By Kipp Rix
I developed the idea for this steak four years ago and have used every chance possible to perfect it to its current status. I love smoked meats and I also love chargrilled meats; so what happens when you take the time to combine both cooking methods? Well, you get the Firehouse Rib Eye Steak! This is my standby meal for special occasions around the firehouse, promotions, retirements, and birthdays, to name a few. I know, many out there will say that rib eye steak is too expensive, that you can purchase two sirloin steaks for the price of one rib eye; that may be the case, but you also get what you pay for when it comes to steak. In my humble opinion, no grilling steak can match the flavor of a rib eye, and for this recipe no other steak can adopt or enhance the flavor than the great rib eye. I recently purchased an electric smoker; my reasoning was that I could control the temperature more carefully; when using at the station, I can set and leave it cooking when we run on calls without the fear of flare-ups and burnt meat or, even worse, a charcoaled station.
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
4 rib eye steaks two inches thick
Coarse ground black pepper
Coarse sea salt
Hickory wood chips for smoking
4 large sweet potatoes
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup mild chopped Hatch green chile
- Season both sides of the steaks liberally with salt and black pepper.
- Cooking these steaks is a two part process: First, smoke the steak not to cook the meat but only to add a depth of flavor. In the electric smoker, I preheat the smoker to 250°F. I place the steaks in the smoker and add the wood chips. Smoke the meat for 30 minutes, then remove to grill or refrigerate for cooking later.
- If you only have a grill, preheat the grill to a medium heat. Construct a pouch large enough to loosely hold your wood chips from heavy foil; on one side, poke holes with a fork. Place the foil pouch on the grill and watch for it to start to smoke, place the steaks on the cooler part of the grill next to the smoking pouch, and cover with a disposable foil pan or another large sheet of heavy foil to trap the smoke.
- Smoke meat for 20-30 minutes. Remember, you are trying to smoke the meat in as cool a temperature as possible. You’re looking to add smoke flavor without cooking.
- Once the meat is smoked, preheat your grill to a high heat. High heat will allow you to cook the steaks to a charred-rare (in my opinion the best way for full flavor). The outside should be well-grilled, leaving the inside slightly warm and red. If you like your steak cooked medium well, then turn down the temperature of the grill some to avoid turning the exterior of the steak into charcoal.
- Once the steaks are cooked, pull from the grill and allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve the steaks with ground horseradish.
Southwest Baked Potato:
- Wash the outside of the sweet potatoes.
- Wrap in foil and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours, just until when lightly squeezed the potatoes give and feel soft.
- Remove potatoes from the oven and allow cooling for 20-30 minutes.
- Unwrap the potatoes. Holding with a towel, take a knife and cut an oblong opening on the side big enough to allow you to scoop out the inside of the potato into a bowl. Be careful not to break the skin as you scoop out the insides of the potatoes.
- Once you have emptied all the potatoes into the bowl, set skins aside.
- Mash the potatoes in the bowl. Add the Chipotle powder, smoked paprika, and butter and blend well to mix.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add 1 ½ cups of the cheese and the chopped green chile and mix well to blend.
- Using a spoon, fill the skins again with the potato mixture, once again being careful not to split the skins when filling.
- Top with remaining cheese and return to the oven to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, allowing cheese to melt.
Kipp Rix has been in the fire service for 19 years working as both a career and volunteer fire fighter in New Mexico. Kipp started cooking at the age of 10 and learned his early skills watching shows like the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Child. Throughout the years, Kipp refined his skills with a focus on grilling foods with a southwestern flair. In 2009 Fire House Publications, LLC released the first of Kipp’s two cook books with the second book released in 2011; a portion of the proceeds from the books helps fund Fire Kids. Kipp’s philosophy of fire house cooking is “Just because you work in a busy house does not mean that you have to settle for ordinary cooking, a crew’s attitude is directly related to the meals served!” Each of Kipp’s recipes has been Fire House tested and approved.
Please email [email protected] with a crew picture enjoying this recipe along with your review; each month one entry will be selected to receive a signed copy of one of my cook books. In 2013 Kipp founded Fire Kids, an organization that works with New Mexico children’s agencies and other organizations like the Make A Wish Foundation, of New Mexico to identify children facing a life altering or terminal illness; working with local municipal agencies and fire departments Fire Kids affords these children an opportunity to live the life of a fire fighter for a day. Complete information can be found on our Fire Kids web page.