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Perhaps it was down to all the research, perhaps it was luck . . . or maybe . . . just maybe . . . I just love to sing my praise too much. Either way, in my opinion, the first LARGE steak I cooked up on the ProQ was perfection . . . a serious feast!
Sure, I’d love to slam a full Tomahawk down on the grill, caveman style . . . alternatively waving a Wagyu A5 steak around excessively so the neighbours could see what I was cooking must be a great feeling . . . but, the funds don’t stretch to these levels . . . so back off to support my local butcher (T.E Brown) I went.
After chatting to the guys I settled on a great rib-eye . . . tender, juicy and well-marbled. At 1.1kg and measuring 6cm thick this was perfect for what I needed.
P.S For the cooking method I used (reverse sear) I would recommend you get a steak at least 3cm (roughly 1 inch) thick.
Being my first BIG steak I wanted to keep the cook fairly simple and let the meat be the star of the show.
To prepare this rib-eye all I did was rub some Worcester sauce all over the steak and then sprinkle over some ‘Hickory Smoked Salt’ from Sea Crack and a generous helping of pepper.
A gentle ‘pat down’ with fingers to ensure the salt / pepper adhered and we’re all good!
P.S Make sure you cover the sides as well as the obvious top / bottom.
I went for two rests . . . the first was a couple of hours, uncovered, in the fridge to help dry out that exterior layer.
Secondly, I took out of the fridge and left on the worktop at room temperature for 1 hour before I wanted to place in the BBQ.
The Smoker / BBQ
To get the cook started I lit around a third of a chimney of charcoal and poured into the basket on the ProQ.
As I wanted to cook up indirect (for the first stage) the set up of my ProQ was as follows:
- Base / Fuel Layer – 1/3 chimney of coconut shell briquettes
- Layer 1 – Water pan (foiled with lava rocks inside)
- Layer 2 – Grill (with plancha underneath, just to make my life easier later)
Once the ProQ was set up I waited for the temperature to get around 225°F and then it was time to get started!
OK, so the smoker is up to temperature and I’ve got my probes to the ready. One monitoring the temperature of the smoker and the other inserted horizontally into the steak.
I placed the steak on the grill, added a single block of Whisky Oak to the fuel basket and let the ProQ do its job.
How do you like your steak? I’m a MEDIUM guy . . . rightly or wrongly so, that’s where I’m at.
The trick to the smoking phase of this cook is to take the steak off when the internal temperature is around 15°F before the final doneness temperature you are aiming for.
- Rare – Remove at 105°F
- Medium-Rare – Remove at 115°F
- Medium – Remove at 125°F
- Medium-Well – Remove at 135°F
- Well – Close this website, unfollow Smoke & Sear and never talk to me again, ha
Preparing for the Sear
OK, once the rib-eye was at an internal temperature of 100°F I lit the chimney starter again, with around half a chimney of fuel.
When the internal temperature of the steak reached 125°F I took off the grill and loosely tented with foil whilst I got the ProQ ready for the final stage.
To prepare for the final stage of this cook I changed the setup of the ProQ to the following:
– Base / Fuel Layer
– Layer 1 – Custom plancha with searing areas
Ensure all vents are wide open (to help with air flow), place the lid on, and wait for that plancha to get REALLY hot . . . after 5 minutes mine was reading a temperature of 450°F
We’re nearly ready! I picked up the steak and placed directly over the hot coals (on the searing area of the plancha).
After 60 seconds I flipped the steak over and added a cheeky dollop of butter to the seared side.
Another 60 seconds later and I flipped the steak again and added a second dollop of butter
. . . I then held the steak on the narrower edges, ensuring every part was seared, whilst I waited for the internal temperature to hit that magic 140°F
As soon as the target temperature was reached I removed from the BBQ and rested for 15 minutes (I would have left longer in the ideal world, but I was STARVING).