“A special occasion dish for sure, a perfectly grilled rib eye is medium-rare from edge to edge and has a thick, crusty sear—a combination that sets this intensely beefy cut at the pinnacle of steaks. My method for grilling rib eye comes out of my fine-dining experience and the sous vide craze. I became determined to get that same succulent, evenly cooked result: a steak that is juicy and tender all the way through. Here’s the key: You want to turn the meat often and rest it periodically during the grilling process to ensure even cooking. Also, because bone-in rib eye is big and fatty (I mean that in a good way), you need to watch out for the inevitable flare-ups from the beef fat dripping off the edges. When this happens (and it will), that’s the time to close the lid or take the steak off the heat and let the flare-up subside before you return the meat to the heat of the grill. Lastly, when you turn the meat, take care to do it gently so the fat doesn’t hit the grill grate with force and spit up. All this may feel like overkill, but this regimented cooking process helps the meat cook evenly all the way through. If you want to spice up the rib eye, rub it before grilling with any of the rubs in. Serve with your favorite sides or the Smoky Fingerling Potatoes with Cipollini Onions (recipe available in Charcoal: New Ways to Cook with Fire)”
2½ pound dry-aged prime bone-in rib eye steak (côte de boeuf), fat trimmed
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fleur de sel
Vegetable oil, for greasing the grill
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling on the steak
Snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Basque Vinegar, for serving
The night before you plan to cook the steak, pat it dry with paper towels and put it on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator until about 2 hours before you want to grill your steak. Then remove it from the refrigerator and let sit on your counter so it comes up to room temperature. Season lightly with sea salt and
pepper—you should see the seasoning on the meat.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat (400 to 450°F).
Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of vegetable oil on the paper towel, then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill. This will create a nonstick grilling surface.
Using tongs, hold the steak perpendicular to the grill and sear the fat cap-side to render some of the fat. Lay the steak flat on the grill and sear, turning every 30 seconds for about 5 minutes total.
If flare-ups occur during the cooking process, close the lid in between turning the meat. Transfer the steak to a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack insert and allow the meat to rest off the heat for 5 minutes. Close the lid while the steak rests to maintain the heat of the grill. The steak will not be done at this point, but resting this large cut of meat periodically helps control the internal temperature.
Place the steak back on the grill and sear, turning every 30 seconds, until it begins to char, about 5 more minutes. Return the steak to rest on the wire rack for 5 minutes and close the lid again to maintain the heat. Return the steak to the grill and sear, turning every 30 seconds until nicely charred but not burned, about 5 more minutes. Finally, transfer the steak to the wire rack for its final rest for 5 minutes. The steak should be medium-rare with an even color and crispy fat. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak should read 130°F. Between all the grilling, flipping, and resting, the whole cooking process should take about 30 minutes.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board. Slicing parallel to the bone, cut the steak on a slight angle into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer the sliced steak to a platter. Season the steak with fleur de sel and 6 turns of a peppermill. Drizzle the olive oil all over the top and garnish with parsley. Serve the vinegar in small dishes on the side for dipping.
From Charcoal: New Ways to Cook with Fire by Josiah Citrin and Joann Cianciulli © 2019. Reprinted in arrangement with Penguin Random House New York.