When it comes to grilling, few things are as mouth-watering as a perfectly cooked, juicy, and flavorful smoked steak. This classic dish is a staple in any barbecue lover’s repertoire, and with good reason. The combination of smoky, tender meat, charred crust, and the juicy interior is simply unbeatable.
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A steak is an excellent option for special occasions, weekend barbecues, or just as a treat for yourself and your family. And with a pellet smoker, it’s incredibly easy to achieve that smoky flavor and texture that you love. All you need is the right equipment, some high-quality meat, and a few basic ingredients.
To start, you’ll need a pellet smoker, a meat thermometer, and a good knife. And while you can smoke any cut of steak, for the best results, we recommend using rib eyes, New York strip steaks, or tenderloins that are at least 1.5 inches thick. These cuts are well-marbled, which means they have the perfect balance of fat and flavor to ensure a juicy, delicious steak every time.
In this recipe, we’ll walk you through every step of the smoking process, from seasoning it, smoking it to perfection, and finishing it off with a quick sear in a hot pan. And with just a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to cook steak that will have your friends and family raving for days.
So get ready to fire up that smoker and let’s get started on creating a truly unforgettable meal!
How To Make Smoked Steak
- Preheat the Smoker
To start, you will need to preheat your smoker to 225°F. This temperature is a good average for smoking steaks, but you can adjust it according to your personal preference. To preheat your smoker, fill the hopper with your desired type of wood pellets, such as mesquite or hickory, and set the temperature to 225°F.
- Season the Steaks
Once your smoker is heated, it is time to prepare the smoked steak. Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and pat them dry with a paper towel. This will help the seasonings stick to the steaks and will prevent any unwanted moisture from affecting the final outcome. Then, generously season the steaks with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper on both sides. Make sure to cover all surfaces of the steaks for even seasoning.
- Smoke the Steaks
Once the steaks are seasoned, place them on the smoker grates and close the lid. Smoke the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 10°F under the desired doneness temperature (115°F for rare, 125°F for medium rare, 135°F for medium, 145°F for medium well, and 155°F for well done). Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature regularly for smoking meat.
- Preheat the Cast Iron Skillet
Once the steaks are almost ready, preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the cast iron skillet with high-heat oil, such as avocado oil. This will be used to sear the steaks and add a crispy crust.
- Sear the Steaks
Once the skillet is hot, place the steaks in the pan and sear for approximately 2 minutes per side. During the last minute of searing, add some garlic, butter, and fresh thyme sprigs to the pan to enhance the flavor.
Sear the steaks until they reach your desired internal temperature: 125°F for rare, 135°F for medium rare, 145°F for medium, 155°F for medium well, or 165°F for well done. Remember to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature regularly.
- Rest & Serve
Once the steaks have reached the desired internal temperature, remove them from the skillet and set them aside to rest for 10 minutes. During this time, the steaks will continue to cook and the juices will redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak. Serve the smoked steaks with an additional sprinkle of salt, if desired.
Best Cuts Of Steak For The Smoker
When it comes to smoking steaks, the right cut of meat can make all the difference. While you can smoke just about any cut of steak, there are a few that will truly take your meal to the next level. To smoke like a pro, you’ll want to look for cuts that are at least 1.5″ thick – this will give you enough meat to withstand the long cooking time and develop deep, rich flavors.
So, what are the top 3 cuts of steak for smoking in a pellet smoker?
Rib Eye Steaks
This is the king of the smoking world. The rib eye is marbled with rich, buttery fat that will keep your steak juicy and flavorful as it smokes. This cut is the ultimate indulgence, perfect for a special occasion or just because.
New York Strip Steaks
For those who like their steak with a little more structure, the New York strip is the way to go. This cut is well-marbled but has a firmer texture than the rib eye. The result is a steak that’s bold and full of flavor, with a juicy bite that will make your mouth water.
If you’re looking for a steak that’s both tender and delicious, the tenderloin is your best bet. This cut is known for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and delicate flavor, making it the perfect choice for a more refined meal. The tenderloin is a bit leaner than the other two cuts, so be sure to add some extra fat (like butter or oil) when searing to keep the steak from drying out.
No matter which cut you choose, smoking a steak in a pellet smoker is an experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression. So, fire up that smoker, grab your favorite beer, and get ready to smoke the best steak of your life!
Best Beer To Pair With Smoked Steak
When it comes to pairing beer with a rich and smoky steak, you want to look for brews that will complement, not overpower, the flavors of the meat. Here are our top 3 picks:
A hoppy India Pale Ale pairs well with the bold flavors of a smoked porterhouse steak. The bitterness of the beer cuts through the richness of the meat, creating a perfect balance. Plus, the bold hop flavors add an extra layer of complexity to the dish.
A full-bodied stout beer provides the perfect contrast to the smoky flavors of the porterhouse steak. The smooth, creamy texture of a stout will coat your mouth, creating a luxurious experience. The roasted malt flavors also add depth to the dish, making it a perfect pairing.
A nutty and slightly sweet brown ale is a great option for those who want a beer that will bring out the natural flavors of the porterhouse steak. The caramel and toasty notes of a brown ale complement the smoky and juicy flavors of the steak, making this pairing a match made in heaven.
- BBQ Grill Accessories (Tongs)
- Paper towels
- Cast-iron Skillet
- 4 1 1/2 inch steaks ((New York strip, tenderloin, and rib eye are all great options))
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F with your wood of choice.
- Use a paper towel to pat your steaks dry on all sides. Season on all sides with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
- Place your steaks on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke until the internal temperature of your steak reaches 10°F under the desired doneness temperature: 115°F for rare, 125°F medium rare, 135°F medium, 145°F medium well, or 155°F well done.
- Remove the steaks from the pellet grill and set them aside while you preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat.
- Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with high-heat oil (like avocado oil). Place the steaks in the pan and sear for approximately 2 minutes per side. Add garlic, butter, and fresh thyme sprigs for an extra burst of flavor.
- Sear until the internal temperature of your steak reaches your desired doneness: 125 degrees F (rare), 135 (medium rare), 145 (medium), 155 degrees (medium well), or 165 degrees F (well done).
- Remove your steaks from the skillet and allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with an additional sprinkle of salt, if desired.
Smoked Steak FAQs
The best cuts of steak to smoke in a pellet smoker are rib eyes, New York strip steaks, and tenderloins, as they are at least 1.5 inches thick and have a good amount of marbling which adds flavor and tenderness to the steak. Other cuts are also available like filet mignon and flank steak.
The ideal temperature to smoke steaks in a pellet smoker is 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
The time it takes to smoke a steak in a pellet smoker varies depending on the thickness and desired doneness of the steak. It usually takes 1 hour to smoke a steak to medium rare.
The best wood pellets for smoking steaks in a pellet smoker are hickory, mesquite, and apple. These wood pellets add a delicious smoky flavor to the smoked steak.
The desired internal temperature for a medium-rare steak in a pellet smoker is 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
To sear a steak after smoking it in a pellet smoker, heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and lightly coat the bottom with high-heat oil. Place the steaks in the skillet and sear for approximately 2 minutes per side. Add garlic, butter, and fresh thyme sprigs for an extra burst of flavor.
Smoking steaks involves cooking the steaks with low heat and smoke over a longer period of time, while grilling steaks involves cooking the steaks over high heat for a shorter period of time.
Yes, you can use a regular grill or charcoal grill, and wood chips to smoke steak, but you will need to add a smoker box to the grill to generate the delicious smoke flavor and also need to know how to steak cooked perfectly.
Yes, it is necessary to rest perfectly smoked steak after smoking it in a pellet smoker to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, making it juicier and more flavorful.
Yes, you can use other seasonings besides salt and pepper for this recipe. Try using a dry rub or your favorite herbs and spices to add extra flavor to the steak.