The Best Outdoor Grilled Steak I Ever Had
The Homemade Steak Barbecue Pit
Some years ago back when I lived in New York, I had a small backyard with a homemade brick barbecue. It was little more than a dozen stacked bricks forming a 3-sided chamber. It was humble but it worked just fine. I love grilled or barbecued steak and outdoor grilling on the whole! The smells, the anticipation of a delicious serving of slightly charred meat!
With a metal barbecue screen laid across the top level of bricks and several more bricks stacked on the two sides and upon the back, this was my humble barbecue grill. Adequate for char-broiled steak or chicken cookout.
Epic Outdoor Grilled Steak Barbecue
One particularly nice summer afternoon I decided to grill a largish steak. I had the steak already and just enough charcoal briquettes to make one fair fire. With all the remaining charcoal in the fire pit and lighter fluid applied, I lit the fire and withdrew to the home for a short while.
I intended to only allow the noxious lighter fluid to burn away and the charcoal briquettes to reach 'white on the edges' perfection. I lost track of time and overstayed in the home. When I checked the briquettes, they were well past their prime usefulness. The charcoal was so nearly extinguished that could I pass my hand an inch or so over the coals and white ash and the heat was mild, even tolerable. This would never cook my steak ...or would it?
I decided to find out.
Outdoor Grilled Steak over Charred Wild Leeks
Having bunches of wild leeks growing in my backyard (transplanted there a by myself several years prior) I plucked several dozen tall and wide leeks for the grill. I arranged them crisscross fashion, forming a green ‘raft’ of wild leek leaves over which I laid the raw steak.
I next covered completely the entire grill, top and front, with aluminum foil. I wrapped the firebox like a Christmas present; my intent was to capture as much heat and smoke from the dying charcoal briquettes as possible. 'Smother' the steak in char-smoke.
Smokey Grill Flavor on the Steak?
My steak might cook I reasoned. It would at least garner a smoky and perhaps onion-y flavor. Satisfied that I had fully surrounded my steak-on-the-grill with this parachute of foil, I got on my bicycle and went for a ride.
The Smell of Barbecued Steak & Onions Filled the Air!
Returning nearly two hours later, the air around my backyard was FILLED with the most amazing flavor of steak and onions!
I went inside and got a serving plate from the kitchen and retrieved my now barely warm but fully cooked steak. I had to re-heat it inside the house of course, but it was an AMAZING steak! Tender, juicy, very slightly charred and it had the most intriguing brick-red color to it while not being at all overly rare. It was the best and most flavorful steak that I have ever had!
While lidded propane and charcoal-fired barbecue grills do allow the chef to close the lid to retain heat and smoke, this result was not the same. Not even close.
Slow-Grilling Would Work Well on Sausages Too
That may be part of the formula; the super-slow grilling over the course of a few hours. Surely the wild leek leaves helped as well. They would both flavor and keep the meat moist. I would imagine that green onion tops similarly laid across the grill would work just as well. As it was, the leek leaves had charred-away to just a few little brittle black flakes which I scrapped away with the knife before eating but their flavor had most definitely penetrated the meat through and through!
If you have the time for it and are willing to give this a try, a slow char-broiled steak (or roasted chicken, sausages, etc.) prepared in the fashion described might be something to try this summer at your backyard family cookout. This could also work a wonder on German brats or Polish kielbasa with halved bell peppers and quartered sweet onion slices OMG Yum!