This past weekend, we saw Chrisopher Kimball on America's Test Kitchen extoll the virtues of prepping a steak in the oven prior to hitting the grill or pan to finish. 250 - 275 degrees for 20 minutes, seasoned with salt and pepper came the advice. After that, 2 -3 minutes per side to medium rare goodness. Kimball showed steaks that came directly from pan to plate and (the admittedly thin) layer of more cooked meat that encased the steak. The oven-prepped steak had more uniform color and texture and, frankly, looked compelling.
Since we consume only a steak per family, we didn't conduct our own side-by-side comparison but we did cook a ribeye to America's Test Kitchen specs. The result, in our humble opinion, was good but not appreciably better than our traditional method: onto the coals or into the pan, straightaway. The interior of the steak was uniformily pink and juicy. We're just not sure it delivered anything superior to the way we usually cook steak. And it took significantly longer.
It's worth disclosing that we cooked a bone-in, organic ribeye steak weighing about a pound.
Don't get me wrong, the steak was good. Very good, indeed. It just wasn't better than we've been muddling through on our own. And it took longer.
Honestly, I don't think it was us/the meat/the grill. I'm not sure this technique overdelivers a superior tasting steak for the time required. America's Test Kitchen's won't agree but that's the Delman household verdict.
At least we tried.