June, 2013 — Father’s Day Steak Dinner

Father's Day Steak Dinner Recipes

Long-bone rib steaks cooking on a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill.

If most dads are like me, they love a good steak dinner, so this Father’s Day issue is all about steak. Three unique cuts are grilled three different ways: long-bone ribeyes are smoke roasted and basted with a flavorful "shellac;" bone-in filets are grilled on cedar planks and topped with delicious horseradish crab butter; and ribeye caps are direct-grilled over a hot fire and served with herbaceous chimichurri.

For these three hard-to-find cuts, we turned to our friends at Allen Brothers. They’ve been in the steak business in Chicago's meat packing district for more than 100 years, supply the finest steakhouses, and hand-cut the best steaks in the business. Even better, they have generously shared a special offer and a gift card giveaway for our newsletter subscribers. Read on for the details.

Finally, to help ensure your great cut of meat transforms into a great steak dinner, we're revisiting some of our best steak grilling tips.

Happy Father’s Day!

Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

Tips for Grilling the Perfect Steak

Tips for Grilling the Perfect Steak

Author: Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

Grill masters all over the country take a lot pride in grilling the perfect steak, partly because it is no small feat. Mastering the touch test to determine the doneness of a steak by feel can take a lot of practice, but there is more to grilling the perfect steak than just nailing the doneness.

Preparing the Meat

Preparing the meat is simple. I think it is more important to coat a steak in olive oil and generously season it than it is to let it come to room temperature. I typically remove steaks from the cooler at the same time I light my grill. They warm up a little bit, but not even close to room temperature.

Whether you season just with salt, salt and pepper, or a seasoning blend is entirely a personal matter, but a thorough brushing with olive oil is critical.

Applying the Right Heat

Thinner steaks like the ribeye cap steak I’ve used in our Father’s Day newsletter, or skirt steak, are best grilled over direct heat at temperatures around 600°F. A charcoal fire will deliver a drier heat than a gas flame, which helps create that perfect crust and delicious Maillard reaction.

Using a combination of direct and indirect grilling techniques is best for thicker steaks like bone-in ribeyes and filet. Start by searing over a hot fire at temperatures around 700° to 800°F. After thoroughly browning the steaks on all sides (not just the tops and bottoms), move the steaks to an indirect zone or an elevated rack. Add soaked wood chunks or limbs to the fire, close the grill, and let the steaks coast up to the perfect doneness while being bathed in flavorful wood smoke in the indirect cooking zone.

Thick or thin, direct or indirect, I prefer an allover deep browning of the exterior rather than dark grill marks and light-colored spaces in between. Those spaces between the grill marks are a lost opportunity for flavor. Allover browning is achieved by turning the steak frequently and using high heat. Coating the steak with olive oil during prep helps with this as well.

Judging the Doneness

If you test for doneness by poking the meat, I think it is very important to test the feel right before it goes onto the grill. The “benchmark touch” for the raw steak is valuable because a typical New York strip steak is firmer than a ribeye at every stage of doneness. Firmness can also vary between grass-fed/grass-finished beef and corn-fed beef. Steven Raichlen explains the touch test best.

An instaThermapennt-read meat thermometer can be more accurate than the touch test, but there is only one thermometer I trust more than my own experience with the touch test, and that is the Thermapen. It gives me an accurate temperature reading in just a couple of seconds. Don’t forget, steaks will continue to rise in internal temperature after being removed from the grill, and the USDA’s published temperatures for doneness are way too high for gourmet cookingin my opinion.

A new option I have been testing is the Steak Champ electronic steak thermometer. It is inserted into the steak before cooking, and a flashing LED lets you know when it is time to remove it from the grill. I was quite skeptical when I first agreed to test it, but I have been very impressed with its accuracy and reliability - so impressed that Kalamazoo now sells it. In addition to telling you when to pull the steak off the grill, it indicates when the resting period is finished.

Steak Champ Steak Thermometer
The Steak Champ electronic steak thermometer is a reliable tool for grilling the perfect steak.

Resting the Steak, or Not

Allowing a steak to rest after cooking will redistribute the juices and keep more of them inside meat when you do cut into it. This is almost always the best way to go…

But, there are times when the juices running out onto the carving board is a good thing. When I share a steak with my wife (which I do quite often because I prefer to grill a thick steak that typically weighs more than 12 ounces), I will usually slice the whole steak for serving straight off the grill. A great trick is to whisk together olive oil, sherry vinegar and a little melted butter and pour it onto the cutting board with some fresh chopped herbs. Place the steak on top and slice it immediately, letting the juices mingle with the sauce on the board. Drag the slices through the mixture when serving and pour the remainder over the plates for a wonderful flavor boost.

Allen Brothers Gift Card Giveaway and Special Offer

Allen Brothers Steaks Special Giveaway

Author: Lauren Jones, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

One lucky newsletter subscriber will win a $200 Allen Brothers gift card. To enter the random drawing, simply click this link to send an email to Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet with the subject “Allen Brothers Gift Card” before Wednesday, June 19th. The winner will be notified by email. The gift card is good for Allen Brothers purchases only, and has no cash value.

Enter Now

Allen Brothers special offer

Cedar-Planked Bone-In Filets with Horseradish Crab Butter

Cedar-planked Bone-in Filets with Horseradish Crab Butter

Tenderloin filet is highly desired for its extremely tender texture, but it is not as flavorful as some of the other favorite steak cuts. We tackle this on three fronts to add more flavor: we’re using wet-aged prime bone-in filets; we’re grilling the steaks on cedar planks; and we’re topping them with a compound butter. The butter combines the richness of lump crab meat, balanced by tangy horseradish and a touch of parsley. These will be VERY flavorful filets indeed.


For the Horseradish Crab Butter

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 5 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • Leaves picked from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon smoked Maldon sea salt
  • ½ cup cooked lump crab meat (I used crab meat from a can)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the steaks

  • 4 cedar planks, soaked for 4 hours
  • 4 bone-in tenderloin filets, about 12 ounces each
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper


Prepare the Horseradish Crab Butter by stirring together all of the ingredients. Spread into a line on one end of a sheet of wax paper. Use the wax paper to roll and compress into a cylinder. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling at about 600°F.

Brush the steaks with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Brown the steaks on the tops, bottoms and all sides over the hottest part of the fire. Remove them from the fire and brush with more olive oil. Transfer to the soaked cedar planks, and place the planks over the hot fire. After 15 minutes on the planks, turn the steaks over and top each one with a pat of Horseradish Crab Butter, reserving at least half of the butter to add later if necessary. Cook the steaks to 120°F internal temperature for medium rare, about 20 to 30 minutes total time on the planks. Keep the grill closed as much as possible during this time, but beware of the planks igniting.

Note, plank grilling is normally done in the indirect zone for a longer period at lower temperatures. Our cedar-planked filets are being cooked at high temperatures for more smoke and more flavor. Keep a squirt bottle of water handy to douse the flames around the edges of the planks.

Transfer the planks to heat-resistant platters or on top of additional, unused planks, and let the steaks rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Rib Cap Steaks with Chimichurri

Grilled Rib Cap Steaks with Chimichurri

My favorite cut of steak has always been the ribeye, and for about 12 years my wife and I referred to the outer perimeter of the steak as “the golden crescent.” I would choose steaks from the butcher’s case partially by the overall appearance, but also by the amount of outer deckle that was present. This part of the steak is called the rib cap, and the meat is extremely flavorful, rich and tender. It wasn’t until 2008 that the culinary director at Allen Brothers mentioned to me they offered steaks cut entirely from the rib cap. They call them prime cover rib steaks, and I think they are spectacular.

Because they are relatively thin, rib cap steaks can be grilled with direct heat the entire time. They are also very forgiving in regards to the internal temperature. I like mine medium rare, but I can enjoy them all the way to medium well because the meat is just that good.


For the chimichurri

  • ½ ounce fresh oregano
  • 1 ½ ounces fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar (I use BLiS 9 Maple Sherry Vinegar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pinches ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

For the steaks

  • 4 rib cap steaks, about 10 ounces each
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper


Prepare the chimichurri by combining all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, then adjust the taste with more salt if needed. Refrigerate until it’s time to use it, but no more than 5 hours.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Brush with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over a hot fire, about 600°F. A charcoal fire is preferred.

Grill the steaks above the fire for roughly 9 minutes total, flipping once after about 5 minutes. For medium rare steaks, remove them from the grill when the internal temperature reads 125°F. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Rib cap steaks are best when sliced across the grain. You may wish to slice the steaks on the bias for your guests, fan them out, and top with a drizzle of chimichurri sauce.

Smoke-Roasted Long-Bone Ribeyes

Smoke-Roasted Grilled Long-Bone Ribeyes

A bone-in ribeye is among the most flavorful steakhouse cuts, and absolutely nothing can beat the way a gorgeous long-bone ribeye looks when served. The dry-aged prime ribeyes we used from Allen Brothers were given lots of love on the grill – scored on the outside to enhance the Maillard effect, seared over a hot charcoal fire, roasted indirectly with smoke from oak wine barrel staves, and “shellacked” with a flavorful glaze. This is hands down my favorite preparation in this newsletter.


For the steak dust

  • 1 teaspoon chopped, dried garlic (preferred over garlic granules because it holds more flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped, dried shallots (substitute dried, sliced onions if necessary)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the baste

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (I use BLiS 9 Maple Sherry Vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated using a microplane
  • 2 to 3 whole stems fresh thyme

For the steaks

  • 2 long-bone (tomahawk) ribeye steaks, about 4 pounds total weight
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 batch steak dust
  • 1 batch baste


Remove the steaks from the refrigerator.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling at searing temperatures and create an indirect zone that will register about 500°F air temperature. A charcoal fire is preferred. If you are using a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, or a charcoal grill, you should usewood chunks or limbs that have been soaked in water. For this recipe, I used oak wine barrel staves. If you are using a gas grill, prepare some smoking envelopes.

Prepare the steak dust by combining all the ingredients in a spinning-blade-style coffee grinder that is dedicated to serving its life’s purpose as a spice grinder. You could also use a mortar and pestle.

Lightly score the tops and bottoms of the steaks in a cross-hatch pattern. This will create more surface area for browning, and the subsequent Maillard effect which builds incredible flavor. To score, lay a knife on its side and draw it across the surface of the steak. Make very shallow slices ¼ inch apart in two directions.

Brush the steaks on all sides with olive oil. Season liberally on all sides with the steak dust. A paste should form from the mixture as it rests before going onto the grill.

Prepare the basting mixture by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Whisk together while bringing to a simmer. Let cool to room temperature.

Sear the steaks over the hottest part of the fire until nicely browned on the tops, bottoms and sides, about 5 minutes total.

Move the steaks to the indirect grilling zone or onto a raised rack, brush some of the baste onto the tops, add the chunks, chips or limbs to the hot zone to generate smoke and close the grill. Turn the steaks over and rotate them every 5 minutes, brushing the tops with baste each time and closing the grill in between. Start checking the doneness of the steaks after about 15 to 20 minutes. For medium rare doneness, remove the steaks from the grill when their internal temperature reaches 125°F. They will continue to rise in temperature to 130°F to 135°F. The total cooking time in the indirect zone should be between 20 and 30 minutes. The steaks should rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Innovation is at the heart of every Kalamazoo product. Each part of the collection – from grills and pizza ovens to refrigeration and cabinetry – represents a significant departure from the established norm. Our passion for outdoor cooking and our fiercely independent design philosophy drive us to establish new industry benchmarks. Consequently, our list of exclusives and innovations speaks for itself.

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