Dirty Steaks

Cooking ‘dirty’, direct on the coals (also known as ‘caveman’ style), is a fantastic way to add even more BBQ flavour to your meat.

Sirloin or Rib Eye are ideal cuts for this particular style of searing a steak.  Aim for a nice chunky thickness – one inch is perfect.

All cuts which are suitable for hot and fast grilling work using this technique – you can also try rump, T-bone or hanger – just adjust the cooking times for the perfect finish.  In this instance, we’ve used organic sirloin from our local farm shop – http://www.forsterorganicmeats.com.

Don’t be concerned about leaving the taste of charcoal on the food.  The most important element of this recipe is to use 100% natural lumpwood charcoal (restaurant grade, if possible). Any chemicals or fillers in the charcoal will leave a nasty taste on the meat! Select some big chunks, ones with a large surface area.

Try using lamb for this technique too – you’ll get equally delicious results.  We’ve also seared a variety of vegetables to – such as peppers, aubergines and courgettes.

For more incredible recipes using this unique style of cooking, check out http://www.countrywoodsmoke.com where our friend Marcus Bawdon shares some of his secrets!


  • 1 inch thick sirloin or rib eye steaks
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


Using a chimney starter, fire up some coals.  Remember, it must be natural lump wood charcoal other wise the chemicals will leave a nasty taste.

Season your steaks.

Once the coals are all red hot and glowing, carefully transfer to the grill.  Before the steaks hit the fire, blow some ash off the coals.  This will help ensure that a limited amount of ash sticks to the meat.  Now lay the steaks gently onto the coals.  If you like yours cooked medium rare, and for steaks that are one inch thick, cook for three minutes each side.

Check for doneness by using the handy guide below, these are the internal temperatures which you should be aiming for when removing the meat from the heat.

  • Rare 130°F/54°C
  • Medium Rare 140°F/60°C
  • Medium 155°F/68°C
  • Well Done 165°F/74°C

Once seared on both sides, let the meat rest for a further five minutes.

Awesome served with a vibrant, zingy chimichurri or salsa verde.



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