It’s grilling season! (At least in North America.) I purchased my current grill in 2011; it is charcoal and looks like a Weber, but came from some other company, and will be ditched into the trash (or, better yet, sent off to become scrap metal) when I move next year. Yep, cheesy cheap. It will be replaced by something more quality, with a smoker attached.
I light it using a charcoal chimney, kitchen matches, newspaper, and hardwood lump charcoal. It takes about 20 minutes, sometimes 30, to burn the coals down to where I like them — during which time I prep parts of dinner, so it’s not like I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting on it.
For this particular set of meals, I grilled up a venison steak (gift from my Bro), and a rib eye steak. Both are quality meats requiring only minimal preparation. I also grilled sliced golden Yukon gold potatoes, not depicted today.
Each steak was 8 ounces. Technically this makes four meals, although for me it served as three. Leftovers became part of lunch salads that week.
For a quality steak (beef, venison, buffalo, etc.), extensive marination hides the quality, and is decidedly not necessary.
The steaks I cooked were about 1/2 to 2/3 inches thick. You will need to adapt some of this if your steaks are thicker or thinner.
For the ribeye, with its marbelling, no oil is needed. Simply rub a little salt, a little ground pepper, and maybe a dash or two of garlic powder all over the meat. Let it sit about an hour — for the last thirty minutes let it sit outside the fridge so it can come to room temperature.
For the venison steak, a meat which extremely non-fatty, start with a little oil, maybe a teaspoon, and rub the steak all over with it. I used avocado oil, since it has a high smoke point. Then, rub in a little salt, a little ground pepper, and maybe a dash or two of garlic powder all over. Again, let it sit about an hour; for the last 30 minutes it should be allowed to come to room temperature, too.
In other words, the use of oil or not should be dependent on the cut of steak (ie, its inherent fat) you are using.
Get your fire good and hot — when you pour your coals put them to one side, so you can have both direct and indirect heating. Propane grills can usually be set up the same way — a hotter side and a cooler side.
To sear the meat: drop the steaks on the direct/hottest part of your grill grate. Let sizzle for a couple of minutes — discourage flames on the meat, however — move the steak up and away if necessary. After a couple of minutes, flip the steak and sear that side. For those fancy grill marks, turn the steak 90 degrees and sear again for another minute each side. (I don’t care one way or another about fancy grill marks — at least when dining alone.)
Move the steaks to the indirect side of the grill, and cook (covered) until you are inclined to think they are done — these turned out rare but hot all the way through — but I’m also perfectly happy with medium rare for ribeye or venison — leaving at least some pink for me is important. Timing will depend on the heat within your grill. You’ll want at least 2 minutes, maybe 5 minutes for medium rare. You can use a meat thermometer if you wish, but for quality steaks where I trust the source, I’m just as happy using visual clues. Oh, PS, the less charring, the less carcinogens…
Pull off the grill and let the steaks rest for about five minutes. Longer if thicker, of course.
Slice against the grain, thin or more thickly as you choose. Yum!