I should probably start out by saying Mike has declared this the best tasting steak he’s ever had. Cooking directly on the coals produces a really good sear, and the salt creates a little crisp layer that is simple but perfect.
Like Alton, my favorite steak is skirt steak; it has great flavor and can be incredibly tender. Unfortunately the past few times I’ve gone to our grocery store they haven’t had any skirt; I used flat-iorn for this, which is still an awesome cut of steak.
Be sure to use all-natural hardwood charcoal; you don’t want to cook steaks directly on the formed briquette stuff or use lighter fluid to get the fire started. I like to use a chimney starter to light the coals.
While the fire is coming up, take that time to prep all of your tools. You’ll need heavy-duty aluminum foil, long tongs and a cutting board or flat surface to wrap the steaks up on after they come off the grill.
Spread coals in a nice even layer, and lay steaks directly onto the hot the coals. Cook with lid off, turning only once.
Remove steaks from grill and quickly wrap up in aluminum foil. Let the steaks sit for 15 minutes to rest and finish cooking.
While the steaks are resting the they’ll create an awesome au jus. After they’ve fully rested for 15 minutes, open foil packet, remove steaks to a cutting board and slice as desired.
Steak on CoalsMethod from Alton Brown, click here for video Our local grocery store hasn’t had skirt steak for over a month; I’m pretty upset. I used flat-iorn steak here; still excellent.
IngredientsSkirt steak (or other relatively thin steak) kosher salt
EquipmentCharcoal grill All-natural lump charcoal Baking sheet, fitted with wire cooling racks Long tongs Aluminum foil
Place steak on wire rack, set over a baking sheet. Generously season steak with kosher salt and let it rest at room temperature for 60 minutes.
Prepare fire using all-natural lump charcoal. Do not use pre-formed charcoal briquettes or lighter fluid.
I use a chimney starter to get my fire started. Charcoal should be lit and ashed over before dumping. I’ve also found that natural charcoal settles out quickly in the starter, so it helps to add coals as they settle.
Once fire is lit dump coals (if using a chimney starter), and spread coals out in a nice even layer.
Have a large sheet of aluminum foil set on a table to wrap steaks in as soon as you pull them off the grill.
Add steak directly to coals using long tongs. Alton recommends 35-45 seconds per side for skirt steak. I left my flat-iorns on for 60-90 seconds per side. Obviously time will vary depending on temperature and cut of steak; we like out steaks medium, medium rare, so I pulled them a little before because they’ll finish cooking while resting.
Pull steak from grill (removing any stuck-on charcoal). Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and let steaks rest for 15 minutes to finish cooking.
Unwrap, slice and serve with juices.
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