Page 29 - May 2021 Barbecue News Magazine
P. 29

Chefs know this. The spectacular 30 day aged USDA Prime strip steak at the top of this article is from David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago (photo courtesy of Anna Knott
of Chicago magazine). That is a proper sear. But those beautiful grill marks in ribeyes 1 and 3? Merely superficial branding like the freckles on Lindsay Lohan's face. They just can't match the maximum taste and texture delivered by the all over sear in ribeye 2. The fact is a steak with cross hatch marks has only about 1/3 of its surface fully browned. The diamond shapes between the marks are tan, boring meat full of unrealized flavor potential, like Superman without a phone booth, like Gehrig without a bat, like Chopin without black keys.
Worse, if you’re not careful, grill grates can scar your meat with black stripes of chalky carbon that tastes like burnt toast.
That’s one of the reasons that great steakhouses use broil- ers where the flames are above the meat. That way they can get brown all over. That’s why grill marks don’t make me salivate. I want brown all over.
Here is a picture of the steaks from some of the finest, most expensive steakhouses in the country. They are (1) Stock Hill in Kansas City (2) Chandler’s in Boise (3) Gibson’s in Chicago (4) Knife in Dallas (5) Hall’s Chophouse in Charleston (6) Peter Luger in NYC (7) Ruths Chris nation- wide (8) Porterhouse in NYC (9) Smith & Wollensky in many cities.
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