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Old 03-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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Default How do you sear?

Being a firm believer in the Maillard Reaction, I'm always trying to get a great sear on beef. During the winter, I generally preheat a cast iron skillet in the oven at 500, then move it to the gas range for a bit, then drop the steaks in for a couple mins/side before i move it to the broiler to finish. This worked ok, but it doesn't take long for the sear to turn to more of a "fry" when the fat overtakes the heat.

This week the weather broke a bit and I was able to fire up the grill. So I lit the chimney charcoal, and dumped them in the weber when they were ready, and immediately placed the cast iron directly in the coals for about 10 minutes. When I dropped the ribeyes on that thing, I got that high pitch sizzle I've only heard in restaurants, and it seared the whole time, "dry". I couldn't believe the difference.

Anyone use this method or have any input on getting a great, high temp sear? I may try putting the cast iron directly on the charcoal chimney, as I hear this reaches temps nearing 1000F. Grilling season is just about here in the mid-atlantic!

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Old 03-02-2011, 04:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: How do you sear?

I use a medium big green egg to sear. I get it to around 750 and drop the steak directly on the cooking grate. I close the lid for 90 seconds. The I open the lid and rotate the steak 90 degrees to get the pretty grill marks. I close the lid for 90 more seconds. Then I open the lid, flip the steak and give it 90 more seconds with the lid down. Then I pull them off, set them on a plate and cover them in foil. I usually let the cooker come down to 400 degrees and put them back on until they reach the internal temp I want. Lately though I have been moving them to a preheated cast iron skillet and putting them in a 400 degree oven to finish them off.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: How do you sear?

I just bought a new pan exclusive for searing indoors a deBuyer Mineral pan. Works like a charm, but is specifically needs to be seasoned and can be a pain for some. If you want the best of France has to offer to sear, this pan is it.

The pan becomes totally black and non-stick with proper use.


http://www.debuyer.com/product.php?i...ckground=bleu1
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: How do you sear?

22k BTUs does the trick...



http://www.bluestarcooking.com/about...-features.html
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do you sear?

I like the taste of a steak that was basically seared ONLY. I like grilled steak, and I like broiled steak, but the
sear creates the crust I like and the delicious juicy innards. Lately I am not liking what the grill does with steak
MORE than a pan sear. I used to be grill only.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do you sear?

Like this. First steaks on a new Weber. 180 sec on each side = medium rare.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: How do you sear?

My outdoor drill has a searing burner and I use that to do my searing -- rain or shine -- all year round. I love it!
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: How do you sear?

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Originally Posted by CigarNut View Post
My outdoor drill has a searing burner and I use that to do my searing -- rain or shine -- all year round. I love it!
I knew Makita cordlesses ran hot, but that's a little extreme...
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: How do you sear?

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I knew Makita cordlesses ran hot, but that's a little extreme...
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: How do you sear?

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Old 04-20-2011, 11:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: How do you sear?

I just bought a 1/4 grass fed and finished red angus so I will be working on this with quite a few nice steaks this Summer. They are currently dry ageing the beef for 14 days then it is off to the butcher who is custom cutting to my specs.

Thanks for the great thread.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: How do you sear?

Both a skillet and the grill will work. The sear just hardens/cooks the very outside of the meat to keep the juice/flavors in. Your broiler in your oven is actually the same as your grill, just upside down and doesn't let the fat drain away. With that said your always going to get a different, softer, sear when using a skillet. Not that the meat isn't actually seared shut it just doesn't have that crispy crust....which I love....around the meat.

I like it both ways. When I use a skillet and the broiler, as soon as I pull the steaks out of the oven I use the juices along with butter, white wine, cream and some mushrooms for a wonderful sauce that only takes about a minute to make.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: How do you sear?

All great ideas, cool to hear everyone's tried and true methods. The problem i've had with ribeyes (the high fat content) is that that the heat can't keep up with the melted fat, and my "dry sear" turns to more of a frying operation. This is using the skillet in or above the coals. I think switching to a cast iron grate would fix that.

Has anyone tried a standalone IR plate for searing?
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: How do you sear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by innova View Post
All great ideas, cool to hear everyone's tried and true methods. The problem i've had with ribeyes (the high fat content) is that that the heat can't keep up with the melted fat, and my "dry sear" turns to more of a frying operation. This is using the skillet in or above the coals. I think switching to a cast iron grate would fix that.

Has anyone tried a standalone IR plate for searing?

what temp are you using? Sounds like your not near hot enough?
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: How do you sear?

This is over fresh coals dumped out of charcoal chimney, should be around 600˚F if not more.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: How do you sear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by innova View Post
This is over fresh coals dumped out of charcoal chimney, should be around 600˚F if not more.

Well, that's going to sear the meat just fine. Now a lot of the high end steak houses use even higher temps in their ovens and have large stainless flat griddles or large skillets so the fat will move away from the meat.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: How do you sear?

Yeah, I've heard temps nearing 1200˚, insane.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: How do you sear?

Once it has that pretty crosshatch on both sides it's done.
I don't pan sear but I will try it for lunch tomorrow.
Rare steak is healthiest for you, I've heard.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:28 PM   #19
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Default Re: How do you sear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by innova View Post
Yeah, I've heard temps nearing 1200˚, insane.
yea, several places in Chicago use 900+. The ovens they use are gas fired from both the top and bottom so the steaks are cooked super fast with a wonderful sear & char on the outside.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:29 PM   #20
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Default Re: How do you sear?

I'm a believer in the Malliard Reaction.
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