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Old 03-06-2015, 05:05 PM   #21
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Stovestop searing in cast iron and finishing off in a high oven works very well for steaks indoors, especially for filet mignon/tenderloin. And you can make a sauce from the drippings if you like.
That's also my method that I got from reading Alton Brown's recipes. I use a meat thermometer and have the timing down so that I get close to the desired 130-135 degrees fairly consistently.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:13 PM   #22
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No, I wouldn't buy it. I think steaks are inherently fabulous tasting and don't need much but to be tossed on a grill. Although I have an outdoor grill, I cook mine on an indoor electric grill (open, not George Foreman type), because that is easier when cooking for a single person. For some reason I have no problem telling when it is cooked just the right amount for me.

IMO that device is just another gizmo to be stuffed in the back upper shelves of one's kitchen cabinets, never to be seen again.
+1. Grill during summer and pan sear and oven during winter. Have heard so much about the reverse sear, I'm going to try it next time.
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Would you buy something that cooked perfect steaks?
Old 03-06-2015, 05:29 PM   #23
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Would you buy something that cooked perfect steaks?

This has worked for me for years:

Put the iron skillet in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees. HOT!

Salt and pepper the steak for 30 to 60 mins before you want to cook it. According to Americas Test Kitchen this allows the salt to enter the steak and flavor it through osmosis. Less than 30 mins and the salt will draw the liquid out of the steak and cause it to dry out. The osmosis begins after 30 mins if I remember correctly.

Once the oven is at 500 take the skillet out and put it on the gas burner. Use a glove

Place steak on skillet for 1 min each side and the put it back in the oven, still at 500, for 3 mins. After 3 mins turn the steak and leave for 3 more mins. That's for cooking a 1 in thick New York to medium/medium rare. After cooking 3 or 4 steaks u get the idea of whether it should be 2.5 or 3.5 mins etc.

Comes out the same perfect way every time.

I put some oil on the steak before I cook it, but no oil on the pan.


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Old 03-06-2015, 05:33 PM   #24
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Yes, I would buy something that cooks perfect steaks, but not that thing. Buy a "Sous Vide", it works, and it works better than you can believe.

I was actually against it, my wife bought it, first bite changed my mind. Every bite since has been perfectly as good. You almost can't screw it up. Eating steak out is now unacceptable, no matter how good the restaurant is.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:16 PM   #25
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So the answer is no. For about $400 less I might get this gadget.

Amazon.com: Fagor 670041860 2-Piece Induction Set with 1800-watt Cooktop and Skillet: Kitchen & Dining

It might be useful when I cook for my grandchild who is almost tall enough to reach the hot stove top.

Saw something like this at Sam's... but cannot remember the price...
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:40 PM   #26
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Yes, I would buy something that cooks perfect steaks, but not that thing. Buy a "Sous Vide", it works, and it works better than you can believe.

I was actually against it, my wife bought it, first bite changed my mind. Every bite since has been perfectly as good. You almost can't screw it up. Eating steak out is now unacceptable, no matter how good the restaurant is.
And you can 'sous-vide' steaks for near zero $, you probably have what you need on hand. A picnic cooler, zip lock bags, digital thermometer. Just bag the steaks, soak in 127F water (more or less depending on how rare/medium you want) for about 2 hours (time is not critical at all). Sear in a very hot pan quickly, or blow torch 'em.

Lots of ways to cook a steak near perfect, grill, cast iron pan, etc - specialized gadgets (like the link on the OP) not required (I already had the blow torch! ).

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Old 03-06-2015, 11:00 PM   #27
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All this talk about sous vide on the other thread got me starting on a new project (one can only play around with loudspeakers for so long).

Yes, one should be able to do sous vide without expensive equipment. One either carefully watches the temperature of his pot sitting on a regular stove top, or by using a large quantity of water to ensure minimal temperature drop during the hour-long cooking.

But how about some inexpensive equipment to control the temperature without having to spend several hundred bucks? I am getting some parts ordered, and when I have set it up and made my first sous vide steak I will tell you all about it.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:19 PM   #28
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All this talk about sous vide on the other thread got me starting on a new project (one can only play around with loudspeakers for so long).

Yes, one should be able to do sous vide without expensive equipment. One either carefully watches the temperature of his pot sitting on a regular stove top, or by using a large quantity of water to ensure minimal temperature drop during the hour-long cooking.

But how about some inexpensive equipment to control the temperature without having to spend several hundred bucks? I am getting some parts ordered, and when I have set it up and made my first sous vide steak I will tell you all about it.
Here's the temperature controller that many homebrewers use for their fermentors:

AGPtek Digital All-purpose Temperature Controller STC-1000 w/Sensor - Hvac Controls - Amazon.com

Cheap, nice sealed probe, very flexible. You just need some sort of heating element (shouldn't take much to just maintain a temperature), and I think I've seen people using an aquarium pump to bubble air through the water to provide a little circulation.

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Old 03-06-2015, 11:29 PM   #29
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Ah hah!

Not being able to see that when I searched Amazon, I found a similar unit on eBay and already ordered it. It cost me $12 instead of the $17 from Amazon (both with shipping), but I have to wait for it to arrive from Hong Kong.

I was still working on a stirrer, but the bubbler idea is even simpler.

PS. I initially thought about building a simple analog thermostat with parts I already had on hand, but could not resist paying $12 for a digital one.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:48 PM   #30
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I have also heard America's Test kitchen suggest the cast iron/oven method BUT BACKWARDS. They said you season the steak, then put in the oven at a very low temperature... Until steaks reach 95 F, then sear the outsides in a hot skillet... Charred outside, pink inside...

http://thisweekfordinner.com/2012/01...perfect-steak/


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Old 03-07-2015, 01:36 AM   #31
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No, I would not buy that gizmo. I like to keep things simple. I have a 10 year old Hamilton Beach "health grill" which I got for free as an employee perquisite for long service at w*rk. I like how it grills and it is very convenient. It's big enough to grill several steaks, vegetables, etc. It is the same one as in the ad below (used, on sale for $20) and I don't think this model is made any more. In fact, if you are looking for a grill, this one might be a bargain if it's in decent condition.

LARGE HAMILTON BEACH HEALTH SMART 25265 INDOOR GRILL for Sale in Yankton, South Dakota Classified | AmericanListed.com
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:16 AM   #32
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I have also heard America's Test kitchen suggest the cast iron/oven method BUT BACKWARDS. They said you season the steak, then put in the oven at a very low temperature... Until steaks reach 95 F, then sear the outsides in a hot skillet... Charred outside, pink inside...

http://thisweekfordinner.com/2012/01...perfect-steak/


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I heard the America's Test Kitchen folks talking about their book before Christmas and their steak cooking method. I tried it right away and it works very well. A similar method but longer cooking time also works for ribs.


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Old 03-07-2015, 06:49 AM   #33
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Fantastic!!! 32 responses to "the perfect steak", in less than a day. Proves that many here are already retired, or bored, sitting at their desks... waiting to be...

Nothing to add to the comments, as
#1... can't afford steak
#2... even when we could, usually burned it

...but... instead of hijacking this thread, which should be enshrined... (along with the "razors" thread)... hoping that someone will start another one that asks the question:

What kitchen appliances do you have?
...and, maybe, which ones do you use?
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:49 AM   #34
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Ah hah!

Not being able to see that when I searched Amazon, I found a similar unit on eBay and already ordered it. It cost me $12 instead of the $17 from Amazon (both with shipping), but I have to wait for it to arrive from Hong Kong.

I was still working on a stirrer, but the bubbler idea is even simpler.

PS. I initially thought about building a simple analog thermostat with parts I already had on hand, but could not resist paying $12 for a digital one.
Same thing with me, even at $17 I can't get the parts together for that. Like you, I probably have most of the parts on hand, just not worth the time to build and package it. This unit has a decent interface for setting trip points, handles hot/cold, waterproof probe, etc - you really can't beat it.

Here's one of the threads from the home-brewers, they can recc reliable ebay sellers:

STC 1000 "Ebay" Temperature Controller Build - Page 40 - Home Brew Forums

I never noticed the ones that do readouts in F, everything seemed to be C when I ordered mine. Oh well, I really should get better at 'thinking' in C. Zero and 100 are easy, I know 25C is ~ room temperature ( a warm 77F!), -40 C is -40 F, and 60 C is 140 F, the rest I have to look up or estimate in my head.

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Old 03-07-2015, 09:59 AM   #35
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Fantastic!!! 32 responses to "the perfect steak", in less than a day. Proves that many here are already retired, or bored, sitting at their desks... waiting to be...

Nothing to add to the comments, as
#1... can't afford steak
#2... even when we could, usually burned it

...but... instead of hijacking this thread, which should be enshrined... (along with the "razors" thread)... hoping that someone will start another one that asks the question:

What kitchen appliances do you have?
...and, maybe, which ones do you use?
LOL! I had a neighbor who bitterly complained that they never ate steak at home because her husband ALWAYS burned it at the grill. DH said it was that way when his Dad grilled as well. The problem - the need to keep working that steak until it's dead! LOL!

It's a problem SO easily cured. Steaks on the grill should only be turned once. You must avoid flareups. And until you are quite experienced, you must use a thermometer to ascertain when the steak is done to your liking.

Which is where the Thermapen discussion usually gets started..... I know you haven't missed those discussions!!!
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:27 AM   #36
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LOL! I had a neighbor who bitterly complained that they never ate steak at home because her husband ALWAYS burned it at the grill. DH said it was that way when his Dad grilled as well. The problem - the need to keep working that steak until it's dead! LOL!

It's a problem SO easily cured. Steaks on the grill should only be turned once. You must avoid flareups. And until you are quite experienced, you must use a thermometer to ascertain when the steak is done to your liking.

Which is where the Thermapen discussion usually gets started..... I know you haven't missed those discussions!!!
When my wife and I married she didn't know what steak was. They called it "burnt meat", today she enjoys it medium rare. I watched her dad ruin 4 lobsters he caught diving. He didn't think they were done in an hour on the grill.

Edit to add: I have a multi purpose device, a grill. Grill year round even at 20F.
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Would you buy something that cooked perfect steaks?
Old 03-07-2015, 10:32 AM   #37
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Would you buy something that cooked perfect steaks?

To answer the OP, nope, wouldn't buy one...

Only slightly off topic, I experimented last weekend with sous vide, using a slow cooker, my bbq thermometer, and a generic, NY strip from the local grocer (on sale!).

I filled the crock with hot tap water, which was 131F, then set the cooker to WARM. I then checked the temps at 30 minute intervals.

Time/temp

0/131
30/129
60/131
90/135
120/138
150/140
180/140

Seems to have topped out at 140F. For kicks, I then set the control to LOW...

210/154
240/167
270/181
300/180

With data in hand, I repeated the next day, this time with a steak. My target temp was 134.

ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1425745230.119887.jpg
ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1425745268.863687.jpg
ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1425745291.922758.jpg
ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1425745316.716846.jpg
ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1425745335.792109.jpg
ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1425745361.818852.jpg

After about 2.5 hours at 133-135, controlled by "hand" by toggling between OFF and WARM, I removed the steak from its pouch, then seared in an iron skillet (outside grill covered with snow/ice...).

Conclusions: Relatively low maintenance method, and the steak was med-rare throughout. Steak wasn't that flavorful, due in part to the el-cheapo grocery store steak; also went too light on seasonings. Might be better for a roast, or other fatty cut. Also, I like the flavor profile of grilled meat better, even giving its "shortcomings" as a "perfect" cooking method.

Having said that, I use a gas grill for the convenience, but still think charcoal is a superior method flavor-wise.


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Old 03-07-2015, 10:34 AM   #38
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just use the pinch method.....lightly touch your left index finger tip to your left thumb tip. Now feel the inside, meaty part of your left hand with your right index finger. This is how a medium rare steak should feel. Now move to your left middle finger tip....medium. Ring finger....well done. Never fails
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:42 AM   #39
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When my wife and I married she didn't know what steak was. They called it "burnt meat", today she enjoys it medium rare. I watched her dad ruin 4 lobsters he caught diving. He didn't think they were done in an hour on the grill.
I have definitely noticed this compulsion to grill, grill and keep grilling (with the lid open too?) that seems ingrained in some men.

Is it like the driving stereotype where a guy refuses to ask directions? Do some men feel like they should instinctively know how to grill so they don't try to learn how to do it well? "Well, my Dad burnt all the meat so that's how it's done! End of discussion!"

I enjoy grilling so much myself, and DH is happy for me to do it. When we started RVing (everyone is outside their RVs grilling), I found some books and took the time to learn and have been rewarded with numerous memorable meals. DH was usually off chasing wildlife with his camera at grilling time which was the main reason the chore fell to me.

So I felt bad for my neighbor who always goes out to eat steak because it's horrible at home. She prefers her steak medium well, though, I didn't offer to grill for her as I don't think I can bear to let steak go that far. If anyone is squeamish about medium rare or rare meat I don't cook for them.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:48 AM   #40
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just use the pinch method.....lightly touch your left index finger tip to your left thumb tip. Now feel the inside, meaty part of your left hand with your right index finger. This is how a medium rare steak should feel. Now move to your left middle finger tip....medium. Ring finger....well done. Never fails
I kept trying that method when I grilled steaks - it sounds easy, but it still kind of threw me off.

But then... I made a point to push the steak when it was raw (very 'mushy'). That gave me the reference point I needed to tell that it progressing along from raw to rare to medium rare.

Still a little hit/miss with resting though. That's what I like about the water bath and blow torch. You hold the water temperature, and it is done to that degree, nothing more or less. And the blow torch is so fast, it doesn't cook the inside any further. And the slow water bath cooking eliminates the need for a rest, the temperatures are already even throughout.

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