Wednesday, April 28, 2010

T Rex Pork Chops on Cast Iron

It had been a while since I used my cast iron grate.  In fact, I'd been in a bit of a rut with doing "low and slow."  I had the urge to sear something. 

Not pictured is the floor fan stuck on high blowing up the skirt of my Big Green Egg.  What I hope you can see below is that we were zipping along at about 700f.  That seemed to be about as high as I can get it.  Anybody get your Egg hotter?  Got any tips?
The stinker here is that I guess I got it going too hot too fast and my grate got a crack in it right at the edge.  Rats.  I thought I was bringing it to temp slowly in a way that the cast iron could handle, but alack.  So make sure you don't heat your cast iron too quickly kids.
I cooked these salt-and-pepper-crusted pork chops using the T Rex method.The idea is to sear the meat on each side for 60-90 seconds and then take them back inside to "rest" for 20 minutes.  During this time I put the cap back on the Egg and shut the bottom vent. 

After 20 minutes the dome temp should have dropped to around 400f.  Then you get the chops back on the Egg for about 6 minutes each side.  Using my trusty Thermapen I pulled them off at around 135f on the inside.  Meanwhile I had put some onion halves and apple halves on the grate to cook up as sides.  The apples were an awesome compliment to the pork.  The onions might have been had I started them earlier.  They were still pretty crunchy and pungent on the plate.  But the chops?  Dear me.  They were really good.

On a side note, I had a brush with blogging fame last night.  Kath of the award-winning Kath Eats Real Food was at a Davidson College alumni event that Heather and I attended last night.  Kath and I got to talking food and blogging. I learned a great deal in a very short time.  She was kind enough to mention me on her blog last night, so I want to thank her for the shout out and the wisdom.  Check out her excellent food journey.


  1. That pork chop looks great. Just a quick question. Hos does the Red Oval Classic taste? Does it go well with Green Egg and pork chops?

    We used to have a cheap beer swill called Lucky lager. It may have been 2.99 twenty years ago. Puzzles in the cap.

  2. Ouch, bummer! But a crack at the edge isn't the end of the world. Did you put the cast iron grate on as soon as you lit the fire?

    As far as temps over 600, to be honest, I don't use them. I sear my steaks at about 550f or so.

    When my Egg is completely cleaned and a fresh load of lump, I could hit about 700+ but really didn't use it at that temp. Once or twice when I first had mine, I forgot to shut the vents and accidentally "pegged" the thermometer back around to 100f. Not sure how hot that was but it got my dome nice and clean ;)

  3. Chilebrown: I told a friend that the Red Oval almost tasted like they had added a beer-flavored extract to the brew to make it a little more flavorful. I don't know if that makes sense, but it seemed like they were trying, but didn't quite hit the mark. This may answer your question best: I have not bought any more to replenish the initial stash (of which there remains one last beer). Thanks for checking out my site.

    Chris: I did put the grate on as soon as I lit the fire. I also stuck a fan against the bottom vent which got things hot quickly. Too quickly it seems. You get a good sear at 550f?

  4. its not the temp of the fire, its a design flaw in the grate. the inner grates expand more than the outer ring can handle. Almost everyones cracks eventually if you use the t rex method. It shouldnt crack again once the grate has self corrected with an expansion crack. mine cracked almost instantly and its been a few years with many many t rex cooks and no more cracks!