Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Ryan, I have a cooking question for you. I cook steaks in my iron skillet and sometimes I get this wonderful salt and pepper crust seared on the outside. You can hear the "tap" when you bounce your fork on it.

Sometimes. Sometimes the seasoning I'm trying to sear sticks to the bottom of the skillet and and not the steak. I'm sure it's a temperature issue, but not sure which direction. Bone in ribeye roasts are on sale out here where I used to work this week and I plan on getting an 8 or 10 lb chunk to cut up into steaks and freeze. I plan on cooking steaks here soon!
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Ryan, I have a cooking question for you. I cook steaks in my iron skillet and sometimes I get this wonderful salt and pepper crust seared on the outside. You can hear the "tap" when you bounce your fork on it.

Sometimes. Sometimes the seasoning I'm trying to sear sticks to the bottom of the skillet and and not the steak. I'm sure it's a temperature issue, but not sure which direction. Bone in ribeye roasts are on sale out here where I used to work this week and I plan on getting an 8 or 10 lb chunk to cut up into steaks and freeze. I plan on cooking steaks here soon!
Ultimately, the answer to your question is a time vs heat thing.

Warning: overly pedantic descriptions ahead. :oops: :rolleyes: ;)

SOP: Have your oven preheated, 400-450º depending on what's going in. Using a well seasoned skillet or steel pan, allow it to heat up well, add oil, when that starts to shimmer and give off the first whip of smoke, add meat... Sear meat all around, fransfer to a roasting pan and finish in the oven.

You don't really want the pan so hot that the oil smokes immediately when added, and you don't want it cold.
When the meat caramelizes in the pan, it will release itself very easily. Until it hits that point, it sticks (usually). Trying to peel it off before it's ready results in crust sticking to the pan or tearing of the meat.
If the pan is too hot when searing, you get an outline sear on the perimeter but the middle isn'tseared well at all. Too cold, and the sear will eventually happen, but heat penetration will ultimately cook the meat, perhaps before you have the sear you want... you lose control doing this.

My favorite technique for red meats and poultry is to pull them from the fridge and salt them, put them on a rack and let them temper for 2-3 hours while the salt draws out juices and air dries, giving a bit of a faux cure to the meat.
This can be done overnight, too... just put the pan back in the fridge uncovered. Allow it to temper before cooking.

Adding a rub: I will do this after the salt has a chance to do its thing as described above. This gives me ultimate control in seasoning, and then applying flavor. Seasoning, waiting an hour and applying the rub is enough to insure the rub takes without getting rid of the salt.

Now, the possible problems... and why I usually just use salt these days. :) I used to play with rubs all the time. But I'm lazy. And I really love just simple, well-seasoned food.
Herb crusts, especially fresh herbs, will only really take a light sear. I've done these to good success on skinless duck breast, whole lamb loin (boneless), whole pork tenderloin... leaner meats that you wouldn't sear hard anyway.
Spice crusts have the benefit of being super flavorful, but the trap is... they burn easily. I would usually fall back to grilling when I use a spice crust, and do it on hearty but delicate things... Tuna steak for example.
When searing something with a spice crust, though, you have to balance a slower heat with a moderate sear. You still want to avoid fully pan cooking the protein, if possible.
Also, applying some oil to the crusted protein helps. I used to have a misto can that had olive oil in one, and safflower in the other, depending on the cooking method. But getting some oil on the outside of the crust without rubbing and disturbing that coating can help.

Once in the oven, it won't burn (assuming its not right below the broiler!). Finishing seared meats in the oven is almost automatic, with very little variation on the time needed to bring a rib eye up to temp, time after time. For example, a Hanger steak will always take me 2.5-3 minutes to hit a rare/mid-rare. The standard 1.5" boneless rib eye with cap muscle will take me about 3-3.5 minutes to hit a solid mid-rare. Pork tenderloin medallions will take about 1 minute after searing to hit a rosy and tender medium.

Oh ya... one other major thing most home cooks do that drives me nuts. Don't be afraid to put some oil in the pan! ;) It's not going to make you fat!!! :p Or give you a heart attack. What it will do is be the liaison for heat transfer between the pan and the meat. It doesn't need to be a swimming pool, and not even a pan fry amount, but the bottom of the pan should be coated well with enough oil that it will be fluid and move when you tip the pan.
I even use some oil to start bacon! :D

Too much? Probably.
But I care. And I'm bored.

:cool:
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Ryan, I have a cooking question for you. I cook steaks in my iron skillet and sometimes I get this wonderful salt and pepper crust seared on the outside. You can hear the "tap" when you bounce your fork on it.

Sometimes. Sometimes the seasoning I'm trying to sear sticks to the bottom of the skillet and and not the steak. I'm sure it's a temperature issue, but not sure which direction. Bone in ribeye roasts are on sale out here where I used to work this week and I plan on getting an 8 or 10 lb chunk to cut up into steaks and freeze. I plan on cooking steaks here soon!
You should be careful with iron skillets. Every time you use them, some iron gets in the food and that's not desirable for men or women who have attained their menopause. We can get enough iron from the food and excess iron can cause several major problems. Too much iron can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, heart problems and diabetes. If you do a little bit of research on the web, you should find additional info on that.
 
Last edited:
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Ultimately, the answer to your question is a time vs heat thing.

Warning: overly pedantic descriptions ahead. :oops: :rolleyes: ;)

SOP: Have your oven preheated, 400-450º depending on what's going in. Using a well seasoned skillet or steel pan, allow it to heat up well, add oil, when that starts to shimmer and give off the first whip of smoke, add meat... Sear meat all around, fransfer to a roasting pan and finish in the oven.

You don't really want the pan so hot that the oil smokes immediately when added, and you don't want it cold.
When the meat caramelizes in the pan, it will release itself very easily. Until it hits that point, it sticks (usually). Trying to peel it off before it's ready results in crust sticking to the pan or tearing of the meat.
If the pan is too hot when searing, you get an outline sear on the perimeter but the middle isn'tseared well at all. Too cold, and the sear will eventually happen, but heat penetration will ultimately cook the meat, perhaps before you have the sear you want... you lose control doing this.

My favorite technique for red meats and poultry is to pull them from the fridge and salt them, put them on a rack and let them temper for 2-3 hours while the salt draws out juices and air dries, giving a bit of a faux cure to the meat.
This can be done overnight, too... just put the pan back in the fridge uncovered. Allow it to temper before cooking.

Adding a rub: I will do this after the salt has a chance to do its thing as described above. This gives me ultimate control in seasoning, and then applying flavor. Seasoning, waiting an hour and applying the rub is enough to insure the rub takes without getting rid of the salt.

Now, the possible problems... and why I usually just use salt these days. :) I used to play with rubs all the time. But I'm lazy. And I really love just simple, well-seasoned food.
Herb crusts, especially fresh herbs, will only really take a light sear. I've done these to good success on skinless duck breast, whole lamb loin (boneless), whole pork tenderloin... leaner meats that you wouldn't sear hard anyway.
Spice crusts have the benefit of being super flavorful, but the trap is... they burn easily. I would usually fall back to grilling when I use a spice crust, and do it on hearty but delicate things... Tuna steak for example.
When searing something with a spice crust, though, you have to balance a slower heat with a moderate sear. You still want to avoid fully pan cooking the protein, if possible.
Also, applying some oil to the crusted protein helps. I used to have a misto can that had olive oil in one, and safflower in the other, depending on the cooking method. But getting some oil on the outside of the crust without rubbing and disturbing that coating can help.

Once in the oven, it won't burn (assuming its not right below the broiler!). Finishing seared meats in the oven is almost automatic, with very little variation on the time needed to bring a rib eye up to temp, time after time. For example, a Hanger steak will always take me 2.5-3 minutes to hit a rare/mid-rare. The standard 1.5" boneless rib eye with cap muscle will take me about 3-3.5 minutes to hit a solid mid-rare. Pork tenderloin medallions will take about 1 minute after searing to hit a rosy and tender medium.

Oh ya... one other major thing most home cooks do that drives me nuts. Don't be afraid to put some oil in the pan! ;) It's not going to make you fat!!! :p Or give you a heart attack. What it will do is be the liaison for heat transfer between the pan and the meat. It doesn't need to be a swimming pool, and not even a pan fry amount, but the bottom of the pan should be coated well with enough oil that it will be fluid and move when you tip the pan.
I even use some oil to start bacon! :D

Too much? Probably.
But I care. And I'm bored.

:cool:
Not too much at all! Thank you very much! I do believe you've helped me zero in on the problem (my inconsistencies) and also reaffirmed for me that I am doing a lot of things right.
When the meat caramelizes in the pan, it will release itself very easily. Until it hits that point, it sticks (usually). Trying to peel it off before it's ready results in crust sticking to the pan or tearing of the meat.
THIS. This, this, this is what happens to me when it goes south! I think I'm trying to turn it too soon and probably not letting the skillet get quite hot enough. You nailed the description. There's nothing like that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I lift it to check and the whole crust peels off and sticks to the bottom! Add to that I got in the habit of shaking the pan to make the steak slide around on the bottom as soon as I dropped it in there, thinking that would prevent it from sticking!

I use plenty of extra virgin olive oil in the skillet. I am not afraid of it either! More than a tbs and probably closer to 2. I really pour it in there. If I had a deeper skillet and the skills, I'd tilt the pan and baste that bad boy with a ladle or large spoon like I've seen you rock star chefs do!

I do preheat the oven to 450 and finish the sear in there. I use a digital probe and pull it once it hits 125° F in the center then let it rest and finish cooking before I cut into it. This is when I'll make the pan sauce.

I don't do a herb spice rub or crust for the reason you mentioned- it's easier to burn. Tho sometimes I'll toss a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme (after beating and bruising them with the back of my knife to release some of the oils) in the skillet with the steak. Gets a nice smell going through the house and hopefully imparts some of the flavor into the oil. Then I make a pan sauce with red wine, whole grain mustard, garlic, shallots, a little butter and whatever else I might have on hand that might be good.

I let my steaks sit out to room temperature, pat them dry, spray a little olive on the outside, then salt and fresh ground black pepper. That's it. And a healthy amount of it too. When cooking steaks that thick it's hard to over-do it. My minimum thickness for a ribeye is 2" and I usually go closer to 3". That way I only need to cook 1 steak and my wife and I can split it.

Finally, thank you for taking the time to type out such a thorough and detailed reply. You sound like an excellent chef and I would love to spend some time in a kitchen with you and really refine my technique. I think I have some decent chops for a home cook, but you're on a whole other level. My knowledge of proteins and experience as a butcher is pretty extensive tho. I've managed a meat/seafood department or processing and packing plant in one way or another for over 30 years.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
LOL on the starting bacon with oil, never heard of that one before! My preference these days for bacon is on parchment in a half sheet pan in the oven....easy and less mess and consistent results (as long as I remember to set my alarm :) ). I do pan searing when its wet/cold out, doing sous vide first, otherwise I still prefer mostly to grill the steaks outside. I did have some sticking problems until I learned to have some patience and let the pan get nice and hot (and proving it with my thermometer gun), and using avocado oil for a higher smoke point instead of olive oil.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
I do my steaks on the grill 99% of the time, but I do appreciate a good pan seared steak.

Salt (kosher) steak cut of choice (mostly NY for me) and rest in fridge for an hour. Then pull to get to room temp. Then I get the grill nice and hot (natural lump charcoal). Then I make sure to do 80% of the cooking for both sides. Once one side needs a flip, I brush bacon grease and put VERY course ground pepper. Repeat until steak is cooked, but flipping every min. Ends up a total of 9-10 min for a good medium on a 1.5" thick steak. I like to use my thermometer to make sure I'm not over cooking since the time method isn't perfect.

This way you get a nice sear/crust with cooked pepper corns. It's pretty fantastic.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
LOL on the starting bacon with oil, never heard of that one before! My preference these days for bacon is on parchment in a half sheet pan in the oven....easy and less mess and consistent results (as long as I remember to set my alarm :) ). I do pan searing when its wet/cold out, doing sous vide first, otherwise I still prefer mostly to grill the steaks outside. I did have some sticking problems until I learned to have some patience and let the pan get nice and hot (and proving it with my thermometer gun), and using avocado oil for a higher smoke point instead of olive oil.
The first batch of bacon in a dry pan NEVER turns out! The second batch is money. I figured this out before I started cooking professionally. That little bit of oil helps get the bacon rendering before it cooks. No more sacrificial bacon! :D

I do love the sheet pan technique, too, but only use it if I'm doing A LOT of bacon. Used to have to bake 100+ rashers almost every day. When you can do that without losing a slice and they are all perfectly flat... :rolleyes:
It's time to learn a new station! :D
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The first batch of bacon in a dry pan NEVER turns out! The second batch is money. I figured this out before I started cooking professionally. That little bit of oil helps get the bacon rendering before it cooks. No more sacrificial bacon! :D

I do love the sheet pan technique, too, but only use it if I'm doing A LOT of bacon. Used to have to bake 100+ rashers almost every day. When you can do that without losing a slice and they are all perfectly flat... :rolleyes:
It's time to learn a new station! :D
It always turns out well....what temp do you use? I go with 275 (no preheat) and takes about 45 minutes depending on how thick....
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ahhhhh, a great steak and nothing compliments it better than Maryland lump crab along with a great red wine. For me me it's dry aged NY strip (1 3/4") done Sous Vide. For those that have had it you know what I'm talking about and for those that have not, take a look ........

 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
THIS. This, this, this is what happens to me when it goes south! I think I'm trying to turn it too soon and probably not letting the skillet get quite hot enough. You nailed the description. There's nothing like that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I lift it to check and the whole crust peels off and sticks to the bottom! Add to that I got in the habit of shaking the pan to make the steak slide around on the bottom as soon as I dropped it in there, thinking that would prevent it from sticking!
Sometimes I get impatient and carefully lift the edge with my tongs. That's the best way to start getting a feel for it in my experience. Things like Sea Scallops, you can judge visually most of the time... but even then sometimes your off. There's almost nothing worse than ruining a beautiful U9 Scallop. but again, just lifting the edge a little can tell you where you are at. ;)
I use plenty of extra virgin olive oil in the skillet. I am not afraid of it either! More than a tbs and probably closer to 2. I really pour it in there. If I had a deeper skillet and the skills, I'd tilt the pan and baste that bad boy with a ladle or large spoon like I've seen you rock star chefs do!
Oil... I probably use closer to 3-4 Tbsp! :D
Arroser (air-rho-say) is an easy enough technique to learn. Just have to be careful because it can cause some serious burns! I finish my scallops this way, always! It's also a great technique for finishing steaks, especially fillet. Again, it's helpful to have a healthy amount of High Heat oil in the pan to begin, but toss in a few sprigs of thyme, or a little rosemary, a clove of garlic, and a knob of butter (like 1/2-stick), tip the pan gently toward you while keeping it over the fire, and as the butter starts melting, use a large spoon (hold it like a pencil) and spoon the melting butter over and away from you. It should be very frothy as you do this. You are effectively Butter-Frying the food... it can take a Fillet from Medium to Well in a heartbeat.
:cool:
Here's a quick vid of David Chang (or somebidy in his kitchen doing it like a Champ!:

One other note about oils... while I do cook with EVO a lot, I try to avoid using it for steaks or scallops... its smoke point is way too low. If you can get a high heat oil like safflower... (Canola is most common... I just don't like it for a few reasons) ...you'll get less smoke and possibly less burnt oil flavor/aroma.
Finally, thank you for taking the time to type out such a thorough and detailed reply.
You're welcome!!! I'm glad that I may have helped you solve that problem! :)

Cheers!
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
I cook the bacon in a microwave oven sandwiching it using paper towels. I roll the slices as they are easier to manage that way.

OK, it's a bit messy in the oven but not as much as with a skillet in my opinion.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I cook the bacon in a microwave oven sandwiching it using paper towels. I roll the slices as they are easier to manage that way.

OK, it's a bit messy in the oven but not as much as with a skillet in my opinion.
American style or Canadian style bacon?
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
American style or Canadian style bacon?
Not the Canadian style back bacon. That wouldn't have to be rolled for microwave cooking as each slice has a circular shape. :)
 
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panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
The first batch of bacon in a dry pan NEVER turns out! The second batch is money. I figured this out before I started cooking professionally. That little bit of oil helps get the bacon rendering before it cooks. No more sacrificial bacon! :D

I do love the sheet pan technique, too, but only use it if I'm doing A LOT of bacon. Used to have to bake 100+ rashers almost every day. When you can do that without losing a slice and they are all perfectly flat... :rolleyes:
It's time to learn a new station! :D
This is also why I save bacon grease. Put some in the pan and then cook the bacon. I always use a sheet pan. Just love the results, but I go higher than @lovinthehd at 375. Am I cooking too high?

I also love to cook burgers in a cast iron skillet using bacon grease. Man they come out good, but it's just to damn messy.

I to love EVO, but for higher temps I've tried sunflower and grape seed oil. I don't know if it's just me, but grape seed oil sucks for burgers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
This is also why I save bacon grease. Put some in the pan and then cook the bacon. I always use a sheet pan. Just love the results, but I go higher than @lovinthehd at 375. Am I cooking too high?

I also love to cook burgers in a cast iron skillet using bacon grease. Man they come out good, but it's just to damn messy.

I to love EVO, but for higher temps I've tried sunflower and grape seed oil. I don't know if it's just me, but grape seed oil sucks for burgers.
I've always liked my bacon on the thick side and slow cooked even if I do it on the stove, don't like it crispy, tho. Has driven some of my guests crazy with how long they can smell it before they can have it but they generally like it my way. Plus that way I can have my coffee and do some internet surfing while I wake up after putting it in the oven first thing.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
This is also why I save bacon grease. Put some in the pan and then cook the bacon. I always use a sheet pan. Just love the results, but I go higher than @lovinthehd at 375. Am I cooking too high?

I also love to cook burgers in a cast iron skillet using bacon grease. Man they come out good, but it's just to damn messy.

I to love EVO, but for higher temps I've tried sunflower and grape seed oil. I don't know if it's just me, but grape seed oil sucks for burgers.
High heat is not very good with polyunsaturated oils. They oxidize and smoke and then become trans fats which clog arteries and cause cancer. Olive oil is better but the best cooking oils are coconut and palm oils. These two are stable at high temperature.
I don't use palm oil because I wish to save the remaining orang-utans. But coconut oil which Costco sells at a very reasonable price, is an amazing and healthy oil that I use and consume on a daily basis. It doesn't alter the taste of food.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Field Marshall
High heat is not very good with polyunsaturated oils. They oxidize and smoke and then become trans fats which clog arteries and cause cancer. Olive oil is better but the best cooking oils are coconut and palm oils. These two are stable at high temperature.
I don't use palm oil because I wish to save the remaining orang-utans. But coconut oil which Costco sells at a very reasonable price, is an amazing and healthy oil that I use and consume on a daily basis. It doesn't alter the taste of food.
agreed, but while coconut oil has a higher cooking temp tolerance (by approx 70 degrees) overall I believe olive oil to be considered healthier (more 'good' fat)
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Canadian bacon is closer to ham than it is bacon.

I never thought to add oil to a first batch of bacon. I always just started with a cold skillet, but have indeed noticed that the second batch always cooks up better in the grease from the first batch.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Looky what I found!

FB_IMG_1586613729144-384x288.jpg


I can get you some ribeyes AND some Canadian bacon from those 2!
 

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