Steak recipes/tips/tricks?

annewaldron

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Will be putting on two ribeyes tonight. Am looking at the recipe book that came with and I like the one that recommends smoking for 30 minutes, then pulling steaks off, heating the grill to high (450) and cooking to desired doneness temp (for me that’s right around 128-130). I have oak and maple to choose from, could possibly pick up some mesquite today. I also have a cast iron griddle I could put in there and throw them on at the last minute to sear.

What are your favorite ways to do steaks?
 

TXPhi67

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Sounds like you have a rock solid plan here! The following is what seems to work best for me.

Thicker steaks tend to work better when doing a reverse sear. 3/4" and up with about an 1" to 1 1/4" being the sweet spot.

Bone in makes all the difference.

My three favorite seasoning (in no particular order): kosher sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning, & Uncle Chris' Steak Seasoning. Regardless of what you season with, finishing with good flake salt seems to just knock it out of the park. I'm on the fence about finishing with oil or butter. Makes an awesome display, but just haven't found the one that knocks it out of the park for me in terms of flavor. So still experimenting here.

Sometimes, I go straight up meat and do nothing after the salt and pepper. Other times I'm doing sauted mushrooms or a cutting board sauce.

I've found that I get mixed results when using cast iron to get a hard sear in the Traeger. If I'm going to use cast iron or want a hard sear, I tend to fire up the Weber grill and heat up the skillet that way or even just go straight into the coals. Alternatively, the sear I get with just using the Traeger (no cast iron) is often just fine.

While timing, touch, look, and experience all are okay for judging when a steak is done - it really is all about the temp. Internal temp specifically. The best and most consistent results I've gotten have been when I have smoked the steaks at 180-225 (lower temp tends to mean more smoky flavor) until the internal temp is 120. I have been known to pull as low as 118 if I have a lot going on and don't want to take the chance of over cooking. Key is not to go over 120.

Either taking the Traeger to as hot as it will get (400 to 450) or using an alternate sear option the most important thing is making sure I don't blow past 125 internal temp is making sure to let the steaks sit for 3-5 min before searing. That short rest lets the steaks equalize a bit before putting that final sear on them.

Before carving/serving its really import to let the meat rest. Resting the steaks under loose foil for 3-10 mins (longer times for thicker steaks) not only lets the juices redistribute, but you also get carry over cooking of 3-8 degrees.

This is what works for me and has been the result of a lot of fun experimentation, hope there are a few tidbits that you find useful.

Steak on!
 
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annewaldron

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Sounds like you have a rock solid plan here! The following is what seems to work best for me.

Thicker steaks tend to work better when doing a reverse sear. 3/4" and up with about an 1" to 1 1/4" being the sweet spot.

Bone in makes all the difference.

My three favorite seasoning (in no particular order): kosher sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning, & Uncle Chris' Steak Seasoning. Regardless of what you season with, finishing with good flake salt seems to just knock it out of the park. I'm on the fence about finishing with oil or butter. Makes an awesome display, but just haven't found the one that knocks it out of the park for me in terms of flavor. So still experimenting here.

Sometimes, I go straight up meat and do nothing after the salt and pepper. Other times I'm doing sauted mushrooms or a cutting board sauce.

I've found that I get mixed results when using cast iron to get a hard sear in the Traeger. If I'm going to use cast iron or want a hard sear, I tend to fire up the Weber grill and heat up the skillet that way or even just go straight into the coals. Alternatively, the sear I get with just using the Traeger (no cast iron) is often just fine.

While timing, touch, look, and experience all are okay for judging when a steak is done - it really is all about the temp. Internal temp specifically. The best and most consistent results I've gotten have been when I have smoked the steaks at 180-225 (lower temp tends to mean more smoky flavor) until the internal temp is 120. I have been known to pull as low as 118 if I have a lot going on and don't want to take the chance of over cooking. Key is not to go over 120.

Either taking the Traeger to as hot as it will get (400 to 450) or using an alternate sear option the most important thing is making sure I don't blow past 125 internal temp is making sure to let the steaks sit for 3-5 min before searing. That short rest lets the steaks equalize a bit before putting that final sear on them.

Before carving/serving its really import to let the meat rest. Resting the steaks under loose foil for 3-10 mins (longer times for thicker steaks) not only lets the juices redistribute, but you also get carry over cooking of 3-8 degrees.

This is what works for me and has been the result of a lot of fun experimentation, hope there are a few tidbits that you find useful.

Steak on!

Great info- thanks! My key takeaway is the temp where I’d pull it- your recommendation is a little sooner than I would have on my egg, only because I could get the egg screaming hot and it literally took a minute (or less) to sear both sides before finish, so I think I was able to let it go just a bit higher internal temp before the sear.

Some may ask why not just do it on my egg: I’m taking a break from getting dirty prepping the live charcoal fire, the minding that my egg requires (I don’t have the tricked out accessories that tend the temp for me), and the time it takes to allow it to cool enough for cleanup and covering. My egg is just a little too high maintenance for me right now- I’d rather spend time with my man than with my grill! ? ?

What are your thoughts for an ideal wood (or blend) for steak?

My ribeyes, while not bone-in, are about 1.25” thick. I’ve been trying ButcherBox meat for the last few months and have been liking it. Looking forward to making these shine!
 

TXPhi67

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Totally get your point about the effort difference between BGE & the Traegar. I have a friend of mine who frequently "gripe" that the Traegar has made him a lazy pitmaster.

Regarding temp, totally a personal preference. My family and I like our steaks a "cool" med rare. That's a big reason for pul6the steaks when I do.

For steaks I tend to use Oak or a Mesquite. My current favorite pellets are the LumberJacks that I get from a local Atwoods.

Sounds like your steaks will work perfectly. Huge fan of Butcher Box. Porter Road is pretty awesome as well.
 
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annewaldron

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Totally get your point about the effort difference between BGE & the Traegar. I have a friend of mine who frequently "gripe" that the Traegar has made him a lazy pitmaster.

Regarding temp, totally a personal preference. My family and I like our steaks a "cool" med rare. That's a big reason for pul6the steaks when I do.

For steaks I tend to use Oak or a Mesquite. My current favorite pellets are the LumberJacks that I get from a local Atwoods.

Sounds like your steaks will work perfectly. Huge fan of Butcher Box. Porter Road is pretty awesome as well.

Yeah, I had 10 years of fun with amateur pitmastery, now I’m ready to be lazy ?

Speaking of Lumberjack brand, have you had any experience with the Char-Hickory variety (80% hickory, 20% charcoal)? Sounds interesting. They also have a rosemary thyme and basil variety that sounded very interesting and it made me wonder what application, maybe something Italian style, or chicken.
 
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annewaldron

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Result was amazing- smoked to about 100 degrees, pulled and cranked the grill to 450, put back on and cooked until just 130. Rested for about 4 mins. Was a perfect, tender, juicy med-rare. Flavor was out of this world!
 

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TXPhi67

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Those steaks look awesome!

The Atwoods that I get my pellets from only carry the "standard" of Competition, Hickory, Oak, Mesquite, Apple, & Cherry. So I haven't had a chance to try any of the others.

I have tried some other brands with mixed results and that includes a Jack Daniels Whiskey barrel charcoal that was like pouring glue into the auger. Only way I found it worked without literally gumming up the works was to just use them in my smoke tube.

I also have a Bourbon & Brown sugar from Cabela's that a friend gave me, but I have tried it yet. Because of the Jack and few others, I've gotten a bit gun shy with anything but the standards either from Traeger or Lumber Jack. Really hate having to break down the pit and pull the auger. Major pain!
 
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annewaldron

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Now that you mention, I wonder if the oils from the herbs in that herb variety could potentially be sticky in an auger. I think I’ll pass on that and just put the herbs in the food ;)
 

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I have done reverse sear on my T, but I tried something different last night. I gave 2 1.5 inch NY strips an hour of smoke at 225, then I bumped up the temp a notch every 15 minutes until i reached an IT of 135 (which is the perfect blend of medium rare and medium for me). They came out tasty, tender, & juicy.
 

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