Salt-Roasted Ribeye

This salt roasting recipe combines the best of several cooking techniques – steaming, roasting and (of course) grilling. It’s a bit of work, but because the food essentially cooks in its own juices, the moist and flavorful results are certainly worth the effort.

  • 6 cups  kosher sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 fingerling potatoes, or a dozen baby red or yellow potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 USDA Choice or Prime ribeye steaks, at least an inch and a half thick

The first part of the cook is just to get a good sear on the steaks to add color and flavor. Take the steaks out at least an hour before you start grilling and season with your favorite steak seasoning.

Set your grill up for a direct cook and get it HOT – at least 600°F. Put the steaks on the grill and give them 30 seconds of undisturbed searing. Rotate (don’t flip) the steaks 45 degrees and give them another 30 seconds. Flip the meat and repeat the process. Once both sides have nice sear marks move the steaks off to a plate.

The next part of the cook is the roasting. Reduce your grill temp to 400°F and set it up for indirect cooking by banking the charcoal off to the side, inserting a diffuser,  or by shutting down the middle gas burner.

Combine the salt, water, rosemary, and pepper. Mix well. Use about half the mixture to line the bottom of a grill-safe 9×13 baking or roasting pan. Place the steaks in the center of the pan and surround with potatoes. Insert an ovenproof thermometer into thickest part of the steak.

Mound the remaining salt mixture onto the steak and potatoes. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to encase everything as best you can in an even layer of salt.

Put the pan on the grill and close the lid. The heat will cause the salt to melt and form a crust. This is what seals in not only the moisture of the food, but also all of the natural flavors.

Roast until the meat thermometer registers 130°F for medium-rare or 145°F for medium, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on how thick the salt is and how well it sealed.

Remove the pan from the grill and let stand 10 to 15 minutes.  Crack the salt crust with a spoon and try to lift away as much as you can. Brush away the remaining salt with a basting brush.

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