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Mesquite-Grilled Flank Steak with Black Bean Salad

Contributed by: NAPSA

Hot Off The Grill - Sizzling Tips For Charcoal Fanatics (NAPSA) - For dyed-in-the-wool charcoal lovers, the flavors and aromas imparted by charcoal grilling are simply irreplaceable. It's the distinct smoky flavor that only charcoal can provide-along with the challenge of building and mastering a live fire-that continues to fuel this nationwide obsession with the charcoal grill.

Mesquite-Grilled Flank Steak with Black Bean Salad
Weber's Charcoal Grilling: The art of cooking with live fire
"Something deep in our human DNA drives us toward the primordial satisfaction of cooking over crackling flames and glowing embers," said Chef Jamie Purviance, author of the new "Weber's Charcoal Grilling: The art of cooking with live fire." "Each time we light a live fire, we reconnect with generations of ancestors all the way back to the beginning of civilization."

Whether you're a novice griller or a well-seasoned veteran, here are a few tips and tricks of the trade for charcoal grilling from Purviance:

Choosing Charcoal

Charcoal briquettes burn longer than lump charcoal and need replenishing less often, but lump charcoal provides greater heat and woodsier aromas. Here's a tip: Use both. Light your fire with a bed of slow-burning briquettes and add lump charcoal for additional heat and smoke. Not using enough charcoal is a crucial and common mistake. "A good rule of thumb is that your charcoal should extend at least four inches beyond every piece of food. Otherwise, the food will not cook evenly," said Purviance.

Light It Right!

The easiest and best way to light charcoal is with an aluminum chimney starter. This essential tool also serves as a "measuring cup" for the fire. Filled to the rim, it provides enough coals to build an initial bed of embers in a kettle-style grill. A word to the wise-lighter fluid is off limits! According to Purviance, "It burns foul chemical fumes that can ruin the clean aromas of a good charcoal fire."

Mastering The Fire

The grill should always be preheated for five to 10 minutes with the lid closed so the grate is hot enough to sear food properly. While cooking, the heat can be adjusted by rearranging or replenishing the coals according to what various foods require. "This added bit of personal involvement is what really makes mastering a charcoal grill a true art form," said Purviance. In his book, Purviance teaches how to anticipate what the fire is going to do and how to control it, so that grillers get the results they want.

Going Out On A Limb...

Oak or mesquite? Hickory or apple? When it comes to smoking on a charcoal grill, the options are endless, so take a chance. Adding wood chips or chunks can add an extra layer of flavor to your grilling. To help the chips or chunks smolder rather than flame up, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before adding them to the fire.

From seared steaks, roasted vegetables, smoked fish, barbecued ribs, wood-fired pizzas and even caramelized fruits, there's really nothing that can't be cooked over charcoal.

For more information on "Weber's Charcoal Grilling," or for additional charcoal grilling tips and recipes from Purviance, visit

Prep time: 25 minutes - Grilling time: 8 to 10 minutes


  • Rub

    • 1 teaspoon pure chile powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

  • Salad

    • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed
    • 1 cup seeded, finely diced tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow bell pepper
    • 1/3 cup 1/4-inch-diced red onion
    • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 flank steak, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds and about 3/4 inch thick
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.

In a medium bowl combine the salad ingredients, including 3/4 teaspoon of the rub. Mix gently but thoroughly. If desired, to let the flavors meld, set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or as long as 8 hours.

Prepare a two-zone fire for high heat, using mesquite lump charcoal. (see how - download PDF)

Lightly coat the steak with oil. Season evenly with the remaining rub. Let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.

Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the steak over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once and rotating as needed for even cooking. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the steak against the grain into 1/4-inch slices. The thinner the slices, the more tender the meat will be. Serve the meat warm along with the juices on the cutting board and the black bean salad.

Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings

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