Food & Drink

How To Grill T-Bone “Hellfire” Steaks


Hellfire Steaks

From the author Steven Raichlen:

Steak au poivre (pepper steak) is one of the glories of the French bistro. Too bad it’s traditionally cooked in a frying pan, not on the grill. That set me thinking: Why not put the coarsely ground pepper on a mustard-slathered steak and char it on the grill? I tried it. I liked it. Especially made with a cut of beef that can really stand up to the spices and heat—a T-bone steak. Of course, no Frenchman would ever douse a steak with Tabasco sauce, but I like the way it pumps up the heat.


  1. To set up a charcoal grill for direct grilling, first light the charcoal in a chimney starter.
  2. Using a garden hoe or other long-handled implement, rake the burning coals into an even layer.
  3. Preheat the grill to high.


  • I tend to like my food hot, so I use a heavy hand with the mustard and Tabasco sauce. Use plenty of salt to offset the acidity in the hot sauce.
  • I like to apply the pepper twice—at the beginning, and again when the steaks are on the grill.
  • Set your grinder to grind as coarsely as possible. To vary the flavor, you could use a blend of black, white, green, and pink peppercorns.

Hellfire Steaks

Serves 4


  • 4 T-bone steaks (1 inch thick; about 12 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot sauce, or to taste


  1. Place the steaks on a plate and sprinkle on both sides with salt and plenty of pepper and the dry mustard, patting the spices onto the meat with a fork. Drizzle the Tabasco sauce over the steaks, again patting it on with a fork. Let the meat sit while you preheat the grill.
  2. Set up the grill for direct grilling (see tips above and more information at Preheat to high.
  3. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the steaks on the hot grate at a 45 degree angle to the bars of the grate. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare (about 145°F on an instant-read meat thermometer), rotating the steaks after 3 minutes to create an attractive crosshatch of grill marks. Coarsely grind as much pepper as you can bear over the steaks as they grill. Transfer the steaks to plates or a platter and let rest for 3 minutes, then serve.

ALSO GOOD FOR: Of course, you can make pepper steak with any sort of steak—sirloin, strip, or rib eye. The preparation is equally great for tuna and salmon steaks.

The sweepstakes in this video is over, but the video tutorial is great! Watch step by step as Steven shows you how to make this recipe:

How to GrillHow to Grill
by Steven Raichlen

Master the techniques that make barbecue great with this indispensable show-and-tell by Steven Raichlen. Using more than 1,000 full-color, step-by-step photographs, How to Grill covers it all, from how to build an ingenious three-zone fire to the secrets of grilling a porterhouse, prime rib, fish steak, kebab, or chicken breast. Plus the perfect burger. Includes 100 recipes – one to illustrate each technique – with memorably delicious results!

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