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Grilling steak (stick a fork in it, it's done)

SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So between buying a steak-cut top-round roast, putting it in the marinade and, well, right this very second, I discovered that our grill is essentially kaput. The how or why is not important right now: what is important is that I have to cook dinner without it.

It's a little bit large for cooking on a skillet, so in true London Broil fashion I was thinking about doing it under the broiler of my oven. Most higher-end steak houses use an oven for cooking their meat anyway, so really, what's the worst that can happen?

No, really, that's my question: what's the worst that can happen? I'm looking through the internets right now for advice and I'm about to go find out if there's a relevant chapter somewhere in Science of Good Food, but I haven't tried cooking steak this way before. Experience being the best teacher, I was wondering if there was anyone out there who has tried either broiling or baking their steaks before with some tips they wish they'd known their first time around.

It's an electric oven, incidentally.

SammyF on

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    bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    i'd slice it up and sizzle both halves in the skillet.

    broiling is hard and requires a good grill-oven and some thorough understanding of the meat in question.

    bwanie on
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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The general recommendation is to sear both sides of the steak on high heat on the stove, usually in a cast-iron pan, and then put the whole shebang into the oven @400 for an additional 5-10 minutes to finish it.

    Season 1 Episode 1 of Good Eats showed this method, but I'm not sure if it's accessible on the food network website.

    Ruckus on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've finished steaks in the oven before, but never cooked them completely there.

    Procedure is as follows:
    (1) Preheat oven to 500.
    (2) Get a cast iron skillet smoking hot on stovetop.
    (3) Turn on vents and then put the steak on the skillet (lots of smoke). Sear both sides til you get good color on both sides.
    (4) Transfer skillet to oven and then let cook to desired level of doneness.


    This works fine for steaks you want to eat rare to medium (I've done ribeyes, t-bones, and strips this way). It's been a long while since I cooked a top round roast, so I'm not sure if the meat/connective tissue will do well with this method.

    This'd be like the Good Eats method Ruckus suggested.

    Djeet on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    A later episode of Good Eats used the reverse method (i think the difference is if you don't have a cast iron pan like in the first episode, and are just using the oven/broiler). Starting the steak in the oven, then moving it up really close to the broiler on high to sear/grill the outside. Searing/grilling the outside first allows more juice to escape during the finishing cooking; doing the inside first (on a relatively lower oven heat) lets more juice hang around inside.

    KalTorak on
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    PrecursorPrecursor Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ruckus wrote: »
    The general recommendation is to sear both sides of the steak on high heat on the stove, usually in a cast-iron pan, and then put the whole shebang into the oven @400 for an additional 5-10 minutes to finish it.

    Season 1 Episode 1 of Good Eats showed this method, but I'm not sure if it's accessible on the food network website.
    This is the best way to do it without a grill. A heavy pan, high heat. Brown on either side for a minute or two and then into the oven to bring it to desired doneness.

    If you're going to oil the pan, use one that has a high smoke point. Google can tell you which oils have high smoke points, but I believe plain ol canola oil does ok.

    Precursor on
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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    A later episode of Good Eats used the reverse method (i think the difference is if you don't have a cast iron pan like in the first episode, and are just using the oven/broiler). Starting the steak in the oven, then moving it up really close to the broiler on high to sear/grill the outside. Searing/grilling the outside first allows more juice to escape during the finishing cooking; doing the inside first (on a relatively lower oven heat) lets more juice hang around inside.

    That's how he did a sirloin, which may be more similar to round in composition.

    He's got an electric stove though, and I'm not sure how much that figures into the effectiveness of its broiler.

    As an aside, the broilers used in fancy steakhouses hit a significantly higher temp (like 800 degrees) then a conventional residential oven.

    Djeet on
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    HerkimerHerkimer Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I broil steaks all the time; it's fine. Set the rack so that the meat will be about 3-4 inches from the heat unit, preheat the oven, turn once and rest the meat, and you're good to go.

    Cooking time will depend on thickness and your preferred doneness.

    Herkimer on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Its actually quite doable to cook a steak sous-vide in a cooler with hot water. The cooler prevents the water from dropping more than a few degrees over the course of the cooking time and whamo, easy peasy perfect steak with the whole inside looking like the middle.

    Improvolone on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Its actually quite doable to cook a steak sous-vide in a cooler with hot water. The cooler prevents the water from dropping more than a few degrees over the course of the cooking time and whamo, easy peasy perfect steak with the whole inside looking like the middle.

    That is an interesting idea. I've never heard of that before. I'll have to try that some time. How hot do you get the water? Boiling?

    Demerdar on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yea. Sous-vide is cooking the food, usually a protein, to a precise temperature. Professional equipment is crazy expensive, but you can fake it decently well.
    Seriously, look at this.
    sous-vide-steak.jpg

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Demerdar wrote: »
    Its actually quite doable to cook a steak sous-vide in a cooler with hot water. The cooler prevents the water from dropping more than a few degrees over the course of the cooking time and whamo, easy peasy perfect steak with the whole inside looking like the middle.

    That is an interesting idea. I've never heard of that before. I'll have to try that some time. How hot do you get the water? Boiling?

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-sous-vide-steak.html

    tl;dr between 130 and 140 degrees, with approx 45min submerged (in vacuum sealed plastic) delivers a near perfect steak.

    Captain Vash on
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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Thanks for the tips, it confirmed most of what I was hearing (also, wow, have to try the sous vide thing at some point, that's a fascinating idea). I underestimated the efficacy with which my electric broiler would cook the steak so it was a little bit better done than I'd like, but it didn't dry out, which was what I was afraid of. I'm definitely going to experiment with this more often -- one thing I noticed while carving was that it cooks much more evenly than it does over my grill, you don't have to worry about one part of the oven radiating much more heat than the others, and I also imagine that once I figure out exactly how much time I need to cook it through with my specific oven, I can be reasonably confident of being able to do it the same way every time with minimal fuss, provided I'm using the same cut of meat.

    Anyway, thanks guys. Color this thread lockable.

    SammyF on
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    Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Its actually quite doable to cook a steak sous-vide in a cooler with hot water. The cooler prevents the water from dropping more than a few degrees over the course of the cooking time and whamo, easy peasy perfect steak with the whole inside looking like the middle.

    So basically dump enough 130-160 deg water into a cooler, insert vaccuum sealed steak, wait, stuff face?


    i am intrigued and will be trying this soon.

    Dr. Frenchenstein on
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