Steak News (Alternative Meats)

The real news is that I’ve updated the website. But here are some pictures of steak I made last weekend. I plan to make an end-all-be-all guide to steak at some point, but my technique is suffering from some kinks that I’m still working out. (Sad!) I won’t be getting into the nitty-gritty this time around.

These WordPress themes seem to particularly have it out for me since nothing is showing up the way its supposed to. It’s not like I’m totally basing everything off my CSS and HTML knowledge from the 11th grade webmastering class that I used to take 30 minute-long “restroom breaks” in. The mobile format has proven particularly vexing, but I think it looks okay now after some circuitous workarounds. This whole affair has been inducing in me a weird attention to small details and an inability to let go of technical problems, neither of which seem to apply to anything else in my life.

Anyways, here’s some steak.

Steak and tomatos
True fact: Trump likes his steaks well-done and with ketchup. Not even joking.

I’ve taken a liking to the thick cuts that are sold at Costco, but they still cost about 7 dollars per pound. I like ribeyes.

Salted Steaks
The pepper is absolutely real, the lemon is fake.

I would wager that over the past year we’ve gone through about a half gallon of lemon pepper (probably as true as having the largest electoral college win ever). Random bottles keeps showing up time to time somehow.

For my steaks, I’ve been experimenting with a couple of ways to improve the sear on the outside and getting medium-rare on the inside.

Part of the issue is that there seems to be an issue with measuring the temperature of the steaks combined with my inability to do simple math.  I’ve been thus far reverse searing (which is pretty much how I cook anything nowadays), which means that I cook at lower temperatures before doing a quick sear at the end. Medium-rare, according to Wikipedia at least, is within a range of 130 to 140 degrees, which gives us 10 degrees of wiggle room (math hard).

The final temperature is only half the story though. Carryover cooking (which is when meat retains heat and continues cooking) can add anywhere from 5 to 25 degrees of heat. There’s also the fact that the temperature probe conducts heat, which reportedly can increase the read temperature around by 5 degrees or so. On the lower end, that means we’re actually shooting for around 100 degrees to begin searing and an off-the-grill temperature of 120 degrees.

Steaks on the grill
You’re fired!

Speaking of searing, there’s a bit of a lead-in time before the hot side of the grill actually gets hot, maybe like five minutes or so. The coals need a good blast of air since we’ve been cooking at a lower temperature with the lid closed. Just something else to think about.

I also need to do something to dry out the outside of the steaks, which should help increase in the browning. Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of buying the steaks the day of, which means I can’t sufficiently dry them out in the fridge a few days before. I’m also considering getting a cast iron skillet to throw on the fire in order to get a more uniform sear unaffected by flareups caused by dripping fat.

Cooked steak
On the cutting board, like the State Dept. budget.

As it’s been, there’s been at least one steak week per month (out of two months). So I expect there will be more in the future.

Cut Steak
“I will grill a great steak – and nobody grills steaks better than me, believe me – and I’ll grill them very inexpensively. I will grill a great, great steak on our [northern Virginia] border, and I will make Mexico pay for that steak. Mark my words.”
In other non-fake news, Stuart might be getting a second grill to leave at our place soon. So maybe I will be able to make double briskets in the future.

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