Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Thermal Shock Sirloin

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 9 hr (includes overnight freezing)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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Special equipment:
measuring spoons, 2 quarter sheet pans, cast-iron griddle, pastry brush, tongs, digital instant-read thermometer, heavy-duty aluminum foil, chef's knife, cutting board
  1. The night (or several nights) before cooking: Season steak with the salt and place on a small sheet pan, cookie sheet or even a small square or rectangular cake pan. Top with a second pan, (aluminum is ideal due to its conductive properties) and freeze overnight. If you plan to leave it frozen for more than a couple of days, wrap the frozen steak in parchment paper and seal in a heavy freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to 2 months.
  2. An hour before cooking: Position an oven rack to its highest position just under the boiler. Set a cast-iron griddle, flat-side up, on this rack, ideally 3-inches below the broiler element. Set the oven to its highest temperature, at least 500 degrees F, and leave it there for at least half an hour after that temperature is reached. Do not activate the broiler at this point. Not yet.
  3. Remove the steak from the freezer. Coat both sides with oil using a pastry brush. Carefully pull out the oven rack and deposit the steak right in the middle of the griddle. Push the rack back in, turn the oven off then turn the broiler on – to "high" if that's a choice. Cook for 4 minutes then carefully flip the steak and continue broiling until the interior temperature hits 110 degrees F. (Always insert the probe of your thermometer through the side of the meat to get the most even reading.) Start checking the steak's temperature after 4 1/2 minutes but be ready to go as long as 7 depending on your broiler.
  4. Remove the steak and wrap in heavy-duty foil to rest for 10 minutes. Remove and slice thinly on the bias. Serve with any accumulated juices.

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