Dwight Eisenhower wasn't the first or only cook to grill steaks directly on hot coals, but he was the most famous one to do it. One of many stories about Ike in the Eisenhower Library archives relates that he liked three-inch beef strip steaks-also called New York strip, shell steak, or Kansas City strip-completely covered with salt and pepper, then placed directly on white-hot coals for a rare, charry-crusted steak that can be addictive. Sorry, gas grillers, but no dirty-steak cooking on your grill-you need the coals for this one!
Sprinkle both sides of steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Fill a charcoal chimney with briquets, set the chimney on the bottom grill grate, and light. When the coals are ready, dump them into the bottom of your grill. Cover half of your bottom grate with briquets.
When the briquets are white-hot, place each steak directly onto the hot coals using long-handled tongs or a fork. Leave steaks on the coals for 2 minutes. Turn them over and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes for rare (125°F on a meat thermometer). For medium-rare (135°F) to medium (140°F), leave the steaks on the coals for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove the steaks from the coals and brush off the ashes. Spread melted butter over the top and a squeeze of lemon before serving, if you desire.