I hope Father’s Day was a special day for all you Dads. It definitely was for me. My folks were visiting from California, and I tried out my new Camp Chef Lumberjack Over-the-Fire Grill. Other than sitting by a fire, singing campfire songs and perfecting my S’mores-making technique, I had never grilled directly over my firepit. Measuring eight feet in diameter, my firepit can hold a lot of wood which creates a tremendous amount of heat. A lightbulb went off in my head. With all of those hot embers I could easily cook over the fire. So I bought a 36″ cooking grate with sturdy legs. It can handle direct grilling, skillets and even our cast iron dutch oven.

For Father’s Day, we picked up top sirloin and beef flank steaks from Black Earth Meats. They were immediately immersed in my home-made teriyaki marinade which is made up of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, ginger powder and apple cider vinegar, the secret ingredient. The vinegar tenderizes the meat and imparts a sweetness to it, so the longer you can marinade it the better. In the Foxman family, my mom is the queen of steaks and I learned my best marinades and rubs from her. She also taught me the key to a perfect steak. Prepare it medium-rare.

So I put the cooking grate in the pit off to one side and built a fire. A couple hours later, there were plenty of hot embers, and I raked them underneath the grate. I gently placed the meat on the grate and just a few minutes of grilling on each side and the steaks were done. It worked like a charm. I didn’t have a thermometer, but I’d guess the temperature in the pit was over 500 degrees F. We also placed some corn off to the side where the heat was more indirect. Those took around ten minutes.

Grilling over a fire gave me a whole new appreciation for cooking outdoors. This was a fun experience and I hope to try other recipes in the future.