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The perfect steak

I got sick of all the incorrect and terrible articles buzzing around the interwebs on how to grill steak, so I’ve set the matter to rights. Check it out.


  1. Finally someone else knows how to cook a damn steak. Salt and pepper is all you need–it’s all you need. And if you feel like dropping $30 on a steak Kobe (or the American Wagyu) beef is the way to go.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  2. Hill wrote:

    This is exactly how I cook steaks, and I have successfully transposed it to the stovetop/oven as well. Just don’t call grilling “barbecue.” It ain’t.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  3. Halden wrote:

    true. that’s a mistake.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  4. Hill wrote:

    I have also come around to spending the money to get “choice” beef for any steak I buy. It’s worth it. It is especially worth it if you don’t know what you are doing, as it tends to be much more sympathetic to being cooked poorly.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
  5. Hill wrote:

    I figured it was a minor slip up. Especially here in the Wild West, we must fight to preserve the meaning of “barbecue.”

    Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  6. saint egregious wrote:

    My Perfect steak:
    Porterhouse at least 2 and 1/2 inches thick, three is better, but you have to work with your butcher, who at first won’t believe you’re serious unless he’s a steak guy, who will smile knowingly at your prowess–anything less than 2.5 inches and that poor cow died in vain!

    Then, real charcoal fire, super hot–kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and the best olive oil you can find just to coat that bad boy. Burn the hell out of both sides, the middle should be rare. That’s called ‘black and blue’ should you ever go to a real steak house.
    I do mine Tuscan style, chopping up tons of garlic and some rosemary and let those sit in the best olive oil i can afford while the steak is grilling–that then goes on the side of the steak and catches the juices. Now that’s a real steak–don’t let anyone tell you different. Oh, and if you don’t gnaw on the bone until your eyeballs are greasy, you haven’t done it right!

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  7. Halden wrote:

    Sorry, I just had a doxological moment.

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink
  8. Hill wrote:

    I have become a fan of the Porterhouse as well. The name of this preparation is bistecca alla fiorentina. I just doxologized, too.

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  9. Charlie Collier wrote:

    Top steakhouses use beef we cannot get (USDA Prime) and cook it under heat we cannot produce (salamander broilers at 1800 degrees). It’d be nice to be able to do a side by side comparison, just to see what difference this makes.

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  10. Hill wrote:

    I saw Alton Brown cook a porterhouse in a charcoal chimney starter (underneath) as a poor man’s approximation of a salamander broiler. It looked very sketchy (he definitely got ash on the steak at one point) but I suppose it was pretty hot.

    I have had very good results with max heat and a cast iron skillet. The bonus there is the amazing gravy one can make afterwards.

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  11. erin wrote:

    A perfect explanation and recipe save for the beer lacuna

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  12. Halden wrote:

    That’s only because there’s never one right answer when it comes to beer accompaniment.

    There are, of course, a lot of wrong answers.

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  13. erin wrote:

    ! to try a local altbier!

    Friday, July 2, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  14. adhunt wrote:

    I worship at the cooking feet of Alton Brown. Fuck recipes! With the right tools we can ad hoc an infinite array of gastronomical possibilities.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  15. Both Halden and Saint Egregious have the right of it. I do favor Saint E’s porterhouse steak (which combines the shortloin –or ‘fillet’–for you Canadians, with the tenderloin) with the rosemary, but I would skimp on the garlic so it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor. Also, My Sicilian family routinely tops it off with a big gob of butter. Perhaps you all can help me out and weigh in on the merits of the “Hummer H3T” vs. the “Hummer H3 Alpha” as well. The Alpha gets less mileage, but it does have more cup holders.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 9:47 am | Permalink
  16. Jason Knott wrote:


    Very entertaining and informative. I’ll take it all to heart, and just say that though I’m no pacifist, I’m VERY glad that you are.

    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
  17. Halden,

    Great post. I’ll be using your advice next time. I wanted to get your thoughts on this recent article about cooking steak by the LA Times food editor: In particular, check out the part about turning the steak.

    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

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