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Help getting 2” strips to medium for wife

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    Help getting 2” strips to medium for wife

    I’m trying reverse sear for the first time tomorrow, and cooking a special dinner for my wife. Found a couple beautiful 2” strips, and am a little worried about when to pull hers off the low & slow part (before searing) to get hers to medium without over-cooking. I always want mine medium rare, so looks like 110 is a good temp to pull mine off to rest before searing, but can’t find a good reference for pulling a medium off before the sear... since the finish temp for medium is 145+, should I just add 10 degrees on the low & slow temp, and cook to 120? Could really use advice! Never have cooked to medium much (on purpose at least, lol), and first attempt at reverse searing

    #2
    You could try letting hers sit on the counter for 1-2hrs first but keep yours in the fridge until ready to plop both on the grill (if it's 10-15 degrees warmer when starting then it has that advantage)...or put hers on 10 min or so before yours. It might take a couple tries to get the timing down but you'll get it, it's only 10 or so degrees difference.

    Comment


    • MBMorgan
      MBMorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep +1

    • patcrail
      patcrail commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! I hadn’t even thought much about the timing aspect, was so focused on the temp to pull off low & slow.... I’m actually less worried about mine than I am nailing hers, but I like the way you think, might try that, and just cook mine to medium with hers on 10 minutes earlier, finish at the same time...

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      Yup +2

    #3
    I don’t find you need to go that far under temp for a reverse sear, esp for a thick steak. The final sear takes me 60-90 seconds, so a 2 inch thick steak won’t cook that much more in that time. I typically pull 5 deg short of doneness, let rest for a few min while I make sure the grill or cast iron skillet are at full blast and then sear.

    Comment


    • JPGators17
      JPGators17 commented
      Editing a comment
      ^This. Early on I would go with the recommended 115-118 pull temp and would end up searing it for 5+ mins to get to 128-132 range and it seemed to negate the reverse searing benefit altogether. Now I wait, as you said.

    #4
    If you pull at 110 the sear takes about 5 minutes. I think you just pull about 10 degrees later, but I like Huskee's idea about how to even things out.

    Comment


      #5
      It depends how you are searing. When I sear over the SnS, it only takes a minute or two and the temp will hardly rise for a 2” thick steak. There’s also very little carryover when cooking low and slow. I think the best way to do it is to pull at your desired finish temp, or maybe a couple degrees below, and let rest on the counter about 10 minutes. This allows the meat to cool off a bit and when you sear it the IT will not rise at all. You need to be very fast with the sear. I also would not go to 145 for medium. I’d pull it no higher than 140.

      Comment


        #6
        I do all my 1.5" thick steaks to medium rare for myself (135) and medium-well for the wife (145). I cook indirect until they hit 125F in the middle on the thickest, then sear over high heat, flipping every 30 seconds, until mine hits 135, throw mine back to the indirect side, and flip hers for a couple more minutes to hit 145.

        Putting hers on 10 minutes sooner, or letting it warm up as others suggest, would let it reach 135 when yours hits 125. On a thick steak, you don't want to pull 20 or 25 degrees before the finish temp - if you sear it long enough on yours to get a 25 degree rise from 110 to 135, its gonna have a lot of gray on the outside.

        Comment


          #7
          Lower the hood on hers while searing.

          Comment


            #8
            I say do not and I repeat do not take a 2" steak to 130 and let is rest while you cook yours. It will keep cooking and end up at med before you can sear it and once you sear it, and once you sear it will be over cooked. After letting hers come up to temp on the counter cook both at the same time, put a probe in the center of each steak from the side. Take yours off at 125, cover to keep warm with no more heat. When hers reachs 135-140 put yours back on and sear them both. I like to sear a 2" steak about 3 minutes a side. But do what you like.
            Last edited by mountainsmoker; June 14, 2020, 09:26 PM.

            Comment


              #9
              In my opinion, the key to a reverse sear is a really fast sear. The SnS is perfect since you have the coals so close to the grate. If you don’t have an SnS, I’d recommend trying to have a full chimney of charcoal ready when you’re ready to sear. Dump it all in one side of the kettle to really concentrate the heat. 30 seconds per side can even be too much if you really get the heat concentrated.

              Comment


              • patcrail
                patcrail commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Red Man! I don’t have an SnS, actually working with a brand new Smokey Joe that arrived this morning! That’s great advice, and I think I’ll have the spare chimney ready for searing... I just passed 90 minutes on my dry-run/first burn, and was able to hold pretty close to 225-230 throughout, just opened her all the way up, and there’s still a decent amount of coal on the “direct side”, so another chimney should get them close to the grate if I just use that side to sear....

              #10
              The other key to a reverse sear is a low cooking temp to start with. I like around 200 degrees. This serves two purposes. The meat will cook more evenly because it’s cooking slower. There will also be very little carryover cooking (maybe just a couple degrees) on a steak as thick as 2” (also a roast) especially if you give it a short rest uncovered before the sear. The higher temp you cook at, the higher the carryover cooking will be. Don’t sweat it if the kettle ends up running 250 or even 275, just take it off a few degrees lower since there will be more carryover cooking.

              Comment


                #11
                I will add that I seem to sometimes overshoot my desired final temp doing a reverse sear.... but NEVER do when I do a front sear. The last few steaks I had in the freezer, I did a front sear straight out of the fridge, then monitored each with a separate temp probe, while cooking indirect on my Genesis - burners at one end on, steaks at the other end. Those came out perfect. So.... I am starting to rethink the reverse sear.

                On my kettle, I do a half chimney of hot coals in the SNS, and sear over that for either the front or reverse sear, and for the indirect portion of the cook, just put the steaks at the far side of the kettle, away from the fire. Even though that fire is hot, the grate level temp is much much lower, and I monitor the thickest steak (usually mine) with a probe.

                Comment


                  #12
                  Thanks for all the advice, guys! After reading & digesting all this, I think I’ll give her the (only slightly) thinner steak, put them both on indirect at the same time cold, shoot for 200 or a little over, and pull mine first (anywhere from 115-125, depending on how slow/fast it is rising, to allow for overrun, and I’d rather have a little undercooked than over on mine).... I’ll let mine rest while finishing hers to 135 or so (while keeping an eye on mine for overrun.... if I get more overrun than expected on mine, that’ll be a clue to pull hers even lower.... I’m thinking I’ll shoot for 140 AFTER searing on hers, rather than 145.... if it’s just too rare for her, I’ll toss it back on a few minutes.... thank you guys for all of the input!

                  Comment


                    #13
                    What about smoke? Do you guys like to add wood chips/chunks when grilling steaks, or do you let the fat/charcoal provide the flavor? I’ve done both before, but always (incorrectly) done fast & hot for steaks, so the wood smoke didn’t contribute much.

                    Comment


                    • bardsleyque
                      bardsleyque commented
                      Editing a comment
                      for what ever reason,my wife doesn't like that"smokey flavor" on steak.

                    • jfmorris
                      jfmorris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I get enough smoke from the charcoal on steaks.

                    • Mr. Bones
                      Mr. Bones commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yup I use some small wood chunks, with lid on, between flips...

                    #14
                    The steak will absorb a lot of smoke so if you use any, go light. I often don’t use any wood, but sometimes I’ll add a small piece or a handful of chips for a little smoke flavor.

                    Comment


                      #15
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ID:	863772 Thanks for all the help, guys! The first cook on the new Smokey Joe (and first reverse sear) was a success, but lots of room for improvement. I need to get a dual-probe thermometer setup, as I was just using my Thermopro TP03 to check grill temp, and think I went a little too high on the indirect cook. I pulled mine off at 115 degrees, but noticed it rose quickly above 120 on the plate, so I quickly pulled hers off at 125 to add the 2nd chimney of coals for the sear.... by the time the grill was ready to sear, both steaks were about 140! I managed a half-ass sear, but kept it very short for fear of killing these things..... her “medium/medium well” was perfect for her taste (145 at the thick end, 150 at the thin).... mine was over 145 all the way through, and way too done for my preference, BUT, still a damned good $8 strip!
                      Lots of room for improvement: think I’m going to stick with trying to perfect the reverse sear for now, with more emphasis on accurately monitoring the grill temp, and making sure it’s below 225 (closer to 200, as suggested here), and err on the side of pulling off too early before the sear..... All in all, I’m very happy with the first effort, and more importantly, so is the wife (read: I can spend more money on cooking meat!!!)
                      Thanks for all the help!

                      Comment


                      • shify
                        shify commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Are you saying carryover increased the temp 25 deg? That seems unlikely for a low cooking temp, if you removed from the grill, I’ve never seen it raise by more than 5-10 deg. Guessing you got a bad reading on the steak temp or were cooking significantly hotter than 225-250 (like 500 deg hot)

                        To be honest, 225 vs 200 is fairly negligible for this cook so I wouldn’t worry about monitoring the grill temp, as long as you stay below ~250, as much as I would making sure I temp the steak right

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