The method of cooking recommended for the Cinder Grill is a modification of the “Reverse Sear”. This method brings the meat to temperature first, then quickly sears the outside for an evenly cooked result, inside and out. It’s also a quick and easy way to prepare any cut of meat, especially compared to the ‘direct sear’ method. The perfect sous vide steak uses the reverse sear method, and the Cinder Grill makes it easy and foolproof.
Dispelling a Myth
A common cooking myth is that searing food ‘seals in moisture’. This isn’t true. In fact, searing meat before cooking it can result in greater moisture loss for several reasons. One is that it takes longer to sear the surface of a cold piece of meat. That's because the chilly interior pulls heat away. This keeps the surface in contact with high heat for longer. Therefore that high heat has more time to drive moisture from the outer layers of the meat. In fact, this longer exposure can lead to overcooking (we’ll go into more detail on that in a moment). Also, after uncooked meat is seared, the cooking process gives that seared surface time to absorb moisture from the meat’s interior. This can turn the surface soggy and leathery and dilute its savory impact.
The Dreaded Gray Ring
As mentioned above, searing meat before cooking can lead to overheating the surface, resulting in the ‘gray ring’ of overcooked meat that often surrounds the beautiful rosy center of a direct-seared steak. Reverse searing avoids this pitfall in two main ways. The first is that the even temperature rise produced by gentle sous vide heating eliminates overcooked or undercooked regions. This means the entire steak is rosy and perfect the entire way through. The second is that warm meat takes less time to sear, resulting in a rich brown crust before the interior can absorb additional heat and thus overcook. As a bonus, achieving an even sear on warm meat is easy and beautiful.
The Importance of Timing
Reverse searing is also more flexible, allowing you more leeway to serve the entire meal at the same time. Once the meat comes to temperature it can wait at that temperature as other dishes are completed. Once you and the other dishes are ready you can quickly sear and serve the meat. The Cinder Grill is especially good at this. It was designed to hold the food safely at its target temperature for up to four hours.
Reverse searing is the best way to prepare your sous vide food, and is easier as well. The Cinder Grill improves on perfection with its single-degree precision, and is the best way to reverse sear.