Ideal grill: Charcoal
Smoke intensity: Mild
Prep time: 15 minutes
Marinating time: 2 to 4 hours
Cooking time: 6 to 8 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6Paste
1 small handful fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon celery seed
Ground black pepper
4 boneless rib eye steaks, each 12 to 16 ounces and about 1 inch thick
2 small handfuls hickory or mesquite wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and reserve the sprigs for tossing on the coals later. Finely chop enough of the leaves to give you 2 tablespoons of chopped thyme. Mix the thyme leaves in a small bowl with the remaining paste ingredients, including 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
2. Brush the paste evenly over both sides of the steaks. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
3. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and season evenly with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking.
4. Prepare a two-zone fire for high heat (450° to 550°F).
5. Brush the cooking grate clean. Drain and add the wood chips and thyme sprigs to the charcoal and put the lid on the grill. When smoke appears, grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice (if flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect heat). Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.