Saturday, April 9, 2016

Chipotle Butter Rib Eye Steaks

What a let down. A month ago, Weber announced that they were coming out with their new "Summit Charcoal Grill". If you know Weber,  the Summit brand represents their top-of-the-line gas grills. They are built like Sherman tanks and are objects of envy and desire. So when I saw Summit and Charcoal used in the same brand name, I envisioned a gas/wood/charcoal grill to compete with the holy grail of backyard cooking, the Kalamazoo Grill.

Kalamazoo Grill

If you have Lamborghini money sitting idle in your bank account, you can buy what I consider to be the best grill on earth. The Kalamazoo Grill is a stainless steel piece of art that lets you cook with gas or wood or charcoal or all three at once. So I assumed that Weber was going to be reaching for the stars and come out with a competitor for those of us with idle Hyundai money sitting in our bank account. Well, it turns out they didn't reach for the stars. Instead, they laid an egg.

Weber Summit Charcoal Grill

A black egg, so to speak. A metal version of the Green Egg. The Green Egg is a ceramic kamado grill. If you only have room for one outdoor cooking appliance, the Green Egg is an excellent choice as it can be used as both a smoker and a grill. And now Weber has an all-metal version that can be used as a smoker and a grill. But if you are really into grilling AND smoking, I'm of the belief that your tools should be purpose-built.

The Green Egg

When you have a device that performs two functions, there has to be compromise. To me, The Green Egg/Summit Charcoal grills are analogous to all-season tires. They'll get you through all four seasons in Minnesota, but not as well as something that is purpose-built. Snow tires are made with very soft rubber that stay pliable at temperatures well below freezing. They also have hundreds of sipes that are capable of gripping in snowy and icy conditions. But if you use those snow tires in 80ยบ temperatures, they will disintegrate right before your eyes. But in winter, they are far superior to all-season tires.

Again, if you can only have one, The Green Egg and Weber Summit Charcoal grills are very good choices.  But I believe in having the best tool for the job, which is why I have a dedicated smoker and a dedicated grill. And there is no economic argument to be made for just having the Summit Charcoal Grill. As pictured, that Weber Summit Charcoal Grill retails for $2,300. I have an electric Cookshack Smoker (thanks Jeff!) that cost $899 and a Weber Performer charcoal grill (thanks Becky!) that cost $399. So I'm all in with dedicated, purpose-built tools at $1,298...quite a bit less than the compromised Summit Charcoal Grill.

If you like the flavor of smoke in your grilled food, you are going to love the Jamie Perviance recipe I have for your today. The combination of really unique rub ingredients and chipotle butter with the grilled rib eyes is an absolute feast. This recipe serves four.


For the Butter
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Rub
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon packed brown sugar

4 rib eye steaks, each about 10 ounces and 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
Extra-virgin olive oil

  1. In a medium bowl mix the butter ingredients until evenly incorporated.
  2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
  3. In a small bowl combine the rub ingredients. Lightly brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season evenly with the rub, gently pressing the rub into the meat. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the steaks over direct high heat with the lid closed . For medium rare, cook for 4 minutes on side 1 and 4 minutes on side 2. Remove from the grill and smear the butter on top. Tent steaks with foil and let them, rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

Wine pairing: Malbec

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