BBQ 25 – Interpreted by BBQ, Esq. – Results Round 1

11 Mar

Yesterday, I posted about my plans to cook my way through Adam Perry Lang’s book “BBQ 25″ and described how I planned to cook the first recipe from the book, Strip Steak over 1”, using methods inspired by the book, even if I deviated from those methods a little bit for one reason or the other.

Although I don’t generally post a lot of pictures – I usually forget to take them or the cook is moving so fast I don’t want to risk messing up the product by stopping to take pictures – this time, I managed to take a few pictures that show the progression of the method Mr. Lang described in his book and that I, more or less, followed last night.

So here we go:

Photo 1 shows the NY Strip Steak, all seasoned with salt and pepper pressed into the sides and edges of the meat (I trimmed the fat from the edge of the steak prior to seasoning). The ramekin contains some olive oil infused with Weber’s Chicago Steak seasoning with some additional garlic and rosemary. I didn’t have an “herb bundle” to make a mop out of so I just used a silicon brush.

Photo 2 shows the indirect portion of my “reverse sear” method of cooking thick steaks. The coals are arranged on one side of the grill and the meat is placed on the other side of the grill (the “cool” side). The top and bottom vents of the Performer are closed down to about half an inch and the temperature settled between 275 and 300 degrees. The Performer lid was turned so the vent was over the meat, which draws the smoke from the pecan chunks up and across the meat, giving it a bit of smokey flavor.

The indirect portion of the cook takes from 15 – 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak and the grill temperature. My target tonight was about 20 minutes to get the steak to about 110 degrees internal and then 5 minutes to sear, followed by a 5 minute rest. I brushed the steak with the seasoned oil about 15 minutes in and flipped the meat. I was a bit surprised to see that I had some nice grill marks on the steak even though the meat had been on the cool side of the grill with no heat under it. Apparently the stainless steel cooking grate did a good job of transferring the heat from the hot side of the grill across the width of the grill and heated the grill grate underneath the steak. That was interesting to me. I’ll have file that away and play with that later.

During the last 10 minutes or so of the indirect cook, I opened the vents on the Performer to let the grill come back up to searing temperature. I also lit about a quarter chimney of briquettes in my chimney starter to supplement the coals that were already on the grill since I wanted to get a nice hot bed of coals on the grill for the searing portion of the cook.  I could have just used a small grill grate from my BGE mini and seared the meat directly on top of the chimney starter.

When the coals were ready and the meat was at about 110 degrees (had the meat gotten there before the coals were ready, I would have pulled the meat off the heat and let it rest until the coals were ready). I sat the grill grate off the grill and onto the top of another chimney starter while I dumped the additional coals in the Performer and let the coals get a nice dose of oxygen and get up to temperature.

The third photo shows the direct portion of the cook. I let the steak cook for about minute, flipped and moved to another part of the grill, cooked for another minute, rotated and flipped, and then cooked the steak for about another 30 seconds on each side. I was looking for an even sear on both sides of the meat.

The fourth photo shows the Performer at sear temperature. It would have gotten hotter if I had wanted it to, but this was plenty hot. Note that I moved lid so that the top vent was directly over the coals to improve airflow to the coals and increase the heat.

Finally, after a short rest (it should have been longer but the total cook had taken about 35 minutes instead of the 30 minutes I had estimated, the rest of the dinner was ready and the girls were  hungry), photo five shows the finished product resting on a bed of melted butter seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic  and rosemary – the APL board dressing described in the book.

I was shooting for an even medium rare throughout – I think I got it just about right. The flavor was big, beefy and complex from the pecan smoke and additional seasonings applied during and after the cook. The meat was moist and tender, and just slightly chewy, which is good because it let you enjoy the flavor for a bit longer with each bite (not that the steak was tough – to the contrary – this was a beautifully marbled Certified Angus Beef / USDA Choice steak – top loin is just naturally chewier than ribeye or filet and that is fine by me). I generally keep a bit of steak sauce or ketchup on the table in case a lesser piece of meat needs a little help in the flavor department. That was definitely NOT needed for this effort.

First effort from BBQ 25 was, in my opinion, an unequivocal success. The method was easy to follow and apply and the results were top notch. Also, one benefit of a longer grilling procedure – like the reverse sear – is that there is time during the cook to enjoy a wee bit of Maker’s Mark to prepare the mind and palette for the meaty treat that is to come!


One Response to “BBQ 25 – Interpreted by BBQ, Esq. – Results Round 1”

  1. Phellepa March 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm #


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