Category / Recipes


Reverse-Sear Garlic Buttered Ribeye Steaks

Mike and Phillip are in Amarillo, Texas this week, visiting family ranches with Certified Angus Beef, purveyors of the beef we use at 17th Street. Below you’ll find a method from our new book, Praise the Lard, outlining the reverse sear, our favorite way to cook steak. 

Garlic-Buttered Ribeye Steaks

Recipe makes 4 to 6 servings

The term “reverse-sear” refers to flipping the traditional sequence of steak-cooking steps so that the meat is first infused with smoke and searing happens just before serving. This is an easy route to a tender piece of meat with a delicious savory crust, especially if a perfect medium-rare is your goal—which is one of the factors determining a win, according to Steak Cookoff Association guidelines.

We like to cook boneless Certified Angus Beef prime or choice grade meat. Bone-in or boneless—the choice is yours.

  • 4 to 6 ribeye steaks (about 1 pound each, 1 to 1½ inches thick, prime or choice)
  • Steakhouse Shake (recipe follows) or kosher salt and pepper
  • Herb and Garlic Butter (recipe follows), chilled,
for serving
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, for serving (optional)
  • 2 pounds good-quality lump charcoal
  • 1 small (8-inch) piece of apple wood or 2 store- bought chunks

Up to 40 minutes prior to cooking, season the steak generously with the shake. Set the steaks on a baking sheet and refrigerate them, loosely covered, until you’re ready to grill.

Set up the cooker for indirect-heat smoking: Open the top and bottom vents. Load a charcoal chimney one-quarter full of charcoal and light it. When the coals in the chimney are glowing, dump them on one side of the cooker. Set the wood on top of the coals, replace the grate, and put the steaks over the side with no coals (the indirect cooking area). Close the lid.

Don’t open the cooker for 15 minutes, but keep a close eye on the temperature (see page 84 for how best to assess and monitor cooker temperature); when it reaches 200°, which might happen very quickly, close the vents about halfway so that less air comes in to feed the re and the heat in the cooker rises slowly. Let the temperature climb to between 225° and 250° (see page 77 for how to determine your target temperature). Maintain your target temperature; if at any point it climbs more than 5° above your target, close the top and bottom vents further so that even less air comes in to feed the fire.

After 15 minutes, open the lid of the cooker and use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak; you are looking for a slow and steady climb to 105° (for rare) or 110° (for medium-rare). This will take no longer than 20 minutes.

After you check the meat temperature, reload the chimney halfway with charcoal and light it. You’ll soon need these additional hot coals to sear the steaks at the finishing stage, after they’re done smoking.

When the steaks are 105° for rare or 110° for medium-rare, set them aside on a baking sheet. Working quickly, add the hot coals and spread them out all over the bottom of the cooker. Replace the grate and put the steaks directly over the hot coals. Sear for a minute or two on each side, just until a brown crust forms and the internal temperature is 120° for rare or 130° for medium-rare. Top each steak with a slice of Herb and Garlic Butter, and blue cheese if you like, and serve.

© Mike Mills and Amy Mills, published in Praise the Lard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Steakhouse Shake

Recipe makes about ½ cup

This savory blend tastes great on hamburgers, steaks, brisket, and beef ribs

  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a whisk to blend evenly. Store in a tightly covered container in a cool, dark place. Keeps for about 6 months, or until the color or pungent aroma fades.

© Mike Mills and Amy Mills, published in Praise the Lard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Herb and Garlic Butter

Recipe makes 1 cup

Press this butter into a ramekin or roll it into a log, chill, and cut into slices to top a steak. Bring to room temperature for spreading on biscuits or buttering ears of corn, baked potatoes, or vegetables.

  • 2 cups packed fresh herb leaves of your choice (we use at-leaf parsley, chives, and basil)
  • ½ small garlic clove
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Pulse the herbs and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pulse to combine. Scrape the butter into a ramekin and cover with plastic wrap, or scrape onto a sheet of parchment paper and form into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter. Roll the paper to cover it and twist the ends. Wrap in foil to keep airtight, and refrigerate or freeze. The butter keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

© Mike Mills and Amy Mills, published in Praise the Lard, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

All photos ©Ken Goodman Photography



Buy Praise the Lard for more recipes and revelations in barbecue culture





Praise the Lard! Pre-order our new book now!


Pre-order now from these booksellers:


Barnes & Noble

Indie Bound

We’ve been absent from this space for months while we’ve been hard at work on our upcoming book. We’re delighted to announce that you can now pre-order Praise the Lard from any of the links listed above.

While our first book Peace, Love, and Barbecue is about 17th Street — along with 50 or so of our closest friends — Praise the Lard is a deeper dive into our world. This book is a love letter to Murphysboro and to our family. It traces my daddy’s and my parallel journeys in barbecue.

Here’s how our publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, describes the book:

Mike Mills and Amy Mills, the dynamic father-daughter duo behind the famous 17th Street Barbecue, are two of the most influential people in barbecue. Known as The Legend, Mike is a Barbecue Hall-of-Famer, a four-time barbecue World Champion, a three-time Grand World Champion at Memphis in May (the Super Bowl of Swine), and a founder of the Big Apple Block Party. A third-generation barbecuer, Amy is the marketing mind behind the business, a television personality, and industry expert.

Praise the Lard, named after the Mills’ popular Southern Illinois cook-off, now in its thirtieth year, dispenses all the secrets of the family’s lifetime of worshipping at the temple of barbecue. At the heart of the book are almost 100 recipes from the family archives: Private Reserve Mustard Sauce, Ain’t No Thang but a Chicken Wing, Pork Belly Bites, and Prime Rib on the Pit, Tangy Pit Beans, and Blackberry Pie. With hundreds of food and candid photos, this book is as rich as the Mills’ history.

We’ll be making a big splash this spring and summer with a book tour, events, giveaways, and more. Stay tuned for more details!

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