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Searing and Burning Rubs

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    Searing and Burning Rubs

    Hi all,

    If you're going to be searing some meat, whether it be a steak, a pork tenderloin, or what-have-you, how do you protect against any rub you have from burning?

    I've even stopped putting pepper on steaks as I tend to get a bitter flavor, which I assume is burned. The last time I did a pork tenderloin, I had it covered with oil and rosemary and while the pork was nicely seared with bits of char, which was good, the rosemary got all charred up, which was not good.

    I know that sugar and searing don't mix, so I take care to ensure there is so sugar on any meat I am planning to sear. Maybe I'm going too far beyond the crust stage and too far into the char stage. Maybe I need to flip or rotate more often.

    (I know salt is fine for any searing. As Alton Brown is famous for saying, "It's a rock.")


    #2
    Most of the time I usually put a bit of butter or oil on top of my steaks before searing the side, as it adds flavor, and protects the rub a bit. Admittedly, I don't have an issue with burning spices as I only typically use salt and pepper, but I would think the butter/oil would serve as a protective layer for the spices.

    Comment


      #3
      I go through phases where I add the pepper and other spices after the sear, but to be honest I don't worry too much about it and 99% of the time I sear with the seasoning in place. I don't sear everything, for instance pork loin chops, chicken pieces, burgers- no sear, I just don't need it, so any large herb pieces in those rubs don't get burnt. Steaks and beef roasts, yes. Just a week or 2 ago I did a prime rib w/ Mrs O'leary's Cow Crust and seared the thing and didn't notice any off flavors or burnt taste, and most times I do the same with steaks. You're definitely right with the salt though, it should be de-crystalized and inside the meat anyway.

      Comment


        #4
        What prompted this is that I am going to try searing a pork tenderloin this evening. I think I am going to try to do something radically different, at least for me.

        I'll salt and oil the tenderloin, sear it, then apply the pepper and herbs after I transfer it to the indirect side of the grill (drizzling it with additional oil if needed). If pepper and herbs can't penetrate the meat, why does it matter when I apply them? (I am thinking of the concept of a board sauce here.)

        Comment


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          You're adding it after a *front* sear and before the indirect cook, why that changes things! You are right though. It doesn't matter from a logical standpoint. It is typically just a convenience thing, applying it all before tossing on the grill. I do think however that the meat juices mixing with the seasonings add a certain something that peppering after the fact (on your plate for instance) doesn't add. Do it!

        #5
        Not sure what you mean by burning.... I dry brine first and then add a rub with no salt. I want my steaks with a bit of char. Which might mean "burnt" to you. Again, I sear or form a bark, fond or char to my liking (I keep an eye on it and don't walk away from the grill) and then move it over to indirect, baste with a little butter (or mop sauce or marinade) and finish to the desired temp.

        Comment


          #6
          After my experiment tonight, I think I see where I have been going wrong. It's beginner's mistakes, really. I cook over too hot of a heat for too long.

          So I said earlier that I was going to sear this pork tenderloin and then apply the spices. Well, that didn't happen....what ended up happening was a traditional cook: pepper, olive oil, and some herbs de provence. (The tenderloin, I thankfully noticed, was pre-brined, so I didn't salt it.)

          All these internet recipes say to sear two-to-three minutes per side. I had a full chimney (I really should have used half) of lit coals in my SnS, so I seared a minute per top and bottom of the tenderloin and then 20 seconds or so on the other sides.

          What I ended up with is this beautiful roast-brown crust! No charring, no burning. I guess most people on the internet cook on gas and not charcoal.

          I mean, look at this:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG-4390.JPG Views:	0 Size:	2.32 MB ID:	964999

          Comment


            #7
            Burnt flavor after searing at high temps is why the cold grate technique was created. It uses the radiant heat to sear.

            I use the “no grate” technique with a charcoal chimney and never get any off flavors. And I go Warp 10 HOT 🔥

            https://youtu.be/qb6cpy8oqX4

            Comment


            • Michael_in_TX
              Michael_in_TX commented
              Editing a comment
              I like the multi-pronged skewer you're using....that steak is not going to slip off!

            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              You can also use two strong metal skewers. It doubles purposes for shish kabobs.

            #8
            I don't put pepper or garlic on anything I will sear as both can impart a slight bitter flavor. I sear on a GrillGrates griddle and the griddle temp is about 450 degrees, not white hot which I think helps not burn the seasoning.

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