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posted June 12, 2023

How to Grill Steak on a Charcoal Grill

If you’re ready to learn the process of cooking steak over charcoal, you’ve come to the right place. This steak is bursting with flavor with simple seasoning and good, classic BBQ technique. Here’s the full 411 on how to grill steak on a charcoal grill.

Grilled steak cooked on a charcoal grill.

Steak on a Charcoal Grill

There’s something extra special about a steak cooked on a charcoal grill. The added flavor from the charcoal works so beautifully with the rich flavor of the beef that can’t be explained until you try it yourself.

Charcoal adds a classic smoky flavor to anything you cook on it, but steaks are the best. There is something magical about the juices dripping from beef onto hot coals causing that signature sizzle that just makes mouths water before they even get a bite.

Three ribeye steaks being seasoned with Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub.

Best Steak to Grill on Charcoal

My favorite cut for a beautiful dinner is a ribeye steak, but this method also works beautifully with strip steaks, filets, or the more affordable sirloin steaks. This recipe works with many different cuts of steak, so feel free to try them all out.

If you’re looking at grades of beef, you’ll notice quite a variation in price a quality. Prime beef is typically the most marbled with fat, which means the most flavorful and tender. Choice is a great grade with a good amount of marbling and the most common you’ll see in supermarkets. Select is typically unlabeled and doesn’t have a huge amount of marbling, but it is often the most affordable.

Charcoal being dumped out of a chimney.

How to Grill Steak on a Charcoal Grill

I think I’ve talked up this recipe quite enough by now. Let’s get to the process of making this entree. Here’s how to grill steak on a charcoal grill. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for full ingredients and instructions in the printable recipe card.)

  1. Preheat the charcoal. Light the charcoal and allow them to develop a white ash coating. Pour the briquettes onto one side of the grate for two-zone cooking. For more information on lighting charcoal, check out my post on How to Start a Charcoal Grill.
  2. Season. Brush the steaks with extra virgin olive oil and then season on both sides with Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub. You can purchase Beef Rub from the Hey Grill Hey Store or use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder if you don’t have any on hand.
  3. Grill. Place the steaks on the indirect heat side of the grill (not above the hot coals), and grill for 10 minutes per side or until the steaks reach 125 degrees F for medium rare.
  4. Sear. Move the steaks over to the direct heat side of the charcoal grill and grill for 2-3 minutes per side or until the steaks reach a final temperature of 135 degrees F (for medium rare steak; adjust time as needed for your preferred doneness).
  5. Rest and serve. Remove the steaks from the heat to a serving platter and rest for 5-10 minutes. Once the meat has had time to rest, slice the meat against the grain and serve this gorgeous entree with your favorite sides.

Ribeye steak over indirect heat side of a charcoal grill.

How Long to Cook Steak on Charcoal Grill

If you are cooking your meat to medium rare, plan on around 25-30 minutes to cook your steaks. Increase or decrease your time to your preferred doneness, always making sure you are cooking to temperature and not to time.

For a guide on these temps, check out my Steak Temperature and Doneness Guide.

Seasoned ribeye steak over direct heat on a charcoal grill.

Tips for Grilling Steaks on Charcoal

Here are some tips for grilling steak on charcoal.

  • Salt and pepper are your best friend. If you don’t have any Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub on hand, a simple 1 to 1 blend of Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper is the best way to start seasoning your steaks. You can add a little garlic powder as well if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • Use a thermometer. Every steak and every grill is a little different. Timing is a good guideline, but a reliable internal meat thermometer ensures accuracy and success every time.
  • Cook each steak to your desired doneness. For the indirect step of this method, you want your steaks to be about 10 degrees below the target finished temperature before moving them over to the direct heat side.

Charcoal grilled steak on a serving dish.

More Grilled Steak Recipes

Who doesn’t love a good grilled steak, am I right? If you’re looking to try out some other unique and classic grilled steak recipes, check out the links below.

Steak on Charcoal Grill Recipe

Here’s hoping you feel more confident in how to grill steak on a charcoal grill. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind-the-scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!

How to Grill Steak on Charcoal Grill

Susie Bulloch
If you're ready to learn the process of cooking steak over charcoal, you've come to the right place. This steak is bursting with flavor with simple seasoning and good, classic BBQ technique. Here's the full 411 on how to grill steak on a charcoal grill.
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 30 mins
Resting Time : 5 mins
Total Time : 50 mins
Servings : 2 people
Calories : 594kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 boneless ribeye steaks (about 1.5 inches thick)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub (or equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder)

Instructions

  • Preheat your charcoal. Fill a chimney starter with charcoal briquettes and place crumpled newspaper, tumbleweed, or paraffin starter cube beneath it. Ignite the newspaper or starter cube and let the briquettes burn until they develop a white ash coating, usually around 15-20 minutes. Carefully pour the hot briquettes onto one side of the charcoal grate, creating a two-zone fire (direct and indirect heat).
  • Season. Brush both sides of each steak with olive oil to promote a sear and help prevent sticking. Season the steaks on both sides with the Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub.
  • Grill over indirect heat. Place the steaks over the indirect heat side of the grill and close the lid. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip, close the lid again, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Check the temp. Insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of around 125 degrees F. Adjust the grilling time based on your desired level of doneness.
  • Sear. Move the steaks directly over the hot coals, positioning them at a 45-degree angle to the grill grates. Grill the steaks for approximately 2-3 minutes, leaving the grill open, then rotate 45 degrees to create those appealing diamond-shaped grill marks. Check the internal temperature of your steaks again, as they should now be around 135 degrees F for medium rare.
  • Rest. Once the steaks reach the target temperature, remove them from the grill and let them rest on a cutting board for about 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a tender and juicy result.
  • Slice and serve. After the resting period, slice the steaks against the grain into thin strips. Serve the grilled steak with your preferred side dishes, such as grilled vegetables, baked potatoes, or a fresh salad.

Notes

Note: Cooking times can vary depending on the thickness of the steaks and the heat of your grill. Always use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure the desired level of doneness. Adjust the grilling time accordingly.

Nutrition

Calories: 594kcal | Protein: 45g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 7094mg | Potassium: 607mg | Vitamin A: 34IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 4mg
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