If you’re looking to elevate your grilling game and achieve the perfect steak with a crusty exterior, a uniform medium-rare center, and a tantalizing juiciness, then the Cold Grate Method is here to make all your steak dreams come true. This unique grilling technique involves using a cold grate to slow-cook your steak to reach an internal temperature of 110 to 115 degrees, and then searing it over a hot fire. While it may sacrifice those dramatic grill marks, the result is a beautifully caramelized surface that packs maximum flavor. With the right equipment, like a kettle-style grill and innovative products such as a Slow ‘N Sear and EasySpin grill grate, you’ll be on your way to steak nirvana. So grab your favorite cut of meat, follow the seven steps outlined by grilling expert Steven Raichlen, and get ready to impress your taste buds.

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks


Are you tired of grilling steaks that are unevenly cooked, dry, or lacking that perfect crust? Look no further because we have the secret to achieving the perfect steak: the cold grate method. This unique technique, made popular by David Parrish, the founder of Adrenaline Barbecue Company, involves using a cold grate to slow-cook and smoke the steak before searing it over a hot fire. In this article, we will walk you through the steps of the cold grate method, from prepping the steaks to finishing and serving them. Get ready to elevate your steak grilling game to a whole new level!

The Secret to Perfect Steaks

If you dream of a steak with a crusty exterior, cooked to perfection with a slight hint of wood smoke, and juicy when you cut into it, then the cold grate method is for you. This two-step process begins with the reverse-sear method, which slowly warms and smokes the meat to an internal temperature of 110 to 115 degrees. The key difference with the cold grate method is that instead of searing the steak on a screaming hot grill grate, the grate itself is rotated at one-minute intervals, allowing the meat to rest on cool grill rungs during the searing process. This ensures that the entire surface of the meat is uniformly caramelized for maximum flavor.

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks

Rotating the Grate

One of the sacrifices of the cold grate method is that it doesn’t produce the traditional grill marks that we’re all familiar with. However, this trade-off is well worth it because the entire surface of the steak is caramelized, resulting in a burst of flavor with each bite. By rotating the grill grate at regular intervals, you can guarantee that the steak is always in contact with a relatively cool grate during its sizzling trip over the live coals. This method guarantees even cooking and ensures that the steak retains its tenderness and juiciness.

Sacrificing Grill Marks

Some may argue that grill marks are essential to a well-cooked steak, and while they certainly add a visual appeal, the cold grate method focuses more on flavor and juiciness. The lack of grill marks is primarily due to the rotation of the cold grate, which prevents any single spot on the steak from developing intense heat. However, when it comes to taste, the uniformly caramelized surface of the steak is more than enough to satisfy your palate. So while we understand the desire for a picture-perfect steak, the cold grate method is all about achieving the best taste.

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks

Required Equipment

To successfully execute the cold grate method, you’ll need a kettle-style grill, preferably with a diameter of at least 22 inches to accommodate 2-zone grilling. Additionally, two innovative products from Adrenaline Barbecue Company can enhance your cold grate grilling experience. The first is a Slow ‘N SearĀ®, a stainless steel charcoal corral that turns your standard kettle grill into a smoker. It’s designed to fit snugly against the firebox wall and can generate a wide range of temperatures, from low and slow smoking to searing at temperatures over 1000 degrees. The second product is an EasySpin™ grill grate with welded handles that makes rotating the cold grate much easier.

Prepping the Steaks

The foundation of a great steak starts with quality meat. Look for rib-eye steaks that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick and preferably grass-fed, organic Prime or Choice cuts with marbling. Season both sides of the steaks with kosher salt and place them on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight for even more flavor development. Before grilling, make sure to blot any accumulated moisture off the steaks with paper towels. Having a dry surface is crucial to achieving a good crust.

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks

Setting up the Grill

To begin the cold grate method, set up your grill for smoking by placing a chimney of natural lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes on the lower grate near the wall of the firebox. If you’re using the Slow ‘N SearĀ®, fill the water reservoir with hot water. Adjust the vents to maintain a grill temperature of 225 to 250 degrees. Place the grill grate on the grill and arrange the seasoned steaks on the cool side of the grill. Use a digital remote thermometer to monitor the grill and steak’s internal temperature for precision cooking.

Smoking the Steaks

Add 2 or 3 wood chunks to the coals through the hinged charcoal access door to generate smoke. Close the lid and let the steaks smoke until they reach an internal temperature of 110 degrees, which should take around an hour. At this point, you’ll want to light another chimney of charcoal in preparation for searing. It’s also a good time to make any desired sauces or condiments to accompany the steaks, such as the Anchovy Cream featured in the video.

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks

Searing the Steaks

Once the steaks have reached 110 degrees, remove them from the grill and set them aside. Add the newly lit charcoal to the pile and allow the fire to develop its full heat potential. Brush the steaks on both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Return the grill grate to the grill and arrange the steaks back on the cool side. Using tongs, move the steaks directly over the coals and let them sear for one minute. If flare-ups occur, return the steaks to the cooler zone until the flames die down.

Now, it’s time to use your grill gloves and rotate the grill grate until the steaks are once again in the cool zone. Quickly flip the steaks and arrange them over the hot coals. Repeat this process one more time for a total of 4 minutes of searing (2 minutes per side). Keep in mind that the internal temperature of the steak should reach 125 to 135 degrees for rare to medium-rare doneness. If you’re working with exceptionally thick steaks, they may need more time on the grill or indirect cooking on the cool side.

Finishing and Serving the Steaks

Once the steaks have reached your desired level of doneness, transfer them to a warmed platter or individual plates. Let them rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and the flavors to settle. If desired, serve the steaks with the Anchovy Cream or any other sauce or condiment you prepared earlier. Finally, dig in and enjoy the incredible flavors and tenderness that the cold grate method has brought to your steaks.

In summary, the cold grate method is a game-changer for anyone who loves perfectly cooked steaks bursting with flavor. By starting with a slow smoke and finishing with a sear, this technique ensures that your steaks are cooked evenly and retain their juiciness. While sacrificing grill marks, the caramelized surface of the steak is a taste sensation that will leave you wanting more. So get out your kettle grill, equip yourself with the necessary tools, and give the cold grate method a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

The Cold Grate Method for Grilling Steaks


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