Masterminded by the grilling genius Steven Raichlen, the caveman style steak is steak cooked directly onto coals or hot embers.
The caveman style steak takes the concept of direct heat to a whole new level, searing the meat instantly while preventing moisture loss.
The caveman steak name is perhaps inspired by the rudimentary cooking method, but the technique is also known as caveman cooking or dirty steak.
The Common Cooking Technique
Cooking caveman style steak requires more than brilliant beef steak recipes. Beyond ways of seasoning and preparing the meat for the coals, the success of this method is in the cooking.
The steps are simple, but you’ll have to follow them to the letter.
- Start a fire using hardwood lump charcoal or any hardwood.
- Wait for the coals to get red hot, then spread them into an even layer.
- Fan away the ash.
- Salt the steak and set it directly on the coals and let it cook for 3 minutes, then turn it on the other side for the same number of minutes.
- Remove the steak from the fire and dust away any ash with a pastry brush.
- Add pepper and 1 knob of butter and leave to rest in a tight aluminum foil for 10 minutes, then enjoy!
How to Know If Your Steak Is Ready
Serving your guests a too rare or burnt steak won’t win you a potential Michelin star. If you’re a true perfectionist, a steak thermometer and the best technique to achieve a perfectly cooked steak every time is the reverse searing technique.
In a casual backyard arrangement or on circumstances that keep you away from your temp-measuring pal, know that the steak should be medium-rare after about 6 minutes. 4 minutes are usually enough if you like it rear or up to 8 minutes for a well-done steak (it all depends on the thickness).
A quick way to check if your steak is ready is by pressing the meat with your thumb and see how it feels.
- If it feels tender and fleshy like your cheek, it’s medium-rare.
- If it’s tender but has some resistance, such as your chin, it’s medium.
- It if feels fleshy but resistant, just like your forehead, the steak is well done.
What to Consider Before Cooking a Caveman Style Steak
While there is little doubt that the caveman is one of the best charcoal grill recipes, there are a few things to consider before cooking:
- A juicy rib-eye a Tomahawk or a New York strip is the best steak to grill direct on the charcoal.
- Never put the pepper before the cooking process as that extreme high temperature will burn the peppercorns and you’ll loose them in the process.
- Coal gets very hot, so gloves and long grill tongs are essential.
Let the steak sit out of the fridge for about 1/2 hr before cooking it.
What results is a perfectly cooked caveman style steak with a delicious crispy crust and a tender, juicy core, the smokiness that this method gives to the final product is also something that really adds to the experience.