Sear and move is old school grilling, at least for me. It was the first trick all my grilling cookbooks mentioned – sear the steak over direct heat, then move it to an indirect heat part of the grill so it cooks through without burning.
As I said in yesterday’s Reverse Sear vs Sear and Move showdown, I prefer reverse searing nowadays…with a couple of exceptions, where sear and move is good enough.
First is: weeknight grilling. If I’m in a hurry to get dinner on the table, I’m going with sear and move. It takes half the time of a reverse sear.
The other exception is cooking for a crowd – especially one that wants a range of doneness, from Rare to Ruined Medium-well. That’s much easier to do with sear and move – sear all the steaks, move to indirect heat, put the thermometer in the one I want the most done, and pull steaks off the grill as my target temperatures pass.
My key piece of equipment is an instant read thermometer with a probe, like this one. The probe thermometer stays in the steak, and the unit stays outside the grill. No need to open the lid – I set the alarm, and it tells me when the steak is exactly where I want it. 125°F for medium rare, thank you very much.1
So, ready for an old school beef experience? Grab some thick cut New York Strip steaks, and let’s get grilling.
Recipe: Grilled Thick Cut New York Strip Steaks, Sear and Move Style
Grilled Thick Cut New York Strip Steaks, Sear and Move Style
- Grill (My trusty Weber Kettle)
- Thermometer (A probe thermometer is best for this, but an instant read will work, too.)
- 2 Thick Cut New York Strip Steaks (2 inches thick, about 12 ounces per steak)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Season the steaks
One hour before cooking, generously sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Let the steaks rest at room temperature until cooking. (If you don’t have the time to salt ahead, that’s OK – salt them right before putting them on the grill.)
2. Set the grill for indirect high heat
Set the grill up for indirect high heat; half the grill with direct high heat, and the other half with no heat. On my Weber kettle I light a full chimney starter of charcoal, wait for it to be mostly covered with gray ash, then pour it in a tight pile over half the grill, two to three coals deep. (Or, I pour it into my charcoal baskets and arrange them as shown in the picture.) Then I put the grate on the grill and brush it clean.
3. Sear the steaks
Put the steaks on the grill directly over the coals. Sear the steaks, flipping every minute or two, until they are browned and crusty on both sides, about 6 minutes. (If you are cooking on a gas grill, rotate the steaks 90 degrees after the second flip to get a diamond crosshatch pattern on the steaks. This doesn’t matter as much with a charcoal grill – charcoal will brown the steaks regardless of the grate direction.)
4. Move the steaks and finish with the lid closed
Move the steaks to the indirect heat side of the grill, away from the fire. Close the lid and cook the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 125°F for medium-rare, about 10 minutes. (For Rare, cook to 115°F internal, about 7 minutes; for Medium, cook to 135°F, about 13 minutes.)
Remove the steaks from the grill, let them rest for ten minutes, then serve.
- A thick cut New York Strip is a lot of beef. Unless I’m serving the heartiest of eaters, I cut the steak crosswise into two serving pieces.
- Thanks again to Certified Angus Beef for providing these gorgeous New York Strip steaks, and inspiring this post.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
The Best Grilled Steak: Reverse Sear or Sear and Move?
[Coming Tomorrow:] Grilled Thick Cut New York Strip Steaks, Reverse Sear Style
Cedar Plank Grilled Ribeye with Peppers and Onions
Grilled Tomahawk Steak – Long Bone Ribeye, Reverse Seared
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