Cast Iron Skillet vs. Charcoal Barbecue: which is best?

As a meat lover, you may wonder sometimes what could be the secret of cooking perfect restaurant-quality steaks at home. It may seem a little daunting at first, but really easy if you try it once. While searching for the best recipes, you will come across several options. But a notable thing can be the cooking method. Some prefer cast iron skillet while others back charcoal barbecue for grilling. Which one would you prefer?

Making a decision could be easy with a little understanding of these two. Let’s move ahead on a delectable journey to discover more about deliciousness.

Steak in a cast iron skillet with butter and thyme

What is cast iron skillet grilling?

Some people are bold enough to state that cast iron steaks are better than charcoal barbecued steaks. Grilling is an absolutely different thing that we will discuss later on. Cast iron steak recipes are delightfully simple and can be made with some easy kitchen ingredients using really straightforward techniques. However, you must know how to use a cast iron skillet well to cook a nice steak every time. Once you master the technique, you can cook juicy and melt-in-mouth steaks with a beautiful crust.

Cooking perfect steaks also depends on the type of cast iron skillet you have. A good skillet is designed to heat evenly and retain the temperature for longer. Even heating enables cooking great steaks with a beautiful caramelized sear. The most wonderful thing is that it takes just about 5-6 minutes to cook (excluding initial preparation).

You can cook the best steaks in three simple steps: preheating the skillet, searing, and basting. Use frequent turning method to cook.

For basting, the last flip matters. After the last flip, add butter, rosemary, thyme, and garlic and baste your steak using a spoon or a basting brush. Keep repeating the process until your steak has a beautiful crust reached the perfect internal temperature (read everything about that here).

When done right, the use of the cast iron method should result in juicy, tender steaks with a nice crusty sear, finished with a flavorful baste that you and your guests can’t get enough of.

Barbecue steak

What is charcoal barbecue grilling?

Some die-hard grilling fans advocate strictly for charcoal barbecue, and they mostly do so for the unique smoked flavor that can’t be achieved with other methods. You just need to know how to use the charcoal barbecue for perfectly grilled steaks. Charcoal grillers aim for a temperature of at least 300 degrees Celsius (600 degrees Fahrenheit) that give steaks a nice sear.

To cut things short: charcoal gives an amazingly unique smoky taste to your steak that’s simply irresistible. A charcoal grill is simple and easy to use, however it does take a little longer to set things up when compared with cast iron grilling. Furthermore, the idea of grilling on an open flame could make beginners a bit hesitant. On the other hand, we believe mastering the barbecue is as fun as it sounds, and the result is definitely worth the extra effort.

In short, let your charcoal barbecue reach a temperature of 250 to 300 degrees Celsius (482 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit). Once that’s done, throw your steak above the coals and let it sear until you have a nice crust. Don’t worry too much about the flames that will arise once the fat of your steak starts dripping in the coals. Just make sure your steak doesn’t burn completely and keep an eye on the desired internal temperature. Once you’re happy with the crust, transfer your steak to a grill zone away from the coals and let the internal temperature reach the desired sweet spot.

Perfectly cooked steak

Cast iron grilling vs charcoal grilling: which one is best?

Cast iron grilling is for you…

  • If you’re into basting your steak with butter, rosemary, thyme and garlic for a golden taste,
  • You like your steaks to have a nice and even sear,
  • If you’re uncomfortable with using a charcoal grill.

Charcoal grilling is for you…

  • If you’re into a delicious, unparalleled smoky flavor on your steaks,
  • If you’re willing to do a little extra prep time beforehand,
  • If you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and master your grilling technique on ‘open fire’.

Charcoal and cast-iron skillet both cook some of the finest steaks, and it all depends on your personal preferences and taste buds. If you want to go for the ultimate buttery taste, go for the cast iron method. If you want a smoky adventure, go for the charcoal grilling method. Only you can decide which one is the best option for a weekend dinner and special occasions. But one thing is certain, you can’t resist yourself from enjoying some of the best steaks cooked either way.

Still looking for a perfect steak? Check out our collection here!

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