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Best temp for searing steaks?

#1 User is offline   50000BTU 

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 12:01 PM

I'd like to get a few opinions of what the best temp is for searing steaks. My grill will get all the way up to 800 but I think that's a little excessive. I'm guessing around the 550-600 degree range would be good?
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#2 User is offline   GearHead 

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 12:38 PM

50000BTU, on Mar 29 2006, 10:01 AM, said:

I'd like to get a few opinions of what the best temp is for searing steaks. My grill will get all the way up to 800 but I think that's a little excessive. I'm guessing around the 550-600 degree range would be good?
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I like the 500 - 550 range for my steaks. 800 - Wow! Your grill must glow RED at that temperature! :blink:
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#3 User is offline   50000BTU 

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 02:52 PM

GearHead, on Mar 29 2006, 11:38 AM, said:

I like the 500 - 550 range for my steaks.  800 - Wow!  Your grill must glow RED at that temperature!  :blink:
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yep. The first time I fired it up with all 5 burners on high the temp gage pegged at 800 very quickly. And the tamers were indeed red. Thanks for the info.
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#4 User is offline   ChicagoGrill 

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 07:25 PM

50000BTU, on Mar 29 2006, 01:52 PM, said:

Yep. The first time I fired it up with all 5 burners on high the temp gage pegged at 800 very quickly. And the tamers were indeed red. Thanks for the info.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


When meat hits the grate above 500 degrees, charring can occur. I have always heard that this is not good because the meat turns into nothing but carbon. Searing your steaks between 400 and 500 degrees gives the steak that great brown crusty surface.

I usually heat my grill up to 500 and sear each side for one minute each. The key is to continue cooking it hot and fast. The longer it's on the grill the drier it will get. On thicker cuts of meat, I lower the temp and cook it indirectly after searing. I have a 3 burner and use only the outside burners when grilling thick cuts....putting the meat in the middle (burner off) after searing.

There are a lot of people who sear and cook their steaks at much higer temps, especially those who have infared burners. However, their cooking time is much less than a person like me who grills at 500.

Everyone does it a little bit differently and experimentation is the key.

CG
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#5 User is offline   Beamie 

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 08:54 PM

Saw a show with Bobby Flay who said to cook a steak as hot as your grill will go and not to disturb it; turn once and leave the hood down.

I do that with great results. I don't know the temp of my grill but the thermometer is pegged all the way.
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#6 User is offline   oillogger 

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 09:57 PM

 Beamie, on Jul 12 2006, 08:54 PM, said:

Saw a show with Bobby Flay who said to cook a steak as hot as your grill will go and not to disturb it; turn once and leave the hood down.

I do that with great results. I don't know the temp of my grill but the thermometer is pegged all the way.


This works best for me also. <_<

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#7 User is offline   dwost 

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:11 AM

Mine hit the surface at over 1K. Searing is just that..........searing, or instantly fusing the surface to keep the juices in. I sear for 1 min, turn 90 degrees, sear for another minute, flip sear 1 min, turn 90 degrees and move to other side of the grill on med/hi to finish them off. turn out perfect everytime with golden brown exterior and dark hash marks. If you cook it for the entirety on the sear temp you will end up with a nice expensive piece of charcoal. ;)

Don
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#8 User is offline   bill b 

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:34 AM

 dwost, on Jul 13 2006, 10:11 AM, said:

Mine hit the surface at over 1K. Searing is just that..........searing, or instantly fusing the surface to keep the juices in. I sear for 1 min, turn 90 degrees, sear for another minute, flip sear 1 min, turn 90 degrees and move to other side of the grill on med/hi to finish them off. turn out perfect everytime with golden brown exterior and dark hash marks. If you cook it for the entirety on the sear temp you will end up with a nice expensive piece of charcoal. ;)

Don

I agree Don. That's the beauty of having the sear burner I have. I usualy rotate after about 25-30 seconds on each side to get that cross hatching. I even did a NY strip last night (not one of my favorite steak choices) and it turned out great.

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#9 User is offline   Grill4Fun 

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:36 AM

 Beamie, on Jul 12 2006, 06:54 PM, said:

Saw a show with Bobby Flay who said to cook a steak as hot as your grill will go and not to disturb it; turn once and leave the hood down.

I do that with great results. I don't know the temp of my grill but the thermometer is pegged all the way.


If I had done that this week my steaks would have been charcoal :( I had continual large flare ups and had to keep moving the steaks ;)
Jim
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#10 User is offline   dwost 

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 10:55 AM

Well, that could be part of the problem. If it's not hot enough instead of vaporizing the drippings you will burn them leading to flare ups. You may want to look into a grillmate as well, Its a catalyst insert that assists with vaporization much better than standard tamers. Do a search and you should find some info on them. I did hear they have discontinued some of the models but it may be worth a call to the mfg.
Don


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#11 User is offline   bill b 

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 11:34 AM

 dwost, on Jul 13 2006, 11:55 AM, said:

Well, that could be part of the problem. If it's not hot enough instead of vaporizing the drippings you will burn them leading to flare ups. You may want to look into a grillmate as well, Its a catalyst insert that assists with vaporization much better than standard tamers. Do a search and you should find some info on them. I did hear they have discontinued some of the models but it may be worth a call to the mfg.


Last postings about the grilllmate indicated they're not available any more and a visit to what was their web site, www.cheftechllc.com/Grillmate/, says you are not authorized to view this page. However http://www.grilllovers.com/shopitemdetail....?itemid=7791422 still shows 2 sizes in stock.

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#12 User is offline   Eric D 

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 03:23 PM

 Grill4Fun, on Jul 13 2006, 11:36 AM, said:

If I had done that this week my steaks would have been charcoal ;) I had continual large flare ups and had to keep moving the steaks
Grill4Fun,

What cut of steak are you cooking and how thick are they?

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#13 User is offline   STPGRLR 

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:25 PM

 dwost, on Jul 13 2006, 02:11 PM, said:

Searing is just that..........searing, or instantly fusing the surface to keep the juices in.

This is an old griller's tale. Searing does not seal the surface nor does it keep juices in. In fact, at least one test has shown the opposite - that searing actually drives more juices out vs just baking (not that you'd want to bake a steak, just making a point on the 'sealing juices' theory). Searing rapidly cooks the outer surface of the food such that you get carmelization of the sugars and the Maillard or browning reaction, which introduces hundreds of new flavors. For something like beef, these additional flavors are very tasty. For other foods (eggs for example) this is not such a good thing and the new flavors can be unpleasant.

The higher the temp, the faster you can cook that exterior without cooking the interior too much. So if you are someone who likes their steak raw in the middle, then ultra-high sear temps are a must and something like an IR sear burner becomes important.

But for the typical steak eater, 500-600 degrees works fine. That will allow you to get good carmelization/browning before over-cooking the interior (I prefer mine medium and have no problem getting this without an IR sear burner). In fact, there are many chefs who simply use a cast iron skillet on an indoor stove which gets to about 500F. This will sear a steak very nicely.
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#14 User is offline   dwost 

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 08:50 AM

 STPGRLR, on Jul 16 2006, 07:25 PM, said:

This is an old griller's tale. Searing does not seal the surface nor does it keep juices in. In fact, at least one test has shown the opposite - that searing actually drives more juices out vs just baking (not that you'd want to bake a steak, just making a point on the 'sealing juices' theory).


This is interesting as I've never heard this spin before, but I guess anything is possible. Personally I've never had a "lack of juice" due to my searing technique but I can understand if used too long could overcook the cut. I also agree that many chefs sear on cast iron as I happen to do the same with my griddle inserted in the grill.

I think another big mistake that many make after the cut is finished is not letting it rest. If you pull off the steaks and immediately serve them you will see the juices pouring out. I make sure to leave the meat on a plate for 7-10 minutes with a tent of tinfoil over top. This makes a huge difference allowing the juices to reincorporate back into the meat.

I too do not have a sear burner but with my mods am able to hit temps close to what can be achieved with the sear burner, albeit it does take a bit longer to get there :lol: At anyrate, this procedure has worked very well for me and provides great result for anything from rare to medium cooked cuts.

Don
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#15 User is offline   bill b 

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:22 AM

I remember an episode of good eats, it may have been episode Episode EA1H22, in which Alton weighed both seared and unseared meats before and after and the seared actual did loose a very little bit more in weight. But it also adds something in the flavor so Don't expect me to stop doing it. :lol: Unfortunately, this episode has already aired (seeGood Eats )and I don't see it in any future schedule right now. :P


Don's absolutely right in that letting the meat rest is very important to let the juices redistribute. It's tough some times when you're really hungry but patience is not only it's own reward but, when it comes to meat, it's also "good eats". B)
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