How to Grill a Perfect Steak Over Charcoal

steaks on charcoal grill

With the new arrival of spring every year, thoughts of outdoor activities flood the mind. Soaking up an abundance of sun-filled moments makes the soon coming warmer temperatures all the more appealing.

At some point in his life, a man’s thoughts turn to grilling. Sports often become a “weekend warrior” activity but eating is a daily activity that is injury free (there are exceptions) and grilling makes it a true outdoor sport.. once you master the art.

Becoming a grill master takes a little practice but the rewards are well worth the perseverance. Not only does a grill master get an appetite suppressing reward for his every effort, he is a well-respected “man of men” who is idolized and followed by his peers for his seemingly God-given ability to create a mouth-watering sensation from nothing more than a slab of meat, cut across the muscle of any dull-witted bovine.

We checked in with David Walzog, a leading chef at Michael Jordan’s steak house and author of “The New American Steakhouse Cookbook” to find out how a real man cooks a real mean steak.   Here’s how you can join the ranks of elite grill masters and cook a perfect steak over a charcoal fire.

What is a Perfect Steak?
A perfect steak has a charred exterior which is contrast to a juicy, warm and tender center.

barbecue strips

Step 1

Choose Your Steak. Not just any steak will do. You’re out to impress and only the best cut will allow you to do this. Grab yourself some 15 ounce strip steaks ripped straight from the tenderloin section. You know them as Kansas City strips or New York strips. Look for marbling. Marbling is streaks of fat in lean meat. Yes.. this is a good thing!

Step 2

Prep the meat. Remove your steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grill time. Melt two sticks of unsalted butter over medium-high heat and set aside to cool. Mix 1/2 cup of corn oil with 1/2 cup of your melted butter and add your steaks. Set the steaks out on napkins, allowing the excess mixture to drip off. Coat with pepper and use your salt generously. Walzog advises that the salt makes a great crust and states, “You can’t have too much salt on a steak”.  We knew that already.

Step 3

Start the fire. Stack about 40 charcoal bricks in the center of your grill. Use your man skills to get the fire going and let it burn for about 20 minutes. Make sure the coals have a slightly white color to them and proceed to spread them out along the bottom of the grill.  Cover your grill for another five minutes, making sure the fire is extremely hot before cooking.

Step 4

Let the Grilling Begin. Look for the hottest part of your grill and put the meat there. Don’t allow the direct flame to continually come in contact with the steak. Don’t scoot them around. Flip the steak exactly three times cooking each side cooking each side exactly three minutes each. In 12 minutes, you’ll have a rare-cooked steak that will have your family and friends wondering if you stole Grandma’s secret recipe.

Eat and enjoy!

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  • Chris

    I found rock salt is a good alternative. Rub it in the meat before you put it on the bbq and then give it a tap after to remove excess.
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  • nick

    12 minutes over direct high heat coals would be medium to medium well. Not even close to rare.