Cooking steaks straight over wood?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by sandman67, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. sandman67

    sandman67 Newbie

    I read somewhere where the guy said he cooked steaks straight over mesquite wood. Said it was the best steak he ever made. I'm still learning here so please don't mind the question but does that mean he just used wood, no charcoal to cook with? If so how is that done? Are you cooking the steaks as the wood is burning with flames or are you burning the wood down to coals and then cooking over them? He said the steaks had no grill marks on them which makes me think there was no open fire....
  2. muscleoverimport69

    muscleoverimport69 Smoke Blower

    Im new too but I am going to assume he smoked em with the mesquite wood. Somebody else should know the answer to that definetly though.
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A pile of coals works well for this. I have used oak, apple, and maple. Good stuff! Need to have a good bed of them tho.
  4. chef_boy812

    chef_boy812 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I cook a steak over wood or otherwise,

    I will get a heap ofcharcoal going more than what I need for a smoke and let that get good and hot. I will throw a couple of logs on, put my coal bed as close to my grill grate as possible and puta sheetpan upside down over the grate. (use an old one it will warp and discolor.)

    after about 20 minutes or when the logs are mostly burned down, I will lower the coal bed and take off the sheet pan. brush the grates with oil (careful for flairups)

    And with the steak at a diagonal 10 o'clock placement on the grill .

    then I turn it over with a flip so it is diagonla at 2 o'clock on the other side.

    next I flip it over in the same 2 o'clock direction, and finally for the last flip I have back flipped over at the 10 o'clock position.

    depending on the thickness of your steak it can be anywhere from 1 minute to a side to 7 minutes to a side for a big 14 oz. newyork.

    The reason for the four flips, besides the nice cross hatch marks is that when you are cooking the bottom of the steak it is pushing moisture to the top side. so the flip is sort of a balancing action to keep the moisture in the middle of the meat.

    It takes practice to temp a steak by touching it, so you might want to use a thermometer to start.

    130 for MR
    140 for M
    150 for MW

    these temps allow for a carryover cooking and a rest time.
    never cut a hot steak from the grill, it will "bleed out" and be 2 temps higher for your work.

    Good luck.
  5. bbq addict

    bbq addict Smoke Blower

    When I've smoked steaks, I would push the coals to one side and throw a couple pieces of wood on the side with the coals right when I put the meat on. It takes in a lot of smoke and flavor!

    Good luck!
  6. muscleoverimport69

    muscleoverimport69 Smoke Blower

    That sounds good Chef Boy. Ill have to try it. Whats the sheet pan for though
  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Richtee has it down right. Try red oak on beef, it is the preferred wood especially for grilling Tri Tip and the likes, at least in SoCal.
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah... it does have a bit of a different flavor than white oak. More Woodsey? maybe? I have had a steak done on red oak a while back...delicious!
  9. solar

    solar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I've bought bags of large lump mesquite that are to used in place of charcoal, it burns a bit hotter but takes some time getting up to temp. I spread out a ½ lit chimney layer of charcoal and dumped the mesquite chunks on top, it worked great.
  10. pa_smoker

    pa_smoker Newbie

    I Tivo'd a plethora of Alton Brown episodes at my girlfriend's place and he was doing an episode on Steak that I watched over the weekend.
    He got a nice hot bed of coals going and then blew them with a hair dryer to get all of the ash off of the top and then threw down a flank steak right on top of the coals, no grate or anything, directly on the coals. he let it for I think 60 seconds on each side and was done. It looked pretty awesome when he was done and he swore by it.

    Any one else see this or heard of this method? My $0.02
  11. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like cooking over an open fire. Tastes soooooo goooood. lol
  12. chef_boy812

    chef_boy812 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I put the sheetpan on top to make the grill grates as hot as I can.
    This gets them virgin clean and when you hit them with a oil clothe they are stick free, and will give the nicest grill marks. this is a sheet pan with a 1" edge tall all around the pan. I don't think a flat one will permit the airflow above the grates.

    When I was a grill chef over a wood grill at a place called BIN 36, we would do that at the beginning of service while I was doing my Big log burn to set the coals.

    we would get the iron grates so hot sometimes they would be bright red and start to sag, don't let them get that hot.

    thats is why I cut you off at 20 minutes.

    Good Luck
  13. daboys

    daboys Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We cook over an open fire all the time out camping. Just let the wood burn down, foil up some tators, throw them right in the coals, and put the steaks on the grates. Good stuff!
  14. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I cook steaks and burgers over an "open fire" when camping in the backcountry frequently. That is to say coals that have burned down after burning wool for a while. Not over open flames licking at the meat. That in my opinion is "burning" not cooking. I make a fire pit shaped like a keyhole, mainly round with a rectangular section protruding, keep fire in the round, pull coals to the rectangle. Then I pack a foldup grill that goes over the coals and on which I cook on.
  15. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Woah... great method! Learn something new every day eh!! - [​IMG]
  16. davidmcg

    davidmcg Meat Mopper

    We do the same here with the ECB. Just take out the waterpan and get that coal basket way up there. Load it up with some good lump and toss on some cherry, apple and mesquite chunks -- small ones. Let them burn down and throw on the steaks. After the first flip we toss on some shavings around the outer edges. Flip again and then they are usually done. The other way we do it is in our fire pit that we put a camping rack over. The mixed wood coals really bring the flavor out, works great for chicken too. Mostly do steaks on the fire put when its nice and cool outside. Something about a steak cooked outside on the firepit with the cool aie that makes something special. Toss the potatoes wrapped in foil right into the coals and a little tin of cornbread. What a meal.
  17. 1chaos52

    1chaos52 Smoke Blower

    Years ago, I went camping with a bunch of friends and I cooked a steak over the camp fire using a fish basket. It was the most delicious steak I have ever eaten and I always think back to that every time I eat steak. Was cooked of a camp fire with sugar maple for wood. This was long before I even got into smoking, but is one of the reasons I did.
  18. sandman67

    sandman67 Newbie

    So you're actually letting the fire "lick" at the steak as it cooks right? This isn't just hot coals, we're talking still in the flames stage right?
  19. jbchoice1

    jbchoice1 Smoking Fanatic

    I did... he was cooking skirt steaks... right on the coals for 1 minute per side... he was making fajitas I think
  20. 1chaos52

    1chaos52 Smoke Blower

    I actually did mine over open flame, but using a fish basket with a long handle. I held the steak above the flame for the most part, but the flame did hit it from time to time. The steak did not get charred at all and was still very tender and juicy. My girl is not a big fan of camping, so I have not had a chance to try this again, but I am slowly convincing her that camping is fun.

Share This Page