There was an article recently in the New York Times (NYT) food section recently about cooking steaks on a cast iron skillet, that involved salting the skillet, not the steak, cooking at high heat with the idea that it would create a nice crust on the steak.
The article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/din...
I thought I would give it a try. I normally cook my steaks on the grill at high heat...pre salted steaks go on high heat for 3 minutes per side for med rare. It's been my go to method for as long as I can recall.
I thought i would give this method a try as it would be nice for rainy days, and when I didn't want to mess with the grill.
The recipe/technique in the NYT is kiss simple, easy peasy I thought.
I heated up my large well seasoned Griswold cast iron skillet on high for several minutes. I could feel the heat radiating from it. The steak was dry, I had even had it under a fan to insure that it was really dry. (I really wanted a nice crust on that steak...dreams of Peter Luger)
I salted the pan, and then gracefully laid the steak in the pan. I was met with a satisfying sizzle that told me a sear was on its way......
That's when the fun started.
Accompanying the sizzle and sear was smoke. Not a little bit of smoke, a LOT of smoke. Like someone let off a smoke grenade in my kitchen. I have a small kitchen, with a recirculating fan above the stove, not a true exhaust fan. I had fans running in the house, but even these did not help with the volume of smoke that was being generated. I could barely see the skillet to flip the steak. To say my wife was alarmed is an understatement.
The steak was flipped as per the recipe, then taken out and rested under foil.
The steak's exterior was a bit too charred when the recipe was followed, though it remained a nice medium rare on the inside. I think you can get a the skillet too hot if you follow the recipe.
Smoke...Needless to say the house was full of it, and it was THICK. Don't try this recipe unless you have a good exhaust fan that vents to the outside of the house.
The recipe is a great concept, and may well work with some modifications, but I have to say I will continue doing my steaks on the grill....even if it is raining.