Salting Steaks

There are different recommendations on the technique of salting a steak before cooking. This review assumes one will only use salt and pepper as their seasoning for the steak. If one wishes to add other rubs, check the salt content and adjust the pre-cook salting amount to compensate for the additional salt in the rub. If just adding herbs or salt-free seasonings, the adjustment isn’t necessary.

Why salt?
The most obvious answer is for flavor and salting immediately prior to grilling will accomplish that easily. It is well known that brining meats (pork and chicken immediately come to mind) in a salty solution will increase the moisture in the final product. The same principle works with salting a steak. Research by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (author of “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science Today”) in the blog “Serious Eats” shows that either immediate salting or salting, then resting for >40 min. are the best techniques (actually overnight, uncovered in the fridge was optimum). Reference:

Quoting from the blog:
“Here’s what’s going on.

  • Immediately after salting the salt rests on the surface of the meat, undissolved. All the steak’s juices are still inside the muscle fibers. Searing at this stage results in a clean, hard sear.
  • Within 3 or 4 minutes the salt, through the process of osmosis, will begin to draw out liquid from the beef. This liquid beads up on the surface of the meat. Try to sear at this point and you waste valuable heat energy simply evaporating this large amount of pooled liquid. Your pan temperature drops, your sear is not as hard, and crust development and flavor-building Maillard browning reactions are inhibited.
  • Starting at around 10 to 15 minutes, the brine formed by the salt dissolving in the meat’s juices will begin to break down the muscle structure of the beef, causing it to become much more absorptive. The brine begins to slowly work its way back into the meat.
  • By the end of 40 minutes, most of the liquid has been reabsorbed into the meat. A small degree of evaporation has also occurred, causing the meat to be ever so slightly more concentrated in flavor”.

My experiment: I started with a 1.25# choice ribeye. I heavily salted it with Kosher salt.


I then vacuum-sealed it and placed it in the fridge for 2 hours. When preparing for cooking, I submerged the bag in a sink of hot (110*) water for about 45 minutes (hot-tubbing). When I removed it for seasoning with Cluck & Squeal Beef Specific rub, I checked and found it had an internal temp of 92*. (Note: This is where I warned about too much salt – I learned from my mistake).


Large BGE at 300-325* dome, but my Grill Grates temped at 500* with an IR thermometer. I seared about 90 sec on each side, then using tongs and a mitt, I seared all the edges of the steak on the ridges of the Grill Grates.


I removed when the internal temperature was 125*, divided and served with sautéed spinach and mushrooms plus a green salad.


Results:  Other than being slightly more salty than I prefer (not compensating for the salt in the rub), I could clearly taste a rich flavor deep inside the very juicy meat, not just on the surface. This will become my steak-cooking technique for the future.

Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


Serves 2

1.25# ribeye steak
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Steak rub (Optional)

(1) Heavily coat both sides of the steak with Kosher salt (reduce amount if planning to use a rub that contains salt).

(2) Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 40 minutes and up to overnight (it will not dry out if left uncovered). If plan to grill immediately after salting, also add freshly ground black pepper and/or any steak rub.

(3) Rest at room temperature for an hour or can hot-tub in a bag in hot water prior to grilling.

(4) Use your favorite steak grilling technique and cook to your preferred doneness. Enjoy a much juicier, flavorful steak!

Sous Vide Burgers

I had read about the advantages of cooking burgers using the sous vide technique and have been looking for an opportunity to try it. Recently we had some of the kids & grandsons over for some fishing and dinner, so I decided it would be an excellent chance!

Why sous vide?
It’s so easy to just throw some burgers on the grill, give them a couple of flips and serve them up! Well, how many times have you undercooked or worse, overcooked them ending up with dry, chewy or crumbly burgers? The grill temp can vary from one cook to the next and certainly from one area of the grill surface to another, giving inconsistent results. How about juicy, perfectly cooked burgers with pink insides? Yes, pink ‘store-bought’ hamburger meat, but safe from any bacterial contamination. Sous vide is the route to these results.

How Sous Vide works:
(1) Sous vide (French for under vacuum) is a method of cooking protein or vegetables in vacuum-sealed bags in a temperature-controlled water bath. This method is used in many high-end steak restaurants for rapid cooking of perfectly cooked steaks – remove it from the water bath (maybe 125-130*), sear it briefly on the grill and serve it to the customer.

(2) Restaurant quality sous vide machines can be purchased for home use (though they are expensive and take up a good bit of counter space). There are a few smaller precision immersion sous vide products on the market that are more convenient and less costly. I have the original Anova model (they now make Bluetooth and WiFi-compatible versions). Sansaire makes a similar product and there is a WiFi-only product called Joule. These all clamp to the side of a large pot or plastic tub and work on the principle of an immersion heater with tightly-controlled temperature and a fan to circulate the water, ensuring even temperature throughout the water bath.

(3) Food safety: Pasteurization of meat (reduction of the harmful bacteria in the meat) is based on a combination of internal temperature PLUS the length of time it is maintained at that temperature. For example, from FDA pasteurization charts hamburger meat is safe if cooked at 135* for 27.33 min., while it only takes 5.19 sec. at 160* internal temp. The beauty of sous vide is the ability to maintain an accurate water bath temperature for extended period of time, thus allowing one to pasteurize meat at a lower temperature, which when combined with a finishing sear, produces juicy, tender results that would be difficult to obtain otherwise.

Sous Vide Burgers:
For the burgers, I purchased a 4# pack of ground chuck (80/20) from Sam’s Club. I formed the meat into eight 8 oz. balls, then shaped these into seven, thick 4” wide patties & two 4 oz. child patties. I pressed a dimple in the middle of each patty to help them keep their shape while on the grill, then generously seasoned them with Cluck & Squeal Beef Specific rub. I carefully placed four patties each into gallon freezer ziplock bags, compressed the air out by immersing in a sink full of water, and placed them in the sous vide water bath which was at 133*. I placed serving spoons between the bags to keep them weighted and separated for better water circulation.


After 60-70 minutes I removed the bags and let them cool to room temperature (to help maintain their shape when grilling) while preparing the grill. In the following picture, they are patiently waiting for the grill:

I prepared my large Big Green Egg (BGE) for a direct cook at 350-400* with the grid at the fire ring level and Grill Grates on the grid. At a dome temp of 400*, the Grill Grates measured 500* on an infared (IR) thermometer. I seared the burgers for about 90 sec. on one side, flipped and seared another 90 sec. on the other side.

Love my Grill Grates!

I then flipped once more and added bleu cheese. At this point I closed the bottom vent and let the ambient heat soften the cheese.


After a minute or so, I topped them with previously sautéed mushrooms, allowing them to warm for another 30-45 sec., then removed from the grill.


(I apologize for forgetting to take a picture of a cut burger, because the inside was juicy and pink throughout)!

Guests made burgers or ate like hamburger steaks.  I heard a comment: “This is the best burger ever“!

Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


Serves 8

4 lbs ground chuck 
Favorite hamburger seasoning
Fresh bleu cheese (or other cheese)
Optional – sautéed mushrooms, peppers, etc.

(1) Prepare the sous vide water bath per the instructions with the sous vide immersion heater and set the temperature for 133*F.
(2) Form meat into 8 oz. balls, then shape into 1″ thick patties and make dimples in the center of one side. Season well on both sides.
(3) Carefully place the patties in gallon ziplock bags (4 per bag) and immerse in water, squeezing the air out before sealing. Place the bags in the sous vide water bath, separating them with a utensil, if needed to allow for good water flow around the bags. Set the timer for 60 minutes or up to 90 minutes.
(4) When the meat is done, remove the bags from the water bath and rest on the counter to let them approach room temperature while you are preparing the grill.
(5) Prepare the BGE (or other grill) for a direct cook at 400* or so. Grill the burgers for 45-90 sec. on each side, then make one last flip before adding the cheese. Close down the vents to let the ambient heat soften the cheese, then add any mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc. on top. 
(6) Remove from the grill and serve immediately (a rest is not necessary when using the sous vide method).

Beer can burgers

As I mentioned in my earlier blog, beer can burgers were popular in the Spring of 2015. Social media became so saturated with Beer Can Burger posts that many good cooks avoided posting these recipes! They can be difficult to actually eat as a burger, so they are often served as stuffed hamburger steaks. A great idea is to saute’ a variety of fillers such as chopped mushrooms, onions, peppers, or bacon pieces plus small cubes of cheeses, letting people individualize their own stuffings.

It takes about 1/2 lb of ground beef for each burger. Shape it into a ball, then push a beer (or soda) can into the middle of the ball, shaping it up carefully around the can.

Wrap a slice of bacon around the base of the burger (some actually press the burger up high enough on the can for 2 slices of bacon). Remove the can, making sure the bottom of the hole is covered with meat and doesn’t have a potential leak spot. Season the burgers with your hamburger rub or seasoning of choice.

Stuff the inside with the previously sautéed chopped onions, peppers, mushrooms, bacon pieces or small cubes of cheese. Cover with shredded cheese or drape some thin slices of cheese over the top.


Cook indirect at about 300-350* for a hour or until the internal temp of the meat reaches 160-165*. Baste with BBQ sauce, if desired, toward the end of the cook.

Serve on buns or eat like a stuffed hamburger steak.

Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


Serves 4

2 lbs ground chuck (80/20)
Onions, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, etc (chopped) for stuffing
Small cubes of cheese for stuffing (option)
Shredded cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack or thinly-sliced cheese for topping
Favorite rub or seasonings for hamburgers
Favorite BBQ sauce (option)

(1) Saute’ the veggies separately for use as fillings.
(2) Divide the ground beef into 4 portions and mold into 4 balls. Press a beer or soda can into the middle of the meat and carefully shape around the can.
(3) Wrap a slice of bacon around the meat (if you push the meat up higher on the side of the can, you can add another slice of bacon). Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
(4) Carefully remove the can, taking care to maintain the bowl created and making sure the bottom has no areas that might leak.  Place the previously sautéed veggies and/or bacon pieces plus any small cubes of cheese into the bowl, then top with shredded or slices of cheese.
(5) Cook indirect at 350* until the bacon is crisp and the internal temp of the meat is 160-165*.
(6) Serve as a hamburger steak or with a bun and condiments.

Taking Burgers to the Next Level

Have your grilled burgers lost the thrill? There are many ways to get that extra kick for burger night. Many have made Juicy Lucys (cheese stuffed inside the burger) and of course there was an Internet sensation about a year ago with beer can burgers (will blog about this in another post).

Since some of the kids and grandsons were coming to visit on a Sunday afternoon, I was looking for a simple way to improve my burgers. I had read about combining pork and beef, so I bought 2# of ground chuck (80/20) along with 2# of ground pork and mixed these together. I was careful to break up all the clumps of beef and pork, kneading it until it was thoroughly mixed. A local butcher may be able to grind these together, which might be even better.

I then shaped them into 5-6 ounce patties and seasoned on both sides with Cluck and Squeal’s Beef Specific.  Tip: Make a large dimple in the middle of the patty to allow for contraction of the meat while cooking. This will help produce a flatter patty instead of it trying to form a ball.

I got my BGE to 400* dome temp and inverted my Grill Grates (Amazon-Grill Grates for large BGE) so the flat side was up, creating a griddle-like surface. The burgers were cooked for 4 minutes on one side, then flipped. After about 3-4 more minutes, they were 150-160* internal. I added some slices of cheddar cheese and removed them when the cheese was melted.

There was not a lot of excess fat generated from the chuck/pork combination and the griddle gave them a great ‘crust’. (I also grilled a few all-beef dogs for the kiddos).

The burgers were juicy and very flavorful; I was surprised I could not taste the pork at all.

No carb for us – “dressed” and served with oven-roasted rutabaga fries.


Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


Makes 6 burgers

1 lb ground chuck (80/20 or better)
1 lb ground pork
Beef rub of choice
Salt and Pepper to taste

(1) In a large bowl, mix the beef and pork, taking time to break up any clumps and making sure it is mixed together thoroughly.
(2) Make 6 patties, pressing down in the middle to create a dimple. Season with beef rub, salt and pepper, or seasonings of choice.
(3) Grill over a 400-450* fire, flipping after about 4 minutes. After another 4 minutes, check internal temp. When they reach 150-160* add any cheese. Remove when cheese melts or about 165* internal temp.

Wet-aged steaks

What is wet aging of steaks and why should one consider it?

Wet-aging is the process of keeping a steak (or a large cut like a whole tenderloin, whole rib roast, or 3-4 bone prime rib) for a specified time period in a critically temperature-controlled environment. Enzymes in the meat will tenderize it gradually over the time period. At that point the meat can be cooked or frozen for later use.

As an experiment, I had purchased 4 one-pound ribeyes from Sam’s Club on Jan. 4, 2016. I cooked one, then individually vacuum-sealed the other three. I cooked one more after 4 weeks, then one after 8 weeks and the last one tonight – a total of 14 weeks. My goal was to determine the ideal time for wet-aging a 1-1.25# ribeye to improve the tenderness, without allowing the meat to get over-tender (a mushy texture). I was concerned that 12+ weeks might be too long.

Results: We noticed a progressive increase in tenderness between all the ribeyes, and were pleasantly surprised tonight to find the 14-week steak was extremely tender, yet maintained an acceptable texture.

Note the most important food safety requirement for wet-aging meat is the ability to control the temperature in the environment (refrigerator). I use an outdoor fridge that is rarely opened. I keep a refrigerator thermometer (Kroger) on the shelf with the meat and strive for 32-34* at all times. I check every couple of days and ‘bump’ the temperature controller up or down as needed. I also keep some bottled water on the shelf to observe for any ice formation. I recommend vacuum-sealing the meat and not leaving it in the store’s sealed container than might contain bacteria. For large cuts (tenderloin, rib roast, etc) it is ok to leave it in the original thick, vacuum-sealed cryovac, as long as it has remained sealed tightly.

(In another post I will discuss dry-aging and the combination of wet and dry aging).

If one is interested in improving the tenderness of store-bought steaks, I can recommend 14 weeks as the optimum time for wet-aged ribeyes that are about 1-1.5 inches thick, following the food safety notes above.

The steak from tonight is pictured, plated with rutabaga fries and oven-roasted zucchini slices, plus a salad of cucumbers and cherry tomatoes (recipe below).


Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


Serves 2

1-1/4#  wet-aged ribeye steak
Cluck and Squeal Beef Specific rub (or favorite seasoning)

(1) Prepare the grill for a hot, direct cook.
(2) Season and allow the steak to come to room temperature (45-60 minutes)
(3) Grill 3-4 minutes on each side until it reaches your preferred doneness – internal temp of 125* (medium rare) or 130* (medium).
(4) Cover and rest for 5-8 minutes before serving.

Hanger Steak


I finally carried my new MiniMax (MM) Egg to Oxford this weekend. It will replace a small egg that will come home to Madison.  For the inaugural cook on the MM, I thawed out a hanger steak we had purchased at The Farmer’s Market in Oxford. They sell beef and pork that is processed at Stan’s on highway 6 near Batesville. The pork is locally raised and the beef is aged Angus.

Hanger steak? What is that?  Actually it comes from the part of the diaphragm that is closest to the spine and tenderloin. The outer, tougher part of the diaphragm is called the skirt steak. Hanger steaks are difficult to get unless using a custom butcher, but they are one of the most tender cuts from the cow (3rd most tender, I believe) and have lots of beef flavor.

I seasoned this steak with Cluck and Squeal’s “Beef Specific” rub and let it come to room temperature on the counter for about an hour.


I prepared the MiniMax for a direct cook at 500*.


Since this was the inaugural cook, one can appreciate the new, white ceramics that will soon become nice and seasoned.


The steak was flipped after about 3 minutes, then removed when the internal temperature was 130*.


It was rested for 5 minutes, while the asparagus finished roasting in the oven, then plated with the asparagus.


Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


Serves 2

Hanger steak (3/4 to 1 pound)
Cluck and Squeal Beef Specific Rub (or preferred steak rub)

(1) Liberally apply the rub to both sides of the steak, patting it in. Let it rest on the counter for 45 minutes to an hour to come to room temperature.
(2) Prepare the Egg (grill) for a hot (450-500*) direct cook.
(3) Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side and remove when internal temperature reaches 125* (medium rare), 130* (medium), or your desired doneness. Cover with foil and rest for 5-8 minutes.
(4) Important! Slice against the grain for the most tender results.

Smoked Brisket (a tutorial)

“The Quest for the Perfect Brisket”

In the 10+ years I have been seriously cooking on my BGE, I have always been intimidated by the thought of cooking a brisket. As a KCBS-certified competition judge, I have sampled some very good brisket and also some really terrible brisket! That being said, I did my first brisket flat almost a year ago and was pleased with the results. A  couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my try at a full packer on my BGE. After watching a few Aaron Franklin’s videos (Brisket prep / 3 ways to cook brisket) and consulting with some experienced brisket-cooking friends I came up with a game plan.

Of course since most plans can be thrown a curve ball, my plan to wrap with butcher paper fell apart as I could find no store (or butcher) with actual butcher paper! Thus Plan B became a “naked” cook – no wrap at all – just hours and hours over a low temp fire.

Preparation of the Egg:
Before any low and slow cook, I first remove and save the used lump from the fire box (a plastic shoebox works great for this).

It had been a while since I cleaned out behind my fire box, so I removed the fire ring and fire box and as one can see, a considerable about of ash and lump pieces needed to be cleaned out. The second picture is with everything cleaned out, reassembled and ready to build the fire.
FullSizeRender 8


Building a fire for a long cook:
Whether it be for a Boston butt or a brisket cook, one of the important factors in maintaining a steady fire is good airflow throughout the entire cook. One can just dump in lots of lump and usually ‘get away’ with it, but I learned years ago to carefully build a fire starting with large pieces of lump and stacking with gradually smaller pieces. I also intersperse large chunks of dry wood throughout the entire ‘column’ of lump. For this cook I used a mixture of hickory and pecan chunks. I also used a dense lump (Wicked Good’s Weekend Warrior blend) with is difficult to find locally. It burns very slowly, but being difficult to light, I add the easier-lighting used Royal Oak lump on top. Pictures show the progression of building the fire.



(Since I planned to use a pizza stone as my indirect piece, located slightly above the fire ring, I wasn’t concerned with the platesetter being too close to my lump).

Grid setup:
I used many components acquired from the Ceramic Grill Store to construct my grid setup. I started with the Adjustable Rig (AR), added a slider to the bottom level and placed an oval ceramic stone on the slider rack. I positioned 4 spacers (1/2″ copper pipe angles) on the stone, then a foil-lined rectangular drip pan. The original BGE grid sits on top of the AR.

I lit a small fire in the center, in the used lump with the bottom vent wide open and nothing on the top of the dome. I placed the adjustable rig and all components (as above) in and allowed it all to heat up. As the temperature approached 200*, I added my BBQ Guru DigiQ II power controller, placed a pit temperature probe at the grid level and set the desired temperature to 230*.

Meat Prep:
I trimmed the brisket of a large amount of the fat (I probably was a little aggressive for my first time and will likely leave a on little more fat next time). Aaron Franklin’s recipe calls for a 50/50 mixture of Kosher salt and freshly coarse-ground black pepper as the only seasonings. It works best to put this mixture in a jar as it constantly needs stirring around to keep the salt from settling to the bottom. An even distribution on all surfaces is all that’s needed.



The cook:
The seasoned meat rested on the counter for 45-60 minutes while I let the  BGE, all the components, and the ceramics stabilize. Getting everything uniformly heated helps keep the Egg temperature from dropping too much when a large mass of cold meat is added. In the picture, one can see meat and pit probes from both the DigiQ as well as a Maverick E-732 wireless remote, which has alarms set to alert me during the night if anything gets outside the parameters I set.

Around midnight (6 hr into the cook), the meat was at 154*. I woke to my clock alarm at 3 am, checked the Maverick remote at the bedside – 175*. The clock alarmed again at 6am (I’m just a little worried with overnight cooks) and it was at 192*. The DigiQ kept the grid temp at a solid 230* for the entire cook! At 6 am, the brisket wasn’t tender to probing, so I continued until it registered 201*. I wasn’t completely happy with the “probe test” as it didn’t feel like it was passing through butter, but decided it was done enough, especially since it was going to be 6 hours until lunch.

I wrapped the brisket with 2 layers of foil, placed in dish and then into a pre-heated cooler with thick towels under and over it. I left it like this until time to slice and serve (6+ hours).

Final results:
I sliced the flat against the grain. The “judge’s” take: tenderness (draped over a knife and ‘pull test’) was excellent; the flavor was great. My only criticism was that it was a little dry, even for brisket. I got several “best brisket I’ve ever had” comments, so I think it was a winner.




Final note: Below is a picture taken shortly after the brisket was removed from my large Egg – note how much lump remained after an over 14 hour burn!


Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)
PS – Brisket #2 is already in the planning stages…….I think I will wrap with butcher paper on the next one……..



1 packer (whole) brisket (Choice or Select grade – Prime, if one can find & afford it)
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely ground black pepper

(1) Prep the smoker for a long (12-18 hr) cook with wood chunks (fruit wood plus some hickory, if desired). A drip pan is needed as lots of fat is rendered. Water is not necessary in a ceramic smoker, but is a good idea in other types of smokers.
(2) Trim most of the fat from the brisket, then season liberally with the salt & pepper mixture (keep shaking the container to keep the S&P mixed well).
(3) Smoke until internal temperature reaches about 195*, then check for tenderness by probing the flat with an icepick, a toothpick or a temperature probe. Desired doneness will be when the probe passes in and out of the flat like soft butter. Continue cooking and checking until the desired tenderness is reached.
(4) Wrap in 2 layers of aluminum foil, place in a pan or dish (in case of leaks), then wrap with towels and keep in a pre-heated insulated cooler for at least an hour or up to 5-6 hours before serving.
(5) Slice immediately before serving (it drys very quickly) and drizzle each piece with any juices.

Hot-tubbed Steak


There are multiple ways to cook an excellent steak on the grill. In today’s post I will describe one of my favorite, simple ways to produce a perfectly cooked steak using a technique called “hot-tubbing” combined with a quick, hot sear.

Hot tubbing’ is a po’ man’s version of Sous Vide, which is a recently popular home cooking method. Sous vide is French for ‘under vacuum’ and it involves placing vacuum-sealed foods (meat, chicken, fruit, vegetable, etc) in a temperature-controlled water bath for an extended period of time, then finishing the food on a grill, a griddle or a skillet. I will have more information in a subsequent post on the advantages and disadvantages of sous vide cooking.

Back to hot-tubbing….. Before I ever heard of sous vide, I saw many people on the BGE forum preheating their steaks in a water bath, then searing on the BGE. The principle being that you basically ‘cook’ the steak through and through during the water bath period, then only sear it at the end. The final result is a steak that is the same doneness from edge to edge – not one that is well done on the outside 1/4″ or so, then medium well, then medium rare in the middle. A hot-tubbed (or SV) steak is medium rare (or your choice of doneness) from the outside sear on one side to the sear on the opposite side.



The first step is to vacuum seal the steak. Many people have vacuum seal units like Food Saver, Game Saver, etc. they use for freezing steaks bought in quantity or cut from larger (sub primal) cuts like whole ribeye, tenderloin, or sirloin. In that case the steak is already in a vacuum bag, so it only needs to be thawed in the bag before hot tubbing. With a fresh steak, one can either use their vacuum sealer to bag it, or use a zip lock-style bag. With the zip lock bag, one seals all but about a 1/2″ corner, then submerges the bag into water, forcing the air to the top and quickly closes the bag before it goes completely under the water. The water pressure will collapse the bag around the steak and create an almost perfect vacuum bag. One can season the steak before it goes in the bag, or it can be seasoned after it comes out of the water bath prior to searing. If the bag tends to float, a small saucer on top of it will hold it under water.

The following pictures are from an 8-week, wet-aged ribeye steak I recently hot tubbed and seared on my Mini Egg.


My hot tap water is about 110*, so I usually mix it to get around 100* in my sink. The steak stays in the water bath for 45-60 minutes. In the meantime, I get the grill ready for a direct cook at 500-600*. I remove the steak from the bag (it usually measures 86-95* internal), season, then sear it for 2 minutes on each side. If it is not to my desired internal temperature, I will cook longer, flipping if one side starts to get too done. I might even close the top and bottom vents on the EGG and let it continue to cook until the desired doneness is reached. Hot-tubbed and sous vide steaks do not require a post-cook rest period and can be served immediately from the grill.


Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


Serves 2

1-1.25 pound steak (ribeye, sirloin, flat iron, etc)
Steak seasoning of choice

(1) If using a previously vacuum-sealed steak (thaw if frozen), place the bagged steak in a hot water bath (about 105*) for 45-60 minutes. If using a fresh steak, apply the seasonings, then either vacuum seal or evacuate the air in a zip lock bag by submerging under water, forcing out the air before sealing. Place in the water bath like above.
(2) Prepare grill for a direct, hot cook (500-600*).
(3) Remove the steak from the bag, season if needed, and then place it on a hot grill for 2 minutes per side. If not quite done to your preference, leave it on until done, flipping a time or two to prevent burning, or shut down the grill (close the top and bottom vents) until it’s done.
(4) The steak can also be seared on a griddle (grill or stove) or in a heavy skillet if desired.
(5) You can serve immediately, or cover and rest until ready to serve.

Drunk and Dirty Beef Tenderloin


This recipe was adapted for the BGE from the classic book “Smoke & Spice” by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. This is probably considered my “signature cook” as the kids want me to cook it every year on the family beach trip. I have cooked it on everything from an Egg to a park-style grill to a $19.95 Walmart grill!


It is a great way to serve beef to a large group of people and get everyone’s meat cooked to their preferred doneness – end pieces are more done than the center cuts. It makes for an elegant presentation.


To reduce the saltiness of the original recipe, I switched to low sodium soy and reduced the amount in the marinade. It made the meat less salty and greatly improved the finishing sauce.

Serves 6-8

1 1/2 cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 cup Bourbon, or other sour mash whiskey
½ cup Worcestershire
4 tbsp Packed Brown Sugar
1 teasp Ground Ginger
8 cloves Garlic
1 cup water

Main Course:
4 – 6 lb Beef Tenderloin, trimmed
4 tbsp Coursely Ground Black Pepper
2 teasp Ground White Pepper, optional
½ cup Vegetable Oil

Wood Chunks: Hickory, apple, pecan, oak (don’t overdo the smoke)

1) Combine the ingredients down to the garlic with water and marinate beef (a 2 gallon ziplock bag works good) in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours. I flip the roast in the marinade every 30 minutes or so.

2) Prepare the Egg for an indirect, low temp cook, with a drip pan under the roast. Add the dry wood chunks evenly throughout the lump charcoal. Allow the Egg to stabilize at 225*-275* for 40-60 minutes before adding the cold meat. A continuous-reading thermometer (with or without wireless remote) is indispensable for this cook. (I recommend the Maverick E-732).

3) Remove the beef from the fridge, reserve marinade and use butcher’s twine to truss the roast. (Fold the ‘tail’ end back such that one creates a roast that is uniform thickness from end to end. Tie with the twine about every 2 inches). Cover beef with freshly ground, coarse black pepper. I don’t measure, I just be sure to completely cover both sides with black pepper, pat it in and then add the white not quite as liberally. 

4) Put half the marinade in fridge and add the vegetable oil to the other half if mopping. If not mopping just put all the marinade in fridge. 

5) Heat mop (if using) to a boil for a few minutes and keep warm on low. 

5) Put the cold beef on the Egg, indirect, over a drip pan, at low temps…225 to 275 (dome temp) and cook until almost done…1 1/2 to 2 hours. Mop every 20 minutes.

6) When almost done (120* internal temp) remove from grill, remove platesetter, and bring grill up to sear temps (500+). Sear for 1 minute on each of the 4 sides. You’re just trying to get a nice char but not too much. (Might need long tongs and gloves for this).

7) Remove steak, tent with foil, and let sit at least 5-10 minutes. While resting bring the reserved marinade to a boil for a few minutes then turn down to low and reduce by about one quarter. 

8) Slice and either drizzle marinade over the meat and/or serve on the side for guests.