Cedar-Planked Bone-In Filets with
Horseradish Crab Butter
Tenderloin filet is highly desired for its extremely tender texture, but it is not as flavorful as some of the other favorite steak cuts. We tackle this on three fronts to add more flavor: we’re using wet-aged prime bone-in filets; we’re grilling the steaks on cedar planks; and we’re topping them with a compound butter. The butter combines the richness of lump crab meat, balanced by tangy horseradish and a touch of parsley. These will be VERY flavorful filets indeed.
For the Horseradish Crab Butter
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 5 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- Leaves picked from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon smoked Maldon sea salt
- ½ cup cooked lump crab meat (I used crab meat from a can)
- 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
For the steaks
- 4 cedar planks, soaked for 4 hours
- 4 bone-in tenderloin filets, about 12 ounces each
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly-cracked black pepper
Prepare the Horseradish Crab Butter by stirring together all of the ingredients. Spread into a line on one end of a sheet of wax paper. Use the wax paper to roll and compress into a cylinder. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling at about 600°F.
Brush the steaks with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Brown the steaks on the tops, bottoms and all sides over the hottest part of the fire. Remove them from the fire and brush with more olive oil. Transfer to the soaked cedar planks, and place the planks over the hot fire. After 15 minutes on the planks, turn the steaks over and top each one with a pat of Horseradish Crab Butter, reserving at least half of the butter to add later if necessary. Cook the steaks to 120°F internal temperature for medium rare, about 20 to 30 minutes total time on the planks. Keep the grill closed as much as possible during this time, but beware of the planks igniting.
Note, plank grilling is normally done in the indirect zone for a longer period at lower temperatures. Our cedar-planked filets are being cooked at high temperatures for more smoke and more flavor. Keep a squirt bottle of water handy to douse the flames around the edges of the planks.
Transfer the planks to heat-resistant platters or on top of additional, unused planks, and let the steaks rest for 3 minutes before serving.
Double-oaked Cowboy Steaks
The aroma of these steaks is simply amazing. An oak fire provides the heat, first for searing the steaks, and then for roasting on the plank. It also provides a subtle flavor that is identifiable, but does not overwhelm the beef. The earthy steak rub uses dried shitake mushrooms and savory leaves for a flavorful crust.
Don’t worry, a wood fire is not required – you can still make an awesome steak with a gas grill. Simply sear over the gas flame, then add oak wood chips to provide smoke while the steaks finish roasting in the indirect zone.
For more information about plank grilling, check out our helpful guide.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 2 oak planks, about 7 inches by 12 inches, soaked for 90 minutes (we like to use thicker planks than is common, 1 ¼ inches in this case)
- Oak wood chunks for the fire, or chips for smoking
- 12 dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon dried, chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried savory leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 bone-in ribeye steaks, about 2 1/2 pounds each
- Extra virgin olive oil
Grind the dried shitake mushrooms in a blender, coffee mill, or spice mill. Do the same with the dried, chopped garlic. We like to grind our dried ingredients shortly before cooking to get the most flavor out of them. Combine the ground shitakes and garlic with the remaining rub ingredients. This yields about 1/3 cup of rub. You can keep any leftover rub in a small, air-tight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
Lightly coat the steaks with olive oil and coat generously with steak rub on all sides. Let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 400° to 500°F with a hot searing zone. We recommend searing over an oak wood fire to achieve the best flavor for this recipe.
Sear the steaks on the hottest part of the grill. This can require as little time as 1 minute per side, or as much as 3 minutes per side, depending on your grill and your fire. Using a live oak fire on the K750 Hybrid Fire Grill, we seared the steaks for 1 minute per side.
While the steaks are searing, place the planks on the grill grate in the indirect zone to heat them up. After you have finished searing the steaks, flip the planks over and place one steak on each plank, keeping them in the indirect zone of the grill. Close the grill and roast for about 40 minutes total cooking time until you reach the desired doneness. For medium rare, remove the steaks from the grill when they read an internal temperature of 115 to 120°F. The temperature will continue to rise after they are off the grill.
During the roasting time, rotate the steaks as often as needed for even browning and cooking. Flip the steaks over on the planks half way through the roasting time. Keep the temperature below 500 degrees to reduce the chances of the plank catching fire. Use a spray bottle of water to douse any flames on the plank should this happen.
Remove from the grill, and place the plank on a heat-resistant trivet to serve. Caution, the plank will be hot. If you would like, you can transfer the steaks to a platter and remove the hot plank to a safe location. Carve the steaks to share after resting them for 5 minutes.
Alder-Planked Filet Mixed Grill
Cooking food on a wooden plank imparts a subtle flavor that varies with the species of wood. It also can be a much more forgiving cooking technique than placing food directly over the fire. There are no flare-ups and the indirect cooking approach slows down all the action.
- 4 alder wood planks, 5" wide x 16" long x 3/4" thick (see note), soaked for at least 4 hours
- 4 8-ounce beef tenderloin filets
- 8 slices prosciutto
- 2 zucchini squashes
- 2 yellow squashes
- 2 small red onions
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt or fine sea salt
- 4 cloves garlic, in the husks
- 8 sprigs fresh rosemary
After the planks are soaked, prepare a grill for indirect grilling at 400°F to 500°F (half the grill lit on high and the other half of the grill off – heat with the hood closed).Wrap the steaks with prosciutto and hold in place with toothpicks. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables.
Slice the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise in quarters after trimming off the ends. Cut the quarters into pieces about ¾” long, keeping the sizes as consistent as possible. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Slice the onions into eighths with each wedge ending with a little bit of the root base to hold all the layers together. Peel off the outer layer from each edge and discard. Add the onion wedges to the bowl. Gently toss the veggies in the bowl with a little olive oil to coat.
Brush both sides of the filets with olive oil and season with salt. Place one filet on each board. Distribute the veggies evenly on the boards. Add a clove of garlic, still in its husk, to each board. Add one sprig of rosemary near each steak (you’ll use the other sprigs later). Sprinkle salt over all the veggies.
Place the boards in the indirect cooking zone (the area without fire below) directly on the grill grate. Close the hood and roast for about 30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 115°F inside the meat.
Turn the steaks over at the halfway point. Once they read 115°F, remove the steaks from the boards and put them in the direct zone above the fire. If you are using a gas grill, crank up the heat under the steaks. If you are using a charcoal grill, open up the air vents all the way.
Grill for about 2 minutes per side to get slight grill marks. Return the steaks to the boards and remove the boards from the grill. Remove and discard the exhausted rosemary sprigs. Replace with fresh ones for serving.
You can serve the mixed grills right on the planks. I suggest putting each plank on a platter if you can. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before digging in.
Note: You can purchase pre-packaged Alder planks at better food markets or cooking stores, but I find it more economical to go to a hardwood specialty store where you can buy furniture-grade hardwood. There, you can have the staff cut the species of wood you like to the sizes you like. You can also get the thicker boards like I recommend using here. The planks are reusable for at least a few cooking sessions. Simply wash them off after each use and be sure you keep them in the indirect cooking zone so they don’t catch on fire.
Cedar-planked Barbecue Shrimp
Cooking on cedar planks infuses foods with a distinctive, aromatic flavor, and the pizza oven’s intense heat makes it ideal for plank cooking. Because the heat radiates from both above and below, you get maximum flavor from the plank, while also cooking the food quickly using the broiler effect. In fact, when your food is cooked quickly enough, there is no need to soak the plank.
For this recipe, we are keeping things simple, but if you’re looking for an additional dish to add to your plank cooking repertoire, you might want to check out our video with Mexican Street Corn and Macaroni-stuffed Poblano Peppers roasted alongside the barbecue-rubbed shrimp
- 1 tablespoon chopped dried garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped dried onion
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
- 10 large shrimp, 9 to 12 count, shells on
- 2 bunches green onions
- 2 cedar planks, 7 inches X 12 inches X 3/4 inch thick (see tip at the end of the recipe)
- Metal cooling rack(s)
Preheat the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven with both burners on HIGH.
To make the barbecue rub, combine the onion and garlic in a spice mill and grind to the desired texture. Grinding the chopped spices yourself makes for a more flavorful rub. Add the sugar, salt, paprika and pepper.
Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Partially butterfly the shrimp while you are deveining them.
Season the shrimp liberally with the barbecue rub.
For maximum flavor, you can lightly pre-char the boards quickly on a hot grill. This step is optional.
Arrange the shrimp on the cedar planks. Trim the green onions and arrange them alongside the shrimp.
Cedar-planked shrimp roasting in the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven
Place the cooling rack(s) in the pizza oven, and position the cedar planks on top of the rack(s). This helps keep the boards from burning too quickly.
Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the boards several times for even cooking. Keep a spray bottle of drinking water handy to douse any flames that might erupt at the edges or corners of the board.
Tip: Most pre-packaged cedar planks for cooking are thinner than we like to use. For cedar planks (and any other type of wood) we prefer to purchase 1x8 boards (a 1x8 is actually ¾ inch thick and 7 inches wide), and cut them down to the desired length. If you don’t have a saw at home, the hardware store or lumber yard will usually be happy to cut them for you.
We’ve served these sliders to happy crowds all over the country, especially in burger-crazy Los Angeles. They are so well-received they have become our go-to protein at just about every grill demonstration and customer party. We figured it’s about time to share the recipe with all of you. The secret weapon in our burgers is a triple cream blue brie from Germany called Cambozola. Of course, all of our top burger tipsstill apply. Why do we do “sliders” instead of “burgers?” I think the perfect burger requires a rather specific thickness. On a full-sized bun, it requires about a half-pound patty, but on a slider bun, it only requires a quarter-pound patty – a much more reasonably-sized indulgence!
- 1 red onion
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 4 pretzel rolls, about 3 inches in diameter
- 1 pound ground beef, 15% lean
- 4 ounces Cambozola cheese, cut into chunks
- 4 cocktail skewers
- 24 paper napkins
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over high heat, about 700°F grill grate temperature.
Slice the red onion into ¾ inch thick slices. Oil both sides and season liberally with salt. Reserve.
Slice the pretzel rolls. Pour oil into a dessert plate, then dip the cut sides of each roll into the oil for an even coating. Season the oiled side with a little salt. Reserve.
Form the ground beef into patties 1 inch larger in diameter than the rolls and about ¾ inch thick. Use care to work the ground beef as little as is necessary to maintain a desirable texture. Recess the center of the patties so that when the burgers plump up on the grill, they will turn out flat. The reason we form the patties 1 inch larger than the rolls is so that when they shrink on the grill, they do not become smaller than the rolls.
Brush each patty on all sides with olive oil and season with salt. The olive oil will help form a nice crust on the outside of the patty.
Grill the onion slices until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill, brake the slices down into rings and reserve.
Grill the beef patties, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per side. When you flip them, add a large ring of onion to the top of each patty, so it sits neatly in a circle. Add a small ring or two of onion inside the larger ring, also sitting neatly. Add the cheese on top of the onion. The cheese will melt, almost into a creamy sauce, and the onions will help hold it on top of the burger.
While the cheese is melting and the second side of the patties are cooking, lightly grill the rolls.
Gently remove the burgers when they are done and transfer directly onto the pretzel rolls. Skewer each burger to hold it together. Serve with at least six napkins per burger.
Peanut Butter Sliders with Jalapeno Jelly
We love grilling sliders at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet because we like our burgers to be thick. On a regular-size hamburger bun, that means a full half-pound of ground beef. Slider-sized burgers allow us to maintain the perfect patty thickness for grilling, without going into a post-meal burger coma.
These sliders have a generous spread of creamy peanut butter that melts irresistibly into the bottom side of the bun, and a spicy-sweet jalapeno jelly on the top side of the bun. Grilled bacon adds a salty smokiness, while the unique pillowy sweetness of King’s Hawaiian Rolls makes each slider the perfect little package.
- 1 1/2 pounds of 85/15 grass-fed ground beef
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 8 King’s Hawaiian Savory Butter Rolls
- 4 ounces creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 ounces jalapeno jelly
- 8 thick bacon slices, cooked to your preferred crispness, then cut in half
Prepare the grill for direct grilling at 600° to 700°F. A charcoal or wood fire is always preferred to produce the best results.
Form the ground beef into 8 3-ounce patties. Start by loosely forming a ball for each patty. Use care not to overwork the beef and compress the grind. Shape into a patty that is 3 inches in diameter and has a recessed center. Burgers contract in size and puff up when cooked. To counteract this, we form patties so that they’re larger in diameter than the rolls, with recessed centers to compensate for this reaction.
Brush all 8 patties on both sides with a little olive oil and season with salt.
Slice the rolls and spread a little peanut butter on the bottom half of each roll. Spread a little jalapeno jelly on the top halves. Reserve.
Grill the burgers, turning once, until cooked at least to medium (160°F), about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer the burgers directly to the rolls to melt the peanut butter. Add the bacon on top of the patty and finish with the top half of the roll with jalapeno jelly.