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Creative Ways to Cook a Steak Outdoors: Beyond the Grill


Omaha Steaks is America’s Original Butcher, and we take steak seriously. But that doesn’t mean cooking steak shouldn’t be fun! One of the best things about is there are just about infinite ways to cook it. Our butchers and chefs and favorite customers have tried just about everything – keep reading for three of the weirdest ways to cook a steak outdoors.

Cooking Steak Directly on Coals

Caveman style. Coal-fired. Dirty steak. This crazy-sounding cooking method isn’t for the faint of heart, but it means big smoky flavor and plenty of showmanship for the steak lover who dares.

ON the Coals?

Really. Right on them. For caveman-style cooking, we recommend hardwood lump charcoal instead of briquettes, for added flavor and clean-ness. If you’re using briquettes, the best thing to do is to use a blow dryer to blow away the ash before you place your steak on the coals.

  1. Light your coals as you usually do, getting them red hot and ready for cooking.
  2. Instead of a mound, spread your coals out flat in an even layer.
  3. Place your thick, seasoned steak directly on the hot coals.
  4. Be prepared to flip your steak over within a minute or two, and to flip it more than once. You want to char the outside, but getting even results means active management.

Why Direct Cooking is Delicious

There’s a primal level of satisfaction in a steak cooked this way, sure. But there’s also complex flavor infused into your steak from the smoldering wood. Big steaks, like Omaha Steaks King Cut Steaks, cooked directly on the coals will be extra-crispy on the outside, and super-flavorful on the inside.

Shovel Steak

Another open-fire method that’s big on presentation. Build a fire… a real campfire, a wood fire with great-smelling hardwood logs burning in a fire pit. Buy T-Bone steaks or thick-cut bone-in ribeyes and oil/season them like you would for grilling. Then, grab your shovel. Make sure that you’ve got a handle long enough to safely hold the head in the fire without endangering yourself. Preheat the shovel head for 5-ish minutes, then place a big steak directly on the shovel head and put it back over the fire (just a couple inches above the logs to keep it hot. It’s basically a pan cook, but you’re holding the pan over an open flame at the end of a long stick. Good luck!

Creative Ways to Cook a Steak Outdoors: Beyond the Grill

Afterburner Steak (Chimney Starter Steak)

The afterburner extreme steak cooking method goes for super-high heat, and actually skips the grill altogether. It uses your chimney-style charcoal starter AS the grill. Chimney starter steaks cook SO hot, that we recommend thinner steaks that cook fast.

  1. Fill your chimney starter with a full-size load of charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal.
  2. Place your chimney starter on a FIRE-PROOF surface. If you have a second grill grate, do this entire cook on your grill. If you don’t, do it on a concrete driveway or patio well away from the house.
  3. Place a grill grate over the top of the chimney. Light your coals and wait 15-20 minutes for chimney starter full of coals to become red hot throughout. Looks like a jet’s afterburner, doesn’t it?
  4. Cook your medium-thin steaks fast, just 2 minutes or so per side over the super-hot afterburner.

The Omaha Steaks Difference

No matter how you’re cooking steak, there’s one universal truth: quality matters and Omaha Steaks beef is better. Making sure grillers like you start with the best possible beef is the reason behind everything we do at Omaha Steaks. Our staff of 100+ master butchers puts experience and craft into every steak so that you can focus on the fun part. Every Omaha Steak is:

  • Aged at least 28 days to naturally maximize tenderness
  • Hand-selected, cut, and trimmed by master butchers
  • Individually flash frozen to deliver flavor and tenderness perfection
  • 100% guaranteed (seriously, you get your money back if you don’t like them)

If you’re ready to try these techniques with some of Omaha Steaks very, very best, shop Omaha Steaks steaks right now.

Check out more articles in this steak cooking series:

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