14 June 2023
The perfect steak from the Big Green Egg
Grilling, frying & stir-frying steak
Want to quickly cook a tasty piece of beef in your Big Green Egg? Then chances are you’ll choose steak because steak is tender, tasty, quick to cook and you can use a variety of Big Green Egg cooking techniques for it. What about the doneness? Well, that’s a matter of preference and you can simply use a core thermometer to check it yourself. Will you opt for grilled steak, fried steak or stir-fried steak?
Different types of steak
When you want to cook steak in your Big Green Egg, it’s up to you what type of steak you choose. Depending on this choice, the cut will come from the rear or back of the cow. Steak from the rear is cut from the topside, thick flank or sirloin. If the steak is cut from the top of the topside or thick flank, it is called a rump steak. Steak cuts such as entrecote and ribeye are cut by the butcher from the back of the cow. The most exclusive cut is the tenderloin, which also comes from the back of the cow. The thickest part of the tenderloin is used for this and when cut into pieces, is referred to as tournedos or tenderloin steak. This is incredibly tender meat, but has slightly less flavour than other types of steak.
Steak from the Big Green Egg
You can also choose between steaks from grass-fed cattle and grain-fed cattle. You can read about this and about the various type of steaks in another blog. Here we’re going to take a closer look at some of the cooking techniques you can use for cooking steak in the Big Green Egg. One golden rule applies to all cooking techniques: as these are short, high temperature methods, it is important to make sure your meat is at room temperature before cooking. So take your steak out of the fridge before you light the charcoal in your Big Green Egg.
Grilling steak in the Big Green Egg is perhaps the most popular technique. To grill a steak, use a Cast Iron Grid at a temperature of about 200 to 220°C. With this method, the steak is cooked directly over the smouldering charcoal. In addition to the heat of the charcoal, grilling also means the steak comes into contact with the heat of the grill. The convection heat in the form of the airflow within your EGG and the heat reflection of the ceramic have an impact on all cooking techniques. This concentrated contact heat creates a maillard reaction, resulting in beautiful grill stripes. The maillard reaction adds even more flavour. The diamond grill marks aren’t just there to look pretty; it means there’s a greater maillard reaction than with grill stripes. In addition, some fat will drip onto the charcoal while grilling, giving the meat a delicious smoky flavour. Want to learn more about the grilling technique? We delve deeper into it here.
You can also fry steak in a skillet or on the flat side of a plancha or half plancha that you place on the stainless steel grid. This also creates a maillard reaction thanks to these cast-iron accessories, but it is less concentrated than with a cast-iron grill. The result is similar to frying steak in a pan on the stove, but with the advantages of cast iron and the Big Green Egg. This means your meat is juicier and tastier. Another advantage is that you need virtually no fat to fry your steak. Just rub the steak with some olive oil — that will suffice. Like grilling, steak is fried at a temperature of 200 to 220°C. Both with frying and grilling steak, it’s important that the cast iron is heated up properly. Preheat your cast-iron grill, skillet or plancha for at least 10 minutes with the lid closed.
You can also stir-fry steak in your Big Green Egg. The easiest way to use this cooking technique is to hang the wok in the convEGGtor Basket. This allows you to easily, safely and quickly insert and remove the wok from your EGG. When stir-frying steak, maintain a temperature of around 240°C. This is hot enough thanks to the wok’s thin metal, which hangs directly above the heat of the smouldering charcoal. Cut the steak in strips against the grain with a 1 to 1½ centimetre thickness and marinate in an oil-based marinade or rub the strips with some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. There is no need to add oil to the wok itself. In fact, it can start to smoke at this high temperature. You just need to season the wok with some oil on kitchen paper before heating. Once you have added the meat, your steak strips will be ready in 2 to 3 minutes. Always close the lid of the EGG after stirring to give your meat that delicious extra Big Green Egg flavour.
The core temperature of steak
Now that you know which set-ups are used with the different cooking techniques and which cooking temperatures you need to maintain, it will also be helpful for you to know the core temperatures for steak. You don’t need to measure the core temperature of the stir-fried strips, but for frying or grilling whole steaks in your Big Green Egg, refer to the chart below. It’s up to you to choose the degree of doneness you want and check for the corresponding core temperature. Do you prefer your steak rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well or well done?
Well done > 63°C
If you’d like to know all the ins and outs of measuring core temperatures, read the blog post on core temperatures for meat, fish, poultry and vegetables.
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