Here’s how I grilled a Porterhouse steak over a chimney starter. I saw Alton Brown do it with a Ribeye, so I figured what the heck, let’s see what happens. Boy was it easy.
Start by lighting 1/4, or less, of a chimney. Place cooking grate over chimney and let the coals become fully lit. Clean and oil the grate then place your steak on the grate over the chimney. Be careful! It gets seriously hot over that chimney.
After about two minutes flip the steak. Two minutes after that begin testing for doneness using the Poke Test as described below by Steven Raichlin.
I didn’t try to put crosshatch marks on the steak because I was concerned about over cooking due to the extreme heat. However, you can see I got some beautiful grill marks anyway.
My steak came out a perfect medium-rare to medium on the edges.
What I learned using this method is much less coal is needed to cook the food. I also wouldn’t cook a thick cut using this method as a thicker cut would require some indirect heat to finish without burning. Overall I give it an A+ and I’ll definitely use the chimney to cook over again.
Steven Raichlin, the author of The Barbecue Bible, describes the Poke Test as this:
Test for doneness using the poke test: A rare steak will be soft, a medium-rare steak will be gently yielding, and a medium steak will be firm.
Please note there is no description of a Well Done steak. I refer to a Well Done piece of meat as “Ruined”.