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Old 02-25-2015, 12:39 PM   #21
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For me, it's not about the quality of the food so much, it's that sometimes I just like to have someone bring me food, or the social aspect: going out with friends or family.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:08 PM   #22
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I'm not an accomplished chef in the kitchen, but outdoors I can grill a steak to my satisfaction better than most steakhouses. Saw this online and it's foolproof - Grill the steak for a minute or 2 on each side on the highest heat setting. Then turn off the grill and leave the steak in the grill for about 5 minutes. This sears the outside, seals the juices inside, and lets the inside cook slowly to a pink center. Also smoke ribs, brisket, pulled pork using a Traeger smoker.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post

They did the inverse and let them get to room temperature and then grilled under lower heat until the inside reached a certain temperature (below the ultimate temperature) and then they sear them over higher heat to give them a nice grilled outside.
I've read this, but can't try on our Weber gas grill, there's no way to get one side searing hot while the other is medium. There are grills that have that capability but they are out of my price range.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:16 PM   #24
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Did you grill them outside today? It's 40 degrees down here, brrrrr. So I know it's way colder north of me in TX and in the rest of the US.
I grill in all temperatures. Part of my normal snow clearing routine is to clear off the deck around the grill, and a path from the back door as show below. It's been a little more of a challenge than usual this year.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:17 PM   #25
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I grill in all temperatures. Part of my normal snow clearing routine is to clear off the deck around the grill, and a path from the back door as show below. It's been a little more of a challenge than usual this year.
Now that's dedication!
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:43 PM   #26
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I usually eat at home. If I eat out I do so because:

1. I'm traveling and eating at home is not an option
2. It's a social outing and the meal is like a ticket to a game.
3. I order something I would never prepare myself.

#3 is the customary and best reasons to eat out, IMHO.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:54 PM   #27
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+1

I love this technique. It's called reverse sear. I use 1.5-2.0" thick rib eye or strip steak. Put it in a 250-degree oven on a rack. After about 40-45 minutes, it reaches an internal temperature of 120-125 degrees. I let it rest about 5 minutes and then sear for 1 minute on each side in a smoking hot cast iron skillet with very little oil. Then, while it rests for 8-10 minutes, I stir some onions, mushrooms, and garlic in the same pan with a small amount of olive oil. The end result is pure medium-rare heaven.

In warmer weather, I use a very similar technique with charcoal outside. Smoke it with pecan wood chips on charcoal (no direct heat) at a very low temperature until 120-125 degree internal. Then raise the charcoal and sear it for 1 minute on each side. The smoke adds a very nice dimension to the flavor that you can't get inside.

The more traditional sear-first method is widely used in restaurants because it allows more timing flexibility when coordinating several different meals. But it produces a kind of layered and uneven cooking effect on the inside, and sometimes the outside is overcooked. The reverse-sear technique produces a more uniform medium-rare top-to-bottom and edge-to-edge. In my experience, it is also more moist and produces a thin, crispy surface that isn't as charred.

I guess I will have to try that out.... but need to get a better thermometer...
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:02 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
+1

I love this technique. It's called reverse sear. I use 1.5-2.0" thick rib eye or strip steak. Put it in a 250-degree oven on a rack. After about 40-45 minutes, it reaches an internal temperature of 120-125 degrees. I let it rest about 5 minutes and then sear for 1 minute on each side in a smoking hot cast iron skillet with very little oil. ...
I've taken this to the next level recently - a cheap sous-vide like method for steaks and a rack-of-lamb (near $0 actually, assuming you have a cooler, and a thermometer with a long wire probe helps, and a blow torch for the final step, but you can use a fry pan). We will be doing more of this soon.

For 1 1/2" thick steaks - Fill a cooler ~ 2/3 of the way with 132F tap water (add a little boiling water if needed). Put the steak in a zip-lock bag with a little olive oil and rosemary and garlic. Dip the bag in the water to push out the air, then seal it. You might want to clip the bag to hold it just above the water. Close the cooler, and cover it with towels (coolers aren't usually insulated well on the top, they are designed for, wait for it.... cool foods, not warm - so the towels provide insulation for the top).

Leave it sit in the water bath for about 90 minutes, you can go longer, up to ~ 3 hours and it makes no difference. Top up with a few cups of boiling water from time to time as needed to keep the temperature at 127-129F (so far, I only need to top up a few times during the first 40 minutes, as the meat absorbs the heat).

Take the steaks out, put them on a rack over a sheet pan, and hit them with the blow torch to sear. I have a MAPP gas torch which gives a hotter flame than propane. Just takes a few minutes to crisp them, and they are cooked to perfection (for us - medium rare) inside. And it makes a LOT LESS smoke than a hot fry-pan sear. Adjust the water bath temperature just a few degrees up/down for your liking.

The steaks and the rack of lamb were awesome (I just broiled the lamb really close to the burner to finish it). Enter 'sous-vide' and DIY or cooler into your favorite search engine, and you'll find tons of info.

This has a lot in common with all-grain beer brewing (except for the torch!), so it seems natural for me. BTW, 'sous-vide' actually means 'under vacuum' (or something like that), as it was common to vacuum seal the food before putting into the water bath. But to me, the water bath is more important than the sealing method, but I guess 'bain-marie' was already taken.

-ERD50
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:07 PM   #29
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Top up with a few cups of boiling water from time to time as needed to keep the temperature at 127-129F

According to a book I have on the science of cooking, beef contains an enzyme that breaks down all the nasty fibrous stuff that makes meat tough. The warmer it is the faster the enzyme works, up to 122 degrees. After that temp, the enzyme changes and no longer tenderizes the meat. So, the water bath technique seems to be just about perfect for tenderizing a steak in a few hours.

I have started using the oven method myself. In a low heat, warm the meat until it is just under 122 degrees. Leave if for a few hours, then grill or otherwise cook to the 'done' temperature.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:09 PM   #30
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I grill in all temperatures. Part of my normal snow clearing routine is to clear off the deck around the grill, and a path from the back door as show below. It's been a little more of a challenge than usual this year.
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Now that's dedication!
I'd call it hard core. But yes, I grill year round too and had a small deck added on to the back porch off the kitchen for that reason.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:22 PM   #31
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I've read this, but can't try on our Weber gas grill, there's no way to get one side searing hot while the other is medium. There are grills that have that capability but they are out of my price range.
What they did in the video is after the steaks reach the desired temp on low/med direct heat (95 degrees as I recall, but check the video) they take them out, turm up the heat and get the grill hot... then they sear them.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
+1

I love this technique. It's called reverse sear. I use 1.5-2.0" thick rib eye or strip steak. Put it in a 250-degree oven on a rack. After about 40-45 minutes, it reaches an internal temperature of 120-125 degrees. I let it rest about 5 minutes and then sear for 1 minute on each side in a smoking hot cast iron skillet with very little oil. Then, while it rests for 8-10 minutes, I stir some onions, mushrooms, and garlic in the same pan with a small amount of olive oil. The end result is pure medium-rare heaven....
That sounds yummy, but I prefer to use the grill, particularly in the summer rather than the oven which heats up the house. Would you see any flaw with doing the oven part on the grill over indirect heat where the grill is 250-degrees and then finish it off by searing it on a hot grill? I guess the only thing that approach might miss is the dregs of searing the steak on the grill mixed in with the veggies.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:42 PM   #33
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This thread is an example of why we rarely go out to eat.

Last 4 meals:

1. spicy tuna sushi
2. homemade enchiladas (fresh cooked beans, rice, cilantro and lime, slow cooked marinated pork pibil, with cheese), fresh guac, lettuce, tomatoes, chips and cheese dip (I threw this together last minute since the kids had a friend staying the night and I needed a bunch of food)
3. waffles (simple but oh so good)
4. pad thai. homemade guava/cream cheese hand pies and apple hand pies for desert.

About the only time we give money to restaurants is for carryout pizza and Chinese take out (it's almost the same price as buying the ingredients and doing the cooking at home).
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:00 PM   #34
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We do eat out a lot. But it's usually at a restaurants that specialize in something I don't care to make at home or can't make any better. We eat a lot of ethnic food out - but only if it's really good. And there is a seafood place that is outstanding. Only the good stuff!
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:13 PM   #35
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That sounds yummy, but I prefer to use the grill, particularly in the summer rather than the oven which heats up the house.
We have these devices down here called "air conditioners," which take care of that problem.

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Would you see any flaw with doing the oven part on the grill over indirect heat where the grill is 250-degrees and then finish it off by searing it on a hot grill? I guess the only thing that approach might miss is the dregs of searing the steak on the grill mixed in with the veggies.
No flaw at all. In fact, I described my outdoor version of this technique later on in the same post you quoted. Although I use charcoal and a lot of smoke from pecan wood chips, no gas. You do miss out on the lovely dregs in the cast iron skillet, but the smoky flavor of the steak is worth the trade-off.

One downside is that it is much harder to control the temperature outside, especially for me using charcoal. I've been reading about ERD50's water-bath method, which seems a bit "involved," but would provide fool-proof control over the internal temperature.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:49 PM   #36
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We actually don't have AC at home since there are only a handful of days in the summer when we want/need it but our house is so well insulated that if DW bakes something the inside temp goes up a few degrees.

I saw the outdoor version but didn't really focus on it since I use propane rather than charcoal but now that I went back to look at it it was spot on. My bad.

While I'm tempted to say I can't wait to get home to try it yesterday our town had one of the coldest temperatures in the nation so I'll be patient.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:56 PM   #37
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You guys are killin' me. The food all sounds so good. We never eat steak out, as quality beef in a restaurant is running in the $40's per person. No thank you.

My wife was a Krystal waitress when she was 18 years old, and nothing makes her happier than 4 of those tiny morsels of burger heaven. And she has no desire to eat out more than once per week.

I wouldn't have the investment portfolio that's in place had my wife been a high maintenance, eating out kind of person.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:13 PM   #38
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Agree about preparing meals at home - they are almost always better than anything I could get at a restaurant. We buy beef and lamb from local farmer friends.......all grass-fed, and the highest quality meat. As long as I can continue to buy from them, I will never go back to buying meat from the grocery store. When we are on the Gulf Coast in the winter, we eat mostly fresh local seafood (that we either harvest ourselves, or buy from a local market). Fresh oysters, shrimp, redfish, black drum, flounder.......hard to beat. When we do go out to eat (which is not often), we go for something that is difficult to make at home........like Thai food, perhaps. We do make some Thai dishes at home, but we always get new ideas by going out and ordering something we haven't had before.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:45 PM   #39
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All I can say is that I sorta wish I was closer to rio grand valley....I'd certainly go by Costco on the way to audreyh1's. I mean, really, how much harder could it be to cook for 4 vs 2?
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:04 AM   #40
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Can't remember the last time we ate dinner away from the house- we'll stop for lunch sometimes or breakfast. We grill year round, have a covered porch to store the grill, roll it out from under the eaves to grill- usually 2-3 times per week. We recently bought a Bradley electric smoker so have ribs to die for, have smoked cheese, salt, pork roasts, salmon, turkey, and chicken. It has all been good and learning more as we go along. We have an outside pizza oven that I fire up once a month in the winter and much more often all summer so we're set to stay home. Seems like there is never enough time to try out all the recipes and techniques we see and hear about.
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