Normally, I’m a straightforward steak fan. Salt, pepper, grill, medium-rare. When I want a fancy steak, something to really impress the guests, I get out the plank. Cedar plank grilled steak, topped with peppers and shallots, is a show-stopper of a presentation. The hint of wood smoke and crunchy vegetable topping give the steak extra layers of flavor.
This recipe is easy with a probe thermometer - one that has the temperature probe on a long wire that you can run under the lid and into the grill. Once the steak is flipped onto the cedar plank, poke the probe into it from the side, aiming for the center of the steak. Set the thermometer for 125°F, enjoy a frosty beverage, and wait for your perfect medium-rare steak to finish. One warning - make sure the probe wire does not run over the direct heat side of the grill; direct high heat can burn out the cable.
I love the taste of cedar and beef, but if you want to try a different flavor, try an oak, maple, or pecan wood plank.
2 (1 1/2 inch thick) New York strip steaks
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 large shallot, peeled and diced
1/2 of a red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1/2 of a green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Soak the plank: Put the plank in a large container, weigh it down, and cover with water. Soak for at least one hour.
Season the beef: Sprinkle the strip steaks evenly with the salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for one hour. (Or, refrigerated, up to overnight.)
Set the grill up for indirect high heat: Set the grill up with two heat zones - one zone set to high heat, one zone set to no heat. For my Weber kettle, I light a chimney starter full of charcoal, wait for it to be covered with ash, then pour it in a thick pile covering half of the charcoal grate, about two coals deep. This leaves the other half of the charcoal grate empty for my indirect zone.
Prep the shallot and pepper topping: While the grill is preheating, dice the shallots and peppers. Toss in a medium bowl with the salt, then set aside.
Char the plank and sear the steaks: When the grill is ready, remove the plank from the water and let excess water drip off. Put the plank on the high heat side of the grill and leave it until it is blackened on the bottom and starting to smoke, about 3 minutes. Flip the plank to the indirect heat side of the grill, blackened side is facing up. Put the New York strip steaks on the high heat side of the grill and sear until they are well browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the steaks onto the plank, browned side facing up, and top each steak with a handful of the shallots and peppers.
Plank cook the steaks: Cook with the lid closed until the steaks reach an 125°F internal temperature for medium-rare, about 25 minutes. For rare, cook to 120°F; for medium, cook to 135°F. (The best way to measure this is with a probe thermometer - stick the probe into the thickest part of the steak, run the wire under the lid, away from the heat, and wait for the temperature alarm.) Remove the plank to a heat safe surface - I put the plank on a baking sheet with a towel under it.
Serve: Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steaks, topping with the shallots and peppers that escape while you are carving, and serve.