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BEST PORTERHOUSE (T-BONE) STEAK EVER!!!!!

So I have been using different techniques the past three nights on the same exact dinner: A porterhouse steak. Tonight's steak was the absolute best. And I am willing to share my wisdom with you all, as this technique far surpasses straight grilling a steak.

Step 1. Get the steak to room temperature. It needs to sit for a good hour at least. If you just defrost it and start cooking it, it will come out like shit.

Step 2. Fire up your charcoal/gas grill. ( I prefer charcoal for more of a mesquite smoked flavor.) If it is charcoal, it needs to burn until all the coals are red hot and white, a good 45 minutes or so.

Step 3. Get a cast iron skillet and heat for 4 or 5 minutes. Put a generous amount of olive oil in the pan. Once it begins to smoke, its ready to put the steak on.

Step 4. Season with salt and pepper just seconds before you begin to cook. Do not let it sit as it will dry the meat out (remember reverse osmosis from science class?) I don't either, but I think I have it right... (They also make montreal steak seasoning which is good.) Point is, do not season it as it is thawing, and use a generous amount.

Step 5. Sear the prettiest side of the steak first for 3 minutes. Then transfer to charcoal grill for one minute.

Step 6. Repeat for other side of steak.

Step 7. Let sit for a good 5 minutes to let the juices go back into the steak. If you are worried about it getting cold, wrap in tin-foil or cover (but not completely) While you are doing this, you may add thyme and carmelize some onions with a squirt of Worcestershire and/or a touch of butter in the skillet.

Step 8. Use the juices from the skillet to pour onto the plate. And put the onions on the steak.

If you did it right, it should come out a nice, juicy, mouth-watering medium/medium rare. Each minute/minute and a half or so you add in the skillet will raise it to a more well cooked meat, do not exceed 6 minutes on each side or it will taste like leather, unless that's what you like. Ex: if you want medium well, add a minute and a half per side, etc.

*Easy trick* Test the give of the meat to tell if its cooked the way you want it bu using your thumb. Medium rare should feel like where your thumb meets your palm, whereas medium well should feel like the center of your palm, and rare...well I guess your buttcheek ;).

**This method still gives you the flavor of the grill, without sacrificing any juices that may be lost from the grill. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

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  1. First, welcome to CH!

    Second, this is going to get moved to the Home Cooking board.

    And, third, you're probably going to get all manner of disagreement as every point you make as been argued against at some point :)

    7 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      OK As long as I get updates on it. Im sure they may have, and I am up for constructive criticism, but so far this is the best way I have been able to cook my steak. I joined this forum in order to help improve my cooking, as well as improve others.

      1. re: nystreetguru

        We have 'firefights' here about things as benign as whether a poblano pepper is ever called a pasilla :) I learn more than I give back.

      2. re: c oliver

        Yea, I agree with c oliver but glad you found a method that works for you.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          I read all of your blogs and no one has mentioned the American test Kitchen way of grilling a steak,which is from the frozen state,and I used to do it that way in the old day's but figured everyone is doing the hour room temp deal so I did that,but have since gone back to A.T.K way and really love it,It was recently done that way also on the Chew,guess who the tasters picked? right the frozen way.
          I just season mine stick it in the freezer for an hour pour a little olive oil on it and on the grill it goes.
          It really is worth a try.

          1. re: mutti

            That's pretty interesting. Hadn't heard of it before.

            1. re: mutti

              I've heard of this approach with tuna teaks but never beef steaks. What is your timing on the grill from frozen just to get a quick comparison?

              1. re: mutti

                I have prepared steaks, etc., in the frozen state for many, many years. Always moist and tender. My granddaughter's SO always tells people that I make steaks better than any of the very best steakhouses.

          2. Here's what I've been doing since this was first posted with great success.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6899...

            Here's a recent thread that has garnered 120 replies!

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/905437

            I'd say cooking meat is in the top 10 of the most discussed things here. And we all SWEAR that we're right :) But we also learn which is what it's all about.

            1. First of all, one hour won't get the steak anywhere near room temperature. And that's just first.... P.S. Welcome!

              9 Replies
              1. re: mwhitmore

                I agree, I leave the steak out two hours or more. But you have the warming up idea right!

                BTW a porterhouse and a T bone are two different steaks. They come from the same primal cut, but from the opposite ends. On a T bone, the tenderloin/filet part is smaller, and bigger on the porterhouse. Conversely, the sirloin portion is bigger on the T bone and smaller on the porterhouse. Not a big deal unless you're in the meat business though. Also technically porterhouse should be at least double the thickness of a Tbone. Just some trivial facts to amaze your guests~

                1. re: coll

                  I do too! I always try to take out a thick porterhouse, sirloin, T bone or ribeye at least 2 hours ahead and usually salt then or before as well.

                  You are indeed correct about the Porterhouse vs T-bone. I was shocked that my local Whole Foods were selling T bones as Porterhouse recently. There was literally a single bite of filet on the steak and no where near the size requirements for Porterhouse.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Many meat cutters are clueless about the size requirement of the filet for a porterhouse.

                    1. re: Tom34

                      Yea, they also sell flap meat as skirt steak which was fortunate for me as I discovered flap steak and it's now one of my favorites so I always check closely before buying meat there. The primary butcher is pretty knowledgeable so I should ask him how he would label the steaks as he often points out mistakes in labeling elsewhere so might have labeled them correctly if he were the one to put them out.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        Flap meat (185A) is dear to my heart because I grew up on it. Anyone breaking sides of meat will have it but most supermarkets don't.

                  2. re: coll

                    Your right Coll and its also worth pointing out that many regard the 1st & center cuts of a shortloin as having a nicer striploin with the trade off being a smaller fillet. While the end cut of a shortloin has the biggest filet, the striploin side has distinct lines on gristle running threw it. Sharp non serrated steak knives fix that problem very nicely though :-)

                    1. re: Tom34

                      Oh I forgot about the line of gristle too. My meat buyer used to explain to me this way, God played a joke on us when he invented the porterhouse; the porterhouse has the nicer filet but you have to have the gristle too. You can't win! He was a funny guy (as are most in the meat industry I find, guess it goes with the territory) He was also a wonderful mentor.

                      1. re: coll

                        Personally I like the end cut, extreme marbling & extreme flavor. Sharp steak knife makes short work of the gristle. My problem is my wife ends up stealing the filet :-)

                        1. re: Tom34

                          Yeah we share too. I like the filet just because it's smaller, but the strip side does have lots more flavor. The gristle, I just eat around it, doesn't bother me one bit. Such a treat, especially nowadays. As a matter of fact, I think I have a couple in the freezer right now......think I know what I'm having this weekend!

                2. Does sound great. Everybody has a different method and as long as you follow your process it usually comes out good. For example, mine is pretty close to your except for I don't use a pan, I just put it on the grill. I also use gas now because of ease of use although I fire up the charcoal now and then.

                  The interesting debate is over salting. I generally salt just before putting it on the grill, but I've also read that the best way to do it is to salt well in advance, like at least an hour and the salt will draw the moisture up and then combine and draw back into the meat for a better seasoned steak.

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: Shann

                    I too use gas most of the time now, the trick is to put the grill on high for close to a half hour to get it as hot as possible. At least with my cheap Weber model. And I do like the steak directly on the grill, I only do about 3 minutes a side so don't lose much juice. I also like to "cross hatch" the steak, if you're looking for "pretty". Can't do that in a pan!

                    I too starting salting hours in advance and prefer the way it comes out now. Salt, cracked pepper and some garlic powder, keep it simple. If I remember, the old steak house trick of brushing on some drawn butter when done adds a bit of panache!

                    1. re: coll

                      I just got a Weber Genesis. Its nice although I don't think it is any better than a much cheaper model. One thing is it will get up to 600 degrees in less than 15 minutes and it also has a "sear" station that is just an extra little burner between two of the big burners. I haven't tried to figure out whether that actually works better or is just "hype" but it does work fine.

                      The only actual problem I've had is that its hard to get the temperature low enough when cooking something for a long time but I haven't played with it enough to get it right.

                      I also like the garlic powder, it really does add to the flavor without hiding it like a heavy sauce.

                      1. re: Shann

                        I've had one the past few years, and it's completely different from cheaper ones. I had to learn to grill and can get the kind of crust on steaks and evenness of cooking on the whole grill I never had with even non cheap but lesser grills.

                        It took me a while to figure out how to get the temps right because of the btus. Searing a thick steak on high direct, then moving it to indirect to finish works. If you want low and slow like for ribs, just one burner, set on low, usually gets the temp.

                        1. re: mcf

                          The best thing I did was exchange the ceramic grates mine came with for stainless steel. I'm sure cast iron would have been totally superior, but since they cost about the price I paid for the grill in the first place, I passed.

                          1. re: coll

                            I got the iron grates, though I considered stainless. Still holding up well three years in.

                            1. re: mcf

                              Mine are only a year or two old, so we'll see.

                              I'm jealous of my sister, she got a mega size grill at the end of the season from a hardware store, it was under $300 AND came with cast iron grates. She deserves it though. And she knew how lucky she was the second she saw it.

                              1. re: coll

                                My last grill was a very highly rated Kenmore with three porcelanized iron grates and three cast iron burners. I can't tell you how many times we had to replace them and the burners, and various parts... it never produced the results of my Genesis, cost less than half and was favorably compared to Ducane, other high end grills.

                                It's all about the BTUs and quality of construction and materials. The only issue I have with the Genesis (and other reviewers mention it, too) is spotting of what looks like rust (but cleans off, so far) on the stainless side table surfaces. Lower quality SS.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  Mine is a Spirit I think. I have a major issue with the inside of the cover peeling, and I am sure it is not carbon residue as they'd like you to believe. It is plastic-y shards which do not dissolve in water. Pretty gross, but I'm living with it. Have no idea where to go from here, since I don't want to spend $1000 or more....or should I say, I can't afford to! The one my sister has is sweet, even though it's some cheap brand like Charbroil. I will never buy a grill with enamel paint on it again.

                                  Still have our Weber charcoal from the early 70s though, so if worse comes to worse, we're OK.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    Wow, I have no such prob with my enamel or the interior of the lid, but I did read that materials might be where they cut costs for the Spirit. THe company is supposed to be superb about product issues, though.

                                    I spent $649, I think. I was spending so much on replacement parts for the Kenmore, and I use it for almost every meal for months per year, that's my story and I'm sticking to it as rationale. :-)

                                  2. re: mcf

                                    I have an old 3 burner spirit and the burners still work like new. Hits 600 degrees pretty fast and good even heat across the surface. Friends have replaced their cheap ones several times during the time I had the Weber and the heating performance of the Weber was MUCH better than their cheap grills. I did finally replace the flavor bars over the burners for about $30.00.

                                    It gets light duty use these days as the Big Green Egg does 95% of the outdoor cooking. Nothing to look at by today's standards but I won't be getting rid of it any time soon as it still works perfectly.

                                    1. re: Tom34

                                      That's Weber for you. They last and they stand behind them. They still carry replacement part for just about every grill they ever made.

                                      1. re: mike0989

                                        I am not sure but I think they were ranked extremely high for both performance & durability & maybe a best buy in their price range. The category up from Weber is a pretty significant price increase. I would strongly advise anyone considering buying a "good" gas grill to save up a little extra and buy a Weber. People I know who bought those huge stainless grills at places like Sam's Club for about $300.00 were never happy with the cooking performance and after 5 years they were dragging them to the curb because every internal part, especially the burners were shot. My Weber is at least 25 yrs old with the original burners.

                                        1. re: Tom34

                                          My Weber is about 5 years old and I don't trust it. They don't make 'em like they used to.

                        2. re: coll

                          If you have a local butcher who dry ages, ask him for a little chunk of aged kidney fat. Render a little of that down and add a little butter. You get that musty dry age flavor combined with the sweet butter.

                          1. re: Tom34

                            Well, I do, and I will! Thanks!

                        3. re: Shann

                          The upside of salting well in advance is more that it alters some of the proteins in the meat and doesn't allow as much moisture loss/shrinkage during cooking, resulting in a juicier steak. It pulls a little moisture out of the meat initially (via osmosis), but ultimately prevents more moisture loss than it causes. Doesn't make as much of a difference if you cook the steak very rare, btw.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            Interesting. So it seems that the best way would be salting quite early and the back up is last minute salting while the "worst" way would be to salt for a few minutes before cooking.

                            1. re: Shann

                              Indeed, the worst is to salt and cook it at all within 40 minutes of salting, longer or immediately before is best .Otherwise, you have a liquid mess on top of the steak which results in steaming rather than searing.

                        4. Sounds like a nice method. Just a few notes though:
                          - Refined or 'light' olive oil has a significantly higher smoke point than extra virgin OO, and is better for searing. You didn't specify. There are some other oils that have even higher smoke points that work even better (I'm a fan of refined safflower oil)
                          - See my comments above about salting in advance. This has been discussed often here. Salting just before cooking is fine, but there are some upsides of salting well before cooking.
                          - Different steaks will have different cooking times, so going by feel or thermometer might be a better method than timing the cooking in minutes.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            I agree, I would not use olive oil especially EVOO for a steak. I prefer either safflower, grapeseed or sunflower. Also, sometimes with a fatty cut like ribeye or Porterhouse I don't even bother with oil and the fat renders beautifully to oil itself or just a coat of oil on both sides with a brush.

                            I also like to salt ahead of time.

                            Triple emphasize the thermometer or feel technique but mostly I still rely on my thermometers as even the most similar of steaks will cook differently.

                          2. We eat *a lot* of grilled steak.

                            I definitely think it tastes much better salted in advance. Like when you pull it out to come to room temp.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              This is usually when I salt as well.

                            2. For the record (at least my record) leaving a refrigerated steak (say around 40 degrees) sit out for an hour doesn't get it anywhere near room temperature. I have and measured the temp after, it was still below 50 degrees.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: pegasis0066

                                Even at 2 hours, it's still rarely above 60 degrees. I Kenji from Serious Eats did another test of this http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/06/th... and recommends that you not bother. I still do but usually try to aim for longer than an hour with anything thicker than an inch or basically an hour per inch. So a thinner cut sirloin I might just leave out for 30 to 45 minutes. Also if you salt ahead of time when you take the steak out, the somewhat higher temperature would likely make the salting reaction marginally more efficient.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  that was one of the best articles I have ever read about cooking and it will change my life forever.

                                  1. re: darrentran87

                                    It's useful although some will agree and disagree but it's nice to have some scientific basis and you can try it out for yourself and find out what works. Sometimes science can't explain our tastes, and what we prefer is what it is. Here is the full Chowhound thread discussing this article http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9054...

                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                    I suspect salting a steak 24/48 hours in advance would not be a good thing. I haven't tried it, but I know from hunting that salt draws out moisture - not something you want... a dry steak.

                                    1. re: pegasis0066

                                      I'd check out that link above. Kenji, at least, didn't find that it dried out the steak but of course as mentioned above as well I think the article is nice in that it highlights some commonly disagreed "myths/facts" about cooking steaks and gives you some variables to work with and adjust to your personal preferences.

                                      1. re: pegasis0066

                                        I do dry rubs on thick steaks for up to two days in the fridge, uncovered. It's really superb that way.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          From what I've been told, salting a few days early is similar to dry aging.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            Similar but not sure it captures the full effect but in my experience does produce a different quality of steak than not salting.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              I plan on sticking with the few hours ahead.

                                            2. re: coll

                                              Yep, and i keep it uncovered in the fridge on a rack. Concentrates the flavors, very moist and flavorful when grilled, even with the less marbled grass fed steaks I buy.

                                    2. Now that I think about it, what does dry aging do to a steak - reduces it's moisture content, enriching the "beef" flavor. So what is the difference in dry aging vs salting a steak 24/48 hours in advance of cooking.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: pegasis0066

                                        Kenji also has a test on this - dry aging is temperature and humiditty controlled which gives you different results than just sitting a steak in the cold fridge with salt. Also, dry aging is best done with primal or sub-primal cuts rather than individual steaks.

                                        http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/01/th...

                                        http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/th...

                                      2. The original post didn't say and I can't find any mention in the other replies: how thick was the steak original post?

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: G8trDoc

                                          Good point. As s/he's 'co-mingled' T-bone and Porterhouse, it further limits our knowledge. For super thick steaks, as I linked above, I switched a few years ago to the CI skillet that goes from stovetop to oven. For me, I get it more consistently cooked throughout.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            That's what I do, too, when grilling outside is impractical. But a 2" steak gets great crust and perfectly cooked on the grill with a sear on each side over direct high, then indirect finishing.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              I do this method as well, what temp do you prefer for the oven? How long do you usually sear before putting it in? I've found good success with Alton Brown's 500F method with 30 second sear on each side but always willing to try new approaches.

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                Sorry, I thought some people called porterhouse's T-Bones. Now I know there is a difference. But they were labled porterhouse.

                                                They were about an inch and a half thick.

                                                And personally, I let it thaw overnight in the fridge, then I let it sit for about 3 hours. It felt like room temperature, I just figured that was excessive waiting time, that's why I said at LEAST an hour. Sometimes it Is hard to wait when you are hungry :)

                                                1. re: nystreetguru

                                                  Don't feel bad, the grocery stores are the worst offenders. Don't know how they get away with it! If yours were an inch and a half thick, they were most likely porterhouse.

                                                  You can let the meat sit a few hours, it's solid and won't go bad that quickly.

                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  Hi. My second post upthread gives a link to what I was taught.

                                            2. Welcome to the land of differing opinions.....Back up a few steps, where did your beef come from, how was it finished, slaughtered, how long did the carcass hang. For my tastes, and I know this is not practical for many folks. I use only grass fed and finished, pastured beef, supplimented with chelated minerals, NO antibiotics, growth hormones or feeds made with animal by-products or GMO grains. Corn in feed is never used, as the fat it produces is not good for your health. other grains are used mainly to keep the animals "comfortable" with people. If one really tries, you can find a "small production" farmer who raises animals humanely and is concerned about the meat he/she eats and sells. I am impressed with the flavor, texture, and overall tastiness of all cuts of beef raised in this manner..

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: ospreycove

                                                What was the cows name and who were it's parents?

                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                  Ummm, not a "cow", a steer, or in the local vernacular, "a Beef". His, (he was a he before being reduced, or elevated in some minds, to an it), Mommy is a cow and her name is Paris, his/its Daddy is Sluggo.
                                                  It pays to know your local farmers, even if it means driving inland for an hour or so. No farms on our coastal island, only crop we grow are tourists!!

                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                    I used to work with a woman some years ago who raised a couple of steers every year, a little to keep and the rest to sell. She would name them things like "Crosscut" and "Ribeye" to remind herself what their final destination - that they weren't pets.

                                              2. Porterhouse steaks over wood coals...It's not Heaven....it just tastes that way!

                                                 
                                                18 Replies
                                                1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                  Holy moley, those looks good. Did you feed a professional football team?!?!? I've been considering having tiles made from food photos and making a backsplash in the kitchen. That would get a 'prime' spot :)

                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                    That's how I like to buy them as well. 2 1/2" + 3" thick.

                                                    1. re: mike0989

                                                      It's hard to impossible to cook a steak rare that is thin/thinner, like most NY strips, ribeyes, porterhouses, and t-bones. That's why I almost always get filet mignon, giving up marbling (and flavor) for that expansive rare inside. I would rather give up that flavor for a truly rare piece of meat.

                                                      But... get one of those other steaks thick (> 2") and now we are talking the best of both worlds. Even a ribeye that is an inch or slightly more that is rare, IMO doesn't compare in rareness to a 2 plus inch rare filet mignon.

                                                      1. re: pegasis0066

                                                        I cut mine about 1 1/2 inches thick and keep them rare with a nice char but I cook steak exclusively over lump charcoal on a cast iron grate in a BGE at temps in the 1000 degree range. My old Weber gas gets pretty hot but I agree I might have to go to 2 inches or more to get the same result.

                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                          MY shit was just from the grocery store nothing special. Im poor.

                                                          1. re: nystreetguru

                                                            If you're cooking Porterhouses three nights in a row, you definition of poor is a bit different than most :) Is the s-word a unique appellation for steak?

                                                            1. re: nystreetguru

                                                              If your grocery store has a meat counter, see if you can talk the guy behind it into cutting you some steaks extra thick. They often have some bigger cuts they haven't broken down yet in the back. I've gotten nice thick steaks from some pretty crappy grocery stores with no upcharge before.

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                I will try that...they still charge u per pound.

                                                                1. re: nystreetguru

                                                                  Well, yeah. I've never seen any meat (well, not hot dogs, etc. obviously) that wasn't sold by the #.

                                                                2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                  Oh, definitely. Although some things come in precut, I don't think steaks ever are. (I could be wrong about that.) And, slightly off-topic when I've gotten meat to grind that's too lean they always have a huge bin of fat they've trimmed off other meats that they're glad to give me.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    I think Walmart steaks are precut but most supermarkets cut from boxed beef sub primals. Like anything else, most folks are neither here no there when it comes to steak (Not Hounds). Talking to the meat cutter and letting them know your a serious steak eater and really appreciate their effort often goes a long way. Free fat is a pretty good indication you have a good relationship with them and they know you value their services.

                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                      I was very lucky over the weekend of the 4th. Our Safeway, who had been so insanely busy they were calling in people from other areas, was being visited by their area meat merchandising manager. Being the non-bashful :) person that I am, I strode up, introduced myself and we had a great convo. He then introduced me to the dept. manager and said any special requests I have to call him right away. I then bought a lamb shoulder that we ground up. Making kofte tonight, a Turkish kebab. "Establishing rapport" as I call it has never hurt anyone :)

                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                    3/4 inch is the standard because the price point is right. Most Supermarkets have several cases of sub primals and will gladly band saw a couple real nice thick steaks from the desired area of the loin. IMHO, the extra $1.00 lb for the branded product like CAB is worth it.

                                                                  3. re: nystreetguru

                                                                    If you know what your looking for the supermarket can be a good deal. I buy sub primals as I know what to look for and have a fetish about custom aging but occasionally the long term contract prices the supermarkets negotiate are hard to beat and the meat quite good.

                                                                    In early August when the price falls a little, I plan on buying a section from a friend that will start at the tip of the strip loin and go to the end of the sirloin which will include the Flap meat and a good amount of burger. It will be "High Prime" from NYC and my buddy will hang it for several weeks prior to butchering it. The most important thing is I call him and let him know how good it was. That's old school pride that is becoming extinct.

                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                      Now you're the lucky one! And educated, which I continue to appreicate.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        That's one thing about Chow Hounds, we all appreciate great food and one way or another find out how to get it and cook it. Life really is good!

                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                          "Life is good" is my most oft-repeated sentiment. And as I mentioned to OP, I receive more than I give to CH.

                                                                3. re: pegasis0066

                                                                  Different cuts of steaks should be cooked differently. You cannot cook filet the same way as porterhouse. Because a filet is so lean you don't have to cook it very much at all, I like it blue but because a porterhouse has so much more fat it has to be cooked a little longer, IMHO it should be cooked to medium rare. The fat also conducts heat so a porterhouse will cook faster than a filet.

                                                            2. Hey I hardly rate things but I have to give Credit where Credit is do- Bravo! My friend, you are truly a beast at steak! My father passed away when I was 19, & he ate steak every night he had the chance. My mom shared a little of his skills which I love carrying generation, but I will never not make a steak like yours again! Truly Amazing! Thank You for sharing your talent!!