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Grilling Steak on a Charcoal Grill: The Ultimate 5 Step Guide

Grilling Steak on a Charcoal Grill

Grilling steak on a charcoal grill is very gratifying, especially if you love the mouthwatering aroma of steak fat melting and charcoal smoke. Mastering the art of grilling steaks on a charcoal grill is a must to savor the delectable taste of perfectly prepared steaks.

Not only does grilling steaks using charcoal impart a distinct smoky flavor, but it also allows for precise control over temperature, ensuring that your steaks are perfectly cooked every time. In this guide, we will take you through the steps to grill steak on a charcoal grill like a seasoned pro.

Steps and Methods For Grilling Steak on a Charcoal Grill

To grill a steak on your charcoal grill is not that hard if you follow the right steps and use the right methods. There are two fundamental charcoal steak grilling methods, direct heat, and indirect heat. Regardless of which method, is always good to split the coals into two zones for dual zone cooking.

grilling steak using direct heat zone

If you choose to grill the steaks directly, you will have a cooking zone to do so, and the other zone can be used to transfer the steaks during a flare-up or cooking management. Having two cooking zones on your grill is great for cooking large cuts of steak using the reverse sear method. The goal here is to cook the steak slowly until it reaches about 10 to 15 degrees below the steak’s target internal temperature, then move the steak to the direct heat zone and sear.

So now that we have discussed the methods, let’s take a look at the preparing and cooking steps.

Step 1: Selecting the Perfect Steak

The first step to grilling a delicious steak starts with selecting the right cut. It’s best to choose well-marbled steaks like ribeye, strip loin, or tenderloin for maximum flavor and tenderness. Ensure that the steaks are at least 1 inch thick to prevent overcooking.

Step 2: Preparing the Charcoal Grill

Before you begin grilling, you need to prepare your charcoal grill for optimal and safe cooking conditions. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean the grill grates: Scrub the grates using a grill brush to remove any residue or debris from previous grilling sessions.
  2. Charcoal arrangement: Choose either the two-zone or single-pile method for your charcoal arrangement. In the two-zone method, place the majority of the charcoal on one side of the grill (direct heat) and leave the other side with fewer coals or none (indirect heat). The single-pile method creates a single hot zone for direct cooking. This is recommended for those comfortable around a charcoal grill.
  3. Ignite the charcoal: Use a chimney starter or lighter fluid to ignite the charcoal. Allow it to burn until the coals are covered with a thin layer of white ash, indicating that they are hot and ready for grilling.

Step 3: Seasoning the Steaks

While the charcoal is heating up, take the opportunity to season your steaks. Traditionally seasoning both sides of the steaks with some type of salt and freshly ground black pepper is good enough but to extra the most flavor to steaks, use our all-natural steak seasoning, Gypsy. Gypsy adds flavor and incredible texture using spices, herbs, and aromatics.

Step 4: Searing the Steaks ( Pick a Searing Method )

With the charcoal grill set up and the steaks seasoned, it’s time to start grilling:

  1. Place the steaks on the hottest part of the grill (direct heat) and sear each side for approximately 2-3 minutes to lock in the juices and develop a flavorful crust. Avoid moving the steaks around too much during this process.
  2. After searing, move the steaks to the cooler part of the grill (indirect heat) to continue cooking until they reach the desired doneness. For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of around 135°F and check using a meat thermometer. Adjust the cooking time accordingly for different levels of doneness.
  3. For larger cuts of steak simply reverse the methods to use the colder zone to cook the steak first and then use the direct fire to sear.

Step 5: Resting and Serving

Once the steaks have reached the desired doneness, remove them from the grill, and let them rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a juicier and more tender steak. Cover the steaks loosely with foil during the resting period.

Finally, it’s time to serve and enjoy your perfectly grilled steaks. Pair them with your favorite side dishes like roasted vegetables, herbed potatoes, or a fresh garden salad. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t exactly as you envisioned. With time and experience, you’ll become a master of grilling steak on a charcoal grill.

So fire up that charcoal grill and get ready to impress your family and friends with your newfound expertise in grilling the perfect steak. Happy grilling!

Picture of Writen By: Hector

Writen By: Hector

Hector is the CEO and Founder of Stella On Fire Co. As a self-taught chef and entrepreneur at heart, he set out to create amazing seasonings and rub flavors everyone can enjoy. Hector is also our Food Safety and Protection Manager for Stella On Fire Co.

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