It is 27° tonight and dropping, Lets cook some T-bones on the pellet grill! Now the difference in flavor between a steak done on a gas grill or a steak done on a pellet grill is very minimal. The pellet grill is cooking so efficiently on higher temperatures that you do not get a ton of smoke flavor. Whether or not you want smoke flavor on your steak, you definitely want a hot searing temperature for a juicy steak.
The T-bones I cooked tonight were a super simple recipe: Steaks, Montreal seasoning, and a hot grill. I set the Madera pellet grill to 480° and let it pre-heat for about 25 minutes to get the grilling grids nice and hot.
We just purchased a 1/2 of a beef from a local farmer and it just came home from the butcher’s shop. We are trying out some T-bones fresh before they went to the freezer. These are 3/4″ cut, I prefer 1″ but the overall steak portions are more manageable with the thinner cuts. Don’t go too heavy on the Montreal seasoning, you can add a little salt later but this seasoning has a lot of pepper.
My wife started some au gratin potatoes and freshly shucked corn off of the cob while I threw the steaks on the grill. The grill will put a bit of smoke flavor on the grill, which is nice, but my goal is to cook these steak for about 7-8 minutes each side for a medium doneness. After 5 minutes I turned the steaks 90° for the obligatory cross-hatch pattern and here they are after I flipped them (8 minutes). I have the quick grilling zone slid open on the Madera Grill to sear the steaks quickly.
Here is the final product, a seared T-bone on our Madera pellet grill in 20 degree weather. Like I said earlier, a steak done on a gas grill will have a very similar flavor, but I only want 1 grill on my deck and the Madera Grill will sear my steaks as well as slow smoking my St. Louis ribs.
For me this is the perfect steak: somewhere between medium and medium-rare (about 140° internal temp).
On Saturday, at the 1st Annual Taste of Rathdrum BBQ competition, Madera & The Pit Tenders brought home Grand Champion, 1st place ribs and 2nd place chicken. The Pit Tenders are sponsored by Kuma Stoves (makers of the Madera grill) and cook entirely on Madera grills. Most of the team members are employees of the company so it was a lot of fun for them to participate in a local event that is located in the same town as the Kuma Stoves factory. We are proud to be Rathdrum’s BBQ Pitmasters and are looking forward to participating in next years event. The next stop for Madera & The Pit Tenders is the Basin BBQ Bash in Moses Lake, WA. where the team will compete in the PNWBA sponsored 4 major meat categories as well as a Dutch Oven and chili cook-off.
On June 29th, the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association held it’s 1st annual Bikes, Brews, & BBQ’s event, a one day cook-off at the Kootenai County Fair Grounds in Coeur d’ Alene Idaho. Since the event was right in our back yard, co-worker Tim Franey and myself decided to enter our first ever BBQ competition and have some fun cooking on the Madera Grill. We thought that since we love to cook on these grills, why not get out and let some folks try our grub. The turnout at the event was great, with over 20 teams entering from all over the Northwest. Being rookies, we had no idea how intense it could be to manage your meat and to get your boxes turned in on time and to your liking. To add to the intensity, we woke up to a major thunderstorm that turned into a very windy day.
Left to right: Tim Franey, Tasty Chicken, Jack Freeman
Our team, Madera and the Pit Tenders, received an award for 6th place in the chicken category and we were very excited to receive 11th place overall. We learned a lot from other teams and we hope the event returns next year. Jay Bremmner and his competition team, Limp Brisket, also had a Madera grill on site and fired it up to do his tri-tip. His team did well, coming in 3rd place for the sausage category.
(About the author: Jack Freeman is the production manager at Kuma Stoves Inc. and has worked closely with Mark Freeman, company owner, to develop the Madera Pellet Grill.)
Over the last 2 years, Applied Control Electronics in Placerville Ca, has worked with Kuma Stoves Inc. to develop the digital controls for the Madera pellet grill. The control system, called Logic~Fire, is a smart yet easy to use design that delivers even temperatures no matter the weather outside. The controls react quickly to different conditions creating a temperature reference point then makes precise adjustments to maintain that temperature. Terry Burke, lead software developer, calls this “ambient temperature compensation”. Regardless of the weather conditions, the amount of food on the grill, or the type of BBQ pellet that you are using, the Madera pellet grill with Logic~Fire will compensate to maintain an even set temperature.
In addition to the precision temperature, the control has an onboard meat probe input that allows you to cook large cuts of meat to a specific internal temperature. The control also features a low temperature alarm, different climate zone program modes, and variable fan speed for controlled smoke production. All of these features in a simple, easy to use, control that gets you grilling with the push of a button.
Foslom, CA – On May 8th at a local roundup for the hearth and barbecue industry, company owner Mark Freeman and some guest grillers from the area fired up the 2nd generation prototype of the upcoming Madera smoker-grill. The aromas coming from the grill attracted plenty of attention and the samples off the grill were highly acclaimed. In fact, one gentleman rated his fare as, “the best chicken I have ever eaten.” The crew also grilled up some 4-cheese stuffed portobello mushrooms, baked some amazing chocolate chip cookies and smoked some delicious pork ribs. This was the first time that the Madera smoker-grill was fired up for an event and it met with very positive reviews. The grill will not be available until 2013 so please keep following our progress if you are interested in the Madera smoker grill.