The first consideration in broiling is to have a clear, glowing bed of coals. The steak should be about three-quarters of an inch in thickness, and should be pounded only in extreme cases, i.e., when it is cut too thick and is “stringy.” Lay it on a buttered gridiron, turning it often, as it begins to drip, attempting nothing else while cooking it.
Have everything else ready for the table; the potatoes and vegetables dished and in the warming closet. Do not season it until it is done, which will be in about ten to twelve minutes. Remove it to a warm platter, pepper and salt it on both sides and spread a liberal lump of butter over it. Serve at once while hot. No definite rule can be given as to the time of cooking steak, individual tastes differ so widely in regard to it, some only liking it when well done, others so rare that the blood runs out of it. The best pieces for broiling are the porterhouse and sirloin.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)