Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


T-Bone Steaks on a Shovel

Recipe by Steven Raichlen

Photo credit: Photo by Forres Meadows

A dramatic dish inspired by the Australian Outback, where lamb was often grilled on a shovel blade over a campfire.


  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Equipment: A clean metal shovel; logs, wood chunks or chips
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  • 2 T-bone steaks (1 inch thick and about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a few tablespoons oil for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic or shallot
  • Coarse sea salt, cracked black pepper, and hot pepper flakes

Step 1: Traditional method: Build a campfire, with a good base of glowing embers. Feed fresh logs to the fire from time to time to generate plenty of wood smoke.

Step 2: Generously brush the steaks on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with rosemary and garlic, pressing the seasonings into the meat with your fingers. Generously season the steaks on both sides with salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes.

Step 3: Heat the shovel blade in the fire. This serves two purposes. It helps clean and sterilize the cooking surface and preheats the metal, so it will sear the meat.

Step 4: Pour a little olive oil on the shovel blade and add the steaks. (You may need to cook them in two batches.) Thrust the shovel over the fire or lay it on the embers. Cook the steaks until done to taste: 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning with tongs.

Tips:

On a charcoal grill:

Light the grill and spread out the embers. Hold the shovel over them and grill as described above.

On a gas grill:

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If using logs, wood chunks, or chips, toss them on the coals (of a charcoal grill) or place in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch on your gas grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Grill the steaks to taste, turning with tongs, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.