For many backyard chefs, a properly grilled steak is the ultimate measure of skill. While virtually everyone who steps up to a grill with any regularity considers themselves an expert in this respect, the reality is that few people actually deliver on their promises. The conventional approach to grilling a steak, by cooking it at high heat until it reaches the desired level of doneness, is not actually the best one to take.

Part of the reason for that gap between theory and practice is that most grills make it hard to pursue better angles of attack. The best way to cook a steak, it turns out, is to first bring it up to temperature over very low heat, finishing up with a blast that is as hot as possible. That produces a much more even cook, along with the kind of caramelized surface that so many enjoy in a steak.

Most grills make that very hard to do, however. The problem is that many grills are designed only to allow for relatively high-intensity cooking, with lower temperatures and slower progress being simply out of their bailiwick. As grills of other designs become more common, though, this better way of cooking a steak is doing so as well.


Grilling on a keg, for example, opens up this possibility, and many people who own such grills are now impressing their family, friends, and neighbors with the results. Because a bubba keg smoker grill will have insulated walls that allow it to retain heat, it is possible to get such a grill to hold a low temperature over a long period of time.

Typically, that will mean starting a small pile of charcoal going on one side of a bubba keg grill. The grill's vents will normally be left almost entirely closed, although some adjustment might be needed to achieve the desired temperature of around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once that slow burn has begun, the steaks can be placed on the other side of the grill, opposite from the small heat source. Over the course of an hour or so, they will very slowly cook, a process that needs to be monitored intently. Once the steaks are within a few degrees of the finish line, they should be pulled from the keg grill so a new fire of a much larger sort can be started. They can then be grilled for a couple of minutes per side until they finish up perfectly, with no resting even being necessary because of the slow initial cook.