How to Grill a Steak on Charcoal

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Grilling a steak on charcoal is the best way to bring out its true flavor. Whether you’re firing up the barbecue for a family gathering or just having a special night in, it’s important to know the basics of how to grill a steak properly. In this article, we’ll discuss how to set up the grill, prepare the steak, grill it, rest it, and finally, serve it. By the end, you’ll have a perfectly cooked steak that your family and friends will love.

Grill Set-up

Before you start grilling, it’s important to set up the grill correctly. Start by filling the bottom of the grill with charcoal and lighting it. Make sure to leave a little space between each piece of charcoal to ensure even heat distribution. When the charcoal is glowing red, spread it out evenly across the bottom of the grill. You can use a poker to do this if necessary. To bring the heat up, you can add a few pieces of wood chips to the charcoal. This will provide a smoky flavor to your steak. Once the grill is set up, you’re ready to prepare the steak.

Preparing the Steak

Once you’ve got the grill set up, it’s time to prepare the steak. Start by removing it from the refrigerator and patting it dry with a paper towel. Season the steak with salt and pepper (or whatever spices you prefer) and rub it in with your hands. You can also add a tablespoon of oil to the steak to help keep it moist while it’s cooking. Once the steak is seasoned, it’s ready to go on the grill. If you’re using a gas grill, preheat the grill to medium-high before adding the steak. If you’re using a charcoal grill, wait until the coals are covered in gray ash before adding the steak.

Grilling the Steak

Once the coals are ready, it’s time to start grilling! Place the steak on the grill and leave it there for a few minutes before flipping it. The length of time you leave it will depend on the thickness of the steak, but generally, it should be between two to four minutes. Make sure to use tongs or a spatula to flip the steak, as piercing it with a fork can cause the juices to escape. Flip the steak often, about once every minute, to ensure it cooks evenly. The steak will be ready when it reaches the desired doneness: rare at 125-130F, medium-rare at 130-140F, and medium at 140-145F. For a more accurate reading, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Once the steak reaches the desired doneness, remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least five minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, giving it a juicier texture.

meat on the grill

Resting the Steak

After grilling your steak to the desired doneness, it is important to take a few moments to rest the steak before serving. This is done to allow the juices to settle and reabsorb into the steak, making it more juicy and flavorful. All you have to do is place the steak on a plate and cover it lightly with aluminum foil. Let the steak rest for about five minutes for a thin steak and 10 minutes for a thicker one. If you cut into the steak too soon, all the juices you worked so hard for will escape and the steak will be dry. To keep the steak warm during the resting time, you can place the plate on top of a warm, dry towel. Once the steak is done resting, it is time to dish it up and serve.

Serving the Steak

Once the steak has been cooked to your desired doneness, it’s time to take it off the grill. With a pair of tongs, carefully lift the steak off the grill and onto a plate or cutting board. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before cutting into it, as this will help all the juices redistribute throughout the steak, making it incredibly juicy and flavourful.

When it’s time to serve the steak, slice it against the grain. This is an important step because it makes the steak easier to chew. To do this, you’ll want to look for the long muscle fibers that run in one direction and then cut perpendicular to them.

Finally, serve the steak with your favorite sides. Whether you’re having a classic steak dinner with potatoes and a side salad or serving the steak with a twist, like chimichurri sauce, you’ll be sure to have an impressive and delicious meal.


Grilling steak on a charcoal grill is a simple but rewarding process. With the right preparation, seasoning, and grilling technique, you can create a delicious steak that will be the talk of the town. An important part of the process is to let the steak rest after you take it off the grill – this gives the steak time to reabsorb its juices and become more tender. Finally, be sure to always use a thermometer when grilling steak to assess when it is done. With these tips, you can be sure that your grilled steak will be flavorful, juicy, and cooked to perfection every

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