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How to cook Porterhouse Steak on the Barbecue

How to cook Porterhouse Steak on the Barbecue


By Jeff Baker

"Having begun his career in a professional kitchen in 1983, Jeff Baker has since cooked for the Queen, and worked alongside some of the world’s top chefs, such..."


An electric or gas BBQ may take up to 20 minutes to preheat and a charcoal BBQ needs to be heated until the coals are covered with a layer of ash (approx. 30 minutes).

Using a chimney starter to fire the coals up works really well, creating a good even heat source before placing on the grill. If adding additional smoke flavour to the steak add a handful of soaked wood chips to the coals at the point when there fully fired up.

For best results, allow the meat to come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes before taking outside to barbecue and then brush the meat very lightly with oil. This helps the searing process and prevents sticking, too much oil will burn & leave a nasty taste.

Careful seasoning is necessary. The meat could be marinated beforehand or sprinkled with herbs and pepper. Season with salt at the very last moment only as salt will draw out juices and prevent the meat from browning properly. My personal preference is good quality sea salt & freshly cracked Tellicherry black pepper; it’s simple & highlights the quality of the steak.

Using The Direct Heat Method

Cook your steaks nice and steady until rich, aromatic and browned, and then turn  just once using the ‘direct heat’ method. Use long handled tongs rather than a fork to move the steak, a fork will pierce the meat and allow valuable juices to escape.

It’s all too easy to overcook on a barbecue, leading to charred, leathery, dry meat which we don’t want. Excessive flames turn oil & fats to carbon, leaving a acrid taste from the meat. To ensure even cooking use the 60/40 method. Cook the meat for 60% of the time on the first side, then turn and cook for the remaining 40%. If the grill flares remove the steak to the cool zone for a few seconds then return to the direct heat zone.

Setting up the BBQ for Direct Heat

  1. Choose lump charcoal for a superior flavour, it’s a little harder to manage than briquettes but the flavour is worth the effort
  2. Place into the chimney starter & light using a fire starter or even some scrunched up paper, when the coals are white hot transfer to the grill & cover approximately ¾ of the base leaving a space for a cool zone
  3. Place the lid on then open all vents fully to create a fierce heat
  4. If your using wood chips to add extra smoke flavour, this is the point to add the soaked chippings to the fire then leave to burn for a while
  5. After a few minutes your ready to start grilling, remember to lower the temperature simply close the air vents a little  

How to cook Porterhouse Steak on the BBQ

  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (230°c to 250°c).
  2. Remove your steak from the chiller 30 minutes or so before grilling to come to room temperature
  3. Season liberally with sea salt & cracked pepper just before grilling
  4. Grill the steak over direct heat method, placing the meat directly above the burning coals
  5. With the lid closed, cook to your desired doneness, 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare, turning once after the initial 2 to 3 minutes. If the steak is getting too charred move to the cool zone & place the lid back on, this will continue to cook the steak without burning
  6. If using a probe you want to be looking for a internal temperature of 52°c to 54°c for medium rare 
  7. Remove from the grill and let rest in a warm place for minimum 5 minutes before serving

 

  • The Ingredients
  • 1 x 700g Porterhouse steak
  • 1 tsp. Goose or duck fat
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

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