How to Cook Steak on A Charcoal Grill?

18 minutes read

Cooking steak on a charcoal grill can be a delicious and enjoyable experience. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Start by preparing the grill. Arrange the charcoal briquettes in a single layer on the bottom of the grill. Leave some space in the center for indirect cooking. Light the charcoal using a chimney starter or lighter fluid, allowing it to burn until the coals are covered with white ash.
  2. While the grill heats up, take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This allows the steak to cook more evenly.
  3. Pat the steak dry using paper towels and season it generously with salt and pepper, or any other desired seasoning. You can also marinate the steak beforehand for added flavor.
  4. Once the grill is heated, use tongs to place the steak directly over the hot coals. Sear each side for about 2-3 minutes to create a nice crust. This step locks in the juices and adds flavor to the meat.
  5. After searing, move the steak to the cooler side of the grill, where there are no coals directly underneath. This creates indirect heat, which allows the steak to cook more evenly without burning the exterior.
  6. Cover the grill with the lid, leaving the vents partially open to maintain airflow. This helps control the temperature inside the grill.
  7. Cook the steak for an additional 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or adjust the cooking time based on your desired level of doneness. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For medium-rare, aim for a reading of around 135°F (57°C).
  8. Remember to flip the steak only once during cooking to retain the juices and avoid overcooking. Opening the grill too frequently can cause temperature fluctuations.
  9. When the steak reaches the desired doneness, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.
  10. Finally, slice the steak against the grain and serve it immediately while it's still hot.


Enjoy your perfectly grilled steak straight from the charcoal grill!

Best Charcoal Grills of May 2024

1
Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover, 811 Square Inches, Black, Outdoor Camping

Rating is 5 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover, 811 Square Inches, Black, Outdoor Camping

  • 811 Square Inches: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Tasty Smoke Flavors: The offset smoker is firmly attached to grill to ensure good circulation of heat and smoke. Easy to open side door to add charcoal and remove ashes; air vent stokes fire instantly.
  • Adjustable Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature and you can cook with great confidence.
  • Grill Cover Included: Made of heavy-duty fabric, the cover protects your grill from elements and withstands the harshest weather.
  • Ample Space: Front and side tables offer workspace for seasonings and grilling tools. The bottom shelf provides extra storage space and holds up to only 20 lb. accessories when they are evenly distributed.
2
Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

  • Stay true to the modern version of the kettle that started it all—the Original Kettle, invented by Weber’s founder, and loved around the world. Its ultra-durable, porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, while the damperseasily adjust for precise temperature control. With a One-Touch cleaning system for easy cleanup after a long day of grilling, the Original Kettle will always be the grill built for everyone
  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle-free ash cleanup.Removable, aluminum ash catcher
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl Retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
  • 3D interactive assembly instructions for this product are available through the free BILT app.
3
Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black

  • CHARCOAL GRILL - Barrel style BBQ Grill with heavy duty steel construction and powder coating finish, the perfect grilling solution for small decks, backyards, and patios
  • LARGE COOKING AREA - 250 square inch total cooking area delivers exceptional taste and charcoal flavor
  • BARBECUE GRILL FEATURES - Thick Cast Iron Cooking Grates, Bottom Storage Rack, Heavy-Duty Steel Construction, Side Air Vent, Stay Cool Wood Handle, Wheels for Easy Mobility, and Side Shelf Workstation with Barbecue Tool Storage Hooks
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE & CLEAN - Assembles easily and quickly cleans up after use with the Easy Dump Ash Pan
4
Royal Gourmet CC1830 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

  • 627 Smoking Space: 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates with 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack offer enough space to cook.
  • Heat Control: Close the side air vent completely that cuts off the oxygen flow to help extinguish coals and adjust the smoke stack for extra heat control.
  • Adjustable Fire Grates: 2-level height-adjustable fire pan ensures more controlled cooking and holds up to 6 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check heat fluctuations for confident grilling.
5
Royal Gourmet CD1824M 24-Inch Charcoal Grill, BBQ Smoker with Handle and Folding Table, Perfect for Outdoor Patio, Garden and Backyard Grilling, Black, Medium

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CD1824M 24-Inch Charcoal Grill, BBQ Smoker with Handle and Folding Table, Perfect for Outdoor Patio, Garden and Backyard Grilling, Black, Medium

  • Spacious Cooking Area: 384 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates and 106 sq. in. stainless steel warming rack provide a total of 490 sq. in. cooking space respectively, serving up to 10 people.
  • Height-adjustable Charcoal Pan: The crank handle controls the distance between the charcoal pan and food for fine-tuning temperature and regulating heat. The charcoal pan holds charcoal up to 4.5 lb. for each use.
  • Convenient Access Door: Front charcoal access door with heat-resistant spring handle provides more convenience for adding charcoal and controls heat loss to a minimum during cooking.
  • Built-in Thermometer Gauge: The lid-mounted thermometer indicates the temperature changes precisely in real-time.
  • Air Flow: Two adjustable air vents control air circulation to enhance sufficient burning of charcoal for efficient smoking.
6
Royal Gourmet Barrel Charcoal Grill with Front Storage Basket, Backyard BBQ Party and Outdoor Cooking Grill on Clearance Prime with Wheels, Black, CC1830T

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Royal Gourmet Barrel Charcoal Grill with Front Storage Basket, Backyard BBQ Party and Outdoor Cooking Grill on Clearance Prime with Wheels, Black, CC1830T

  • Additional Cooking Options: The charcoal grill can meet your versatile cooking demands by slow smoking or grilling ribs, veggies, lobster tails, or other preferred ingredients.
  • Ample Cooking Area: To accommodate 23 hamburgers at once, there are 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates and a 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack as a secondary heating area.
  • Impressive Storage: Store seasonings in the front basket, hang some cooking utensils on the integrated hooks, place plates and other food on the side tables, and meanwhile put your charcoal on the bottom storage shelf.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: Easily control the distance between food and fire with the lifting handle to regulate cooking temperature, which also saves fuel in the meantime.
  • Heat Control: Customize your desired temperature by twisting the air damper and smoke stack, thus getting the best cooking results.
7
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press; Built-in lid thermometer. Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
  • One-Touch cleaning system with high-capacity ash catcher provides hassle-free ash cleanup
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Cooking grate is hinged for easily adding charcoal while grilling
8
Royal Gourmet CC1830S 30" BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker | 811 Square Inch cooking surface, Outdoor for Camping | Black

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830S 30" BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker | 811 Square Inch cooking surface, Outdoor for Camping | Black

  • 811 Square Inches: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Tasty Smoke Flavors: The offset smoker is firmly attached to grill to ensure good circulation of heat and smoke. Easy to open side door to add charcoal and remove ashes; air vent stokes fire instantly.
  • Adjustable Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature and you can cook with great confidence.
9
Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D X-Large Premium Dual Chamber Charcoal Grill

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D X-Large Premium Dual Chamber Charcoal Grill

  • Removable firebox divider for single or dual cooking zone
  • Primary cooking area is 576 square inches
  • Secondary cooking area is 240 square inches
10
Royal Gourmet CC1830W 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830W 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

  • Spacious Cooking Area: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack, and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Offset Smoker: Use the side fire box to get tasty and authentic smoky flavors in the main chamber. Smoking, grilling, or searing all will be your choices.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan ensures better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lb. of coal.


How do I determine the doneness of the steak by using the touch test?

To determine the doneness of a steak using the touch test, you can follow these general guidelines:

  1. Start with clean hands and make sure your steak is properly cooked on both sides.
  2. Use your hand to compare the feel of the steak's firmness to different parts of your hand.
  3. Understand the correlation between the firmness of the steak and the different levels of doneness:
  • Rare: When you touch the fleshy area of your palm just below the thumb, the steak should feel very soft and squishy, similar to the texture of your steak when it's rare.
  • Medium Rare: Touch the area of your palm between your thumb and the base of your pinky finger. This will give you an indication of how a medium-rare steak should feel. It should feel slightly firmer than when it's rare, but still retain some softness.
  • Medium: Using your thumb and middle finger together, press the fleshy part of your palm comparing the firmness to your steak. A medium steak should feel firm but still have a slight give.
  • Well-Done: Firmly press the fleshy part of your palm with your thumb and pinky finger touching each other. This simulates how a well-done steak feels. It should feel very firm with no give.
  1. Practice and familiarity with the touch test will help you become more accurate in gauging the doneness of a steak based on its firmness.


Note: It's essential to use a meat thermometer for accurate results, especially if you're new to using the touch test. The touch test is subjective and may vary depending on factors such as the thickness of the steak, type of meat, and personal preference.


How long should I grill the steak on each side for medium-rare doneness?

For a medium-rare steak, you should grill each side for about 4-5 minutes. However, cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the steak and the temperature of the grill. To ensure the desired doneness, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. For medium-rare, the thermometer should read around 130-135°F (55-57°C).


What is the best way to clean a charcoal grill after cooking steak?

Cleaning a charcoal grill after cooking steak can be done effectively by following these steps:

  1. Allow the grill to cool: Before starting the cleaning process, it's important to let the grill cool down completely to avoid any burn injuries.
  2. Remove the grates: Take out the cooking grates from the grill and set them aside.
  3. Brush off debris: Use a grill brush with wire bristles to scrape off any leftover food particles, grease, or debris from the grates. Make sure to scrub both sides thoroughly.
  4. Empty the ash/charcoal: Remove the grill's ash catcher or open the bottom vents to let the ash out. Be careful not to spread it everywhere. Safely dispose of the cold ash/charcoal in a designated area.
  5. Wipe down the inside: Using a damp cloth or paper towels, wipe down the inside of the grill, removing any grease, oil, or ash that may have accumulated. You can also use a mild soapy water solution to clean more stubborn stains.
  6. Clean the exterior: Use a grill cleaner or mild soapy water to wipe down the external surfaces of the grill, including the lid, handles, and side trays. Rinse with clean water and dry them thoroughly.
  7. Clean the grates: Soak the grates in warm soapy water for around 15 minutes to loosen any remaining grease. Scrub the grates with a grill brush to remove any remaining residue or burnt-on food. Rinse them thoroughly with clean water.
  8. Reassemble and store: Once everything is cleaned and dry, reassemble the grill and store it in a clean, dry place, protecting it from the elements.


It's important to note that regular maintenance and cleaning after each use will help to prolong the life of your grill and ensure optimal performance.

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