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Steel vs Cast Iron griddles

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    Steel vs Cast Iron griddles

    Hello all.

    I have just bough a new gas BBQ and I would like to get a griddle. There is a dizzying array of options out there. I have read Meathead 's chapter on griddles in the book. I am considering this:
    With stunning performance, balanced design & superior customer service, we are committed to offering the best Napoleon gas grills, BBQ grills, and fireplaces. The hearth division of Napoleon manufactures gas and electric fireplaces, wood burning stoves, mantels, log sets, and outdoor heating products such as fire tables.

    To replace one of the grates (I have a four-burner, the Napoleon Prestige Pro 500).

    A lot of you guys eg Mr. Bones have these large Blackstone flat-tops which cook on a carbon steel griddle.

    I can probably get a carbon steel sheet of circa 4.5 to 5mm (sorry metric!!) cut to a particular size, or the little griddle, or a grill grates aluminium thing. Can't decide. Would hugely appreciate people's thoughts. I am towards the beginning of my BBQ journey compared to you lot (resting vs not resting - the comments on that Meathead article. Just wow. I thought Brexit was controversial. Tonight I am doing a reverse sear bone in ribeye from the UK company Hawksmore. Must be 1.5 to 2 inches thick. Eek.) and would be grateful for your thoughts.

    From uncharacteristically sunny Sussex.

    Here is how one of the Hawksmoor guys does prime rib of beef (35 days dry aged.)

    The resting seems primarily to be used to allow the steak to get from 50 degrees C to 58-60 C.

    Watch our chef-led masterclass videos with Executive Chef, Matt Brown, to help you cook each element of your Meal Kit.

    (Sorry wrong thread / place no doubt! Just posting for interest. Also nice videos for sides and cocktails...)


      They will all work for heat/conduction. Main concern is how you want to manage grease and runoff.


        On the steak - first, do you know what you want your final temp to be (hint- do you have a good thermometer?)?

        Second - there are two camps here - front sear or reverse sear. I am firmly in the front sear camp, so I'll discuss why I prefer that method. I hope someone in the reverse sear will do the same, or you can read Meathead's take on reverse sear on the free side.

        OK - we are talking steaks over 1" thick and preferably at least 1.5" thick. Hot and fast gives better results for thinner steaks.

        To get a nice sear I flip every 30 seconds, (imperial - not metric ). That allows the hot side to cool a bit and slows cooking. Make sure the steak is dry on the surface at least to start, and blotting the moisture just before flipping helps a bit. If ya want the least grey banding possible, you can rest the meat off the heat for 30 seconds to one minute before flipping back to the first side seared. So that's sear, flip, rest, flip, sear and repeat until the desired sear is achieved.

        Next, move to the indirect side and use a leave in probe to monitor internal temp and pull at your desired finished temp,(if you don't rest your steaks). If you do like to rest your steaks, you want to pull a bit early to account for carryover cooking.

        Buy using a front sear, it's easier to hit your desired final temp because the temp rises slower during the indirect part of the cook and you can pull the steak when you want to. If using a reverse sear and you misjudge the timing, you either wind up with less of a sear than desired, or an over cooked steak.

        The reverse sear crowd will disagree, so bring it on.


        • bbqLuv
          bbqLuv commented
          Editing a comment
          Front sear then sous vide? Okay, I guess.

        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          Spot on. For large roasts I rear sear, but steaks and small roasts (Tri-tip) I front sear. Between the two, developing flavor (char/bark) is more important to me than internal temp. And besides, using a thermometer takes any guess work out of when to remove the meat.

        Hi RonB, thanks! Yes, I do have a good thermometer, and as it happens I am currently trying to decide whether to front or reverse sear it! It's very thick (by my standards), and 35 days dry aged (salted it last night), so I am leaning towards the front sear method (I have never reverse-seared such a thick steak... I don't want to ruin it and I think I will take the temp control upside.) They guy from Hawksmoor seems to do a pretty good job, and the finishing temp in his BBQ is pretty high at 180C/335F. He pulls it at 48-50C and rests it to about 58-60C. I wonder if the higher temp of the BBQ gives the carry-over cooking that extra thermodynamic shove - the steak goes up a good 10C in 15 mins (also, he is still searing a little bit at that temp, and looking at the video, the time on the indirect portion seems to deepen the crust without darkening it. If that's possible.)


          Consider buying a full set of GrillGrate for your Napoleon. It comes with 5 full panels and 1 "gap" panel. I have them for my Napoleon Prestige Pro 500. Advantage is you can use the flat side of the GGs as a griddle, great for searing. Create 2 zone cooking, one side for searing, one for indirect by leaving the gap panel out. Napoleon's grease management makes it easy to handle either grilling or griddling grease.


          • STEbbq
            STEbbq commented
            Editing a comment

          • Rocinante
            Rocinante commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, same here on my Triumph.

          Meat on the grill cooks from the outside in. The higher the temp, the faster is cooks and the deeper the well done zone goes. Exactly how much difference it makes, I'm not sure because I haven't done any controlled experiments. However, I get the best results when I finish around 250° F. The steak below was pulled at 140° F. There is almost no grey band and the level of doneness is very even even though it was a little more than 1.5" thick.

          I rest my case...

          Click image for larger version

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          • SussexGriller
            SussexGriller commented
            Editing a comment
            Looks great. I will follow the Hawksmoor method and report back.

          Originally posted by GolfGeezer View Post
          Consider buying a full set of GrillGrate for your Napoleon. It comes with 5 full panels and 1 "gap" panel. I have them for my Napoleon Prestige Pro 500. Advantage is you can use the flat side of the GGs as a griddle, great for searing. Create 2 zone cooking, one side for searing, one for indirect by leaving the gap panel out. Napoleon's grease management makes it easy to handle either grilling or griddling grease.
          That's interesting, thanks. How did you find the 9.5mm SS grill before you went down that route? They are super-thick. I did sausages for the first time, and they got to temp (70C) quickly, with a few brown grate marks and otherwise quite pale. Nothing compared to my weber-charcoal routine (I guess this will take practice.)


          • GolfGeezer
            GolfGeezer commented
            Editing a comment
            SussexGriller I think the delivered SS grates are fine. I think the GGs are better, but that is based on experience of using the GGs on a number of different grills. I first got them for my old Weber Summit 450 gasser, then had a high end grill (Hestan) with them, and now the Napoleon. I really love being able to use either side, and searing with the flat side is just plain awesome.

          One option is to get a set of (aluminum) GrillGrates. They act as a griddle but let smoke and flame hit what you're grilling.

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          Last edited by Attjack; July 16, 2021, 12:14 PM.



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