Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Caveman steaks - meat and potatoes 101

I have wanted to try the caveman steak method of cooking steaks, and I've wanted to try it for a long time.  However, the thought of throwing an expensive cut of meat into a bed of hot coals, and my thoughts of burned exterior, and raw interior, weren't all that encouraging.

None the less, my curiosity won over, and we finally tried it.  I'm really glad we did.

We brought home some ribeyes that were on sale in our local market, and with lump charcoal in hand, we were ready.

First off, no matter the method of grilling you choose, there is one thing you can do to help with a more tender steak:  let the meat come to room temperature for one hour before putting it on a hot grill.  Ice cold steaks on a hot grill go through a bit more shock, and shock creates a tougher piece of meat.

We generously salted and peppered our steaks, then let them come to room temperature while we started the coals.


A note about the coals used in the caveman steak.  This method calls for lump charcoal, not briquettes.  We found lump charcoal in our local market.  It's more expensive than briquettes, but unless you grill steaks on a regular basis, it's not an expense to shy away from, in my opinion.

Lump charcoal can be started in a coal chimney, just like briquettes.  Seems lump charcoal is ready a little sooner than briquettes, and is a heck of a lot hotter, too.


Once the coals are ready, pour them out, and spread them into an even layer.

They will be very, very hot.  I suggest using long handled grilling tools, to keep your hands further away from the heat source.

Now for the meat!  Just lay those steaks right on top of the hot coals.  A little daunting, I know, but you will be glad you took my advice.  This is a great method.


They will flame up, and smoke a lot.  Not to fear.  Our 1" thick cut, bone in ribeye steaks were cooked to medium after 4 minutes per side.  They were perfect.


When they finish, remove them from the coals, remove any chunks that stick to the meat, and tent them under foil for about 10 minutes.  This resting period allows the juices to re-distribute through the meat, and  when cut, won't drain out, leaving you with a dry steak.

We served ours with fresh pico de gallo, and garlic mashed potatoes.  Quite good.


I hope you will try this method.  It really does yield a great result:  a steak with a smokey crust, juicy and tender on the inside, beautifully cooked to my favorite level of doneness, which is medium.

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