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Steak Pittsburgh-Style On A Charcoal Grill

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DECATUR, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, September 16, 2020 / -- If you’re a fan of your steaks cooked rare to medium-rare and haven’t tried a Pittsburgh-style steak, you’re missing out. A prime cut of meat cooked quickly at a high temperature; the outside is given a nice char while the inside remains rare. Since the heat seals in the juices and flavors of the meat, the Pittsburgh-style (sometimes also referred to as black and blue) is perfect for anyone desiring a buttery steak cooked to the rare side.

While many agree on the preparation of the steak, the origins of the Pittsburgh-style vary with local legends. Some claim that the steak originated in the steel mills of Pittsburgh, where steelworkers on their lunch breaks would cook steaks on red hot carbon steel. Due to high temperatures of the cooling carbon steel, the outside of the steak would cook fast, creating a perfect char that was almost burnt, while the inside was left rare.

Other accounts report that the steak was first cooked at the Colony Restaurant in Pittsburgh, which opened in 1958. The story, as confirmed by the restaurant, was that the cook at the time accidentally charred the steak ordered by a customer. When the cook was confronted about his mistake, he claimed that it was served “Pittsburgh-style.”

Even if you’re far from The Steel City, you can still enjoy a Pittsburgh-style steak prepared at home. To do so, you’ll need a steak of your choice (ribeye, NY strip, sirloin or filet), good quality charcoal and a charcoal grill that gets very, very hot (800°-1000° on the cook surface). The grill must have a thick carbon steel sear grate like the one found on the QuadGrill. For best results, the steak should be fresh (never frozen) and tempered (brought up to room temperature before cooking). At least an hour before you plan to cook the steak, coat the outside of the steak with coarse sea salt or kosher salt. Be sure to scrape off the salt before cooking. Since the classic Pittsburgh char can only be achieved with high temperature and an open flame, you'll want to start by lighting a good amount of quality lump charcoal and be sure that the charcoal is burning through and through.

Once the grate is at max temperature, place the steak on the grate (open flames are ok), which will help to seal in the juice and flavor of the steak. Flip the steak frequently until you see the signature charring. Once both sides have been cooked, remove from the grill and let the steak sit for a few minutes. Allowing the steak to rest will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat so that it doesn’t all flow out once you cut in. SERVE IT UP!

Now it's your turn to try cooking the Pittsburgh-style steak at home to show us what you’ve got! We would love to see what you are cooking up! Send us your pictures or videos of your culinary creations to

Raymond Palermo
ICWF Marketing, Inc.
+1 404-786-3732
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