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STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?

 
Novice
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09/24/2006 10:09 AM
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STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
Im grilling out and have a recipe for grilling a steak.

They say to let the steak get to room temp. Is this a good idea?

Its a 1 inch 1.3 llbs. I want to make sure I cook it properly!

1dunno1
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 10:11 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
I wouldn't, because bacteria grows very nicely at room temperature.

If it's just cold and not frozen, it should cook just fine, I'd think.
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 10:14 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
I think its best to. It will be fine that way. Get the coals going good the slap the steak on and put the lid on. Keep the air out with just a crack in the vents. That will keep any fires down. check it often don;t over cook it. 5a
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 10:14 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
I watch the food network sometimes and I've learned from watching that you should always let steaks come to room temperature for grilling...can't remember why but it won't hurt you. It doesn't take that long for them to get to room temperature...go for it.
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 10:15 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
I wouldn't, because bacteria grows very nicely at room temperature.

If it's just cold and not frozen, it should cook just fine, I'd think.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 145594

Well I guess you wouldn;t want it to be out all day. I meant just a hour or less covered.
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 10:17 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
Its one of my cooking tricks! I thaw the steaks until the outside is frost free. The cold interior of the steak helps to preserve juice and overdone while the outside is almost crispy. You must have a preheated grill to do this.
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 10:26 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
I have a great trick for defrosting meat. Get a large thick aluminum sheet pan. Put the steaks on on and balance on to of a glass. Allow a fan to blow over it. Aluminum sucks cold out of hard objects, and the large surface area allows the thermal transition when you use the fan on it.

It will defrost twice as fast leaving less chance for bacterial infection.
vicious nli
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09/24/2006 10:42 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
YEs let them get to room temp first.

They willcook better especially if they are thick
Novice (OP)
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09/24/2006 10:43 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
Awesome.

These guidelines are specifically for cooking steaks on the grill.

The steak gets a nice crispy outside if you allow it to get to room temp first before cooking.

Will try it at noon. Cant wait.
Novice (OP)
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09/24/2006 10:51 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
TIP: If cooking a t-Bone make sure that the smaller part of the t bone meat (filet)?? Is in not directly on the heat.

This is a very fat free part of the meat and you dont want to over cook it. That part is delicious!
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 10:58 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
Cook's Illustrated : How to Grill a Steak
You need lots of charcoal, an open grill, and a fire with two levels of heat
By the editors of Cook's Illustrated


I love a good steak. And during the summer, I'm in love with the idea of grilling steaks because there's very little prep or cleanup, and grilling gives me an excuse to stay outdoors and cook over a real fire. The reality, unfortunately, has often been something different.

Some nights I've ended up with a small bonfire fueled by steak fat, and my expensive steaks have come off the grill charred and tasting of resinous smoke. Then maybe the next time I've let the coals burn down so the fire's not so hot, but the steak ends up with those pale, wimpy grill marks and the flavor just isn't there. In those cases I have tried leaving it on the grill long enough to develop flavor, but it just overcooks. My favorite cuts, porterhouse and T-bone, are especially tricky. Both of these consist of two muscles with a T-shaped bone in between. When I grill them so that the strip section is perfectly cooked, the lean tenderloin is inevitably overcooked, dry, and flavorless.

So, last summer I went to battle; I vowed to figure out how to use the grill. I wanted to end up with the quality of steak that I love: the meat seared evenly on both sides so that the juices are concentrated into a powerfully flavored, dark brown, brittle coating of crust; the juicy inside cooked a little past rare; and the outside strip of rich, soft fat crisped and browned slightly on the edges.
Cuts and Grills

Since I knew I couldn't cover all cuts of steaks in one article, I thought it would be best to concentrate on a few popular cuts. So I narrowed my testing to strip sirloin steaks, on and off the bone, and porterhouse and T-bone steaks. I figured these steaks were bound to cook pretty much the same because they were all cut from the loin. I was particularly interested in porterhouse and T-bone steaks because their two muscles pose such a specific problem for the cook. In the course of my testing, I also found that my master grilling technique works just as well for other popular cuts.

Having chosen the steaks, I needed to select my grill. The question I faced was whether gas and charcoal grills give comparable results, or if the best steak needs to be grilled over one or the other. To determine this, I compared three brands of gas and two types of charcoal grills. While two of the gas grills marked the steaks effectively, neither gave the steak the all-over seared crust that both charcoal grills delivered (when I used enough charcoal). I also preferred working with charcoal to gas because I had subtler control of the heat. So for this article, I decided to stick to charcoal grilling.
Two Heats Are Better Than One

Early on in my testing, I determined that I needed a very hot fire to get the crust I wanted without overcooking the steak. I could get that kind of heat by building the charcoal up to within two or two and one-half inches of the grilling grate. But with this arrangement, I ran into problems with the fat dripping down onto the charcoal and flaming. I had already decided that a thick steak--about 1-1/2 inches thick, to be specific--was optimal because, at that thickness, I got a tasty contrast between the charcoal flavoring on the outside of the steak and the beefy flavor on the inside. But I couldn't cook a thick steak over consistently high heat without burning it.

After considerable experimentation, I found the answer to this dilemma: I had to build a fire with two levels of heat. Once I realized that I needed a fire with a lot of coals on one side and much fewer coals on the other, I could sear the steak properly at the beginning of cooking, then pull it onto the cooler half to finish cooking at a lower temperature. I could also use the dual heat levels to cook thin steaks properly as well as thick ones, and the system also ensured against bonfires--if a steak flared up, I simply moved it off the high heat. An added bonus was the pleasure of working with the fire rather than against it. I had the sense of playing with a live entity, much as when playing a musical instrument.

I found I could be sure I had the right levels of heat on both sides of the fire by holding my hand about 5 inches over the cooking grate: when the hot side of the grill was hot enough for searing, I could only hold my hand over the grill for about two seconds. For the cooler side of the grill, I could count four to five seconds.

My two-level fire also solved the porterhouse/T-bone problem. I found that if I grilled the steak with the tenderloin toward the cooler side of the fire, it cooked more slowly and reached proper doneness at the same time as the strip. I could even engineer it so the tenderloin came off the grill rare while the strip was cooked to medium-rare.

But one question kept bugging me. The literature that came with the kettle grill I was using recommended grilling covered. Most cooking professionals I spoke to, however, were not in favor of covered grilling. So I ran a test comparing the taste of steak grilled covered to that grilled uncovered. I found that, depending on the type of charcoal used, steak cooked with the lid on picked up a mild to unpleasant, smoky, resinous flavor. Grilling steak uncovered, on the other hand, allowed me to avoid that resinous taste, as well as to control any flare-ups by moving the steak off the hotter side of the grill.
More Kitchen Tests

Common cooking wisdom suggests that bringing meat to room temperature before grilling will cause it to cook more evenly and that letting it rest for 5 to 10 minutes after taking it off the grill will both preserve the juices and provide a more even color. I tested the first of these theories by simultaneously grilling two similar steaks, one straight from the refrigerator and a second that stood at room temperature for one hour. I noticed no difference in the cooked steaks except that the room temperature steak cooked a couple of minutes faster than the other. This result suggests that it might even be an advantage to cook meat straight from the refrigerator if you want it medium-rare; the heat will be slower to reach the center of a cold steak, and it won't overcook as quickly as room-temperature meat.

On the resting front, I found that while it was certainly true that five minutes of resting gave the meat an even, pink color, it did nothing to keep the juices in. The resting steak lost the same volume of juices while it rested as the other did when I cut into it. The color is important visually, however, so I suggest that you do let the meat rest.

I tried lightly oiling steaks before grilling to see if they browned better that way, as well as brushing with butter halfway through grilling to see if the flavor improved. Although the oiled steaks browned a tiny bit better, the difference wasn't significant enough to merit the added ingredient. As for the butter, I couldn't taste any difference.

I also tried grilling steaks that I had frozen at home for one week and for six weeks, respectively, against fresh meat. I couldn't tell the difference between the fresh steaks and those that had been frozen for one week and then thawed. The steak frozen for six weeks, though, was noticeably less juicy than the fresh. On the advice of Ed Seh at Pacific-Seh, a purveyor of prime meats in Manhattan, I next tried grilling a steak that had been frozen one week without thawing it first. (The traditional advice is to thaw steaks as slowly as possible, in the refrigerator.) I grilled over two levels of heat, just as I would for a fresh steak, and found that, although the frozen steak took a little more than half again as long as the fresh steak to cook, there wasn't a discernible difference between the two when they came off the grill.
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 11:01 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
These are the four main illnesses you can get from eating meat.

E. Coli [link to familydoctor.org]

Salmonella [link to en.wikipedia.org]

Trichinosis [link to dhfs.wisconsin.gov]

Botulism [link to www.niaid.nih.gov]
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 11:40 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
Defrost it and put in the Fridge.

Season both sides with some nice
Steak Spices.

I use one in particular from Sam's Club.

Its about 6 dollars for a huge bottle.

Sprinkle a little on each side, don't over due it.

Spray one side with Pam Cooking Spray .

Put on the grill for 9 minutes,

Flip on the other side for about another 9 minutes.

Make sure if you are using coals that after you light them, if using lighter fluid, all the coals are white, if not, you may taste some of the lighter fluid in you steak.

Enjoy!
W. W. Raupp

User ID: 75589
Netherlands
09/24/2006 11:41 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
I dunno, my cook always does it for me.
To shape the world is to become immortal
Anonymous Coward
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09/24/2006 11:42 AM
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Re: STEAKS! Is it better to let it get to room temp first if grilling it?
I set steaks out right before grilling but only for a few minutes.

So yes, only for a few minutes is fine.

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