Charcoal Grilled Tuscan Steak with Olive Oil and Lemon (Bistecca alla Fiorentina)

Serves 4

T-bone and porterhouse steaks are large enough to serve two. We prefer to season the steaks with kosher salt because its coarse grains are easier to sprinkle evenly onto the meat than fine table salt. If you use charcoal briquettes instead of hardwood charcoal, one chimney-full will weigh close to 6 pounds. Also, you may have to increase the searing time by about 30 seconds on each side. There is no need to build a two-level fire if you can adjust the level of the charcoal rack on your grill; crank the rack up high to sear the steaks, then drop it down a couple of levels for less intense heat to finish cooking them.


  • 2 T-bone steaks or porterhouse steaks, each
  • 1 1/2 inches thick (about 3 1/2 pounds total), patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Light a large chimney starter filled with hardwood charcoal (about 2 1/2 pounds) and burn until covered with a layer of fine gray ash. Build a two-level fire by stacking most of the coals on one side of the grill and arranging the remaining coals in a single layer on the other side. Set the cooking grate in place, cover the grill with the lid and let the grate heat up, about 5 minutes. Use a wire brush to scrape the grate clean. Grill is ready when the thicker layer of coals is medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the cooking grate for 3 to 4 seconds).

Meanwhile, sprinkle each side of the steaks with

1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook the steaks, uncovered, over the hotter part of the grill until well-browned on each side, about 2 1/2 minutes per side. (If the steaks start to flame, move them to the cooler side of the fire and/or extinguish the flames with a squirt bottle). Move the steaks to the cooler side of the grill and continue cooking, turning once, to desired doneness, 5 to 6 minutes more for rare (120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer), 6 to 7 minutes for rare medium-rare (125 degrees F), 7 to 8 minutes for medium medium-rare (130 degrees F), or 8 to 9 minutes for medium (135 to 140 degrees F).

Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut the strip and tenderloin pieces off the bones and slice crosswise about 1/2-inch thick. Arrange the slices on a platter, drizzle with the olive oil and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.

RecID 8503

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