Friday, January 15, 2010

Sans Hood

Finally, I was brave enough to get the perfect sear on our ribeye steaks. I heated my cast iron skillet until it was smoking hot, brushed the bottom with a sliver of butter, and slipped in our grassfed friends.
In two seconds the whole house looked like a Halloween haunted house--fog machines in full effect. And not one smoke alarm went off. Nice.
I opened all the windows. When I flipped the switch for the useless, loud kitchen fan, I thought to myself, "When I grow up I'm getting a hood in my kitchen."
I swatted away the smoke so I could actually see the steaks as I flipped them after two minutes. After another two minutes I popped them in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes. They were restaurant quality, but it took me two hours to air out the house.
I was proud of the side too: potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, and turnip dressed with olive oil, basil, orgeano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. I baked them for 25 minutes. They were amazing.
For a weeknight meal, I was really proud of myself. But now I'm obsessing over hoods. I thought I had expensive taste, but this is ridiculous. I'm learning quickly if I ever build a kitchen it will cost more than the actual house...


  1. I'm wondering if the smoke problem was related to the butter since butter has such a low smoke point. Maybe you could get a sear without so much smoke if you used vegetable oil (not olive, which also has a low smoke point). Perhaps even clarified butter (ghee) would work. Because ghee has the milk solids removed from it, it has a very high smoke point. But you'd still get all that rich buttery flavor.

    The steak looks amazing!

  2. J. says that you should get a good oven fan, and that no matter what, cooking with cast iron is gonna do this. There is nothing better than cast iron for steaks! Yum.

  3. Thanks for the comments, ladies! Definitely when we buy, K, I'm getting a good oven fan. I've tried it with vegetable oil too, Sarah, and still the smoke. I'm thinking, like K. and J. said, that's just what cast iron does. But I'm going to give ghee a try.