Ribeye Steak Recipe for SCA Contests (Steak Cookoff Association) on a PK Grill
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Steak Cookoffs are quickly becoming the fastest growing segment of the BBQ world and the SCA is the sanctioning body behind this new phenom.
At an SCA event, one ribeye is turned in for blind judging. It goes in a take-out style container sitting on a foil disc provided by the organizers. There’s no garnish allowed so it’s all about the steak.
First off we need to talk about selecting the perfect ribeye. I’m looking for a steak that has plenty of marbling because that’s where the flavor is. Also I look for the spinalis or “cap” which is where the most tender meat is located. The perfect ribeye should have a large eye and plenty of cap meat for the judges to sample.
When it comes to trimming a ribeye, remove any silver skin or large fat deposits from the edges. Some steaks will have a lip attached on the end opposite the spinalis/cap. I remove this prior to cooking because it’s primarily fat and the appearance looks better (more uniform).
For seasoning I use 3 different rubs. The first is a generous layer of Killer Hogs AP Rub (salt, pepper, garlic). The AP needs to work on the steaks for 30 minutes prior to cooking. Place them in a pan and refrigerate or store in a cooler. Just before grilling, hit each steak with a layer of coarse ground Steak Rub followed by just a touch of my Hot Rub. This one has a little extra pepper which brings some heat and gives the steak color.
In SCA contest I cook on a classic PK grill. It’s the perfect grill for cooking steaks and when you add a set of GrillGrates, you can’t beat the appearance.
Start a chimney of charcoal 1 hour before the steaks go on grill. As soon as the coals ash over (about 30 minutes), add them to the PK and let the temp skyrocket to above 500⁰ at grate level. I like to give it another 30 minutes before I start to cook.
The turn in window last for 30 minutes in an SCA contest, so you have plenty of time to cook 2 ribeyes. Place each steak on the GrillGrate and cook for 2 minutes, give the steak a 90⁰ turn and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. This technique creates a perfect diamond pattern on the surface.
After a total of 4 minutes, flip the ribeyes over and set timer for 1 min 45 sec. Before closing the lid baste each one with melted butter seasoned with a touch of AP (I keep this warm in a small pot on top the grill).
At this point internal temperature is crucial because the steaks have to be cooked to a medium doneness (warm pink center). Use a thermapen and take them to 128-130⁰. When they hit this temp range remove each steak from the heat, brush on a little more melted butter, and let them rest for 5-7 minutes before placing in the turn-in box.
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hey welcome back to how to barbecue right I'm Malcolm Reed today I'm going to show you how I do a ribeye for a steak cook-off now you might have seen these SCA events popping up all over the place they started a few years ago and I fell in love with them they're fun because they're one-day events and all you need is a grill pop-up tent cooler full of cold beer you can go have a great time cooking an awesome steak now the way these things work you show up usually on the Saturday morning they have a cook's meeting that's where you select your two steaks and everybody gets a fair share getting two great-looking rib eyes then you have a couple hours to season them marinate them whatever you want to do to them and then a turn in window usually it's 30 minutes from 2:00 to 2:30 something like that and that's the time you put your steak in there's no garnish you're just turning in meat getting blind judge they have the results using about an hour so after turn-ins and then you go home and all that's in one day that's really what I love about them they're quick they're fun and who doesn't love cooking a good steak so today I'm going to show you how I cook a rib eye for one of these steak cook-off it's real easy if you got a grill you can follow along with me let's get the cooking so when you go to pick out your rib eyes for one of these steak cook-off they lay out all the steaks on a couple tables and everybody draws the number and lines up and you get to go through and pick them out one at a time now I want to show you what I'm looking for you see I've got a couple rib eyes here on my cutting board and what I want to see on the laid on the table is a good spinalis or this muscle that wraps around the front of the ribeye the cap that's where I want the judges to eat from and it has a lot of great flavor it's really tender meat has a lot of marbling in it and I don't care if it has a little fat in it that's okay with rib eyes are supposed to have some fat it's a ton of flavor in them now usually they trim them inch and a quarter or 16 to 18 ounces that's the ideal steak and we're supposed to cook these steaks to a medium doneness that means it still has a warm pink Center all the way through we'll get more into what it's supposed to look like later but I want to show you how I trim them I've already got my steak selected I get them back to my cooks site what I want to do is it has a tail on it or any of this excess fat I want to trim that off I'm just shaping the steaks up so I use a sharp knife and I just ground it out I want to keep the integrity of the state I don't to take too much of it off but if there's anything hanging like this side right here I'll go ahead and clean that up too I don't want it to give the judge any off appearance because we're judged on how these states look as well as how they taste them the doneness of them now you can see on this state it has a little bit of extra skin on the outside and usually I'll go in and I'll just take the edge of my knife and carefully remove that fat too I don't want to judge getting the bite of fat on there this exposes that spinalis a little more and I didn't take off too much of it I still want a good part of meat there I'm going to do the same thing on this side I'm just going to round out this tail of this ribeye you can also save this fat it's great for seasoning your grill once you get it fired up you can throw it on there and get your great good and seasoned up with some beef fat and I'm just doing the same thing I'm carefully going down taking off a little bit of that silver skin that excess fat there on the side just shaping it up cleaning that steak up so now we have the ribeye it's trimmed it's time to get our seasons on them I know there's a million recipes for cooking steaks everybody's got their own favorite way I'm going to show you how I do it for a contest and I start with a good dose of salt pepper and garlic use my AP seasoning we're putting a good layer on both sides and I like the salt and pepper and garlic to sit for at least 30 minutes before I do anything else to these steaks just drop them in a pan put them in the ice chest a little stay good and cool let that salt let that guard it that pepper work on this meat let those flavors get down in it and while these rib eyes are rested I'm going to go ahead and fire up my grill show you what we're going to cook them on today now in an sta event you can cook on any fire or heat source you want I bring one of these classic PK grills to me to every cook-off these things are steak cooking machines they're easy to operate and are easy to transport I just start a whole chimney full of charcoal a couple of whacks starter cubes let those coals get good and hot and then spread them out in the bottom of this PK I had about another half Jim you have unlit on top and that lets those temperatures climb upwards of 500 degrees want to put a couple chunks of cherry wood right in there on the hot coals and get the grate back in place and I also have a set of grill grates on top these things are a must you're cooking SCA events and puts those beautiful grill marks on it that you want to see and helps those appearance scores and hey leave those vents wide open on the PK we want all the air to flow through our grill so whatever grill you're cooking on you want to get those temps up over 500 and let some area in so it can breathe okay our steaks is set for about 30 minutes as you can see that ap really really starts to change them makes them a little bit darker and colors pulled out some moisture of them up Stevens working its way down into meat this is the time I'm going to get the rest of my seasoning on these steaks so I'm just starting with a little bit of my steak rub and this rub has a little bit more texture to it gives it a great flavor it kind of makes a little bit of a crust you never see that texture once it's cooked but it makes a great flavor on these steaks and I'm not going real heavy you just want to coat on both sides and the last season thing that I put on them a little bit of spicy barbecue rub this is my hot rub and we're not rubbing it like we would a slab of ribs or a pork but just putting a little color on the outside gives it a great flavor but and also you can see it gives that steak kind of a reddish tone I really like that appearance all right so our PKS getting good and hot and I'm just going to check the surface tip on it I want to see it over 500 degrees and check that out if you can read that we're about 5 20 right there getting a few different reasons but I know we're over 500 degrees if I can hold it still that means his coals are good and hot those grill grates are ready to sear these steaks and we're ready to cook these rib eyes so now our first steaks going on the grill I've just got a good clean grill grate got a little bit of light oil on it put the steak on at an angle mash it down so we can get a little some really good marks on it I'm going to follow the same thing with the souther State rib eyes down give it a little mash now get our timer set then we're going to close the lid all right we've had our first two minutes now it's time to give these steaks a twist and that's really going to give them a great grill Martin do the same thing rotate to the other side of the grill give them a little mash get it closed so the base these stakes once we flip them over I used to use salted butter I've got one stick in here that I'm melting this little cast-iron pot and I seasoned it with about a teaspoon of AP just kind of eyeball it so give that butter a little flavor but it's going to be a really great addition to the top of our ribeye it's been a total of four minutes and we should have our grill marks right now for these steaks this is the fast cook we're going to get them flipped over see what we did oh yeah perfect grill marks there we go to perfect grill marks this is where I want to baste them with a little bit of butter we're setting our timer about a minute and a half on this go around with the lid closed so after about a minute and a half I want to start watching these internal temperatures you see I've got my thermal pin here we're sitting at about 116 on this state 110 on this one still got a little ways to go but I'm going to go ahead and give them a twist after a minute and a half this has been a perfect time to get one last base 10 and we're not worried about time on this last turn this is where we're going to internal temperature I'm looking at 128 130 degrees that's it I'm going to take them off and rest them so I'm going to watch these real close with my thermal pen the only way we can get them just right all right we hit temp on this first steak is running about 128 and that's where I want to get it off the grill it's going to carry over another 5 degrees we want it to just sit and rest for about 10 minutes the baste it was just another little bit of butter so our last steaks right there 1:29 so right where I want to get it off perfect right before it gets to 130 what I like to do is one last little base to butter when they come on short rest these steaks will be ready to turn in so once these steaks have rested for about seven minutes we got to make the decision on which one we're turning in I usually just go for the one that I think that looks best these both hit perfect temperature so either one of them should be right there on doneness so everybody gets one of these to-go boxes to turn their steak in it'll have a little full disk in the bottom of it so you can put a hot steak in there and not worry about melting the Box know garnish no anything in the box just a steak so I'm going to pick one of these right here this is going to be my go-to ribeye I'm going to lay it right in the box and I'd like to do it kind of at an angle where the judges can see it's presented real nice you can see the grill marks we'd close the lid off it would go to the turn in now the steak that's left over that's the one everybody likes so that's when we all get to try and at these contests man you've got people cutting up the steaks bringing you bites you're running them bites that's what's great about it's a lot of camaraderie everybody's having a good time and everybody wants to cook the winning steak so let's cut into this one and see what it looks like so I'm just going to cut it in half first so I can see what the doneness looks like so check the doneness out on the steak I mean that's perfect we've got that perfect medium it's pink through and through kind of warm Center that's what you want from medium and now we've got to cut it up so we can try and that's what the judges would do they would they would get it in to go box so cut them some bike to the cut table bring it over to them let them judge the appearance of it see the grill marks see the doneness and then they're going to come in there and I wanted to get a bite of that spinalis so that's perfectly medium all the way through that's what I want to try textbook ribeye it's got its saltiness you can get the pepper in the garlic butter over the top gives it a real richness perfect flavors but you taste the beef and that's what I want the judges to taste of this contest I'm not trying to get outside the box I want to give them just a great tasting ribeye and hey let them decide if they like it or not so we have no control of that now you got to check out these SCA contest go to their website find one close to you you can go get certified to judge but you got to get out there and cook there are a lot of fun hey thanks for checking us out today here at how to barbecue right you like what we're doing subscribe to our Channel it will let you know we're putting out new stuff you can also send those comments and questions to our Facebook and Twitter pages we love those we try to answer them all we'll see you guys next time I turn that end with you you