How To Grill Steak On Charcoal Grill: Step-by-Step Process

How to Grill Steak on Charcoal Grill” encapsulates the essence of a flavorful culinary adventure. The process involves much more than just putting meat on heat. It is an art that utilizes a charcoal grill’s full potential, turning a good steak into a gastronomic delight with rich, smoky flavors.

Selecting the right cut, such as a New York strip, sirloin steak, or filet mignon, is as important as understanding the heat management of your charcoal grill. Mastering the balance of searing at high heat and achieving the desired doneness at a lower temperature is pivotal to the process.

how to grill steak on charcoal grill

In this article, Soup’s Sports Grill delves into the detailed nuances of grilling steak on a charcoal grill. We provide tips and techniques that elevate your grilling game, taking you from the initial seasoning step to achieving the perfect grill marks on your steak. Discover how to make the most of your charcoal grilling experience and serve up a mouth-watering steak every time.

How To Grill Steak On Charcoal Grill

The process of grilling steak on a charcoal grill involves four main steps: choosing the right cut of steak, preparing your steak, firing up your charcoal grill, and finally, grilling your steak.

Choose the Right Cut

When it comes to grilling steak, your choice of cut is paramount. Various cuts of steak provide different flavors, textures, and levels of tenderness, so it’s essential to select a cut that aligns with your personal taste preferences.

  1. Ribeye: Known for its rich flavor and high-fat content, the ribeye is often considered the king of steaks. It’s marbling – the intramuscular fat – melts during cooking, resulting in an incredibly juicy and flavorful steak. This cut is perfect for those who enjoy a tender steak with a pronounced beefy flavor.
  2. Filet Mignon: Cut from tenderloin, filet mignon is renowned for its tenderness and mild flavor. It’s less fatty than a ribeye, making it a good choice for those who prefer a lean yet tender steak.
  3. Sirloin: Sirloin is a lean cut known for its robust flavor. It’s a versatile cut that’s excellent for a variety of cooking methods, including grilling. This steak cut offers a good balance of tenderness and hearty, beefy flavor.
  4. Flank Steak: The flank steak is a lean, somewhat tough cut known for its rich beef flavor. This cut benefits from marinating and should be sliced against the grain for maximum tenderness.

charcoal grill steak

Preparing Your Steak

Proper preparation is key to achieving a perfectly grilled steak. Here’s how to prepare your steak for grilling:

  1. Seasoning: Salt your steak liberally for at least 40 minutes before grilling. This gives the salt enough time to penetrate the surface of the steak, break down the muscle fibers, and enhance the steak’s flavor and tenderness. Add freshly ground black pepper right before you place the steak on the grill to avoid burning the pepper.
  2. Room Temperature: Allow your steak to sit at room temperature for about an hour before grilling. Cold steak can cook unevenly, resulting in a well-done exterior and a raw interior. By letting your steak come to room temperature, you ensure a more even cook throughout.

Firing Up the Charcoal Grill

A properly set-up grill can make all the difference in your grilling experience. Here’s how to get your charcoal grill ready for grilling your steak:

  1. Clean the Grill: Start by cleaning your grill. Any leftover residue can stick to your steak and impact its flavor. Use a grill brush to clean the grates thoroughly.
  2. Light the Charcoal: Place the charcoals in a pyramid shape in your grill and light them. This arrangement allows for better heat distribution. Let the charcoals burn until they’re covered with a layer of white-gray ash.
  3. Create a Two-Zone Fire: This involves piling most of your coals on one side of the grill to create a hot zone for searing while leaving the other side with fewer coals for a cooler zone, perfect for slower, indirect grilling.

how to grill steaks on charcoal grill

Grilling the Steak

With your steak prepared and your grill ready, it’s finally time to start grilling. This process involves a delicate balance of heat management, timing, and steak manipulation to achieve the perfect sear and ideal level of doneness.

  1. Searing: Begin by searing the steak on the hot zone of your grill. This process, which typically takes about 2-3 minutes per side, gives your steak a flavorful, caramelized crust and helps to seal in the juices. The exact searing time will depend on the thickness of your steak and the heat of your grill.
  2. Indirect Grilling: Once you’ve seared both sides, move your steak to the cooler zone of your grill for indirect grilling. Close the grill lid to create an oven-like environment that cooks the steak evenly and retains moisture.
  3. Flipping: Flip your steak periodically to ensure even cooking. While some grill masters swear by the one-flip method, flipping your steak more often can actually lead to a more evenly cooked steak.
  4. Checking for Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your steak and determine its level of doneness. Here’s a quick guide to steak temperatures:
    • Rare: 120-130°F
    • Medium-Rare: 130-135°F
    • Medium: 135-145°F
    • Medium-Well: 145-155°F
    • Well Done: 155°F and above

    Keep in mind that your steak will continue to cook slightly after being removed from the grill due to residual heat, so it’s a good idea to take your steak off the grill when it’s about 5 degrees below your desired final temperature.

  5. Resting: Once you’ve removed your steak from the grill, let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful bite.

Mastering the process of grilling steak on a charcoal grill can take some practice, but by following these guidelines and being attentive to the details, you’re well on your way to achieving a deliciously grilled steak. Happy grilling!

cooking steak on charcoal grill

After gaining the knowledge from this article, share this with your friends, neighbors, Market housewives, food enthusiasts, and others. Let them also master the art of grilling steak on a charcoal grill.

Resting and Serving the Steak Grilled on Charcoal

Perfectly grilling a steak on a charcoal grill is an accomplishment in itself. Still, understanding how to rest and serve it properly is the final touch that guarantees the best eating experience. Let’s delve into why resting matters, how to rest your steak and tips on serving it.

The Importance of Resting Your Steak

Resting your steak after grilling might seem unnecessary, but it plays a crucial role in enhancing the steak’s flavor and texture. The process allows the juices, which tend to concentrate towards the center of the steak during cooking, to redistribute evenly. Cutting the steak immediately after grilling causes these juices to escape, leaving the steak dry. By allowing the steak to rest, it retains its moisture, ensuring that every bite is as succulent and flavorful as possible.

How to Properly Rest Your Steak

Rest your steak on a warm plate or cutting board, rather than leaving it on the hot grill where it could continue cooking. It is usually best to let the steak rest for about half the time it was on the grill. So, if you grilled your steak for 12 minutes, a 6-minute resting period would be ideal. During this resting period, cover the steak loosely with foil to keep it warm, but avoid trapping steam that could soften the steak’s deliciously seared crust.

how to grill steak charcoal

Serving Your Grilled Steak

Once the steak is rested, it’s time for the grand presentation. When cutting the steak, be sure to slice it against the grain. This method cuts through the muscle fibers and makes the steak easier to chew. Also, bear in mind the pairing of side dishes. Complementary sides like grilled vegetables, a crisp salad, or a tangy sauce not only enhance the steak’s flavor but also add an appealing variety of colors and textures to the plate.

Grilling the perfect steak on a charcoal grill is not just about the process but also about the finish. Properly resting and serving the steak can elevate your grilling game, transforming a good meal into a memorable one.

Troubleshooting and Common Issues of Charcoal Grill Steak

Despite our best efforts, grilling steak on a charcoal grill can sometimes present challenges. However, most issues can be resolved with a little troubleshooting. Below, we address some of the common issues that may arise.

Issue: Uneven Cooking

If your steak is cooking unevenly, it could be due to heat distribution issues on your grill.

Solution: Ensure that your coals are evenly spread on the grill. Alternatively, create a two-zone fire where one side is hotter than the other. This allows for searing on the hot side and slower cooking on the cooler side, leading to a more evenly cooked steak.

Issue: Flare-ups

Flare-ups are sudden bursts of flames caused by fat dripping onto the coals.

Solution: While a little flame can help sear the steak and enhance its flavor, excessive flare-ups can burn the steak. Keep a spray bottle of water handy to douse any excessive flames and move the steak to a cooler zone if flare-ups continue.

how long to cook steak on grill

Steak Sticking to the Grill

This is a common issue that can result in a torn steak and the loss of those perfect grill marks.

Solution: Ensure your grill grates are clean and well-oiled before you start grilling. Also, try to limit flipping the steak. The steak naturally releases from the grates when it’s properly seared.

Steak is Too Dry

Overcooking is often the culprit when steak turns out dry.

Solution: Use an instant-read thermometer to accurately judge when your steak has reached the desired level of doneness. Also, remember to let the steak rest after grilling to allow the juices to redistribute.

Steak is Underseasoned

An underseasoned steak lacks flavor.

Solution: Season your steak liberally with salt before grilling. Salt helps to enhance the steak’s natural flavors and helps form a delicious crust on the outside of the steak.

best way to charcoal grill steak

In the end, grilling the perfect steak on a charcoal grill may involve some trial and error, but understanding these common issues and how to resolve them can help you to consistently produce beautifully grilled steaks.

Safety Tips and Precautions When Grilling Steak on a Charcoal Grill

Grilling steak on a charcoal grill is a delightful culinary experience, but it’s essential to keep safety at the forefront. Below are some detailed safety tips and precautions to help ensure a safe grilling experience.

Grill Setup and Location

Choose a flat, stable surface for your grill to prevent it from being unstable or tipping over, which can be dangerous. Place the grill in an open, well-ventilated area to allow smoke to disperse freely and to prevent potential fire hazards. Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your house, trees, and other flammable materials to further reduce fire risks.

Fire Safety

Avoid using gasoline or kerosene as a starter fluid as these can cause dangerous flare-ups. If you need a starter fluid, use one specifically made for barbecue grills. Adding more fluid to an already-lit grill can cause flames to flare out of control, so refrain from this. Keep a fire extinguisher, a bucket of sand, or a water hose nearby to quickly control or extinguish flames if necessary.

steak on charcoal grill

Grill Operation

Before lighting your grill, always open the grill lid to prevent a sudden flare-up of flames when the fire is lit. An unattended grill can quickly turn into a fire hazard, so never leave it unattended when in use. Also, it’s important to keep children and pets at a safe distance from the grill to prevent accidents.

Food Safety

To prevent cross-contamination, use separate utensils and dishes for raw and cooked steak. Also, ensure your steak reaches the appropriate internal temperature for safe eating. According to the USDA, a medium-rare steak should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and rest for at least three minutes before being served.

Grill Maintenance

Regular cleaning of your grill helps prevent the accumulation of fat and grease, which can cause unexpected flare-ups. After using your grill, ensure that all coals are completely extinguished before disposing of them. This can prevent unintended fires and is an essential step in maintaining your grill.

cook steak on charcoal grill

Safety is paramount when it comes to grilling. By following these tips and precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable steak grilling experience on your charcoal grill.

FAQs on Grilling Steak on a Charcoal Grill

How long should I grill steak on a charcoal grill?

The grilling time for a steak on a charcoal grill can vary depending on the desired level of doneness. For a medium-rare steak, which has an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit, you should grill each side for about 3 to 5 minutes. If you prefer a medium steak, with an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, grill each side for 5 to 7 minutes. For a medium-well steak, which should reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, each side would need to be grilled for about 8 to 10 minutes. Always remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy in reaching the desired internal temperature.


Should I let my steak rest after grilling?

Absolutely, letting your steak rest after grilling is an important step that shouldn’t be skipped. This process allows the juices, which have been concentrated at the center during cooking, to redistribute throughout the steak, enhancing its flavor and tenderness. A good rule of thumb is to let your steak rest for at least five minutes, and absolutely no less than three, before cutting into it. This ensures you retain the juices within the steak, resulting in a more flavorful and succulent bite.


Should you grill steak on a charcoal grill?

Yes, grilling steak on a charcoal grill is a fantastic choice. Any steak cooked on charcoal imparts a smoky and robust flavor that enhances the overall taste and texture. The high heat of charcoal grills sears the meat quickly, creating a flavorful crust while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Whether you prefer a juicy ribeye or a tender filet mignon, grilling on charcoal adds an unmistakable depth of flavor that elevates the steak to a whole new level of deliciousness.

How hot should a charcoal grill be for steak?

For cooking steak on a charcoal grill, it’s recommended to preheat the grill to a temperature of 450°F to 500°F (232°C to 260°C). This high heat allows for a quick sear on the outside while maintaining a juicy interior. It ensures a beautifully caramelized crust and locks in the steak’s natural flavors. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the steak and the desired level of doneness, so it’s important to use a meat thermometer to achieve your preferred results.

Conclusion for How To Grill Steak On Charcoal Grill

How To Grill Steak On Charcoal Grill? In conclusion, learning how to grill steak on a charcoal grill opens up a world of flavor and satisfaction. The combination of charcoal’s intense heat and smoky essence creates a steak that is truly remarkable in taste and texture. By following the recommended temperature range and mastering the searing technique, you can achieve steakhouse-quality results right in your own backyard.

Now that you have the knowledge, it’s time to share it with others. Spread the love of charcoal-grilled steaks by sharing this post with your friends, neighbors, market housewives, food enthusiasts, and anyone else who appreciates a mouthwatering, perfectly grilled steak. Together, let’s ignite the passion for grilling and create unforgettable culinary experiences!

Share now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x