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Barbecue'n On The Internet
The Smoke 'N Fire Enquirer
June 12, 2008

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Fathers help mold our future.

Hi %CUST_1%. By now, you should be aware, Sunday June 15th, is FATHER'S DAY.  If you're a dad, how are you going to be enjoying your day?

It's not easy being a caring and giving dad in today's crazy, hectic world.  It seems everything is moving so quickly and our time is so valuable it is hard to slow down long enough and be the dad we want to be to our children.  However, 'at the end of the day', it is well worth the time and effort it takes to help our children to become the best that they can become. You can see it in their eyes.

If you're not a dad, but will be celebrating another dad, how will you be honoring him?

On this Father's Day, invite friends and family over for a great meal from your pit. Wafting smoke, laughter and great food and drink will make this Father's Day one of the best!  Regardless, try to relax and have some fun!    .....   Promise?


Let's Talk Filet Mignon Steaks

Filet Mignons!Father's day is a traditional time to cook outdoors because all dads love barbecue! Regardless of using a propane or charcoal grill, all will be having fun by the pit.  Many will choose to cook all day enjoying family for the celebration, others may just want a premium steak.  After all, a beautiful steak, when cooked to perfection, is a glorious thing to behold on the grill.

The filet mignon is unsurpassed for tenderness.  It is also called tenderloin steaks, filet steaks, tenderloins or Chateaubriand (if from the middle of the tenderloin with the largest diameter) depending upon your part of the country and to whom you may be talking.

To begin with, let's discuss the quality of the meat.  Do your homework and find a butcher that offers or will order you Prime Beef.  If you can get it aged also, then that is a bonus. You may have to beg him to cooperate. 

The whole tenderloin, about 18 inches long, will weigh somewhere between 4 and 6 pounds.  To render a whole tenderloin into steaks, cut the tenderloin perpendicular to the length making each steak 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch in thickness.  We prefer the thicker cuts as it's easier to grill them medium to medium rare. 

To Wrap .. or .. Not to Wrap?

What we are talking about is whether or not one should wrap the outside edge of the filet with uncooked bacon holding it in place with either butcher's string, toothpicks or metal pins. The objective for using the bacon would be to add some additional flavor and help keep the meat moist. 

Filet MignonIf you are going to cook your filet to the medium-well or well-done status, then the bacon might very well help keep some of the moisture in the meat. We have found however, while the bacon is tasty as well as showy, it also tends to drip a lot of grease on the fire resulting in little simi-uncontrollable flare-ups. Our preferred method would be to cook the meat [without bacon] to medium-rare over high heat giving the outside a nice 'char' while the inside stays both tender, moist and very flavorful.  NOTE: if you are avoiding fat, this is a very tender and lean piece of meat.

Marinate or Rub?

This is an age-old discussion.  There are those who marinate and those that "rub". We will not attempt to persuade you in one direction over the other since everyone has separate taste buds. Our personal preference is for the rub with more spices placed directly on the meat.

Ok, you now have your premium aged prime filet, seasoned to perfection using your preferred method...let's head for the grill.

First, get your heat up.  Five hundred to seven hundred degrees is preferred.  If you can't get your hands close to the heat, then your temperature is probably there.  With the grill grates hot, placed the steaks directly over the hottest spot and let them sizzle on the grill watching them closely because of the high heat.

One turn or more?

Once you have placed the steak on the hot grates, let it sit quietly while the outside begins to sear and get those great grill marks.  Some enthusiasts say you should only turn the steak once.  Half done on one side and half on the other side.  If you can do that and still have the steak done to your preferred doneness - and degrees of doneness are less than 10 degrees apart - then you are a truly supreme griller.

We find that if you let the steak sit on the hot grates and do not turn until the steak "releases" from the grates, turning more frequently is the preferred method.  In this manner you don't overcook one side and ruin your steak from the 'get-go'.

Turning frequently AFTER you have your char and the steak has released from the cooking grates will allow more evenly cooking and reach the desired doneness every time.

Implements for turning the steak?

Filet MignonFork, tongs, spatula, hooks or hands.  Ok, hands are out, but one should not use any turning utensil that gouges the meat allowing the wonderful juices to seep out.  Probably the best utensil for this would be the tongs.  They do not pierce the meat and allow firm control of the steak.  The only downside to this method is it may mar the steak and possibly remove some of the seasonings as they have a large "footprint" on the meat's surface.  We prefer a small steak hook inserting the small tip only deep enough to lift the meat - we do not plunge in deep in the the steak.  In this manner it places a tiny hole in the meat while allowing firm control in the turning process.  The fork, by its very nature is usually thrust deep into the meat.  We would suggest not using this method.

Ok, finally, how do you like your meat cooked?

Very Rare
Red Pretty Cool Center

140° F.
Red Medium Center


145°-150° F.
Red Warm Center


155°-160° F.
Slightly Pink Mostly Hot Center.

Medium Well

165° F.
Light Gray Hot Center.


Done! (and dead!) Hot gray center. No pink.

Meat ThermometersIn all cases, please use an instant-read thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the steak.  It will do away with all the guesswork and help ensure your steak is perfectly cooked to your liking - every time. When you believe you are almost there, the thermometer should be inserted horizontally from the side so it penetrates the thickest part of the steak avoiding coming into contact with bone or fat.

For more information on Steaks, Click Here - By Smoky Hale.

For more information on Temperatures, Click Here.

Enjoy Father's Day, Dads!

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It's time for barbecue!
Lover's Filet Mignons

Probably everyone has their own recipe for steaks since steaks have been around as long as there has been fire, but if you are adventuresome, here is a simple recipe with great flavor.



    Let's begin by collecting the following ingredients:

    Filet Mignon Steak

    6 filet mignons, about 1 1/2
    inches thick
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    1/3 teaspoon black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
    1 1/2 teaspoon thyme
    6 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cloves garlic, minced

    Warm the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan over low heat.  Garlic burns easily.  The oil should only be warm and not close to hot before adding the garlic. Allow to warm a couple of minutes without burning. Remove and allow to cool.

    Once cool, add rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir. Coat filets with garlic herb mixture generously, leaving extra for basting while grilling.

    While the steaks are soaking up the flavors, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place filets on grill and sear each side for approximately 3 to 6 minutes or until desired doneness.

    Makes 6 servings


    It's time for barbecue!

    Old Smokey Contest Winner

    Old Smokey #18Each newsletter we give away one heck of a grill to one of our lucky readers. By far, the Old Smokey Grill is our largest selling portable charcoal grill because of its durability and ability to produce great tasting food. There is only one winner each month! The winner of this month's Old Smokey Grill - #18 is:

    Jack Koeneman

    Hey Jack, please send us the email address used when you signed up for the Smoke 'n Fire Enquirer and we'll validate your address. Congratulations! For everyone else, we'll have a new contest next month and will be drawing from the same list you are on!

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