Something happened that turned steaks into roast beef... - BBQ Central

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Old 07-01-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
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Something happened that turned steaks into roast beef...

So...

My lovely wife bought a large steak at the store, and because I wanted to make sure it was cooked through for her (no pink, sadness), I cut it into two still-decent-sized steaks rather than cooking it as one. Also pretty thick. I don't know what was up with my newspaper, but all it did was smolder in the bottom of the chimney-can, and only caught one or two of my coals much at all. I spent a LONG time getting my couple barely-lit coals turned into a decent heat source. Still had a fairly small hot zone.

Kept the meat simple with Sea Salt and Pepper.

Put the meat on, 4 minutes, flip, and then about 15 more minutes in just about straight direct heat. The outside was getting seared up pretty good, but the insides weren't done, and my useful indirect zone was small. Steaks spent about 40 minutes on indirect with some ok smoke, turning or flipping about every 10.

On the grill:
[attachment=1:1k1ui7jz]IMG_0063[1].JPG[/attachment:1k1ui7jz]

It was looking and smelling good, but I knew I still had unfinished business inside the meat. I was thinking about adding a few coals, foiling them, and coming back in a couple of hours to get them for lunches, but my little lady was set on steak tonight. I set the oven to broil at 450, then went out and foiled the steaks as I took them off of the grill. I came in, set the foiled steaks on the broiler pan, and popped them into the oven for 20.

Pulled 'em out, moved to the plate, sliced, and added green beans with melted butter and Tony's. Best part was the foil kept the pan clean...

Alida's plate:
[attachment=0:1k1ui7jz]IMG_0064[1].JPG[/attachment:1k1ui7jz]

I was pretty nervous, because I made the whole daggum thing up. The wife said it "looks like roast beef. I LOVE roast beef!" It was amazing. Not exactly grilled, smokey, bursting with more flavor than I've dropped serious cash on eating out. I was stunned. I went from feeling like it was a failed attempt to hoping I can do it again next time on purpose, and maybe with a little better optimized planning.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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Re: Something happened that turned steaks into roast beef...

So the problem was getting enough heat from the coals. How did you do the lid? When was it on, when was it off? From the one picture of the meat on the grill it doesn't look like the coals had really gotten going yet, some black and only some grey. What was the cut of steak? How was the wind? In my opinion wind is the worst enemy of grilling, it makes it difficult to get a good hot temp. Excellent job on the adjustments to get a tasty meal!
For my chimney I use about 3 sheets of newspaper, make sure it has plenty of ventilation. Where did you start your chimney?
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: Something happened that turned steaks into roast beef...

So far my chimney is a very large bean can that's been ventilated. I have used it 3 times now, and the first two worked like a charm. I need one full sheet (two pages) that I crumple at the bottom, and can probably fit 15-20 unlit on top of that. Bob in Fla. is sending up his unused chimney some time when he gets around to it, but for the size of the grill, I don't need a big chimney yet. I load it up, lift with a pair of pliers, torch the paper, and set it down on the charcoal rack of the grill. Bottom vents are open wide on the grill. Should be plenty of ventilation. Tonight it just smoldered, but it was a week-old paper, so maybe it had gotten too much moisture out of the air in the house? Usually I come out from putting away the lighter and charcoal with my plate of meat, and find somewhere between the top just turning gray to all gray and a good glow going. Tonight like I said just a few were going. I couldn't tell until I dumped it how bad things were at the bottom. I figured I'd be at least half-lit, and could just minion and it'd go fine, but I only had maybe 3 going at all. I worked on getting what I had to turn into something. It would have gone faster if I'd done another round of paper and reloaded the coals... I was already using the decent amount of leftover coals from last time, which I figured would catch fairly easily.

The meat was "Beef Chuck Shoulder Steak for London Broil", to the tune of 1.32 pounds. Honestly, I didn't know that until just now, when I pulled out the packaging to take a read. She wanted steak, it said steak on the package, she bought it. Wind was fairly light, although I had some dark skies and a little thunder and lightning. I figured the light breeze would help raise the temp by fanning the coals.

Along those lines, I kept the lid off for the first 8 minutes or so (4/side), then put it on for the rest, except for turning or flipping every 10 or so. I thought the lid off would promote top temps, and I would be cutting down air flow by putting the lid on. I didn't want to put the lid on at all for that very reason, but had to go in for a moment and thought it might get rained on. From then on at least it started to get to where it smelled good walking up to it. I kept all the vents (bottom and top) wide open the whole time.

(Growing up I always figured lid down was good, but then I heard it took air away from the fuel, and with my coals suffering I was trying to give them as much help as possible.)

I think that's everything...
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #4
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Re: Something happened that turned steaks into roast beef...

Correct ideas by looking for ventilation to get the coals going. When I use charcoal I wait until I see flames going over the top of the coals. For what ever reason it seems the coals took an overly long time to get going. Make sure you can see flames at the top of the coals before you dump them.
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