the left overs.

                                    1. re: AdamD

                                      having worked in several fine-dining steakhouses, they pretty much ALL buy their meats from a very few suppliers, including allan brothers mentioned up-thread. less than 2% of all beef is prime beef. the difference in flavor is remarkable.

                                      steakhouse broilers/grills get up to between 800-1100 degrees. nothing you can do with a home broiler and/or cast-iron pan will get close to that.

                                      besides them all using different seasonings pre-cooking, they also finish the steaks with something. butter at ruth's chris, au jus at morton's, rendered beef fat ("the love") at morton's, etc.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        The beef fat is at Luger, not Morton's, no?

                                        1. re: tommy

                                          sorry, typo. beef fat at smith & wollensky. not sure about luger's. morton's uses au jus.

                                    2. re: crt

                                      What's GFG?

                                      1. re: Bada Bing

                                        I pondered this over my morning coffee, and have decided it must mean George Foreman Grill. Not a tool I have in my kitchen.

                                        1. re: Bada Bing

                                          George Foreman Grill.

                                          1. re: fourunder

                                            Makes sense. Thanks for the clear thinking!

                                            1. re: fourunder

                                              I have one...collecting dust in the basement! Highly overated.

                                          2. re: crt

                                            "Sprinkle on a fair amount of meat tenderizer and poke over completely preferably with a meat fork. Coat over with butter-flavor non-stick cooking spray."

                                            Could you give me the rationale(s) for 1) meat tenderizer, 2) poking and 3) nonstick cooking spray? Please. All three of those things seem completely counter-intuitive IMHO.

                                            Re prime meat, not sure where you live but Costco and Whole Foods, at the very least, carry prime meats.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              We order our steaks from Allen Bros when they have special offers, they are fork tender and taste like real steak should taste. Expensive, yes; so we cut back somewhere else.

                                            2. re: crt

                                              Wegmans on the east coast has dry aged prime. Also many butchers can get DAP if requested.

                                          3. I think the key point here is that the equipment being used at the restaurants is hard to replicate at home. You will be hard pressed to get your broiler up to the temps they achieve in a restaurant much less find a salamander for home use.

                                            1. This sounds kooky, but it really works. It is cooking it, however you season it, over the charcoal starter chimney for a grill. You get the high temps we cannot get at home. This will only work for small steaks, and not for a crowd. With a grill across the chimney all the heat is directed at the meat and not dispersed.
                                              Try it, you'll like it, Mikey.

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: Nanzi

                                                Alton Brown used that method for searing fresh tuna.

                                                1. re: Philly Ray

                                                  Nanzi and Philly Ray, the following link has Alton Brown's recipe for "Charcoal Chimmey Steak" (along with home dry aging of the steak):

                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                                2. re: Nanzi

                                                  Cooking under the chimney starter is even better, and somewhat closely resembles a restaurant broiler.

                                                  1. re: tommy

                                                    Tommy. cooking under the chimmney starter is the method Alton Brown uses in the recipe link in my post that is directly above your post

                                                    1. re: Norm Man

                                                      that having been said Norm Man, that's how you can do 2 steaks at 1 time, one up, one under.

                                                    2. re: tommy

                                                      Has anyone actually cooked their steaks under the chimney starter (or on top of it)? It seems to me that you would get ashes on your steak. So you are putting the steak on the normal cooking grates & putting the chimney on top of it--I have a big Weber chimney but I guess you need to make sure the steak all fits under there.

                                                      1. re: sparkareno

                                                        When Alton Brown did it with tuna steaks, he took the smaller grate that is used to hold the charcoal in place and set it on top of the chimney starter. Since you will only have a cooking space that is as wide as the chimney starter, you will probably be able to cook only 1-2 steaks at a time

                                                        1. re: sparkareno

                                                          I have. No ashes, but I blew across the steak when it was done to be sure.

                                                          A large chimney should fit one porterhouse.

                                                          1. re: sparkareno

                                                            Whenever I grill a steak for myself I do it on the chimney, it always comes out perfect, and imo better than on the actual grill.

                                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                                              Great idea! I can't wait til the warmer weather comes and give this a try. I have tried all other methods, cast iron pan, broiler, indoor grill and agree you just can't get it hot enough. The summer is not a problem but when you dying for BBQ'd steak when it is -20 out is not an option. Same goes for home made pizza. You just can't get the oven hot enough. An added plus is that I am an Alton Brown groupie. I told my husband I want him to make me the pepper grinder he has. (A drill attached to a pepper mill) as I have problems with cramping in my hands. It would definitely make for interesting dinner party conversation that's for sure.

                                                              1. re: 02putt

                                                                I don't get -20 but I certainly grill at +10. Is there that big a difference?

                                                                My Peugeot pepper grinder is so easy to use and I have clinically weak hands. Maybe you need to try something other than what you use now.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  ummm, yeah, like 30 degrees. Have you ever been in -20 temps?

                                                                2. re: 02putt

                                                                  I told my husband I want him to make me the pepper grinder he has. (A drill attached to a pepper mill) as I have problems with cramping in my hands.
                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                  there are battery operated and hand squeeze models available.

                                                        2. starting with a good steak helps also...
                                                          i order from www.stockyards.com
                                                          and i give them as gifts -such as my dad for fathers day..
                                                          never been disappointed with them..

                                                          1. So here's my 2 cents:

                                                            1) The meat - IMO, the Prime designation isn't all it's cracked up to be. It follows specific guidelines, but those guideline vary a lot form country to country. I've had steaks in other countries that were fantastic, and wouldn't be anywhere near a US Prime designation.

                                                            2) The meat - #2 - again, IMO, the raising of the beef is very important. What's it's fed, and how it's finished, can have a huge affect on the quality of the meat, and hence it's flavor. For home cooks, it's very difficult to find consistency, because even your local butcher's steaks will come from different suppliers, and the same supplier will have access to different lots of cattle. It's complicated. That said, I also have had variation - good and bad - with mail-order steaks, even some with excellent reputations.

                                                            3) The cooking - restaurants achieve a heat you simply can't at home, even on a grill. I agree with a majority of posters that outside, on hardwood, is the best way to go. Start with a good piece of meat (which, admittedly, is somewhat of a crap shoot), wash, pat dry, salt both sides liberally, let rest for a while. Get a 2 level fire going, sear for a few minutes on one side, a few inches from the coals, flip and repeat, then move to cooler side to finish internal cooking to desired doneness. Poke it with your finger and use the fold of skin between your thumb and index finger trick as a guide, or go ahead and use a meat thermometer.

                                                            4) Let rest a good 10 minutes. Finish with steak juices and a few pats of butter whisked together.

                                                            5) I live in Minnesota, so grilling isn't always an option. That's when I go to the iron skillet to sear and oven to finish combination. Not as good results as with the grill, but when the grill is under 3 feet of snow, that's the alternative. I've never had good luck with the broiler.

                                                            As an aside, if you're really interested in steak, get the book "Steak", by Mark Schatzker. It's a very interesting read.

                                                            Lastly, there's a lot of things I can cook at home, and do as well or almost as well as many restaurants. And, I cook quite a few steaks at home - most turn out very well, but occasionally I mess things up somehow. But when I want a truly great steak, I know I'll have to turn to a steak house.

                                                            1. I always get a nice sirloin from my local butchers (they cut it rather differently from most sirloins), anywhere from an inch to two inches thick. I liberally apply black pepper, finely ground (I hate crunching peppercorns) and either a good quality onion powder or previously half-caramelized fresh onions.
                                                              Then I pan-saute the steak over high-medium heat with about 2 tablespoons of butter melted in the pan. The meat gets the most gorgeous crust on it...flip after about six or so minutes, depending on thickness and rarity desired, and cook on higher heat on other side, being careful not to overcook the meat just to get another nice crust. Thanks to the butter, there will be plenty of jus in the pan, and a beautifully browned, crunchy steak, pink on the inside, to put it on.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Miss Rennie

                                                                If you have a crawfish, tukey fryer, or thai wok propane rig, you can do the cast iron pan thing. Actually, you have to have two of them: one to heat the cooking surface, and the second to heat a cast-iron pan to press on top of the first one. You need Kevlar gloves for this.

                                                                The high-btu pan gas grills work pretty well, too.

                                                                Although there's nothing like a wood or coal fire for flavor.

                                                                The most unfiortunate thing is to develop an affinity for dry-aged prime. After you go that route, nothing else suffices.

                                                              2. I think it's very important to start with a nice steak.

                                                                1. I always hear about getting a cast iron skillet super hot, like as hot as you can possibly get it, and then searing the steak in it. But every time I've tried this, I end up with a crust that is straight up BURNT and raw just an 1/8" deep. So obviously the skillet was way too hot. I've never understood why this is recommended.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: slopfrog

                                                                    Commonly accepted wisdom isn't always so wise when it comes to cooking. Do what works for you. I cook steak on medium heat with a cast iron pan, with clarified butter, and I'm pretty sure my steak is incredible.

                                                                    1. re: slopfrog

                                                                      Depends on what kind of cast iron skillet.
                                                                      I use a cast iron grill pan with great results.

                                                                       
                                                                      1. re: slopfrog

                                                                        do you let your steak come up to room temperature before you cook it? If you cook it right out of the fridge, that will happen. Also, if its a thicker steak, you might not be able to cook it all the way through on the stovetop. For this, you'd sear each side for about 2-3 min and then put the pan in a hot oven to finish cooking.

                                                                      2. My SO loves steak, so I recently perfected my steak cooking method in my cast iron pan (I also don't have access grill or a good broiler). I like my method for cooking steak as much as most fine dining restaurants (and sometimes more).

                                                                        I use a combination of America's Test Kitchen's method and Eric Rupert's method:
                                                                        First I take out the steak 1-2 hours before cooking and rub it with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
                                                                        Then I use America's Test Kitchen's technique of putting the steak in a 200 degree oven BEFORE searing ( I do this on a separate pan so I can start heating my cast iron pan while the steak is warming). How long I leave the steak in the oven depends on how think the steak is; I leave the steak in the oven until it is really warm throughout. (This technique will result in very little "gray band" when you cut the steak; it will also prevent the steak from being raw in the center and burnt on the outside).

                                                                        Then I continue with Eric Rupert's method and heat my cast iron pan on high with no oil until it is smoking (literally). Next I take the steak and hold it with tongs so that the side of the steak with the band of fat sears. I continue to sear all the fat on the outside of the steak until all the fat is brown and crisp. Then I put the steak down on the pan and put butter on the side that is facing up. Once there is a great sear on the one side, I flip it and put butter on the other side. Finally I remove the steak and rest it for 10-15 minutes. (Meanwhile I deglaze the pan off the heat with some red wine and eventually some more butter).

                                                                        Once you eat the delicious seared fat, you will never not sear the fat again. Also, you will get angry every time you have steak out where they did not know to sear the fat!

                                                                        Of course the better quality your steak, the better the results. Also good quality Jersey butter makes it even better.

                                                                        1. In France they routinely turn out a great-tasting steak cooked in a cast iron skillet. It's not anything like a Luger, but it does taste wonderful. Usually called Entrecote.

                                                                          1. I'm hoping one of you can help me.. Every time I try pan searing the steak and using the broiler it gets black on the outsides and tastes horrible (even though I'm careful to not keep it on long..I only flip once and keep the steak on for 3 minutes each side before putting in the broiler). I'm doing something wrong so I'm hoping you can help me identify what it is. Here is what I do:
                                                                            1. I take the steaks out of the fridge after they are fully defrosted and season lightly
                                                                            2. I get the pan hot and put butter in the pan
                                                                            3. I put the steak in for 3 minutes then I flip but the steak is blackened by then.
                                                                            4. I put in the broiler because the steak isn't cooked and yet it's black.

                                                                            I tried lowering the heat to med/high and am beginning to think that maybe I just don't like the 'crust' that develops. If I wanted to use the broiler only, what do I need to do? Also, do you put the steak directly on the rack, on aluminum foil, or do you put it in a pan and then put the pan in the oven to broil? Or should I try baking the steak? Any advice is appreciated...

                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                            1. re: veritas1

                                                                              Don't use butter to sear the steak.
                                                                              Butter will definitely burn, that's the off taste you're getting.

                                                                              1. re: veritas1

                                                                                If I wanted to use the broiler only, what do I need to do?
                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                Restaurants that use broilers to cook their steaks, e.g., Peter Luger or Morton's, will either place the steak directly onto the grill grate, or use what is known as a sizzle plate made out of either carbon steel or aluminum. The advantage of using the sizzle plate is it collects any juices or fat renderings to put back on the steak when plating. You could do the same thing with a small sheet pan.

                                                                                If you research on the Travel Channel, there's video on Luger's kitchen broiling their steak. I would imagine there are more on You Tube.

                                                                                btw....I like to sear and bake/roast in a 400-450* oven depending on cut of steak(thickness)

                                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                                  I do what you do for thick steaks. Been doing it for a year or so and, using my meat thermometer, I'm getting consistently good results. For thinner steaks I use the grill outside but thicker ones the sear/oven technique is it for me.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    If not mistaken...and apologies if I am......There's one notable difference between us, as you like to use a cast iron skillet in the oven after the initial sear, which I find can over-cook the steak a little if you do not flip it midway through. The sizzle plates do not retain as much heat for more even cooking.....I surmise, due to the thinner metal and less heat retention.

                                                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                                                      I bow to your experience :) I use an induction cooktop and carbon steel will work on that but a quick google didn't show carbon steel sizzle plates. If you have the time, could you point me in the right direction. We have a restaurant supply shop nearby. I could just go in with my magnet which I carry with me for just this type of shopping :)

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        Will Stainless Steel work?

                                                                                        http://www.jbprince.com/sizzle-platte...

                                                                                        http://www.webstaurantstore.com/third...

                                                                                        Carbon Steel...but from the UK. this is much thicker than the ones I use

                                                                                        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sizzling-Plat...

                                                                                        A French Pan

                                                                                        http://www.akitchen.com/store/black-s...

                                                                                        It seems there are a number of stainless steel and cast iron sizzle plates available.. The Carbon Steel ones I use were purchased at an auction for a failed Chinese restaurant.....next time you are in NYC, you could venture into some of the restaurant supply houses that cater to Chinese restaurants located north of Canal Street on The Bowery.

                                                                                        if you do try that route, just ask to see *The Sizzling Platters*, which are common use for Chinese restaurant.....

                                                                                        You could also try any Chinatown where ever you are at the moment. ...I'll try to continue working on a source. I like a challenge....but only for those who appreciate my efforts. :0)

                                                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                                                          There are none so blind as those who will not see. A closed mind should be grounds for CH disbarment. You clearly know your way around a kitchen esp. meat. I keep an eye on you always :) Heading out in a few minutes with magnet in my hand.

                                                                                      2. re: fourunder

                                                                                        I'd just to clarify, because I've been using a variation of this method, but I'm trying to hone it. Sorry if I'm appearing thick, I just want to be clear:
                                                                                        Steak - rinsed, dryed, S&P
                                                                                        Oven - 400
                                                                                        Cast Iron (or will an All-Clad get the job done?) - heat it until blazing hot
                                                                                        Add steak, don't touch it for about 4 minutes, until a good crust appears
                                                                                        Flip, and either put the original pan (c oliver technique) or put the flipped steak onto a sizzle plate (pre-heated in the oven, I assume?) and into the oven, until cooked to desired doneness, as check by a meat thermometer.

                                                                                        Did I get the right?

                                                                                        1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                          1. All-Clad or any other shallow pan is fine. Non-Stick, no-no

                                                                                          2. I brush the steak with oil, but my preferred method is to use reserve fat from the freezer, or the actual steak. It doesn't take much to grease the pan.

                                                                                          3. i sear about 3 minutes per side before moving to the oven. I would flip a thicker steak halfway through expected roasting time (2.5-3.0 inches). Two inches or less, flipping is not necessary in the oven.

                                                                                          4. Two inches or less.......450*...............two plus.....400*.....since you are using a thermometer,(probe,not instant read) you should not have to worry about over-cooking with the higher temperature,

                                                                                          5. Rough Guideline : two or less 8-12 minutes total in the oven.....2.5+ 16-20 minutes......depending on how your oven works. i.e. runs hot or not.

                                                                                          6. Middle rack position

                                                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                                                            Thanks.

                                                                                            Once more question (again, sorry for being thick):
                                                                                            Steak down;
                                                                                            Flip once after 3 minutes
                                                                                            3 minutes later, into oven:
                                                                                            Q - do you flip again at the point at which steak enters over?
                                                                                            Let's say the steak is 2 inches or less: you only flip once total, right? After the initial 3 minute sear?

                                                                                            Thanks, and sorry being being obtuse.

                                                                                            1. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                              Correct....but there is an argument, or position, that if you like to have grill marks on your steak for presentation purposes, you would actually flip three times.

                                                                                              * steak in pan for 90 seconds

                                                                                              * flip for another 90 seconds

                                                                                              * flip again for 90 seconds, but this time place 90 degrees from the first sear markings to form a crisscross pattern

                                                                                              * flip again to form a crisscross pattern to the second sear markings

                                                                                              The thought is for flipping the two additional times is that you are less likely to allow the meat to cool.....meaning the first sear is off the heat too long. Personally I do not buy into the notion.

                                                                                              You can flip again entering the oven, but I really do not think it will make any difference in the final results.... noticeable enough for anyone to distinguish in a difference in quality, provided the sizzle plate was hot when the steak is placed on it, as opposed to cold. I would not heat the sizzle plate cherry hot. Just pre-heated from the oven. Flipping again before it enters the oven would be in line with the reasoning to flipping three times in the technique I mentioned above.

                                                                                              Bottom line......you are doing fine.

                                                                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                Perfect. Thanks!

                                                                                            2. re: fourunder

                                                                                              Now let ME ask for clarification please? :) I thought you seared the steak in the sizzle pan on top of the stove and then moved to the oven. No?
                                                                                              PS: Didn't make it to the resto supply store today. Later in the week for sure.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                I actually use both depending on the cut of beef.....Strips and Rib Eyes fit in the sizzle plate. Porterhouse will not., so it goes in the Cast Iron for the sear.

                                                                                                Outside Diameter( 13 X 8.5 ) Inside Flat Surface Area (10 X 6 )

                                                                                                This sizzle plate is the same gauge steel as a Lyon/French Fry Pan. The ones I have also have a raised edge of one inch, so splattering on the stovetop is not much of a problem... or roughly the same as with the Cast Iron. some clean-up is inevitable. I heat this pan directly on the gas burner

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                  Thanks. What a great looking pan.

                                                                                            3. re: foreverhungry

                                                                                              You should take the steak out when it's 5-10 degrees "below" the temperature of doneness you want. Depending on the size of the steak it will continue to rise in temperature when you take it out to "rest" before cutting into it. This is called "carry over" cooking and the internal temperature can rise another 5-10 degrees depending on the weight of the steak.

                                                                                      3. re: veritas1

                                                                                        If you are searing and then broiling it, you are most certainly burning the steak.

                                                                                        If you are pan searing it first, and its not cooked enough, you should finish in by rroasting, not under a broiler.

                                                                                        Or, you can do the inverse. Cook on a rack in a low oven, at 275ish, until it is about 100 deg (for med. rare) and then take out of the oven and sear for about 1-2 minutes per side. This will alleviate the issue of having a seared (or burnt) outside and a raw center.

                                                                                        1. re: ESNY

                                                                                          Yes this is the best method I've tried.
                                                                                          It is essentially Americas Test Kitchen's/Cook's Illustrated method of warming the steak first and then searing. They have done a lot of experimenting so that we don't have to.... Check it out:

                                                                                          http://recipes.cooksillustrated.com/b...

                                                                                          The last steak I cooked looked exactly like the one it the picture.

                                                                                      4. Do a two stage cook...need a BGE for this.

                                                                                        take steaks out an hour before cooking. Get the grill to 750+ degrees. Put the steaks on for 2 minutes per side. Remove steak and let them rest for 20 minutes. Get the grill down to 350 degrees. Put steaks back on for 5 minutes per side. Rest them for 10 minutes before serving. Perfect char and perfectly medium rare.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: achtungpv

                                                                                          You really don't need a BGE for this.

                                                                                          1. re: achtungpv

                                                                                            Interesting technique.....but 44 minutes is a little too ling of a process for me.

                                                                                          2. Well, weeks later, and apparently there are several methods of cooking steak at home, well. Who knew?

                                                                                            But of course the most important thing, that most people have overlooked, is that you will not have a restaurant quality steak, unless you're buying the same quality that a restaurant would. If that restaurant is Ground Round, then I'm sure these methods will work wonderfully, and that's where it ends.

                                                                                            If you want something better, start with a quality, notable, exceptional raw ingredient, and don't mess it up. The method, in this case, isn't going to make it any better than it already is. Same goes for the rest of cooking.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: tommy

                                                                                              I don't know. Lobel's is really good. For one of their cheaper cuts, hangers, grilled rare are delish. Mostly, with ribeys, NYs strip and porterhouses I go with 2 inches, which your local meat counter can cut. Then high-heat brown-crust it over charcoal or wood on both sides, then transfer it to an indirect heat, then use a meat thermometer or your own judgment to say, "This is perfect," and you can let it sit for 15 minutes, or you can eat it right away.

                                                                                              For people who want medium well or well done, just put it in the microwave. Give their steaks a nice crust, and nuke the insides, and they think it is great.

                                                                                              1. re: MarkKS

                                                                                                Yeah they don't know what's good.

                                                                                                1. re: MarkKS

                                                                                                  Microwaved steak. Yum yum.

                                                                                              2. Here's a video that deals with the pan/oven method. The steak looks overdone at the end (medium or even medium well) but the theory looks okay. Probably just adjusting the time would give you the results you seek.

                                                                                                http://youtu.be/kT_gzobKtok

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                  That guy destroyed that poor steak...

                                                                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                    Yeah, it was clearly overcooked, But nothing that taking it out two minutes sooner wouldn't have prevented. I think the point is the technique.

                                                                                                2. I've posted this many many times here. One more time.
                                                                                                  You don't HAVE to 'age' the steak. It helps but it's not critical. The rest of Heston's advice IS critical. I follow it to the letter and make amazing steaks every time.
                                                                                                  Try it once and you'll never make a mediocre steak again. Guaranteed.
                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhOV8...