What Is Charcoal Steak?

What Is Charcoal Steak?
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What Is Charcoal Steak?

When you visit your local beef counter or butcher, the number of different types of steak can be a little overwhelming. While we’re all familiar with rump, T-bone, and fillet steaks, how many of us have tried or even heard of a charcoal steak?

In spite of their name, you don’t have to use a charcoal grill to cook these steaks. You can use a gas grill, wood fire, or even your grill or oven. We like them done in a cast iron pan.

What Is Charcoal Steak?

What part of the animal does it come from?

beef diagram parts
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Charcoal steaks seem to be a well-kept secret in the culinary world. For a start, they are the second most tender cut of beef (next to fillet and perhaps ribeye) on the entire animal – provided you cook them right.

There are only about 8 to 10 of them on the entire animal, so butchers often keep them for their own use.

Otherwise known as top blade steak or flat iron steak when it’s butterflied, this cut comes from the top section of the animal’s shoulder. As with all cuts from this area, it needs to be cooked rare to medium-rare otherwise it will become tough.

Read on and we’ll tell you exactly how to cook them just now.

What does it look and taste like?

This cut has two halves that are divided by a thin section of gristle that runs the length of the meat. It is usually well marbled and very tasty.

Charcoal steaks are so tender and flavorful that it is not necessary to marinate or even spice them much, although some people prefer to do this.

How should charcoal steaks be cooked?

They are best grilled or cooked on the barbeque – fast and hot. You can also pan-fry them in a heavy cast-iron skillet.

The pieces should be seared quickly to create a golden-brown crust. Four minutes on one side and three on the other, depending on the thickness, will be enough. Please don’t cook this cut of beef beyond medium or it will be tough.

If your steaks are thick enough – at least an inch thick, you can finish them in a hot oven. First, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Then, season them simply with salt and pepper.

Use a heavy-based pan and some oil to sear them and get a nice golden brown crust going. Then quickly baste them with the oil again and transfer the pan to your preheated oven for a few minutes.

top blade steak serve salad
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Here’s a time and temperature guide for you:

  • Medium rare: 8 minutes – internal temp 125˚F
  • Medium: 10 minutes – internal temp 130˚F
  • Medium well: 12 minutes – internal temp 145˚F

Once you have removed the steaks from the oven, transfer them to a warm serving dish. Make a tent of aluminum foil over them and allow them to rest for five minutes before serving.

Enjoy your buttery, silky, tender steak!

What should I serve them with?

We like to make a herb or garlic butter and serve the steaks with pats of that. Baked potatoes and a tossed green salad or coleslaw are good sides to have with them.

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