Charcoal Grilled Steaks

Alright charcoal grill experts, here is your time to shine. I will be grilling some steaks on a charcoal grill this weekend and as a NYC resident I have almost no experience on charcoal (my cast iron skillet steak is on point though). Aside from the basics of steak cooking, any recommendations, tips, or do’s and dont’s?

I will be going to a local butcher on Friday to pick up the steaks. Will likely be 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick prime ribeyes or strips (whichever look better). I’m personally a fan of nice dark crust and very rare interior.

Any thoughts on method (dual zone?) or cook times? TIA

I think a dual zone would be best if it’s really thick. Cook times just depends on the level of heat you get in your grill, I’m hesitant to give you any time.

At 1.5 inches, you probably won’t need the dual zone. I’d just do about 12 minutes if you want a rare interior. Personally I flip often for even heat dispersion on the steak. (once a minute typically)

Rare is great but a cold interior is not. Steaks should be removed from refridgeration an hour before cooking. A lite application of oil and either salt or dry rub and let sit. The hotter the better for the grill to get a crusty exterior. The main thing will be to control flare-ups so meat is not incinerated. I prefer to get the first side completely done and flip only once with tongs. Steaks need to rest after cooking 5-10 minutes.

Room temp start, as mentioned.

Light bit of salt, pepper.

I think 3 minutes per side for 1.5" is the bomb.

Rest under foil, as also mentioned.

Be ready for the steaks to cook faster than you expect.

Order some Pat Lafreida steaks, free shipping in NYC area, if you order tomorrow, will arrive Thursday or Friday. The follow Fu’s dual zone cooking above. Use a meat thermometer so you are not guessing when it is done.

Pile all the coals on one side of the grill, get the grate nice and hot. Steaks directly over flame, cover with lid. 1-1/2 minutes flip, 1-1/2 minutes flip, 1-1/2 minutes flip, 1-1/2minutes then put to other side of grill away from direct heat and cook another 4-5 minutes. Let sit about 5 minutes before slicing.

Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone. Looking forward to some nice smoky steaks.

I’m generally not a big Napa Cab guy, but thinking of doing some 2011’s (Smith Madrone and Anderson’s Conn Valley) seeing as it is 4th of July and all.

I’ve seen Alton Brown do this on his show Good Eats. I know they say it won’t be ashy or gritty, but I’m always skeptical.

Kenji, once again, provides the best info. And it contradicts many of the long-held poor cooking habits evident in this thread…

This is exactly the info I planned on following. Just wanted to see if any WB’ers had anything that I didn’t consider.

final tip - go to eataly. consistently the best deal in top steaks in the city. you can ask for whatever you want if you don’t see it in the case and they’ll be happy to break down something for you as well. i typically ask for thicker cut aged boneless ribeyes from the big cap side of the rib.

Eataly is my go to for meat in city as well. Their prime hanger steak for 14 dollars a pound is one of the great deals in the city and something i eat more than I care to admit.

Hey Sean, I’m not trying to be a a-hole, but if your really a novice be careful and use some precautions, flare ups can go higher than you might imagine, very hot coals can sometimes be pushed out the bottom of grill vents etc if your on a wood deck for example. I’m sure you know all this but reading some of these biggest mess threads, dumbest thing I very did threads-better safe than sorry.
Best of luck.

Not being an a-hole at all. Appreciate the precautionary comments.

Some interesting commentary about letting meat come to room temp…basically an hour won’t do anything to the internal temp of a steak. I don’t buy it, I go from fridge to grill within a few minutes.

I picked this steak up at Japanese Premium Beef on Great Jones street 2" thick. Grilled to 120 degrees and let it rest

you probably could have/should have gone a little more cooked on those fatty japanese steaks as you can still see some fat globules that haven’t melted away.

Globules = Flavor = Good
Looks great Suzanne!

We cooked the balance a little more 5 min in the hot oven after the first few slices.
Not aged meat just a lot of intramuscular fat. mighty tasty.