Gary, Got the grill setup and broken in last night. The two rib eyes I cooked on it were the best steaks I have ever cooked in my life. Period. Bar none. I was in a hurry to try it out, and didn't have any of my usual mesquite wood to use. I didn't have charcoal. But on the way home, I passed the wood scraps pile outside our local stair manufacturing company. Hmmmm..... they use oak on those stairs, I remembered. So I whupped my Tahoe around and pulled up to the pile. Which was loaded with oak cutoffs and pieces. White oak, I'm guessing. Perfectly dried out for me. What the hell, give 'er a try. At the very least, I could use it to season the grill, right? Got home, built the oak fire which was blazing in minutes. Immediately scorched the red roller bar, of course. Threw on some more wood, and let it all burn down to a red hot bed of coals.
First, the method below that I use is one I have used for at least 20 years. That's important, because I had a well proven flavor benchmark to compare the Sunterra results against.
Candidly, I was at least a bit skeptical. I really figured the v-shaped grill surface might reduce the heat and sear that I have been getting for years using my simple Weber Go Anywhere grill, a humble little device, but one which puts the meat REALLY close to the coals. In fact before
last night, I thinking about calling you and ordering a replacement grill grate top for that reason. But not no mo! Nosireebobgary! Not after last night.... Now, I get my ribeye's from Costco, which means right from the git go that they have a leg up over most grocery store steaks, flavor and cut-wise. I buy prime when they have 'em. But these were choice. They were about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches thick, well trimmed, but still plenty of fat around the edges. I marinated them for a day and a half in the fridge using a bottle of Ken's Italian dressing (also from Costco) in a
one gallon zip lock. Flipped 'em several times during the soak to make sure all surfaces were in the marinade at some point or other. This is a lot longer than I usually marinate for--I usually do it for about 8 hours (I was afraid they might have been over marinated, but that didn't happen). However, they were not up to room temp when I started the fire--I was too excited to find out what the grill would do, to wait.)
I first seared the hell out of 'em as close to the fire as I could lower the V-grate. Once I had 'em really well browned on both sides, I checked the temp and was still a loooong way from 127--my target doneness. I think they might have been further along, but they damn sure weren't gonna survive any longer right down there next to the fire. So, I cranked up and up In the air, maybe a foot or so higher. They were still cooking and dripping, and smoking. But no longer burning. Perfect.And THAT right there was why I bought your grille. To be able to sear fast and hot, and then finish my cooking without burning the food up.
Using my thermometer every 30 seconds or so, I kept a close eye on the rest of the process. When the temp got to about 118, I stood both steaks on edge and "hand-seared" the fat edges to crisp those up, too. Then pulled 'em off and let em rest on a wood plank for about 10 minutes. Took my trusty knife and sliced off a couple of those toasted edges. And found out exactly why they invented the term HOLY COW!
It was the most amazing bite of steak I have ever put in my mouth! I hollered so loud right there in the kitchen that the neighbors must a thought somebody was having an organism. Of course, two ribeye's is more than I can consume on my own, so I put the leavings in the fridge, then carved off some thin slices for a lunch hors d'oeuvre today. Nuked em for 15 seconds or so. Still amazing tasting steak, even after being reheated -- which usually destroys most of the grilled goodness.
Hats off to you guys, Gary. You have created the finest grilling tool I have ever used.
I can't wait to start trying more stuff. In particular, I really wanna perfect my ribs on it. I am not a big fan of purely smoked ribs. I like 'em with some tooth to 'em. But with most of the fat rendered out, and everything crispy outside. Really hard to do that using a static-height home grill surface. Again, thanks for all your help and your patience in getting the product to me all set up and ready to go. Harry Gilliam Your happiest customer 703-727-1020
PS: feel free to use my letter, name, etc. if you like. If there is any way I can help ya’ll spread the Sunterra gospel, just lemme know.