It has been exactly a month since I wrote about Chef Tim Byres, chef/owner of both Smoke and Chicken Scratch in Dallas. He had just served up pigs and oysters at the Austin Food & Wine Festival and previewed his new cookbook Smoke: New Firewood Cooking (Rizzoli, $40)
Well, the cookbook has been out for a month now and has been getting some great national attention from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and the current June issue of Food & Wine Magazine (an 11 page spread!). When I saw Chef Byres was going to be teaching a class at Central market here in Fort Worth I jumped at the chance to see him in action one more time, plus he was grilling steaks! If you have kept up with my blog, you know I cant pass up a good steak. I was also a little curious to see him cook in a kitchen instead of an open fire, which he's known for.
It turns out that Central Market has a balcony and when it was time to grill the steaks, Chef Byres started a nice little fire (to the surprise of the store's staff) right on the balcony! I took some pictures, so check out the slide show above. While tending his fire, Chef Byres passed on these grilling tips to use when cooking on a wood fire. First was to use hard woods like oak, mesquite and hickory, and to avoid soft woods like pine. He also mentioned that you need both a cool area along with the hot area on the grill, that way you can pull the steaks out of the hot fire after a couple of minutes of searing and let them finish cooking slowly on the cool area of the grill. And for seasoning, Chef Byres likes adding coffee grounds to his rub to give his steaks an extra beefy taste (cool, I did a coffee steak not to long ago).
Chef Byres also mentioned that he has a new website launching here in a week or two that will even include a personal blog. When it launches it should be at www.timbyers.com, I will update this post and send out a tweet when it is live.