Juicy, fatty, char-grilled ribeye steak + white-cheddar mashed potatoes = delicious. A nicely marbled ribeye needs nothing more than a sprinkling of worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to demonstrate why the cut is a perennial American favorite. Thanks to all the internal fat, it can stand up to overcooking, under-seasoning, or just indifference on the part of the cook without turning rubbery, dry, or leathery.
While broiling or pan frying are perfectly fine ways to cook a nice piece of beef, it’s hard to beat the flavor produced by cooking over charcoal. Hardwood lump charcoal reaches temperatures far greater than those produced in an indoor kichen, allowing the cook to achieve a righteous sear. My Mini Green Egg is a steak machine; its cooking surface is a few scant inches above the superhot coals. The close proximity yields a magnificent, lightning-fast sear, so I can have a charred surface and perfectly medium-rare interior….my idea of beef heaven.
Celeste, any more Big Egg wit ‘n wisdom before the warm weather ends? (Not that it can’t be used in cold weather, of course.) I should have gotten one of these sooner, so thanks again for pushing me off the fence. One of my favorite things is to never waste those smoldering coals when finished cooking by always having a nice fat eggplant at the ready to nestle into them for the most wonderfully smoky babaganoush, another obsession of mine. I seem to have some in the fridge most all the time, lately.
Ah, you must be well to my north, as everyone around here looks forward to the cooler weather as “real” grilling time. Fewer mosquitoes, less humidity: the serious cooking and smoking begins in the fall and lasts all winter. I’m with you on using the cool-down phase–it’s great for baking (see fruit galette and apple crisp). You could whip up a batch of biscuits to bake for the next day’s breakfast (I like split, toasted biscuits), or even put on a big pot of beans.
I split my year between L.A. and LA (N.O. that is, being originally from the area.) Viable grill days in L.A. are pretty much 365 per year which makes it easy. Great tips for smoldering coals! When I get my nerve up, I would like to try some sort of long overnight meat-cooking thing. Reminds me of a friend’s raving about sticking a big pork roast into his pizza oven during its overnight cool-down.
I haven’t done an overnight cook, but I’ve tackled the 12-15 hour pork shoulder (for pulled pork). It couldn’t be easier, as you don’t have to do much of anything besides an infrequent swabbing w/cider vinegar.
I’ve done that for 13 hours and it was just great. I love not having to baby the (maintenance of the) temp because it’s such a controlled environment. I was amazed that the charcoal looked like it had several more hours life to it. So efficient. Oh hey, I try to be frugal with the partially burned charcoal by reusing them but I’ve found they’re more difficult to control the temp of and, of course, don’t get as hot or last as long as brand new ones. I’ll never try to reuse them again when making high-temp things like pizza or even steaks. How do you best use up your partially spent ones?
I prefer the partially burned charcoal: it lights faster and gives off less VOCs in the initial heating-up period. I do generally sift/sort through the leftover charcoal in my large egg’s firebox, taking out the small bits to use in my mini. Which comes to the point of your question: get a mini and you can burn up all those small, used bits grilling burgers, sausages, etc.