It's time to tackle extreme steak grilling. For obvious reasons, we're going to have to leave out steaks grilled over a trough of molten lava--a cooking stunt sponsored by "Lava Project" at Syracuse University and shared on Twitter and Facebook by Popular Mechanics.
Why extreme grilling? It takes you out of your comfort zone and adds a dimension of flavor you simply cannot achieve through conventional grilling. Besides, there's nothing more theatrical (not to mention fun) than grilling a steak without the one piece of equipment most people consider indispensable for grilling: a grill grate.
Here are three variations on the theme, all of which produce great steaks.
- In the embers: Somewhere around 1.8 million years ago, a human ancestor called Homo erectus became the first animal to cook his dinner. What I call "Caveman T-bones"--steaks grilled directly on the embers--pays homage to that first caveman barbecue. I've amazed more than a few people when I've demonstrated Caveman T-Bones at Barbecue University and on Primal Grill. Roasting the steaks on the embers gives the meat a surface charring and smoke flavor you just can't duplicate on a conventional grill. Add pan-fried jalapeños, cilantro, and garlic, and the "wow" factor is off the charts.
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Steven Raichlen is the author of the Barbecue! Bible cookbook series and the host of Primal Grill on PBS. His web site is BarbecueBible.com.