The 3-3-2-2 method is a butcher’s trick for perfectly seared steaks

Photo: KucherAV (iStock)

In an effort to bring better quality meat from small family farms to my community, I opened a butcher shop in Chicago called The Butcher & Larder. For eight years I’ve been helping people with everything from Thanksgiving dinner to how to cook a steak.

When they’re gazing wistfully at the steaks in the case, customers often say, “I’d really love to cook one of those for myself, but I just don’t know how. I’ve tried cooking steak at home, but I just ruin them…” In the past, I’d try and dig into their cooking psyche and figure out from where the block stemmed, but these days, I build up their confidence, and then arm them with a simple formula.


Before we get to the formula, though, I’d like to bust a few myths about cooking steak (or most meat, for that matter).

First: Rid yourself of the notion that high heat is what makes a great steak, or that you need a “rippin’ hot pan” to “seal in the juices.” The pan matters, but the heat less so. Searing a steak is great for flavor. Look up the Maillard reaction to see what I mean in detail, but for brevity’s sake, when it comes to meat, brown = flavor.

How you do your browning is key, because while brown is good, gray is bad. Gray is the sad, unintentionally over cooked portion of the interior of the steak. When you sear in, say, “a rippin’ hot pan, bro!” you get great browning on the outside, but just under that sear is a layer of gray that takes away from the steak’s flavor and juiciness. The other myth I’m most asked about—whether steaks should be room temperature before cooking—might seem to make sense, but science says otherwise. It’s not a bad habit, but not totally necessary, either.

Photo: Lisovskaya (iStock)

My method for cooking the average steak (average steak means your basic ½-to-1-inch thick ribeye or New York strip, not a 3-inch Fiorentina or 47-ounce tomahawk-mancave-beast-mode behemoth) is a 16 minute commitment: 1 minute to season, 10 minutes to cook, five minutes to rest.


I call it the 3-3-2-2 method as that’s an easy thing to remember if you’re at a butcher counter with nothing to write on, and it results in a perfectly browned, medium-rare steak. Seasoning doesn’t matter. I’m a salt and pepper guy, but if you like Guy Fieri’s Santa Maria steak rub, go for it.

Here’s how it works:

Put your heaviest skillet over medium heat (yes, medium—335 degrees or thereabouts Fahrenheit). Cast iron is great, but any heavy pan will do. After a few minutes on the fire, add a couple tablespoons of oil (olive, grapeseed, sunflower, etc) and lay your steak in the pan. Resist the temptation to slide, poke, wiggle, or move the steak. Just leave it there for an agonizing three minutes. Flip and repeat for three more minutes. It will seem like forever, but remember what Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” Flip again, but this time for two minutes and again for another two minutes. Remove your steak from the pan and rest for five minutes.


This works because three minutes over medium heat is just enough to get some nice brown on the meat while warming the steak through to the center, but you turn it in time to avoid any of the nasty gray we are trying to avoid. The two-minute cycle continues to brown the surface gently while getting your steak cooked to temperature. If you like your steak a little more done, add a minute or so to the cook time. If you like it closer to well done, add another minute. I wouldn’t suggest any longer, though. The important thing here is that the times have to be even so the steak isn’t more done on one side than the other. Keep the heat modest so everything stays nicely seared and juicy—see? Simple.

Rob Levitt’s 3-3-2-2 Steak Method

  1. Preheat heavy pan over medium heat for a few minutes, add oil
  2. Three minutes, flip
  3. Three minutes, flip
  4. Two minutes, flip
  5. Two minutes, remove from pan
  6. Let rest for five minutes

via Lifehacker
The 3-3-2-2 method is a butcher’s trick for perfectly seared steaks

4 Ways to Make Improvised Urban Survival Arrowheads

The original arrowheads were made from organic materials — often through the process of “knapping” rocks like obsidian, chert, and flint. The sharp flakes of stone which resulted were then affixed to arrow shafts, and shot from bows by primitive hunters to take down game and battle their human enemies.

Still today, stone arrowheads are made by bushcrafters, and they can be life-savers in wilderness survival situations.

But what if you need to make an arrowhead in an urban environment, where stones that are good for knapping may not be abundant? What improvised materials can be marshaled to create projectile points that can be used to make arrows for hunting and self-defense?

Here are 4 different materials/methods to try:

1. Arrowhead From a Glass Bottle

Supplies needed:

  • Glass bottles (ideally with a flat bottom)
  • Pressure flaker (antler bone or a nail hammered into a wooden dowel)

Obsidian, from which arrowheads have been made for thousands of years, is volcanic glass, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that you can make your own arrowheads from man-made glass. In fact, such glass is easier to work with than obsidian (or other rocks), and of course is easier to come by, especially in an urban location.

You can use any kind of glass with a flat section, and that includes an ordinary soda/beer bottle. You make an arrowhead from a bottle pretty much the same way you’d make it from a rock: by breaking apart your source material, and then taking a large flake of it — in this case the bottom of the bottle, which is thicker and flatter — and carefully chipping off tiny flakes from its edges to shape and sharpen it up. The text instructions here, which includes diagrams, are helpful in understanding the semi-intricate process. 

Since shaping glass into arrowheads is easier than shaping stone, this is a good way of learning the skill of knapping rock.

2. Arrowhead From a Nail 

Supplies needed:

  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Pliers
  • File

If the knapping process feels a bit too meticulous for you, try a more brute-force method: making an arrowhead from a common nail. Basically, you just pound it on alternate sides until it flattens out, and then use a file to create a sharp edge/point. They’re not the sturdiest arrowheads, but will get the job done. With a bigger hammer, you can pound a 1/4″ bar stock into a true broadhead that’s able to penetrate and take down a deer.

3. Arrowhead From a Spoon


  • Spoon
  • Hammer
  • File

The basic process for making an arrowhead from a spoon is to hammer it til it’s flat, draw the arrowhead shape you want on the flattened spoon head, and then remove the material around that outline until you have your broadhead triangle. The process is made easier if you have some higher-tech tools like a blow torch (for heating up the spoon before you hammer it) and something like a Dremel tool for cutting away the extra material. But in a survival situation you may not have access to those things (or to electricity). Fortunately, though it takes more effort, you can create the same end product simply by hammering a cold spoon and then using a file to remove the extra metal from the spoon head; you can even rub it against a block of concrete should you not have a file. 

4. Arrowhead From the Lid of a Tin Can 

Supplies needed:

  • Tin can
  • Multi-tool with can opener and pliers

Probably the easiest method, and one that involves the least supplies (if you have a handy multi-tool). You simply take the lid off a tin can, fold it in half, bending it back and forth til it breaks. Then you do the same thing with a half piece until you have a quarter section of the lid. Then fold that in half and make some manipulations with your pliers. 

As you can see, in an urban survival situation, materials from which to make improvised arrowheads can be found everywhere, from a trash can to a kitchen pantry. Once you’ve sourced and made your arrowheads, you’ll of course need to attach (haft) them to the arrow’s shaft; the essential process goes like this: you’ll cut a notch in the end of the shaft, insert your arrowhead into the slot with some glue/resin, wrap the arrowhead in sinew/cord to further secure it, and then top the wrapping with some glue for good measure. Then string your improvised bow (a subject for another day) with your improvised arrow, and prepare to bag some game or defend your domain.

The post 4 Ways to Make Improvised Urban Survival Arrowheads appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

via The Art of Manliness
4 Ways to Make Improvised Urban Survival Arrowheads

Security Strategies For Your Church Safety Team

As I wrote almost a year ago, every church should have one or more good guys with guns protecting the flock. Every synagogue, temple and mosque. Anyplace people gather to worship should have a ballistic response ready for the worst case scenario. Does yours have one? It should to improve church safety.

The first step in creating a safer house of worship involves recognizing that evil does exist. And that sometimes worldly evil will invade sacred locations. Only fools expect bad people to honor society’s norms in and outside of churches. Burying one’s head in the sand doesn’t keep anyone safe. Just ask the do-gooder couple who hiked through ISIS-controlled territory.

Some folks think that creating a security team for their church simply involves finding volunteers to carry guns to church services. Not so. While that’s better than nothing, when well-meaning people only have a hammer, every problem can ten to look like a nail.

Want to get a church security team off the ground in your house or worship? First off, get off on the right foot. Call it a “safety team.” Good word choice will help keep your flock from becoming alarmed. Most folks don’t want to think about the need for armed security in their church, but everyone can rally behind “safety.”

Once you have a team willing to do more than carry a gun, spend some money on good communications. Get radios. Issue them to ushers, greeters and security folks. Greeters and ushers can discretely report potential problems. In fact, your greeters stand as the congregation’s eyes and ears, evaluating everyone at the entry points as they welcome them at services. They will often identify potential problems first – including both security- and health-related issues.

Conversely, if security detects a problem and can communicate instantly, ushers and greeters can immediately help direct the flock away from that threat.

Surveillance cameras help too. Church congregations face a greater risk of criminal violence (robbery) in the parking lots than they do when sitting in the pews. Watching cameras can detect suspicious behavior from non-church members. In larger churches, roving patrols in cars or golf carts can go a long way to deter criminal activity.

Just like schools, churches should lock their doors shortly after services begin. A greeter can welcome latecomers at a locked door. However, why make it easy for a lunatic to invade the sanctuary at an unmanned, unlocked door when everyone’s attention is directed at the preacher?

Included in the safety plan: good first aid skills. Frankly, knowing some basic first aid and how to use an AED or perform CPR will likely save far more lives than that gun on the hip.

Frankly, safety team members should have good skills at de-escalating potential violence, too. Knowing the basics of talking people down while taking steps to lessen one’s personal risk help. And if the verbal judo fails, knowing some hands-on tactics can help quickly restrain troublemakers for police without the need for a full-on brawl.

Ideally, off-duty local law enforcement members of the congregation will join the team.

Lastly, those select safety team members with guns should face a vetting process with church leaders. Yes, while anyone legally able may should carry during a church service, safety team members represent the church to some degree. And the last thing any house of worship needs is an ill-trained, gun-toting “security team” member pulling a gun over a mildly-heated child custody dispute near the kids’ area during or after a service.

I still remember after the Sutherland Springs church shooting in Texas, people approached me asking about the legality of carrying without a license in church here in Illinois. God bless those Christians for volunteering.

On one hand, these well-meaning men and women expressed a willingness to protect their family and friends from bad people. On the other hand, they didn’t even know the law on carrying on private property in Illinois. Will they have a good handle on the nuances of deadly force law to keep themselves out of jail afterwards? I hope so, but I doubt it.

I would think some training on the legal use of deadly force is reasonable and prudent. Especially for those who wish to formalize their role providing security in their church.

While I’d prefer well-trained (and well-armed) gun owners in a time of trouble, I would eagerly welcome even any gun owner over a whole passel of hysterical Moms Demanding Action cowering under pews or desks. And you should too.

Stephen Willeford, pictured above, proved that in Sutherland Springs. Mr. Willeford didn’t have a background as a Navy SEAL or police officer. Instead, as John Q. Public, he courageously engaged a maniac and stopped the shooter’s attack at the nearby First Baptist Church. In fact, Willeford’s shots put down the murderous attacker, saving taxpayers the cost of incarcerating the killer.

If your church doesn’t have a safety team, take the initiative to start one. The life you save might be your own.

via The Truth About Guns
Security Strategies For Your Church Safety Team

Inside a “Luxury Survival Condo” Built Inside an Abandoned Missile Silo

The last time we looked at a home built inside a former missile silo, it was Matthew and Leigh Ann Fulkerson’s "Subterra" home, which was then listed on AirBNB. But the Fulkersons have nothing on developer Larry Hall, who purchased a decommissioned Atlas missile silo in Kansas and converted it into 15 stories’ worth of Luxury Survival Condos.

Take a look inside, and note that many of the condos are already sold:

I do like how they call it an "undisclosed location" in Kansas, yet if you Google "luxury survival condo" the address pops right up.

via Core77
Inside a “Luxury Survival Condo” Built Inside an Abandoned Missile Silo

Local Company Gives All Employees Handguns for Christmas

BenShot Gives All Employees Handguns for Christmas
BenShot Gives All Employees Handguns for Christmas

Hortonville, WI – -( The father and son team at BenShot, a local Wisconsin glassmaking company that makes the original bulletproof shot glass, whiskey, and beer glasses, gave all their employees handguns for Christmas.

This year’s Christmas gift was one to remember at BenShot. Every employee received a handgun of their choice.

“We are a small, close-knit team at BenShot. I want to make sure all of employees are safe and happy – a handgun was the perfect gift” -Ben Wolfgram, son from the Father and Son team at BenShot.

BenShot makes the original bulletproof shot glasses
BenShot makes the original bulletproof shot glasses.

About BenShot:

BenShot ( is a father and son team which designs and makes glassware with bullets embedded into the side. It makes an extensive line of glasses, including the original bulletproof shot glass, whiskey, and beer glasses. BenShot’s unique product has sent them on a fast growth trajectory and currently ranks #1 of over 1,000,000 handmade products on Amazon. BenShot started making glasses in a small garage workshop in 2015 and now employs 16 full time people, including veterans, in their glass shop in Hortonville, WI.

BenShot sells on 30 military bases and have partnerships in the UK, Europe, Japan, and Australia. This local business prides itself on their work with non-profits including: conversation groups, military organizations, and police and fire departments.

The post Local Company Gives All Employees Handguns for Christmas appeared first on

Local Company Gives All Employees Handguns for Christmas

Download Famous Art in High Resolution

Theoretically, I could slap my own name on this and no one could stop me. Eat it, Georges Seurat.
Image: Georges Seurat/Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago recently revamped its website and released a searchable database of high-resolution art. Even better, a lot of the art is in the public domain, meaning you can legally use it however you want, even for commercial purposes. (Check the copyright notice on each artwork’s page.) You’ll notice that while you can zoom in on most of the artworks, only the public-domain art will include a full-resolution download link.

You’ll recognize artworks like “American Gothic,” Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist,” and Monet’s “Stacks of Wheat.” A lot of these, even the ones still under copyright, make for good desktop wallpapers.


For anything in the public domain, like the Monet, you can download the largest version, send it to a service like Framebridge, and have your own framed art print. Well, art print-out. But a classy one.

You could also, theoretically, use the public-domain art in an ad. Imagine the possibilities.

Or don’t.

Art Institute of Chicago online collection | via Metafilter

via Lifehacker
Download Famous Art in High Resolution

Sign Your Address Up For USPS Informed Delivery Before Scammers Do

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If you haven’t signed up for the US Postal Service’s Informed Delivery service, you might want to do so now.

The service lets you see what’s expected to arrive in your mailbox soon. It’s great for knowing that a check or invite you’ve been waiting for is literally in the mail. And f you don’t sign up for it? You’re opening yourself up to someone signing up for the service as you and swiping your important mail before you ever see it.

On November 6th the Secret Service reportedly sent an internal alert to its law enforcement partners warning them of a scam where criminals would sign up for other people’s mailboxes and then steal credit cards from those people’s mailboxes, reports KrebsOnSecurity.


According to the report, seven people in Michigan used the service to apply for fraudulent credit cards and then steal those cards out of their recipient’s mailboxes. The mailbox owners never knew the cards were even applied for, much less stolen. In that case, the defendants were able to run up nearly $400,000 in charges on the stolen cards.

KrebsOnSecurity notes that any adult that lives at your address can sign up for an account, so if you do want to claim your address you should do so for every eligible person. You can also reportedly opt your address out of the service entirely by emailing, although the publication did not have any luck getting a response from that address.

It also suggested a credit freeze might help prevent fraudulent signups since USPS uses security questions from Equifax in order to verify accounts. That said, several readers of the site claimed they were able to sign up even though they had credit freezes in place, so your mileage may vary.


And as always, this a good reminder to sign up for alerts for when your credit report changes. If you have alerts set up you’ll find out about fraudulent cards and loans sooner rather than later.

via Lifehacker
Sign Your Address Up For USPS Informed Delivery Before Scammers Do

Watch real-life Iron Men do the first jetpack launch from the ground


Iron Man might make flying look easy, but strapping on a jetpack and wings ranks as one of the more dangerous things you could every try. Jetman Yves Rossy and his two protégés (Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet) are bringing you closer to that action with the launch of a documentary called Loft: The Jetman Story.

In a teaser trailer for the film, produced in collaboration with XDubai, the trio show off some formation flying through the Fjords of Norway. It demonstrates the extreme risk (“if something goes wrong you have to react fast,” says Reffet) along with some pretty incredible high-speed visuals. You also get to see the first time the team has launched from a ground-based platform, albeit a high ramp in the mountains, rather than the helicopters or planes they usually use.