There is an old wives tale that you need to sear a steak to keep the moisture in. Either you shouldn’t listen to old wives (She Who Must Be Obeyed would argue against this) or someone has misquoted them.
It has been categorically proven that searing the meat does not make it any moister. It does add a char that is flavourful though. I decided to try cooking a steak over high heat in my Mini WSM smoker. It should cook it well but there would be little direct heat and it shouldn’t sear too much.
I started by putting some steak spice on some quite thick tri-tip steaks. Then I brushed them with a sweet barbecue sauce. My thought was that the sugar in the barbecue sauce would caramelize and give some colour.
Then I put a full chimney of lump charcoal in the smoker with no deflector in it (there was nothing between the coals and the cooking rack). I ran the smoker with the vents wide open until the temperature was 400 F. I put the steaks on for about 10 minutes a side and cooked them to an internal temperature of 140 F (as rare as She Must Be Obeyed allows).
The beef was served with the missus’ potato salad and coleslaw.
The sauce and high heat did allow for some grill marks. The meat was medium rare throughout and incredibly tender and moist. I did miss the heavy char but I loved the texture and taste of the meat. I wouldn’t want my steak like this all the time but I will cook it like this from time to time for a change. I suggest you give it a try!
The Old Fat Guy