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Darn, that's cold.

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    Darn, that's cold.

    I had an interesting cook yesterday. I had cut up a tri-tip into steaks, and my wife mistakenly put the tail of the tri-tip that I was going to cook in the freezer instead of the refrigerator. Damn French Door refrigerators. Anyway, time to put the rub on and the meat was rock solid. Fortunately, I’d seen a YouTube video by a Dutch pit master who goes by the name of PitmasterX (great cook and a funny and entertaining guy), who grilled a frozen steak on purpose, so I knew it could be done. This was obviously NOT going to be a reverse sear day. Got the fire started and when it was good and hot, I put the meat on for 5 minutes a side. It was a pretty good sear, but I should have dosed the meat with butter to get more flame. Then I switched it to the cold side of the pit and reined in the pit temp . I was shooting for 225°, the reality was a high of 237° but it came down from there. When the meat reached 115°, I put it back on the hot side to finish. It came out OK for a first attempt at cooking a frozen piece of meat, and I might try it again, but on purpose next time and with a little more forethought.

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    #2
    What rock have I been living under that I've not heard of this idea before? It makes cooking steak almost as easy as cooking burgers.

    I used my Weber gasser tonight to cook a well-marbled 1 1/2" thick, 12 oz, boneless ribeye. I set the GrillGrates with the flat side up and preheated Weber with all burners on until the grate surface was about 650 F. Seared both sides of the frozen steak, turning every minute or two, until both sides were a fairly even dark brown. This sear step took about 7 minutes.

    That is a little less time than the tutorial (below) suggests, but I decided to stop searing when the surface looked right rather than sticking strictly to time. Another few minutes and the color would have been closer to black rather than dark brown. That dark ain't the way I think a nice ribeye should be treated.

    After the first flip, I started to sprinkle the upper side of the meat with a mix of salt, coarsely ground pepper, and garlic powder -- a little sprinkle of seasoning each time I flipped the meat. I'd premixed the seasoning ahead of time so it was easy to grab a pinch and sprinkle right after flipping.

    After the color was right, I put the ribeye on the cooler side of the grill (about 350 F) and cooked the steak to an internal temp of 120-125 F for a medium rare finish. That took about 10 minutes. I put pre-steamed and seasoned potato wedges and carrot sticks on the hot side of the grill (with the burners turned down to medium) to warm and brown slightly.

    I split the steak for my Mister and I making sure we both got a little of the ribeye cap. Heavenly. The crust was crunchy and savory and the center was juicy and flavorful. The less-desirable gray band of meat right beneath the crust was a mere 1/8" thick, if that.

    I loosely followed this tutorial: https://blog.thermoworks.com/beef/pe...teaks-freezer/

    Comment


    • AZ Fogey
      AZ Fogey commented
      Editing a comment
      IowaGirl Outstanding! I think your idea of applying seasoning after the meat has thawed a little is a very good idea. Rub doesn't stick all that well to frozen stuff. Like you, I think this technique has legs and requires just a little practice to get it right. And also, like you, I don't care much about the gray band of meat if the rest of it is cooked just right. And thanks for the reference to the Thermoworks blog. It explains the process very well.
      Last edited by AZ Fogey; May 7, 2020, 07:32 PM.

    • IowaGirl
      IowaGirl commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, I forgot to mention that when I flipped the steak, I flipped it onto a fresh smokin' hot section of the GrillGrates. I didn't do that on the first flip and didn't hear any sound of cracking fat. Moved it a few inches to a fresh part of the grill, and was back in business again. I have been musing on the thermodynamics of this method. The phase change of the water in the steak (melting from ice to water and then to water vapor) is "protecting" the inside of the meat. Cool!

    #3
    I do this all the time. Unless I've actually planned ahead and taken a steak out of the freezer, I just cook from frozen. I've even done it to small rib roasts.

    With thinner steaks, or if I'm cooking on my gasser, I do pretty much whatIowaGirl did. Thicker cuts, I start out reverse searing maybe with a couple of wood chunks. When the meat starts sweating, I start seasoning. On thick steaks that's also usually when you can get a thermometer probe in, too. Once the steak is up to the temp I want (usually 118F), I pull it off and let it rest while I get the SnS up to Warp 10, sear it off, and enjoy. It's basically the same with tri tip, which is just a big steak anyway.

    Comment


    • AZ Fogey
      AZ Fogey commented
      Editing a comment
      God, I love this forum. Where else can you get this incredible sharing of techniques all in one place. There's so much BBQ knowledge here, it's mind boggling.

    • IowaGirl
      IowaGirl commented
      Editing a comment
      This steak came from a whole ribeye roll that I sliced into 1 1/2" steaks and 3" thick mini-roasts. I want to cook one of the roasts this way and see how that goes.

    #4
    Since you're searing and cooking steaks again, does that mean you're back in the USofA again, AZ Fogey , or are you still abroad, dining on the amazing dishes that your wife and her sisters make?

    I've never cooked a steak from frozen. I may have to give it a try. Thanks.

    Kathryn

    Comment


    • AZ Fogey
      AZ Fogey commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, we're back in the good ol' USofA, and I'm reveling in the availability of good beef. That was a long 6 months living on pork, chicken and Thai food of indeterminate origin. LOL

    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      Welcome home, AZ Fogey .

      K.

    • Steve B
      Steve B commented
      Editing a comment
      Back Back Back in the USAaaaa.....
      I actually hate the beetles. But thought this was appropriate. 😁😬

    #5
    This is a follow-up to "Darn, it's cold." After reading IowaGirl 's and mnavarre ' s comments on cooking frozen steak and then thoroughly reading the Thermoworks article on the same subject, the whole thing was sitting in the back of my mind for a couple of days. I wasn't happy at all with sear I got on the tri-tip and the picture of the sear in the Thermoworks article didn't look very appetizing either. My thought was, that to sear frozen meat, you had to have the incredible heat of flare-up flames, and that a passive bed of charcoal just wouldn't do. I thought of using isopropyl alcohol or maybe a little gasoline, but figured butter would probably taste better. I knew butter would cause flare-up, so I hatched my plan.

    I removed the charcoal basket from the left firebox on my pit, poured in some Jealous Devil on top of once used Kamado Joe Big Block and used a propane torch to set a large area of it on fire. While the pit was heating up, I found a perfectly sized flat bowl that would fit the small steak I was going to cook, then I melted a quarter stick of butter in it. With the pit good and hot, I took the steak out of the freezer and set it in the bowl of butter - only the bottom side was buttered. I brought the charcoal grate up right underneath the grill grate and put the steak on. Big flames - YES! After a minute I dipped the steak into the butter again and put it back on the grate. Big flames again - YES!. After another minute, I turned the steak over and repeated the process, dipping the steak in butter every minute and cooking each side for two minutes for a total of 8 minutes until I was happy with the sear. Then I transferred the steak to the cooler side of the pit, seasoned it, and inserted a meat probe which read 70°. Then, it was just a matter of waiting til the steak got to 125° and pulling it.

    Here's how it came out.

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    Who needs sous vide, eh? But frankly, it was a hell of lot of work for a steak that barely gusted up to 1" thick, and would I use this technique if I were cooking more than maybe 2 steaks? Not a chance unless I had help at the pit. When you get bored doing reverse sear, give it a try, it's kind of fun and it would be spectacular if you had a really nice THICK steak.
    Last edited by AZ Fogey; May 10, 2020, 08:13 PM.

    Comment


    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      Genius!

      K.

    • IowaGirl
      IowaGirl commented
      Editing a comment
      The sear I got was more like yours, AZ Fogey -- dark brown and crispy overall.

      I agree the Thermoworks steak wasn't seared as deeply as the steak in your pics. Their timing of 10-14 minutes total for the sear argues their heat source was a fair bit cooler than yours and mine.

      I didn't dip in butter and in retrospect I think I got a good outcome without dipping. After the first couple of flips, plenty of fat was rendering onto the GrillGrates. I love my butcher.

    #6
    IowaGirl - Cooking with upside down Grill Grates is very similar to searing steak in a cast iron pan, only better. The heat is evenly distributed across the whole area of the steak, and, with the fat rendering, it was pretty near a perfect cook surface. I'm cooking on expanded metal grates over charcoal so the heat distribution is not quite as even (think grill marks). While this ribeye was a lot more fatty than the previous tri-tip, I would have to had to increase the sear time by quite a bit to get the same effect because there just weren't enough fat drippings to cause the flare-ups I needed. Besides which, your butcher is way better than mine. Mine is Sam's Club. Also, if you watch any of the steak competitions on YouTube, practically everyone uses Grill Grates, and they always move their steaks to a different area of the grate when they flip it because the meat has cooled off the grate immediately under it.

    Comment


    • IowaGirl
      IowaGirl commented
      Editing a comment
      Ah ... good point about the GrillGrates performing differently than regular wire grates. I didn't think about that, but I shoulda. The different types of grates we're using will definitely make a difference.

    #7
    This is the last time I'll post on this subject, I promise. This cook convinced me that starting with frozen steak is not only a viable technique, but is something that's really worth doing. I cooked a frozen 3/4 lb. piece of tri-tip tonight using exactly the method from post #5 above. This time I actually had fun doing it because I wasn't guessing anymore. 8 minutes of butter sear seems to be the magic number on my pit. After the sear, I put the steak on a plate, forced a meat probe into the still 29° center, and brushed some more butter on it and then seasoned it lightly with KosmosQ Dirty Bird Hot, and covered that lightly with Malcom Reed's Steak Rub. My finger brushed the steak as I was transferring it back to the 350° cold side of the pit, so of course, I licked my finger. I couldn't believe the incredible taste. I had some melted butter left and I shook a little bit of each of the rubs into bowl and mixed it up. It took about 20 minutes for the meat center to get to 50°, and then another 25 minutes to get to pull temp. I pulled the steak at 125° and put it on a plate I brushed it with the seasoned butter. Heaven. This was by far, the best tasting steak I've ever cooked, and I've cooked thousands. Sorry Montreal Steak, but I think you've been retired.

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    Last edited by AZ Fogey; May 13, 2020, 10:06 AM.

    Comment


      #8
      That's beautiful, AZ Fogey . Keep on posting. You've certainly improved on the ThermoWorks method immensely. Thanks for doing all the work for us.

      Kathryn

      Comment


      • AZ Fogey
        AZ Fogey commented
        Editing a comment
        fzxdoc - Thanks, Kathryn. Sometimes obsession has an up side. LOL.

        Mike

      #9
      Ya’all are Awesome. Don’t pay to much heed to the gray band. Tender and flavor is what you are wanting for yourself.

      Last edited by HouseHomey; May 13, 2020, 12:15 PM.

      Comment


        #10
        You had me at “Big flames-Yes!

        Then ya went ahead whilst I was really excited & did it again, Big Flames-Yes. I then slumped in my chair exhausted. Yessir!

        Comment

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