Skip to content

How to: grilling steak

Six steps to firing up the perfect steak on a charcoal grill.

  • beef-steak
  • Cut:Steak
  • When it’s Done:
    • 130°F rare
    • 135°F medium-rare
    • 145°F medium
    • 150°F medium well
    • 160°F well done
  • 4 steaks of your choice
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4

You’ve been thinking about it all day — the first bite of that gorgeous, thick-cut steak that’s sitting in your fridge and begging to be grilled. Whether you’re grilling rib eye, filet mignon, or a simple sirloin, if you follow these six simple steps using Kingsford® Charcoal, these decadent cuts will always be seasoned and grilled to perfection.

  1. kfd-howtosteak-2Stage_0394

    Fire up the grill.

    For steaks, you want the heat as high as possible — seriously, searingly hot. In fact, we recommend topping out anywhere from 550–650°F. Fire up a chimney of Kingsford Charcoal or light a pile of 100 briquets. With its higher top temperature and consistent burn, Kingsford Professional is perfect for steaks. When the coals are ready, arrange them in a two-zone fire. Replace the top grate, allow it to heat up — all vents should be fully open — then pour cooking oil on a folded paper towel and oil the grate using long-handled tongs.
  2. 2

    Prep and season the steak.

    Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature — around 30 minutes. Trim excess fat to avoid flare-ups, and vertically slash the thin piece of fat around the outside of the steak to keep it from curling. Liberally apply coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Flip the steak and repeat the process.

  3. Steak on the grill

    Sear and flip the steak.

    Place the steak at the hottest part of the grate, directly above the coals, and let it sear for two to three minutes, then flip the steak and sear the other side for two to three minutes. During the searing process, resist the urge to move the steak around with the tongs, as this will prevent optimal grill marks. Close the lid to prevent flare-ups.
  4. 4

    Move to warm side.

    After the steak is properly seared, if it’s not finished, move it to the warm side of the grate (not directly over the coals), close the lid and continue to cook the steak until it’s at your desired temperature for doneness. You don’t need to flip the steak during this indirect grilling stage.
  5. 5

    Check for doneness.

    Using a digital instant-read meat thermometer, check the temperature of the steak while it’s still on the grill. Grill the steak to your desired taste: 130°F for rare, 135°F medium-rare, 145°F medium, 150°F medium well and 160°F for well done. Keep in mind that the steak will continue to cook a few degrees more when it’s removed from the grill.
  6. kfd-hoetosteak-Steak_4_0323

    Remove and rest.

    After removing the steak from the grill, place on a cutting board, loosely cover it with aluminum foil, and allow it to “rest” for five minutes (the temperature will continue to rise a few degrees while the juices redistribute into the meat).

For a restaurant quality sear to your steaks, place a couple bricks in the bottom of your grill to raise the lower cooking grate. This way, your steaks will sit two to three inches above the coals for a higher heat sear.

Learn more

You can use your finger to test for the perfectly done steak by feel.

Learn more

You look like someone who loves to grill

Sign up for our mailing list and we’ll send you “show-stopper” grilling ideas and recipes to make your cookouts the talk of the town.

We’ll also share exclusive offers and other great info from Kingsford Charcoal.

Sign up now