Board index Barbecue Board General Discussion my ribeye disaster! (picture included) - need advice!

my ribeye disaster! (picture included) - need advice!

This is the place to ask your BBQ questions, share information, and more.
olliejen raw

Posts: 7
Location: Issaquah, WA

Hi all,

As if she didn't already have enough reasons, gave the Mrs. one more reason to laugh at me:

please help me w/ the post mortem...!

I set up the 3 grill zone, and the hot zone was WAY hot.

I think where I messed up; I brushed the steak w/ olive oil. Don't ask me why...i wasn't thinking completely and figured "this'll help me get it off the grate.."

From the moment I put the steaks on, huge flames were all over the steaks.

I tried to move them, but pretty much anywhere I put'em they were very flame-engulfed.

1. are flames normal?
2. are the flames likely caused by that olive oil coat i brushed on'em?


Post Mon May 31, 2004 2:35 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3209
Location: Atlanta-GA
I always brush my steaks with olive oil prior to putting them on the grill. I’ve never had them catch on fire though. You may have used too much oil, which probably dripped down on the coals and caused the flare up. It also sounds like you did not give the coals a chance to die down a little. If you put the meat over the coals when they’re still blazing, you will have this problem. You must wait until the coals are covered with light coat of ash, they’ll have white to grayish color on them. Keep on experimenting, I’m sure they’ll turn out perfect next time.

Post Mon May 31, 2004 6:52 am
DarkRubiTJ medium-well

Posts: 221
Location: Livingston, TX.
As my Lady said " Those look well carbonized". I assume that we are talking about a charcoal grill. A couple of things to remember about olive oil, 1-olive oil has one of the lowest flash points of any oil that you can use, 2-used before cooking most of the flavorizing capabilities are going up in smoke. As a release agent there are several other oils that are more effective with higher flash points. I use canola oil, it has little flavor and has a much higher flash point. I oil the grates just before cooking using a brush made from "Tampico" fibers. Tampico fibers are heat resistent and won't burn up brushing a hot grill. The brushs I use are made by "Ekco" and cost a couple of bucks, available in the housewares dept. at your local super market or at Wally World. The only thing I use on a steak is freshly ground black pepper, Tellecherry if I want to make an impression, and a sprinkle of kosher salt. I've always found that for the best flavorizing, a drizzle of olive oil as the steak is resting, allows the oil to infuse into the steak and "get aquainted" with the natural juices of the meat. After that a dusting of pepper and salt and it's ready to serve.
Weber "Q", Weber Performer, Weber 22.5" Bar-B-Kettle

Post Mon May 31, 2004 8:08 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3209
Location: Atlanta-GA
I do not think that the “the flash point” or the burning point is the issue here. The burning point is when oil starts to smoke and discolor the food, not catch on fire. Under the right conditions any oil will catch on fire (no matter what the burning point is). I still think it’s all bout heat control and drippings that cause flare up.

Post Mon May 31, 2004 11:25 am
AndyC medium-rare

Posts: 87
Location: Oshkosh, WI

I normally "Marinate" my steaks (and every thing else) in olive oil and don't have these problems. When grilling, I don't think we really need to worry about the smoke point of oil since we are not cooking in it, like frying or sauteing.

Your coals should not have flames on them when you put your steak on the grate, Just let the coals sit a while so they can die down some and really get the grate hot. When you put your steaks on they should not be dripping with oil or you will get flare ups. I your steaks do get engulfed with flames move them to a cool spot on the gril or take them of and wait a while.
My BBQ/Grilling log -

Post Mon May 31, 2004 11:51 am
hotchef well done
well done

Posts: 319
Location: Florence, AL
You did not tell us how the inside looked. Was it the doneness that you wanted? Sometimes even if the outside is burned, if the inside is to your liking you can "remoisturize" the burned outside with oil of some kind (compound butter, olive oil, etc.). With these steaks however, it looks like they might have been burned too heavily.

The easiest way I have found to kill the fire is to just put the lid on the grill and rob it of the oxygen it needs to flare. If it continues to flame up (I have seen the flames shooting up through the vents in my Weber) close the top and bottom vents for 15-20 seconds and then reopen them. I don't have much experience with the three zone fire, so thats the way I always do it. Did you "measure" the temp of the fire by holding your hand 6 inches above the grate before you put them on?

Flames are to be expected when you are cooking anything with grease in it, and most things you grill you want to have some grease in it to keep it from drying out. The big thing is to just react quick enough with moving it to a cooker spot or putting the lid on to save the food. I have produced MANY steaks and burgers that look like that. You live and you learn, but it's all really fun.

Post Mon May 31, 2004 11:57 am
Big D well done
well done

Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Well I like to oil the grates not the meat and let it dripp off for a min to ensure that the oil is not dripping off the meat and causign flareups.. secondly I like think you just need to let the coals die down a bit as previously mentioned and finally cok fast.. I like to throw my steaks on an intense heat and sear them good... this doesnt take long, then throw them over to the 'dead zone' with no heat to let them cook through from the heat and not the fire... or for me I just eat it after being on the intense heat for 15-30 secs per side so its anice grey colour on the outside and still blue in the center

blue rare baby,,, its the next best thing to eattin it raw!

like he said.. just experiment a bit, get a feel for your grill and dont give up... and remember its like sex, your there for you! dont be worried about others critizing your work, just enjoy it and if they like it its an added bonus ;)

p.s. I hope my grilfriend doesnt read this, and no offence anyone

Post Mon May 31, 2004 12:17 pm
olliejen raw

Posts: 7
Location: Issaquah, WA

thanks for all your insights! as BBQ-Z rightly guessed, i didn't wait for the flames to die down at all. Next time, I will. I went straight from the chimmney starter, put the grate on, and threw the steaks on right after that. probably should've let things calm down a little!

Also, I will try oiling the grates (w/ an onion!) instead of the steak themselves. Since, seemed like the steaks dripped plenty well on their own. thank you all again! i've learned so much from y'all already!

Post Mon May 31, 2004 9:07 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Ollie a little oil on the steaks is all right. I cooked 9 T-bones and 2 large sirloins today I dusted them with a little S&P and brushed them lightly with olive oil. I would look to the coals to solve this issue. Maybe use a little less charcoal and let them ash over as suggested earlier. Don't sweat it this time. She'll stop laughing when those babies come off the grill and they're cooked to perfection. :wink:

Return to General Discussion