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Old 08-10-2009, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple*tart View Post
I think smoking oil is a bad thing, if for no other reason, because of what it does to the oil. I avoid it. I may not have mentioned this if it were a thread about the best way to cook steak, but in an effort to try to help the OP sear without trashing his pan, keeping the pan under the smoking point may help. It's worth a try, anyway.
Generally I would absolutely agree with you here. If your pan is hot enough though then cooking a steak in it will produce copious amounts of smoke, enough that you will need to unplug your fire alarm and open some windows and have the vent on high. If that is going to happen then you might as well cook the steak over the high heat it needs to be cooked properly. This is just my opinion though. Each person will need to decide for themselves what is right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple*tart View Post
Did you happen to note whether there was a difference in your pan afterward?
They were cooked on the grill so there was no pan involved. The grill grates both looked the same though if that is worth anything
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:01 PM   #12
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One solution for the smoking oil problem is to coat the steak itself in oil just before putting it in a scorching hot pan. Another is to use oil with a high smoke point, and wait for the oil to just begin to wisp a little smoke and put the steak in at that point. The introduction of the relatively cool steak will cool the oil well below the smoke point almost immediately. This is what I generally do, with good results. GB: I, too, have found there to be no discernible difference between cooking steaks right from the fridge and ones that have been allowed to warm at room temperature.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:03 PM   #13
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Oh, and definitely cast iron.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:02 PM   #14
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"Cuisine At Home" issue 61 (I believe) had an article on this subject. Basically sear one side over hot heat in a heavy (read cast iron) pan for 5 minutes, turn over, transfer to a 425 F oven for :

rare - 5 minutes,
med rare - 7 minutes,
medium - 9 minutes,
Then let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving. Works like a charm. REMEMBER to turn on the vent fan!!!
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:17 PM   #15
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That's a good technique, Dave, for a thick steak--filet mignon does tend to be thicker than other steaks, especially if you stuff them or wrap them in bacon, or some such thing that will enhance the relatively mild flavor and texture of the meat. For filets that are 1.5" or less or, for that matter, any other steak of that thickness or less, I find the oven finish to be a waste of time and gas. That is, of course, unless the oven is already at high heat. Then, as in restaurant kitchens, you do have a better control over the finish of the steak, and you have already done the "presentation" side.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:51 AM   #16
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You are quite correct, however, waste or not, I simply prefer the oven finish. We normally do not have steaks of excessive thickness as neither one of us enjoy rare or med rare meat, but I find the oven finish gives more control (at least in my mind) than the pan. Be that as it may, we no longer buy our steaks at Costco because they won't custom cut them to our liking, although the meat is of excellent quality. Their counter cut is simply too thick. But I digress, as this has nothing to do with the discussion at hand, which has been covered quite thoroughly, don't you think?
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