Grilling Notes - Surf & Turf Christmas, 25 December 2020


Well-known member
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
Grill(s) owned
  1. Trailblazer
  2. Bullseye
Hope everyone is having a safe, healthy and Merry Christmas so far. No White Christmas this year for us in the Ouachita Forrest, however we are getting seasonal temps this year (last year we were in short sleeves). Today we are taking on a "Surf & Turf theme", since it's only Deb and myself, we figured it was relatively low risk if we screw it up. I just hope we don't as the freaking Alaska King Crab legs were just a little on the pricey side.....<grin>. Todays cook required the engagement of both the Trailblazer and the Bullseye. The Trailblazer was primarily be in a lower temp smoking mode and the Bullseye was our "Sear Baby" today. On the turf side we contemplated between NY Strips and Filets as we've had good luck with both, but opted in the end for Filets - this turned out to be the correct choice.

  • Grill Locations: Hot Springs Village, AR.; 34 37 60.0N 92 54 55.4W - perfect day for Christmas Day smoking & grilling!
  • Weather at time of Grill: Christmas Day, Clear Sunny skies, ...Temp ~45 F, Humidity ~19%
  • Total Event Time: ~3 hrs. 00 Min (11:52 - 14:42 CST) - [Making Clarified Butter, Meat Prep & Seasoning, to include Plating] Note: Does NOT include time to thaw out Crab Legs which was about and additional 3 hrs'ish...
  • Grill Plates: Trailblazer - No; Bullseye - Yes x1
  • Temp Probes: Trailblazer- Yes, Bullseye, No (Hand probe used).
  • Pellets Used: Rec Tec Ultimate Blend

  • Meat & Meat Prep
    • Meat:
      • 4 x Alaskan King Crab Legs ~2.6 lbs total
        • Basted with a Clarified Butter and seasoning mix.
      • 2 x Filet Mignons 2 x 12 oz per steak - (1.5” thick) [The "Big Krogers" in Hot Springs, Ark],
        • Seasoned with Ron's Heffer Dust (one of our red meat favorites)
    • Total Meat Prep Time:
      • ~45 min Crab legs: Includes making the clarified butter - that takes some time and effort.
      • ~8 min Filets: Rec Tec Heffer Dust, Olive Oil sprayed on meat as a binder
    • Meat on:
      • Trailblazer:
        • Crab legs: 14:01 CST
          • Basted flipped and Basted again at about the 10 min point of smoking
        • Filets: at 13:35 CST (Smoking with a target of ~100 F) Filets Starting temp was ~47 F
      • Bullseye 14.22 CST, no probes, using temp stick, roughly 6 min per side on the flat side of the grill grates. Targeted meat temps 145 & 150 respectively.

  • Sides:
    • Kale Salad, w/ Dates, Apple slices, Feta Cheese, & Sunflower Seeds w/Vinaigrette Dressing
    • Half Baked Potato w/butter and Blue Cheese Chunks

Misc Grill Observations - all times are CST
  • Total Grill Times (On to Off): 66 Min (Trailblazer), 37 Min (Bullseye)
    • Grill Start to Trailblazer Target Temp LOW F: ~47F to 225 F (~13:15 - 13:33 CST) ~18 min.
      • Crab legs added at 14:01 CST
    • Grill Start to Bullseye Target Temp 450F: ~56 to 450 F ~ (14:02 - 14:20 CST) ~18 min.

General Comments:
  • Overall I'd rate this cook as very successful, 4.5 out of 5 stars. Crab legs were quite tasty, and the filets were too big but cooked just about right(we both ate about half of them, the rest will end up in weekend leftovers....).
  • Came to a realization is that doing Surf & Turf is a LOT OF WORK! Trying to do the back timing of two totally different types of meat forced me to reach back to my systems engineering skills......<grin> My wife does this planning with little effort, but it seem to really tax my brain today......
  • Highly recommend the correct tools to taking meat out of a King Crab Leg, there are multiple opportunities to donate blood as part of the process - I know because I did!
  • Griller & Main Chef's support tools of choice: Christmas Cranberry Juice cocktail & Tito's Vodka (Me), and a Pinot Noir (Wife).


  • Thawing Crab Legs 20201225.jpeg
    Thawing Crab Legs 20201225.jpeg
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  • Maling Clarified Butter 20201225.jpeg
    Maling Clarified Butter 20201225.jpeg
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  • Seasoning Filets 20201225.jpeg
    Seasoning Filets 20201225.jpeg
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  • Crab Legs and Filets Seasoned and Ready 20201225.jpeg
    Crab Legs and Filets Seasoned and Ready 20201225.jpeg
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  • Crab Legs and Filets Smoking Trailblazer 20201225.jpeg
    Crab Legs and Filets Smoking Trailblazer 20201225.jpeg
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  • Filets Flipped 20201225.jpeg
    Filets Flipped 20201225.jpeg
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  • Checking Filet 20201225.jpeg
    Checking Filet 20201225.jpeg
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  • Kale Salad CU 20201225.jpeg
    Kale Salad CU 20201225.jpeg
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  • Plated Crab Legs 2 20201225.jpeg
    Plated Crab Legs 2 20201225.jpeg
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  • Plated Christmas Dinner LV2 20201225.jpeg
    Plated Christmas Dinner LV2 20201225.jpeg
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