BWCA Steak in a pan? Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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      Steak in a pan?     

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MikeinMpls
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06/02/2022 11:02AM  
I'm doing a solo in July. I've never brought in steak for the first night meal but I'm considering doing it on this trip.

My plan is to buy a steak at Zup's, have them freeze it for me and pick it up early the next morning before I hit the entry point.

My question is this: I'm not a fire guy. I'm not good at making fires. I will attempt to make a fire to cook a steak but if it's raining or wood is scarce or some other unforeseen reason, I'd like another option. Has anyone cooked a steak in a frying pan? I have a brand-new very high quality Sea-to-Summit frying pan that would hold a steak nicely. Has anyone ever done this? I assume one just cooks the steak slowly in the pan, maybe in some butter and my preferred seasonings.

I have considered cutting the steak into cubes in cooking and it in the pan. I guess that is an option.

Thoughts on this?

Mike
 
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06/02/2022 11:35AM  
Great steak restaurants everywhere cook their steaks in a pan, though some also finish thicker cuts in the oven. You will find a lot of videos like this one out there. Often they use cast iron to hold the heat better, but Gordon doesn’t seem to.

Cubing it can make it easier to cook, but it means more sides to sear it’s means more of the meat will be medium well to well done. I did cube a tenderloin once when it was raining and I decided to do on the stove, and it was too well done for my medium rare tastes.
 
Banksiana
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06/02/2022 11:40AM  
Best to go for very hot sear on both sides (to create caramelized goodness), reduce temperature to bring to preferred level of doneness.

Clairified butter is ideal for this- best flavor sear is right at the smoke point of the oil. Heat pan before adding fat or steak. Salt and pepper steak before searing.
 
06/02/2022 12:27PM  
Banksiana: "Best to go for very hot sear on both sides (to create caramelized goodness), reduce temperature to bring to preferred level of doneness.


Clairified butter is ideal for this- best flavor sear is right at the smoke point of the oil. Heat pan before adding fat or steak. Salt and pepper steak before searing."

Clarified butter would be great - higher smoke point than olive oil or butter and great flavor. Save any excess you have after the steak, then make popcorn and use up that meaty buttery goodness.
 
LoopyLoons
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06/04/2022 02:22PM  
Steak is my go to for the first day. In my opinion cooking steak in a pan is the best way to cook it. Cover your steak with salt and pepper. Get your pan to a very high temp and cook a couple minutes a side basting with butter. I tend to eat my steaks a bit on the rare side if you would like to bring it up to medium rare reduce the heat after the sear and cook a little longer.

I bring a smaller cast iron pan with me this allows you to cook over a stove or using a fire. Good cast iron is worth its weight in gold when it comes to cooking both at home and in the back country.
 
schweady
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06/04/2022 07:29PM  
Ours are always wood fire pan seared/fried. Nice and hot allows a surface crustiness without destroying the pink/red center. I've never trusted what's been left behind on the fire grate.
 
Northwoodsman
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06/05/2022 10:41AM  
If you get the pan hot using a dry heat method, which is what you would be doing if your not using a liquid, be careful of warping. Would hate to see you ruin a new pan. If you are like me and if you purchased the pan with portaging or hiking in mind it's ultralight and ultra thin. A high temp is desired to sear and brown the steak to develop the flavors (Maillard effect). A little butter would certainly help. I eat steak at home once or twice a week so it's not my first choice for canoe camping - you need utensils and a plate and it takes a balancing act in your lap. I'm more of a bratwurst on a bun with a paper towel person, no cleanup. You could always do kabobs.
 
06/05/2022 12:36PM  
Banksiana: "Best to go for very hot sear on both sides (to create caramelized goodness), reduce temperature to bring to preferred level of doneness.


Clairified butter is ideal for this- best flavor sear is right at the smoke point of the oil. Heat pan before adding fat or steak. Salt and pepper steak before searing."


Yep, hot, hot, ho, sear and reduce heat to finish, never cover, remove from heat still a little rare and let the pan and steaks own heat to finish. Or remove steak, wrap in foil and cook re-hydrated hash browns in steakey oil.
Hint to clarify butter : melt butter completely and refrigerate, the milk solids will stay liquid and the butter fat will solidify on top.
Where are you headed in July? End of August for me so your campsite of choice should be safe (or will it!?)

Good Luck, Merlyn
 
MikeinMpls
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06/06/2022 01:16PM  
merlyn: "Banksiana: "Best to go for very hot sear on both sides (to create caramelized goodness), reduce temperature to bring to preferred level of doneness.



Clairified butter is ideal for this- best flavor sear is right at the smoke point of the oil. Heat pan before adding fat or steak. Salt and pepper steak before searing."



Yep, hot, hot, ho, sear and reduce heat to finish, never cover, remove from heat still a little rare and let the pan and steaks own heat to finish. Or remove steak, wrap in foil and cook re-hydrated hash browns in steakey oil.
Hint to clarify butter : melt butter completely and refrigerate, the milk solids will stay liquid and the butter fat will solidify on top.
Where are you headed in July? End of August for me so your campsite of choice should be safe (or will it!?)


Good Luck, Merlyn"


Great advice, thank you. I'm gonna do steak.

I'm going in to Little Gabbro on July 11. Not sure if I'll go east into Gabbro, or North/Northwest into the river flowage.

Mike
 
MikeinMpls
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06/06/2022 01:17PM  
Thanks to everyone for the steak advice. I am definitely going to do it! I like Adobo (Goya brand) on my steak instead of salt and pepper, so I will bring a bit of that.

Mike
 
schweady
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06/06/2022 01:46PM  
MikeinMpls: "I'm going in to Little Gabbro on July 11. Not sure if I'll go east into Gabbro, or North/Northwest into the river flowage.


Mike"

Hey, that's the date/EP my wife and I go in. Headed to Gabbro for a 3 night base and fishing. Will be at VNO July 10. See you then?
 
Hammertime
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06/06/2022 02:48PM  
schweady: "MikeinMpls: "I'm going in to Little Gabbro on July 11. Not sure if I'll go east into Gabbro, or North/Northwest into the river flowage.



Mike"

Hey, that's the date/EP my wife and I go in. Headed to Gabbro for a 3 night base and fishing. Will be at VNO July 10. See you then?
"


Good luck with the steak, plenty of solid tips here. I have had steak up there using most of the methods described and my experience has been that it’s hard to screw up a good cut of meat in the woods.

PS - We’re also staying at VNO 7/13 and heading in Thursday morning to basecamp and fish Gabbro also.

Mid July Bwca.com party on gabbro!
 
06/13/2022 10:17AM  
Another option-one I first employed during a torrential downpour-is to thinly slice the steak and stir fry it. The key, again, is a hot pan. The first time it went so well that this dish became a regular first night meal for my daughter and me. Brought along onion, red pepper and garlic and some sort of seasoning (it has been years) and it was really good.
 
Chicagored
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06/19/2022 05:58AM  
I agree with most everything said above. I usually bring a 1 inch thick steak and flip it every 45 seconds to a minute. I also like to bring an instant read themometer. I look for 120 to 125 degrees on the interior, depending on how rare you want it. Once you remove the steak from the pan, let it rest a few minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise a few degrees.
 
06/19/2022 12:52PM  
Nothing beats a great steak off the grill.
 
06/23/2022 07:27AM  

Thin sliced steaks cook up well on a camp stove.
5 minutes tops
 
schweady
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06/24/2022 12:51PM  
Chicagored: "I ... flip it every 45 seconds to a minute... "
Better to do ~5 min per side, flipping it just that once. Retains a lot more juicy flavor. Agree with the resting time, tho.
 
MikeinMpls
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07/20/2022 03:17PM  
So, here's my report on my steak in a pan:

I purchased a very nice ribeye at Von Hanson's. Froze it overnight at home, brought it to Ely in a cooler, and put it in the freezer at the Paddle Inn. When it was time to cook, I seasoned the meat with some Adobo then, on the advice of my butcher, I seared the steak in avocado oil for a few minutes per side. Apparently avocado oil has a high burn temperature. After searing, I turned down the heat and continued cooking the steak basting it with butter. In the end, it turned out perfectly. I found the meat to be "heavier" basted in oil and butter which I normally don't do it home. So it had a different flavor in that regard, but was delicious nonetheless.

Thanks to everyone for their assistance in this new (to me) BWCA food endeavor.

Mike
 
07/20/2022 08:04PM  
MikeinMpls: "So, here's my report on my steak in a pan:


I purchased a very nice ribeye at Von Hanson's. Froze it overnight at home, brought it to Ely in a cooler, and put it in the freezer at the Paddle Inn. When it was time to cook, I seasoned the meat with some Adobo then, on the advice of my butcher, I seared the steak in avocado oil for a few minutes per side. Apparently avocado oil has a high burn temperature. After searing, I turned down the heat and continued cooking the steak basting it with butter. In the end, it turned out perfectly. I found the meat to be "heavier" basted in oil and butter which I normally don't do it home. So it had a different flavor in that regard, but was delicious nonetheless.


Thanks to everyone for their assistance in this new (to me) BWCA food endeavor.


Mike
"


Sounds delicious! Glad it turned out well for you and thanks for the tip on avocado oil/butter combo. I'll have to give that a try!
 
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