Bistecca alla Fiorentina

October 23, 2011

Unfortunately, the number of grilling days left in the Northeast are rapidly dwindling for 2011.  So I splurged and bought 3-pounds of beautifully marbled porterhouse steaks (which were on sale for only $8/lb). Of course there isn’t much of a secret; a beautiful porterhouse steak will turn out fantastic every time. However, the addition of lemon and olive oil transformed this simple BBQ into a grand slam for the entire family. 5-stars.

Grilled Tuscan Steak; deliciously grilled while the weather is still good.

Chris Kimball has two variations, one with garlic and another without. The two recipes are identical except for 1 clove of garlic divided among 3-1/2 pounds of beef. I added the garlic this time; which was very subtle.


  1. The recipe says to use a chimney starter full of 2-1/2 pounds of charcoal. But because Chris Kimball usually expresses charcoal amounts in quarts, I started out with only 2-1/2 quarts (only half the required amount). But I caught my mistake early enough to fill the already lit chimney starter. No harm done.
  2. Also, the recipe calls for hardwood charcoal. But because I used regular Kingsford briquettes the weight measurement was complete inaccurate anyway.  Just use a full chimney starter and that’s all you need to remember. And if you don’t have a chimney starter you should definitely buy one.
  3. Chris Kimball also warns that if steaks start to flame up, then you should move them to cooler side of the grill and/or use a spray bottle to extinguish the flames.

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $22.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinner time 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here .  The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below.


2 T-bone steaks or porterhouse steaks, about 1-1/2″ thick
1 clove garlic , halved
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges for serving

  1. Light large chimney starter filled with hardwood charcoal. Allow to ignite until covered by fine gray ash; about 25 minutes. Put most of the coals on one side of grill and scatter the remaining coals in single layer on other side. Cover grill and preheat grate for 5 minutes, then scrape the grate clean using a wire brush.
  2. You may need to wait for your coals to cool a little. Wait until you can hold your hand 5″ above the grate for 3 to 4 seconds.
  3. While the coals ignite, pat steaks dry using paper towels. Cut the garlic clove into halves and rub it on both sides of steak. Sprinkle both sides evenly with a total of 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  4. Leaving the steaks uncovered, cook both sides over the hottest part of grill until well-browned; 3 minutes per side.
  5. Then move the steaks to the cooler side of grill and continue cooking, flipping half-way through, to desired doneness. Take the temperature my inserting an instant read thermometer into the side of the steak.
    • Rare: 120-degrees (about 6 minutes)
    • Medium-Rare: 125-degrees (about 8 minutes)
    • Medium: 135-to-140-degrees (about 10 minutes)
    • Medium-Well: 145-degrees (about 11 minutes)
  6. Put cooked steaks on cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  7. Cut meat off bones and slice crosswise (and on a slight diagonal) into 1/2″ thick slices.
  8. Arrange slices on a serving platter. Drizzle meat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges.

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