Strip Steaks on a Hardwood Fire

May 01, 2017
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Photo: Flickr user Steven Depolo, cc license 2.0

President Eisenhower is noted for loving to cook his porterhouse steaks directly on hardwood coals and Julia Child dedicated an episode of her PBS show to cooking “dirty steak.” Adam Perry Lang coined this method “clinching,” after a boxing term for closing the gap between one and an opponent. Placing meat in direct contact with hot coals leaves no room for the fat to ignite into flame, eliminating that greasy black slick that can compromise the best of steaks. The results are astounding, an umami-rich crust and moist meat with a slight smoky flavor revealing just where that steak has been. I chose macadamia nut for my fire, a hardwood that burns down easily and evenly, imparting a neutral smoke flavor. Kiawe would work, or any hardwood local to your area.

You’ll need:

  • Hardwood or lump charcoal (no briquettes)
  • 4 New York strip steaks
  • Sea salt, coarse crystals
  • Lemon garlic dressing

Visit Edible Hawaii to see how to cook steak on the coals, and how to make the lemon garlic dressing and homemade coconut mustard to go with it.

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