064713.FO.0514.food.01.KDM––Grilling steaks  (Photo by Kirk Mckoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
You Should Start Grilling Steak Directly On Charcoal
Even in the modern world of grilling, the age-old practice of cooking steak straight on the embers is becoming more and more popular. If you suspect that this can only result in burnt meat, know that the method is based on careful technique, and with proper prep, cooking your steak directly on charcoal can yield perfect results.
Chef Alton Brown says that he sears a flank steak at around 1,000 degrees F after liberally brining it with salt, then lets it sit at room temperature for an hour. Then, he places the steak on hot coals for about 45 seconds, flips the steak to finish cooking, and then lets it rest for 15 minutes so smoky ash blends with the steak’s juices.
Chef Tim Byers of Smoke Restaurant has his own method, and he rubs thick primal cuts with a blend of chili powder, coffee, and brown sugar so that it forms a crust while on the coals. To try it yourself, it’s important to use untreated lump charcoal so that only wood (sans chemicals) touches the steak for perfect, uniquely smoky results.