Radiant heat vs. contact heat
One thing is true for all methods of preparing a really delicious steaks: Beef steaks require high temperatures to fully develop their unique, nutty aroma. At high heat, the outermost layer of meat forms a flavorful crust, which on the one hand provides the meaty taste and on the other hand causes less meat juice and fat to escape during the further cooking process.
An uncoated pan reaches maximum temperatures of up to 500–600°F on the stove. If you place a cold steak in the preheated pan, it will have a slight roasted flavor on the outside, but will remain cold in the core. This means that comparatively little heat energy is transferred from the pan to the meat via direct contact (contact heat).
Important: If you cook your steak in a pan, use either clarified butter, rendered beef fat or other highly heatable oils (e.g. rapeseed oil). Oils such as olive oil or grape seed oil are not suitable, as they burn at around 374–405°F and cause a bitter taste.
Even radiant heat
Our top heat grill, The Otto Grill, reaches a peak temperature of an impressive 1500°F. Unlike the pan (contact heat), top heat is radiant heat. This penetrates deeper into the meat, causing the core temperature to rise faster. Your steak will reach the desired core temperature faster on the top heat grill, in contrast to the pan. Since air is a much weaker heat transfer medium than fat, the temperature must be much higher when cooking on the grill than in the pan. Due to the shorter cooking time, more flavorful fat and important meat juices remain in your steak. From the inside, your steak remains very juicy and tender, while it is coated with an even crust on the outside. By the way, salt also has an influence on the cooking time of your meat. You can find everything about salting here. Important: Take the grill grate out of The Otto Grill during preheating. Then place the steak on the cold grate for grilling, so that the heat comes only from above and your steak does not cook due to a hot grill grate.
Grill your steak from both sides at high heat (large flame) Meat-O-Meter level 1 or 2 (depending on the thickness of the steak) until it has the desired browning. Then reduce the heat (small flame) and lower the grill grate. Our tip: To get the core temperature right, use a meat thermometer from now on.
Once you have reached the desired core temperature, it's timeout! Let your steak rest. It is widely believed that the purpose of resting is to allow the meat juices to redistribute throughout the meat. However, this is not entirely accurate, as the liquid in the meat diffuses too slowly for it to make a noticeable difference. Rather, the resting process causes dissolved proteins to condense, making the meat juices thicker. When the steak is carved, it doesn't ooze out as quickly, but instead glues into the steak, making it taste juicier. Do not cover the steak while it is resting so that the resulting steam does not soften the crispy crust.