Charcoal-Grilled Strip or Rib Steaks

Published February 1, 2005.

Why this recipe works:

As we set out to find a simple spice rub recipe to dress up steaks, we wondered how many spices we’d need for the best rub. We found that because relatively few spices taste better when heated, a five-ingredient spice rub recipe (made with carefully chosen ingredients) is preferable to a… read more

As we set out to find a simple spice rub recipe to dress up steaks, we wondered how many spices we’d need for the best rub. We found that because relatively few spices taste better when heated, a five-ingredient spice rub recipe (made with carefully chosen ingredients) is preferable to a pantry-emptying rub. Many proponents of spice rubs profess the benefits of toasting whole versions of all spices and grinding them fresh. To our great surprise, the flavor of steaks rubbed with freshly toasted and ground spices was indistinguishable from that of steaks rubbed with preground, untoasted spices.

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Serves 4

Strip and rib steaks, on or off the bone, are our first choice for individual steaks. A steak that’s between 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick gives you a solid meat flavor as well as a little taste of the grill; cut any thicker and the steak becomes too thick for one person to eat. If your guests are more likely to eat only an 8-ounce steak, grill two 1-pounders, slice them, and serve each person a half steak. The most accurate way to judge doneness is to stick an instant-read thermometer through the side of the steak deep into the meat, so that most of the shaft is embedded in the steak. For more flavor, sprinkle on enough of one of the the associated rubs to cover the steak, and gently pat it to adhere before grilling.

Ingredients

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