The simplicity of live fire steak is calling. It's time to clear out the clutter of complex steak methods and bring things back to the basics.
Matt from Meat Church BBQ in Texas is known worldwide for his barbecue education and award-winning seasonings. Unlike his more complex recipes like chicken-fried burnt ends or spatchcock chicken with Alabama white sauce, this recipe for live fire steak can be completed in four simple steps and cooked almost anywhere.
Follow this recipe for a classic ribeye with the unmistakable flame-kissed flavor that only comes from a live fire.
Ignite your grill or bonfire, select a steak, and get started!
In the video above, Matt from Meat Church shares his tried-and-true method for a live fire steak.
Tackling the many steak methods—reverse sear, skillet, sous vide, smoked, and more can be daunting, but Matt says that before you learn all that you need to know the basics of a live fire steak.
Follow the steps outlined below for a juicy, tender, savory ribeye steak.
Credits: The screenshots in this post were taken from the video above by Meat Church. We've outlined the process in writing for easy reference and to help make this recipe a success on your first try.
For this steak, Matt uses his Santa Maria grill in his outdoor kitchen. To achieve similar results, use a basic direct-heat grill such as a Meadow Creek steak grill or a campfire grill like the Cedar Ridge or Breeo Outpost.
Most of these supplies are available in our specialty barbecue supply store and our online store. For more information on these products, you can visit our website using the links below.
Four Steps for Matt Pittman's Live Fire Steak
Making a live fire steak is a simple yet essential cooking method to master. It is where you want to start before getting into any of the more complex steak grilling methods.
Follow the four steps below for a world-class steak.
Step 1: Light the Fire
For easy ways to light charcoal, see our guide.
What is the cheapest way to grill a steak?
The cheapest way to grill a live fire steak is with a camp grill over a bonfire. These grills have a simple stake with an open grate that goes over your fire pit for direct-heat grilling.
We have a couple of durable and useful models to choose from. Get one of these and take it with you on your adventures for a wood-fired grill anywhere.
Step 2: Season Meat
Traditionally, steak seasoning doesn't have any sweet, but Matt changes it up a bit by using his Meat Church Holy Gospel Rub on this live fire steak. Sprinkle this seasoning (or your favorite steak seasoning) over all sides of your steak. Matt adds a layer of his Garlic and Herb seasoning to complete the flavor profile.
Let the meat rest or "sweat out" for 10-15 minutes.
Note: Always apply the coarsest rub first as the larger pieces of black pepper have more trouble sticking to the meat than finer rubs.
Step 3: Grill Meat
By now your fire and grates should be searing hot. Matt's fire is so hot that he starts his steak grilling slightly offset with the fire.
To check the temp if you are out in the woods you can hold your hand over the grate. If you can keep it there for 5 seconds, you can grill right over the fire. Matt could only hold his hand above the grate for two or three seconds, so he chose to offset the steak a little.
Matt uses his phone to time his steak on the grill. A good rule of thumb for a live fire steak is to cook it for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on both sides then flip it every forty-five seconds until you've reached the desired internal temperature.
An essential tool for making a perfectly-done live fire steak is an instant-read thermometer. If you don't have one, consider getting one before purchasing your steak. It's an investment that pay for itself many times over in the quality of your cooking.
We sell top-of-the-line ThermoWorks thermometers in our store that can grab an accurate temperature in one second.
Steak Doneness Guide in Fahrenheit
- Rare—120 degrees
- Medium Rare—130 degrees
- Medium—140 degrees
- Medium Well—150 degrees
- Well Done—160 degrees
Take the temperature in the center of the steak where it's the coolest. Cook to a few degrees under the desired final temp. The internal temp will rise a few degrees as the steak is resting.
Burger press for better sear marks—MeatChurch.com
Step 4: Rest Steak
When the steak is a few degrees under your desired temp, remove it from the grill and let it rest in a skillet or pan for around 10 minutes. Immediately after removing it from the grill, put a few pats of unsalted butter on top of the steak.
Bonus: Eat It
After resting, slice and enjoy your steak. This should satisfy even the most intense steakhouse craving.
Are you looking for a campfire grill?
Don't have the supplies you need?
You can find seasonings and supplies for this recipe here in our online store or visit our store in person for a full line of barbecue equipment and supplies.
Can't find what you need online? Visit our specialty barbecue store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, Pennsylvania to explore some of the best products available for anyone wanting to make delicious food outdoors. Our store hours are listed at the bottom of this page.