Ribeye Steak Grilled Directly on Charcoal, Caveman-style
Modern grills have made searing easier than ever, but there’s still something to be said for grilling a steak directly on the coals. In addition to the immersive, all-natural experience, your steak will pick up extra smoky flavors and receive a steakhouse-level sear without the need of an infrared burner. This is a method every outdoor cooking enthusiast should try at least once in their lives, so follow the easy steps laid out by video producer Paris and return to your primal grilling roots.
PREP 15 min COOK 8 min REST 5 min READY IN 30 min Serves 1-2 people
- 1 ribeye steak (we used one 1½ inches thick)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- Kosher salt (amount will vary by steak size)
- Freshly cracked black pepper (amount will vary by steak size)
- Other Items You’ll Need:
- All-natural lump charcoal
- Chimney starter
- Remove steak from the fridge and allow it to sit long enough to come to room temperature before cooking.
- Lightly coat both sides of the steak with avocado oil and kosher salt. The freshly cracked black pepper will be applied after the cook so it doesn’t burn while over the fire. The amount needed for both seasonings will vary depending on the thickness of your steak.
- Fill 2 chimney starters with natural lump charcoal and ignite both. If you don’t have 2 on hand, you’ll need to light your chimney starter twice.
- Use 1 batch of lit charcoal to form a base layer of coals. Using an ash tool, spread the coal bed in the base of your grill until it’s as flat as possible.
- Pour the other lit batch of coal on top of the base layer, then allow the coals to burn until they’ve all ashed over.
- Sear your steak directly on the bed of hot coals (not on the grill grates). For a 1½-inch steak, you should plan to cook for about 3–4 minutes a side for medium-rare.
- Midway through searing the first side, give the steak a half-turn to ensure the entire surface has a chance to caramelize on the charcoal. (If the dripping steak fat causes an ongoing flare-up in the coals, don’t panic. Just remove the steak from the fire for a few seconds, then use an ash tool to flip blackened coals in contact with the steak to an ashed-over side. This will let the greasy parts of the coals burn off. At this point, you can return the steak to the coals and resume cooking.)
- After a brown, caramelized crust has formed following about 3–4 minutes of searing on one side, flip the steak to the other side. It’s a good idea to briefly remove the steak with tongs and stir the coal bed right before you flip.
- Give the steak a half-turn midway through searing the second side.
- Once the steak has reached your desired internal temperature, remove it from the coals. Expect the internal temperature of your food to rise a few degrees while resting. For medium-rare, your steak can be pulled from the coals when it reaches 127 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Tent the finished steak with foil, and allow it to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- Slice your steak across the grain, top with freshly cracked black pepper, and enjoy!