Saturday, August 23, 2008

Searing Steaks on a Charcoal Grill

Searing a steak to seal in the flavorful juices requires extremely high temperatures, much higher than you usually get from a charcoal grill. But you don't need to spend big bucks on a fancy infrared grill to perfectly sear a steak. Here are some different ways that you can get your coals hot enough to sear a steak:

*Put your coals in a chimney starter and light them like you normally would. Once the coals are glowing red-hot, place the grill grate directly on top of the chimney. You now have a small area of very intense heat on which to sear your steak.

*If you need a larger area of intense heat, pour the glowing coals from the starter chimney onto your grill but instead of evenly distributing them, use long tongs to stack up the coals so that they are directly below the grate. Place the grate on the grill over the coals, and now you can sear the steaks directly over the coals.

*If you're a real daredevil, start with the previous tip, i.e., a stack of glowing coals directly under the grilling grate. Use a blowdrier (yes, the appliance to blow dry your hair) set on HIGH to blast hot air from the side onto the coals while you sear the steak over the coals. The forced hot air will cause the coals to burn much hotter. NOTE: As always, make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy. FYI, Greg saw this tip on the Food Network, but admits he hasn't tried it himself. He mumbled something about not wanting to burn down the deck....

After your steak is seared (about a minute on each side, but it depends on the thickness of your steak), you can then spread the coals out for normal grilling in order to finish cooking the steaks to your preferred level of doneness.

Over the last 3 weeks, Greg has been in charge of cooking our pregame meals (we play hockey, or as they call it down south, "ice hockey", twice a week) on game nights and has made seared steaks rubbed with Char Crust Seasoning. Interestingly, our teams have been undefeated during this time, and we've both scored more goals and assists. Coincidence?? Or is there a magic ingredient in the dry rub???

Zestfully yours,

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