We’re in the kitchen of Old Harold Distillery and we’re talking Steak Cookoff Association events with Chris Bohnemeier. Chris finished 12th overall in the 2020 SCA Steak World Championship and has won cookoffs and golden tickets. He taught us some amazing steak tips and tricks that we get to share with you!
Anatomy of a Ribeye Steak
Ribeye steaks are essentially made of up two muscles – the “eye” (or longissimus dorsi) and the “rib cap” ( or spinalis).
- Longissimus dori/eye– every ribeye has an eye! It is the “meatiest” part of the cut and usually has some great marbling
- Spinalis/rib cap– this is separated from the eye by a large piece of fat. The spinalis is the most marbles & tender part of the ribeye, which in turn make it the most flavorful and tasty! In an SCA (Steak Cookoff Association) event, the judges taste test the spinalis part of the ribeye.
Look Good, Taste Good
Not only does the steak have to taste delicious, it also has to look delicious! Appearance is also a factor when your compete at an SCA event. Trimming and shaping your ribeye before cooking is important.
Chris explains, “Ribeye fat is delicious, unless you’re in a competition. The idea is to get it out. You don’t want your steak to look like a baseball or softball.”
Once the steak is trimmed, it’s time to layer on the flavor. First, Chris uses a little bit of duck fat to get the rub to stick. Second, he uses John Lindsey’s “All Q’d Up Steak Shake” seasoning as a base layer. Last, he goes over the top with “Top Gun Rub” from Code 3 Spices. This makes for a fantastic steak.
Put Your Best Grill Forward
In a Steak Cookoff Associated event, competitors are allowed to cook their steak however they chose. Bake, grill, sous vide…you name it! For this tutorial, Chris used a gas grilled with a Grill Grate on top. Grill Grates reduce all flare ups and they also produce tremendous sear marks. Sear marks are great for appearance and you can do any shape you prefer-lines, diamonds or squares. If you’d like more information on Grill Grates, check out our full product review!
Chris prefers to pull his steaks off anywhere between 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. As always, make sure that you let your steak rest!
Tips from Chris Bohnemeier
- Choose a well marbled, good sized ribeye steak.
- Trim said ribeye steak so that there is not excess fat.
- Season your ribeye with duck fat, a base rub and a top rub.
- Season generously.
- Use tools like Grill Grate to get beautiful sear marks to really wow the judges.
- Serve your ribeye at medium rare to medium temperature.
- Trust your gut and have fun!