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First time trying the cold-grate technique (thinner steaks)

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  • Michael_in_TX
    replied
    Update!

    Well, I bucked conventional wisdom and opted to try the reverse-sear technique. Yall were right. The reverse-sear technique is not optimal for steaks 1" or less in thickness. Still, this was a practice run and I am glad I did it to get the experience.

    I still forget that it does not take much charcoal to get a Weber really hot. With 25 lit coals, I was around 290-300. The steaks went on the grill at 45 degrees internal and I flipped them at 80 degrees. The temp rose quite rapidly after that. I pulled them at 112 degrees and took the grate off, got 3/4 of a chimney going, and added those coals on top of the existing in the SnS.

    I did the cold-grate technique and only did one minute per side and they were at 132 degrees after just that! So I abandoned doing the extra two sears.

    The steaks turned out decently good. Perhaps just a but closer to medium than I like. I did not get a good sear on the surface. Far better than no sear, of course, but it was really lacking. Still, the meat showed the hallmarks of a reverse sear: edge-to-edge of the same amount of doneness.

    Click image for larger version

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    So, what will I do differently next time? (Which will probably be next weekend as these came in a four-pack and I have the remaining two in the freezer.) First, I'll do the constant 30-second flip technique. I'll also trim any excess fat. That stuff charred up a bit even with a one-minute per side sear.

    A little smoke flavor would have been nice. I may experiment with a bit of hickory on the fire during the searing (if yall don't think that is a horrible mistake.)

    Leave a comment:


  • jecucolo
    replied
    On thin steaks Meathead has a very simple method which can be adapted to the cold great method. Basically the thin steak do not need any slow cooking. You get the fire roaring at full throttle and then you just seat each side for 30 seconds. Flip and sear, flip and sear. They come out very nice. Don’t over cook them and you will have a nice medium rare steak.
    Meathead just uses a full chimney with a grate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael_in_TX
    replied
    To be clear -- I don't have the EasySpin grate, just the stock Weber one. I was planning on just manually rotating it myself.

    ScottyC13 does bring up a good point about the 1" thickness. Remembering my experience with grilling flank steak over a direct fire, these may cook rather quickly. I may do the flip-every-minute and check with my ThermaPop every second flip, pulling at 130 for a 5 degree carryover.

    Leave a comment:


  • HawkerXP
    commented on 's reply
    I used to just use a stick to lift stock grate over the tabs that stop it from spinning.
    I have bought the EZ spin when my grate needed to be retired.

  • FireMan
    replied
    Not to rain on a parade, but the cold grate technique is a little more than a sales pitch. I have a stock W grate in my kettle & it will spin somewhat & sometime not at all, facilitating me to put gloves on & pick the thing up to spin it. I do find it’s a little more of a fine toothed technique as to the benefit of just flipping the steak, meaning how far do I want to go to achieve relative perfection. As far as the temp goes, bring it a little lower, like about 105 and let the sear bring it to desired temp. Throw the time out the window, rely on your thermometer. It won’t hurt to flip the steaks a couple of times in the searing process, they won’t have to be seared entirely on one side then the other. The 1” has to be monitored closely. Have fun!

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  • ScottyC13
    replied
    I have the Weber Performer and the easy spin grate. For 1 inch steaks, just use the cold grate technique. They are not thick enough for reverse sear. They will come out great. It should take around 4 minutes depending on how hot the coals are. Make sure to use an instant read thermometer. I spun it on, let them sear for 20 to 30 seconds, then spun off and flipped the steaks back on. If you have heat proof gloves, wear them.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbob4
    replied
    I don't have a Weber or the SnS, however I have a Santa Maria grill with GrillGrates and it replicates the process in a way. I have the fire on one side and move the steaks to hottest portion, lowering the grill to finish. It works will with steaks down to about 1/2 inch. Thinner steaks just get a good old grilling. To get to 135, watch the temp carefully. I like to pull at 128, plate and put loose foil over the top. It usually carries over to 133-134 within 10 minutes.

    Leave a comment:


  • TBoneJack
    replied
    That "Cold Grate Technique" is a sales pitch to get people to buy Adrenaline BBQ's cooking grate. The same can be easily done on the Kettle's stock grate.

    Leave a comment:


  • First time trying the cold-grate technique (thinner steaks)

    Okay, tonight I will grill some steaks using the reverse-sear and cold grate technique. As this is the first time I've done cold-grate, reverse-sear....uh, actually this is the first time I've ever cooked steaks on my kettle, "this is a practice run" if you will.

    As such, I picked up a value pack of USDA Choice NY strips at HEB. These steaks are cut about an inch thick. Most of the videos I've watched on cold grate cook the steaks to 115 degrees and then sear them for one minute on each side, flip, and then repeat that process again (rotating the gate between each flip) for a total of two minutes of searing per side.

    I have two questions for these thinner steaks (most videos seem to use 1.5" or even 2" steaks):

    -- Should I cook to a lower temperature before searing? (Shooting for medium rare -- 135 degrees -- when all is said and done.)
    -- Should I only sear for a minute per side total or do you think the traditional total of two minutes per side will be okay?

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