STEAK, FIRE, FLAVOR: Sear (Steak like a) Pro
Working for Steven Raichlen has its benefits. One is. that occasionally I get to play around with some new gear. I have been fortunate enough to have received a few thermometers and other barbecue toys. I even got to attend Barbecue University (I am a proud graduate of the class of 2022).
But nothing could prepare me for what I got next. A FLAMETHROWER!
One of my favorite grilling You Tubers, “Cooking with Ry” uses one when he lights his coals. I also remember seeing this tool in our annual Holiday Gift Guide. So, I was excited when I found out I would be getting a very powerful cooking torch from SearPro.
Introducing, the SearPro Cooking Torch
The SearPro is very easy to use. Simply attach a camping propane tank to the handheld unit, push the button, and you have up to 1800 degrees of firepower in your hands. There is a small knob that will allow you to adjust the strength of the flame so it can be very gentle all the way to full blast. It’s not too heavy and when you use it, it’s a very satisfying feeling.
I love grilling with charcoal. But I find myself not using it all the time simply because it takes a while to get going. With a blowtorch I’m able to get my coals lit so much faster. I don’t have to wait around while the fire slowly spreads across the coals. Now I can just light the coals with the SearPro and have the grill ready to cook in just a few minutes.
Cooking a New York Strip Steak with Compound Butter
Steven is always challenging me and getting me to go outside my comfort zone. He suggested grilling a steak, and then searing it with some compound butter on top.
It seems easy enough, but anytime I grill, my biggest fear is burning the food. I’m always on the lookout for flare-ups. Now I’m going to just blast my steak with a blowtorch!
I had a couple of NY strip steaks laying around, so I thought I’d give it a go. I had never made compound butter before, never seared meat before, so it was all new to me.
Making the compound butter was super easy, so easy in fact, I wondered why I never did that before! I found a recipe in The Barbecue! Bible. In a nutshell, just grab a stick of butter, let it come to room temperature and mix in some dried parsley, pepper, and a clove of garlic minced up. Steven’s recipe calls for lemon zest and juice, but I didn’t have any on hand.
Then just mash it all together, slap it on some parchment paper, roll it up to make a cylinder, and then refrigerate it. The next day you can then take it out and cut it into disks.
Now it was time to cook the steaks. But first, flame on! I set up my Weber kettle with some lump charcoal and I set it ablaze with the SearPro. Here is a very important safety tip: The SearPro requires very little gas for it to ignite. So only turn the knob a little bit until you hear the slightest hiss of gas before you pull the trigger. I torched the coals for about a minute, and I could see that they were ready to go. If you follow Steven on social media (see below), there will be some cool video of this!
Before taking the steaks to the grill, I seasoned them with salt and pepper and grilled the steaks indirectly. Cooking about 5 to 6 minutes a side until I reached an internal temperature of around 145 degrees as I was going for medium doneness. Depending on how well cooked you want your steak, cook it to 130 for rare and 160 for well done.
After I allowed the steaks to rest for about 8 to 10 minutes, I put them back on the grill, and then I seared one side of the steak for about a minute. Maybe a minute and a half. I didn’t really pay attention to the time as I was kind of anxious blasting steaks with fire. But once I was happy with how it looked visually, charred, but not burned, and a nice dark crust, I flipped it over and repeated, except this time, I added a disk of the compound butter that I made earlier.
The steaks really turned out great! They had an amazing char grilled, herby flavor to them in addition to
the natural taste of a perfectly cook steak. It had a slight crusty texture on the outside while tender and juicy on the inside. Even if I cooked this on a gas grill it would be amazing, but it would not have that slight char grill flavor that comes from a charcoal grill that we all love.
I would highly recommend getting the SearPro tool if for nothing else, being able to use charcoal more often.
Now I just have to decide what to make next!
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