1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Grilling Steak... a tip to share from Wolfgang Puck

Discussion in 'Grilling Beef' started by bbally, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I found a couple New York Strip Steaks at the local meat counter.  Marked down for immediate sale, selling for $3.25 per pound I had to pick them up to cook for dinner between the wildcard games yesterday.  I am posting the process I use to prepare steaks for grilling.

    As a catering chef I am used to grill to start, oven to finish, when I home I grill to start and smoker to finish.  I am not into the high flame searing don't care for the black char at those levels.  But I do like a nice full maillard in the grill marks.

    For prep I use a technique taught to me by Wolfgang Puck about 8 years ago in Aspen.  I am describing it here because I get such good results from it.  When cooking ribeyes for 150 oil field workers you tend to want those guys happy.

    The most interesting thing out of my time with Chef Puck was this toasting of spices.  I had never thought about it to this point, but spices are more aromatic when warmed up.  So he spent a day teaching about 10 of us how to toast spices to the correct temperature to get maximum flavor transfer.


    In the commercial kitchen you would be doing this on sheet pans with parchment paper on them so the aluminum did not affect the steaks.  At home use any non-reactive oven proof pan.  This is my steak rub preparation, you can use you own steak rub preparation as you are just toasting them.


    For the bottom rub I toast it right in the oven pan.  For the top I toast in the sauté on the range burner.  prior to placing the steaks in the toasted rub I salt and pepper them.  Salt and pepper and beef and made for each other.


    After placing the steaks into the toasted bottom rub it is time to coat the top.  The salt and pepper are already on the steaks as I don't put either in my rub so I can control the salt intake of my diet.




    After three hours like this the essential oils have combined with the fats of the steak for transport into the meat.  From there it is onto the grill for the marking.  Then I "oven finish" but today since I am working short ribs for a stew Sunday I will "smoker finish" to the medium rare I like a steak to be.  The grill is using Royal Oak, mostly because I am out of aspen tree splits and I feel it is the next best thing.


    Add the steak weight.


    From the marking grill, which takes about 8 minutes per side, to the hickory and oak smoke of the reverse flow.  When the reverse flow is not up to temperature I finish in a 300 F oven.


    Pull them when they are the correct firmness to my finger press test and eat.



    Learn to toast your spices.  I have cooked so long I go to these technique sessions not expecting to learn a lot, I am always looking for the trick or technique I can exploit to make our food slightly better then the other chefs.  While I obtained about 8 techniques I could exploit, this was probably the best improvement technique I got out of the whole week with Wolfgang and Mario.
  2. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    that looks and sounds great.  I have some porterhouses in the freezer I am going to have to try that on
  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


     Thank you!

  4. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    looks good bob........one of the first steps in indian or middle eastern cuisine is to toast the spices and build from there.
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Great tip Bob. I never knew I was doing a Puck thing when I toasted my spices. I had not thought of letting them sit like that though. Thanks for the lesson 
  6. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great Info!

    Thanks Bob!

  7. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    Looks and sounds good.

    One question:  You said you grill them for 8 minutes per side.  When I grill steaks on my propane grill, I rarely do more than 3 1/2 minutes per side.   For an inch thick porterhouse, that gives me a nice medium rare.  If I did it 8 minutes, it'd be more than well done.   What am I missing in your description?
  8. thebarbequeen

    thebarbequeen Smoking Fanatic

    That steak looks amazing! I've only toasted spices on top of the stove. What temp. is the oven and how long do you "bake" them? just until they're aromatic or a set time?
  9. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You Da Man Bob, Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Great job on those steaks thats the way I like mine, nice and pink.
  10. Those are some delicious looking strips you had going on there. Also like the idea of the toasting action, going to give that a try!
  11. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for that, must have been cool to hang with Puck and Batali.
  12. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now thats too cool and I have never heard or tried that before but we are red meat eaters and I will be trying that next time for sure. Thanks for the helpful hints and if you have anymore at all means bring them on please.
  13. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  14. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     Your grill is just hotter then mine.  I can do 8 minutes because of my grill temp.  Do it till you see nice black grill marks on the meat.
  15. I learn so much here. Thanks for the tips.
  16. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great Bob! I think I'm gonna do this for my next tri tip

    I did this with a salmon recipe a few years ago, big hit with the inlaw side of the fam.

    Toasting grains in a stainless steel pan infront of your guests will really give them the illusion that you know what you are doing and therefrore makes them enjoy the food instead of poking at it and asking if it's done..

    Edit.. "Toasting grains".. I musta had brewing on my mind. I meant herbs..
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  17. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Great tip Bob and Great Looking Steaks...

    When did you say dinner time was?