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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
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Room temp or cold?

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  • Rod
    Club Member
    • Dec 2015
    • 700
    • Phoenix, AZ
    • Weber Genesis S330 with GrillGrates
      Weber Performer with SnS, DnG and Pit Viper mod
      Weber 26" kettle with SnS and Pit Viper mod
      Blackstone 36" SS griddle

      Thermoworks Smoke
      Thermoworks MK4
      Maverick ET-732

      Accessories ranging from a Vortex to bear claws.

    Room temp or cold?

    Just curious as to what all you pitmasters prefer to do when grilling steaks in terms of meat temp prior to grilling. Some experts say never throw cold meat onto the grill. Let it rest X amount of time on the counter and get to room temperature. Some don't say one way or the other.

    I use the reverse sear method and always went straight from the fridge to indirect. That usually takes about an hour to get an IT of 115 before then doing the sear. I recently did a couple of large Porterhouses and decided to let them set on the counter for 20 minutes before going on the grill. I noticed the IT was already at about 50 degrees when I put them on. The only benefit I noticed is that it only took 40 minutes or so to get to 115.

    So it seems for me it's still about an hour total from fridge to sear time with either method. Now I have to factor in that these Porterhouses were about 1'' thick to whereas the ribeyes, rib cap and tenderloin steaks I normally do are usually over 1". I also wonder about the safety aspect in letting meat sit on the counter for a certain period of time. I know in the case of steaks they are going to get blasted with a lot of heat either way.

    So what say you? Straight from the fridge to the grill, or closer to room temp and why?

    Love The Pit!
  • HawkerXP
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 6410
    • Virginia
    • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
      Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
      Slo n Sear
      Cold beer

    Cold. Don't like raw meat sitting out.


    • Polarbear777
      Club Member
      • Sep 2016
      • 1892

      If reverse searing with smoke, definitely fridge to grill. More wet and more time under smoke. I don't see any advantage of warming to room temp.


      • Jfrosty27
        Jfrosty27 commented
        Editing a comment
    • Steve B
      Club Member
      • Jun 2016
      • 3183
      • Rockland county New York
      • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
        Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

        22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

        Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

        1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
        1 maverick et-733 - gray
        1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
        1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
        1 thermoworks thermopop - red

        Pre Miala flavor injector
        taylor digital scale
        TSM meat grinder
        chefs choice food slicer
        cuisinhart food processor
        food saver vacuum sealer
        TSM harvest food dehydrator

      Fridge to grill everytime.


      • Donw
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 3549

        I always go cold to smoker. However I do allow some meats for the grill to start warming on the counter for up to an hour. This is indoors on the counter where the ambient temperature is always controlled and not outdoors in the Sun. I base this on the guidance of the USDA’s FSIS “Foods held at temperatures above 40 °F for more than 2 hours should not be consumed.” I reduce their advice to 1 hour for additional safety.


        • Steve R.
          Club Member
          • Jul 2016
          • 2519
          • Elizabethtown, KY
          • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

          I feel like letting meat warm up to room temperature is one of the those old "husbands' tales" that just won't go away. Kind of like searing to seal in the juices.


          • IowaGirl
            Club Member
            • Dec 2018
            • 684
            • Northeast Iowa, USA

            I agree with the advice to cook straight from the fridge.

            Also I figure it gives me a tiny bit of fudge factor -- If the center of my steak is at fridge temperature when I start to cook, that gives me a little more leeway to nail that perfect medium-rare center while still getting a nice crust on the outside.


            • Steve R.
              Steve R. commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree, especially if the steak is a little on the thin side.
          • grantgallagher
            Club Member
            • Feb 2018
            • 1172
            • NJ

            I typically do fridge to grill since they have typically been dry brining before the cook so really no reason to let them sit out on the counter.


            • klflowers
              Club Member
              • Sep 2015
              • 3707
              • Tennessee

              What they said.


              • MBMorgan
                Club Member
                • Sep 2015
                • 6560
                • Colorado
                • > Weber Genesis EP-330
                  > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
                  > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
                  > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
                  > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
                  to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
                  > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
                  > Thermoworks Smoke
                  > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
                  > Thermoworks Thermapen
                  > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
                  > Anova sous vide circulator
                  > Searzall torch
                  > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

                Fridge to grill ... every time.


                • Henrik
                  Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 4491
                  • Stockholm, Sweden

                  Yes, fridge to grill. I did a YouTube video (channel: Hank’s True BBQ) on it where I show that meat needs to be on the counter in room temp for many many hours before temp goes up more than a few degrees. There’s zero point in doing so.


                  • Sweaty Paul
                    Founding Member
                    • Aug 2014
                    • 1624
                    • Hays, KS
                    • Green Mountain Grill - Jim Bowie
                      (I've never regretted having too much grate space).

                      Weber Genesis Gas grill
                      Weber Kettle grills x 2

                    +1 on Fridge to grill.

                    Below is J. Kenji Lopez Alt video on this myth and a few others.
                    Sweaty Paul



                    • Rod
                      Rod commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Cool video (except for the corny "humor").

                    • Sweaty Paul
                      Sweaty Paul commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Not my favorite kind of humor, however, he is a really smart guy.

                    • Sweaty Paul
                      Sweaty Paul commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Also, he does all kinds of great experiments with food and has some absolutely phenomenal recipes.



                  2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

                  We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
                  See more
                  See less