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This week’s BBQ Ideas Podcast covers 5 strategies for cooking filet mignon, together with grilling, searing, the reverse sear, sous vide and one distinctive technique restaurant cooks use.
This previous week was fairly enjoyable. I spent a while filming with Cowboy Charcoal. We created some how-to movies. I’ve been cooking with Cowboy for years now.
I take advantage of a mix of their all-natural hardwood briquetes and their a lump charcoal after I do my competitors cooks. I simply layer them each inside my Hunsaker Drum, after which I often add some wooden chunks in there, as nicely.
I swap up the flavors relying on which protein I’m cooking, however I’m at all times cooking with Cowboy.
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This weekend is the massive Tremendous Bowl occurring right here in Las Vegas, the groups are literally staying only a couple miles from my home, which is loopy. To date, site visitors hasn’t been too wild, however all of the neighbors are all fairly enthusiastic about it.
Hopefully you guys tuned into final week’s episode as a result of that’s after I actually touched on Tremendous Bowl meals, particularly wings and how one can prepare dinner them on any kind of grill, how one can smoke them, how one can grill them, and so on.
However this week, I figured I’d take somewhat twist. So if we’re going to be spending all weekend targeted on Tremendous Bowl, we are able to’t neglect the opposite large day that’s developing.
And that’s Valentine’s Day. So that you’re in all probability going to have a giant occasion with your mates, watching the sport. Effectively, you higher take a while then, a few days later, Feb. 14, to offer somewhat further particular love consideration to the one you love.
You could have some choices. In fact. You possibly can exit to dinner. And, you recognize, I help native eating places and small companies, so if that’s your jam and also you need to try this, that’s superior.
However I additionally suppose one other particular contact is should you have been to arrange a pleasant meal at dwelling. So at this time’s episode is all about filet mignon.
What’s filet mignon?
That’s as a result of it’s so fantastically tender. It’s a lean minimize, however it’s nonetheless filled with taste and each chunk is rather like succulent and soften in your mouth. In order that’s why it’s such a great minimize.
As we speak about filet mignon, I’m going to speak about a number of alternative ways you can prepare dinner them.
You possibly can grill them, sear them, reverse sear them, sous vide them or reverse sous vide them, which is a reputation that I sort of made up. However I’m going to elucidate that course of to you somewhat bit later. First, let’s speak about seasoning.
The right way to season filet mignon
Normally the steaks are about two inches tall and possibly 4-6, typically even 8 ounces. I like to offer them a heavy liberal coating of kosher salt and coarse floor black pepper.
I often use 16-mesh black pepper as a result of I actually like the feel that it offers once you create that good crust on the steak. However be beneficiant, be liberal.
I don’t measure after I put my salt and pepper on my steaks, however it’s in all probability like a half teaspoon or so per aspect.
And don’t simply do the highest and backside. Just remember to get the perimeters. When you sprinkle your salt and pepper on all of your steaks, flip them over to the opposite aspect, roll them in that extra seasoning that dropped on the pan. That manner you get some good crunch and taste throughout the steak.
Relaxation at room temperature
As soon as I season my steaks, I identical to to depart them on the counter to sort of relaxation at room temperature till I get my grill or my pan prepared.
The explanation you need to allow them to relaxation at room temperature is as a result of once you pull them straight from the fridge, their inside temp might be round 40F levels as a result of that’s often the temperature of a fridge.
When you put them straight on the grill or straight in your warmth supply, they’re going to prepare dinner from the underside the place the warmth is touching the steak, and then you definately’re going to flip it. And the identical factor, it’s going to be the warmth touching the steak. And the within goes to take longer to prepare dinner.
However should you let it set at room temperature whilst you’re heating the whole lot up, your steak goes to warmth as much as possibly 50-60F levels, relying on what your ambient temperature is, and that’s going to assist it prepare dinner somewhat bit extra evenly.
So that you’re not making an attempt to alter that 40F levels heart as rapidly so that you get somewhat bit extra evenness in your prepare dinner.
Grilling filet mignon
To grill filet mignon, you’re going to need to set your grill temperature to excessive, possibly medium-high warmth. You probably have a gasoline grill, merely activate the burners. You probably have a charcoal grill, I strongly advocate that you’ve got a thermometer within the dome of your lid with the intention to measure your temperature.
You’re going to be taking a look at about 350-400F sort of vary. Pellet grill, similar factor. You possibly can set your grill to 350-400F.
As soon as your grill is heated, go forward and put your steaks on the grill.
You’re going to grill them for just some minutes per aspect and it’s okay to flip them sometimes, as a result of, once more, the middle of the meat is semi chilly and also you’re going to introduce that prime warmth and it’s going to begin to warmth up and attain the middle.
Then, you’re going to flip it and it’s going to do the identical factor on the alternative aspect and begin to attain the middle.
However the purpose is that we’ve obtained to get that heart temperature to about 125-127F levels. That’s often the purpose temp that I’m going for for medium uncommon.
So that you’re going to flip it a number of occasions. It’d take 4 minutes per aspect, it would take 5, 6 minutes per aspect.
The right way to know once they’re performed
The secret’s to make use of a meat thermometer. You’re going to stay that by the aspect of the steak, touching the middle of the steak.
When you like your steak cooked somewhat bit additional, go forward and simply preserve cooking it. Simply keep in mind that once you take away it from the grill, there may be going to be some carryover cooking.
What which means is that because the juices sort of settle and redistribute into the meat, it’s going to proceed warming the within of the meat.
Then let it relaxation for five minutes or so after which you’ll be able to serve it up.
Searing filet mignon
All proper, let’s transfer on to the searing technique for filet mignon steaks. Personally, I like to make use of a forged iron pan.
It supplies the perfect crust, and it will get to the simply excellent temperature. Don’t use nonstick. It’s simply not nearly as good for steaks.
Set your forged iron pan in your burner over in all probability excessive warmth. You’re going to need to get that forged iron skillet to about 500 levels.
The right way to measure your skillet warmth
I’ve an infrared gun from Thermoworks. It’s a form that you just like push somewhat set off and also you intention an infrared gentle to the skillet, to the floor of the skillet, and it’ll let you know the temperature of your pan.
The opposite factor I’ve is a Thermapen IR. One finish is a Thermapen, which is a digital meat thermometer, however the different finish is definitely that infrared gentle.
So that you push a button and you may shine it in your pan and it’ll let you know the temperature of your pan. It’s sort of a two in a single, which I really like.
So your skillet is all heated as much as 500 levels. You possibly can add somewhat little bit of oil at this level. I like to recommend utilizing a excessive warmth oil, which isn’t olive oil. You should use a canola oil, corn oil, avocado oil. Any of these will do.
You simply need somewhat bit on the underside. We’re not frying it. We’re simply creating only a good little shimmer so we are able to begin to construct that crust.
The important thing to even crust
As soon as the oil is heated and virtually smoking. It’s time to place your filet mignon steaks proper contained in the pan.
Place them within the skillet, after which truly push down on them somewhat bit along with your hand or along with your tongs so that you just create an excellent floor contained in the skillet that’s going to make that crust kind much more.
Then, simply grill them for a few minutes, give them a flip. Do the identical factor. Press down on them so that they get that sear on the opposite aspect.
I often sort of like peek at them and raise them simply so I can see how the caramelization is occurring, the Maillard impact, creating that browning on the steak.
As soon as I prefer it, then I’m going forward and I flip it on the perimeters. I wish to lean my steaks across the rim. So that they’re leaning towards the wall of the pan itself.
I transfer them round, flip them from time to time till they attain that 127F-degree mark. Then as soon as they do, I take away them. Similar to the grilled steaks, I allow them to relaxation.
Reverse sear filet mignon
Now let’s discuss in regards to the reverse sear steak. That is superior as a result of it offers you the advantages of the grill, which is that smoky charcoal wooden taste, however you get the advantages of the forged iron, which is that good seared crust.
We’re going to set our grill or smoker to a decrease temperature. It’s going to be in all probability about medium and also you need to use an oblique warmth zone.
If it’s a gasoline grill, you flip one burner on, however you’re going to be cooking on the aspect with out the burner. I do advocate utilizing wooden chips in a foil pouch or smoke field so you may get that wooden taste.
When you’re cooking on a charcoal grill, push the charcoal to the aspect after which prepare dinner on the aspect the place there are not any coals. You may as well add wooden chips throughout this course of.
When you’re cooking on a pellet grill, it’s at all times oblique warmth, so simply decrease your temp to about 350F levels and go forward and get cooking.
The smoke stage
Place your steaks over that oblique warmth and also you need it to only soak up that smoke. It’s going to slowly begin to come to temperature. I wish to preserve a temperature probe inside my steaks to observe them.
We’re not fairly cooking all of them the way in which to medium uncommon. That is only a course of the place we’re absorbing that smoke taste that wooden taste after which slowly cooking them.
The sear stage
As soon as they attain the temperature of 110F levels, that’s after we do the reverse sear. So the reverse right here is as a substitute of searing first, we’re doing the searing on the finish.
Whereas it’s getting near temperature, often when it’s in regards to the 90F-degree mark, that’s after I warmth my skillet up, identical to I described earlier. As soon as it hits 110F levels, I pull it off the grill after which I throw it into the skillet.
At this level, you solely have to prepare dinner it for 1 to 2 minutes per aspect. It’s virtually all the way in which to 127F. We’re simply getting that stunning, salty, peppery crust on it.
As soon as that crust is there and also you hit that 127 mark, set it apart and let it relaxation.
Sous vide filet mignon
Now we’re going to speak in regards to the sous vide technique. Sous vide is certainly totally different from grilling. Sous vide is French and interprets to beneath vacuum, which implies that you set your meat inside a vacuum bag.
You’re taking that bag and you set it in your vacuum sealer and it sucks out the air and seals the bag. Personally, I don’t suck out all of the air after I’m doing steaks as a result of I don’t need to have the air compress and reshape my steaks an excessive amount of. However I do suck out a lot of the air after which I give it a decent seal.
Then, you are taking a giant pot or a bucket or another container that has sufficient depth and you set water in it, sufficient water that you just’re going to have the ability to add your steaks to it they usually’ll be absolutely coated.
Then, you’ve got a sous vide machine or some folks name it a sous vide circulator or sous vide wand. You stick that inside the pot of water.
You plug it in and also you modify the temperature. No matter temperature you set it to, that wand goes to warmth the water and it’s going to take care of that actual temperature.
So once you put your bag of steaks – or some other meat you need to sous vide – into the water, it’s mainly staying at that temperature.
Nevertheless it’s not boiling your steaks as a result of, A) the temperature will not be that sizzling and B) your steak is in that bag.
So you’ve got your whole seasoning, your salt and pepper within the bag, however you’re not introducing all of the water to your meat. So it’s not getting waterlogged like it might should you have been to boil it. It’s a fairly cool technique.
Finest water temp for sous vide filet steaks
With a purpose to sous vide filet mignon steaks, I wish to set my circulator to a temperature of about wherever from 115-120F levels.
Once more, we season the filets identical to we did for the grill. We put them within the vacuum bag, we seal them and then you definately put them within the water.
I’ve discovered that the proper time for cooking filet mignon steaks is to depart them in that vat of water for about 2 hours. When you transcend that, your texture of your steak goes to sort of get mealy and alter. And I don’t take care of that.
I actually like that stunning, good steak texture. So two-hour mark at wherever from 115-120F is right.
The sear stage
After the steaks have been within the sous vide for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, that’s after I begin to warmth up my skillet. So identical to the reverse sear technique with the grill, the sous vide technique entails searing after the steak is sort of absolutely cooked.
As soon as we attain that two-hour mark, take your steaks out of the water, minimize your bag open and take your steaks out of the bag.
Then go forward and place them in your skillet and sear them identical to you’ll for the reverse sear technique – a few minutes per aspect till you get that stunning crust and prepare dinner it to about an inside temp of 127F.
Reverse sous vide filet mignon
These 4 strategies are in all probability the most typical methods to prepare dinner filet mignon steak, however I not too long ago discovered about one other technique that I don’t suppose has a reputation, however I’m calling it reverse sous vide.
So I not too long ago competed on the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue competitors, and I entered the Prepare dinner’s Selection class the place you’ll be able to enter something you can presumably consider that you just need to do to symbolize your model of cooking.
I made a decision to do filet mignon and shrimp. The problem, although, is that was on prime of six different entries that I needed to flip in, and I had 30-minute home windows.
It was actually laborious for me to have the ability to produce this stunning meal in that 30-minute window, so I reached out to one in every of my buddies, Chef Harold Villarosa, who I teamed up with on BBQ Brawl on Meals Community.
He stuffed me in on a technique that he makes use of and that different restaurant cooks use to arrange steaks upfront in order that they’re prepared for service.
That is the strategy that I’m calling reverse sous vide. You begin by seasoning your steaks liberally with that kosher salt and black pepper, and then you definately sear them.
So we’re searing them first getting a pleasant crust on them. We’re not cooking them to temperature. We’re not making an attempt to prepare dinner them all through.
All you’re in search of is that stunning crust creation on the steaks themselves. Once more, prime, backside and the perimeters. Simply a few minutes per aspect in a extremely sizzling skillet, like a 500F-degree skillet.
You then allow them to cool on the counter for half-hour or so. As soon as your steaks have cooled, you’ll be able to go forward and put them in your vacuum seal luggage, suck out among the air, seal them up.
You possibly can both go on and prepare dinner these straight away or you’ll be able to retailer them within the fridge for 1 to 2 days, which is superior.
That’s why eating places do that. They should do as a lot mise en place as potential earlier than service.
Then sous vide
A few hours earlier than dinner, get your sous vide pot all arrange. Fill your pot with water, add the sous vide machine into the water, after which this time we’re going to set the temperature for 129F levels.
That’s as a result of we’re not searing on the finish. We’ve already seared. We’re truly going to totally prepare dinner the steaks on this sous vide course of. So 129F is right for medium uncommon steaks on this occasion.
Get it set to 129F, then take your bag that has your steak sealed inside and place it within the water till it’s absolutely submerged. When you’re cooking it at 129F, I like to recommend cooking it for 2 hours.
As soon as the 2 hours are up, you’ll be able to pull the luggage out of the water, minimize them open with some scissors, and take these steaks and place them proper on the plate.
When you want your steaks somewhat bit extra well-done, you’ll be able to enhance the temperature of your water, however lower your time somewhat bit.
Ending sauces for filet mignon
Now that you understand how to prepare dinner filet mignon utilizing 5 totally different cooking strategies, let’s speak about how one can end them.
One of many best strategies is making a compound butter. Simply take a stick of room temperature butter, combine in some smashed up garlic cloves, some salt, possibly some pepper, recent herbs like thyme, even somewhat lemon zest.
Combine that each one up after which roll it in plastic wrap and stick it within the fridge. Then, when it’s dinner time, go forward and slice that butter into medallions and serve it on prime of your steak. It’ll soften proper on prime of the steak and add a good looking taste.
My private favourite sauce for filet mignon steaks is peppercorn sauce. And it’s actually not that onerous to make, particularly should you sear your steaks in a pan.
Within the pan, you’ll have somewhat little bit of the drippings and the brown bits left over. That’s referred to as fond. Add somewhat little bit of butter to that, add some cracked black peppercorns and a few shallots.
Sauté that up after which add somewhat little bit of beef broth and a few cognac for just a bit kick and let that prepare dinner and boil for a couple of minutes. Then, pour in some cream and let that proceed to prepare dinner till it thickens.
You possibly can ladle that proper over your steaks. And it’s unbelievable.
Since that is the Valentine’s Day episode, I can’t neglect Oscar model steak. That’s once you take your grilled filet mignon steak, add a few items of grilled asparagus, prime it with a giant mound of crab meat and drizzle it with a hollandaise sauce.
That may be a particular meal that’s going to make the one you love tremendous joyful.
So attempt any one in every of these strategies this Valentine’s Day and also you’re going to have a cheerful valentine.