T-Bone steaks are one of the most common cooked steaks in family households. They are packed full of flavor, easy to smoke, and if we’re being honest, the T-shaped bone adds a level of awesomeness that no other cut of steak has.
This Reverse Seared Smoked T-Bone Steak recipe is a great way to change up your steak cooking routine and try something new! Add in some smoked asparagus and smoked baked potatoes and you’ve got an amazing meal in the making!
But wait, what’s better than a perfectly smoked T-bone steak? Only a smoked T-bone steak with melted goat cheese butter! GET READY to taste some amazing flavors with this step-by-step guide to smoking the perfect T-Bone Steak!
Table of Contents
The T-Bone steak comes from the Short Loin. The short loin is a cut of beef taken from the middle back from the top of the cow.
T-Bone steak is essentially two steaks in one. On one side (usually the smaller side) you have the filet mignon, a super tender cut of beef that most people dream about. On the other side of the T-Bone steak (the large side), you get the strip steak that’s rich in beefy flavor but not as tender as the filet mignon.
Splitting these two delicious cuts of beef is the unmistakable T-shaped bone that holds everything together and keeps the meat moist and juicy while cooking.
Smoking T-Bone Steak
The best way to cook a T-Bone steak is with indirect heat. By smoking a T-bone steak in indirect heat, you avoid heating up the bone too quickly. If you heat up the bone too quickly, the meat can cook faster than planned to give you a less tender and juicy steak.
Once your t-bone steak is cooked to your desired doneness (we recommend a nice medium-rare), it’s best to take it off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. After that, apply a nice reverse sear to get that steakhouse char on all sides.
- Rare: 125°F + 3 minutes of resting time
- Medium rare: 130°F to 135°F
- Medium: 135°F to 140°F
- Medium well: 140°F to 150°F
- Well done: 155°F+
Cutting a Smoked T-bone Steak after it’s Cooked
The best way to cut your T-Bone steak after it’s cooked is to stand it up on the flat end and then take a knife and run it along the bone, slicing the meat off into two separate steaks. From there, cut the two separate steaks against the grain and serve!
How to make Smoked T-Bone Steak
Whether you’re grilling with a pellet grill, charcoal, or offset smoker, this recipe is beginner-friendly and easy even for cooking newbies! Here’s everything you need to prepare this godly delicious T-bone steak!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Temperature: 500ºF
- Finishes Temperature: 135ºF for rare, 145ºF for medium-rare, 155ºF for well-done
- Wood Flavor: Competition Blend
- Servings: 4 people
- Your preference of smoker (I recommend a pellet smoker)
- Commercial grade tinfoil
- Temperature probe
- 1 ½ to 2 inches. thick T-bone steaks
- Your favorite steak rub
- Start your smoker and get the temperature stable at 225ºF.
- Coat all sides of the steak with your favorite steak rub.
- Once your smoker is at a stable temperature, insert your meat probe into the thickest part of the meat (strip steak), put your steaks on the smoker and close the lid.
- Start making your garlic butter (instructions below).
- Once you’re happy with the doneness of your smoked T-bone steak, remove it from your smoker and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Crank your smoker up to 450-500ºF so that we can prepare to sear the steak
- Put a light coating of mayonnaise on all sides of your steak (Optional but we highly recommended)
- Place the steaks directly on the grill and sear on each side for 30-45 seconds or until you get your desired amount of sear.
- Remove your steaks from the grill, tent with tinfoil for 5 minutes and serve!
BBQ Hero Tip: Steaks are one of the easiest meats to smoke. Smoked steak recipes are fairly interchangeable. So grab a steak, your favorite rub, and your temperature probe and you’re pretty much ready to go!
Detailed Cooking Instructions
Step 1 – Set your temperature
The most important thing about making a juicy steak is to make sure that you keep your smoker at a consistent temperature for the entire smoke. Variations in temperature can dry out your steak or make it cook unevenly. So the first thing to do is get your smoker to a consistent 225ºF before putting any meat on the smoker.
Step 2 – Season Your T-Bone Steak
While your smoker is getting up to a consistent 225ºF, it’s time to season our steaks! Pitmasters all over the world have their own preferences. And after some trial and error, so will you!
If you’re new to this, our homemade bulletproof steak seasoning recipe is guaranteed to give you a perfect balance of salt, pepper and smoke while still leaving that great beef flavor from the steak.
If you’re looking for something off the shelf, we highly recommend Steak Fixx for seasoning and Sticky Fixx if you like BBQ sauce. Sticky Fixx actually won Worlds Best BBQ Sauce in 2021 and I can personally say it’s the best damn BBQ sauce I’ve ever had!
Step 3 – Place Your Smoked T-Bone Steaks Onto the Grill/Smoker
Where on your grill you put your steaks will make a difference in how fast or slow they cook. Put them too close to the fire and you’ll cook them fast, too far away and they’ll take forever to smoke!
Our preference is to put any cut of steak on the top grill and in the middle of the smoker. In this position, your steak is far enough away from the fire and gets completely covered in smoke throughout the cook.
Once you’ve found the right place for your steaks, insert your meat probe, put them on the grill and close the lid! Remember, that if you’re looking, you’re not cooking! So trust the process (and your meat probe) and leave your steaks alone for at least 30 minutes before checking on them.
Step 4 – Prep Your Goat Cheese Butter
Melting plain butter onto any steak adds some delicious flavor to your meat. But if you’re open to trying this goat cheese butter recipe, you might just blow that taste buds off your guests!
Grab your chopped garlic, chopped green onions, butter, and goat cheese.
Now, mash everything up until it becomes a well-mixed butter paste. Once you’re happy with how it’s mixed, place the goat cheese butter onto the cling wrap in a cylinder. Roll the cling wrap so that none of the butter will leak out (make sure to get as much air as possible out too). Store it in your fridge until you’re ready to finalize your steak.
Step 6 – Your T-Bone is done!
Now that you’ve reached your preferred steak doneness, it’s time to rest your smoked T-Bone Steaks.
Resting is a very simple process but it allows your meat the opportunity to finish cooking and release any juice that’s in the steak. Reverse searing helps keep your steak juicy and we highly recommend it.
Once you remove your steak from the smoker, let it rest for 10 minutes on the counter.
Step 7 – Fire Up Your Grill
With your steak resting, crank up your grill temperature to 450-500ºF. We need your grill grates HOT so that we can finish off your steak with a really great sear.
If your smoker has a removable flame guard, removing it before you crank the heat is ideal. That way you can get those flames up for when you put your meat back on.
Step 8 – Add in the Mayonnaise (Optional)
Too weird of a cooking method?
Well, well, well.
The reason we add mayonnaise apart from your Kosher salt and pepper is to give your smoked T-bone steak that nice, deep crust.
Layer it on top of your steak before adding it to your grill for searing! You won’t taste the mayonnaise at all but you will get a beautiful crust on your steak.
Step 9 – Sear Your Steak
Cook time: 3 to 4 minutes per side
Sear your steak and smell that buttery goodness while you’re at it. Let all that smoke in.
If you prefer your smoked T-bone steak well done, the internal temp or cook time should last until 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you love rare, the optimal internal temp should be 125 degrees. Here’s a complete chart for reference.
Step 10 – Let Your Meat Sit Again for 5 Minutes and Serve!
Before you even take a bite off your New York strip beef, let it sit in silence first. This allows all the juices and flavor to distribute evenly…down to the bone.
Don’t forget to add your goat cheese butter on top! And that’s it! Unless…
Do you want something extra? *Gasp* we thought you’d never ask!
The smoky flavor is one thing, but cheesy butter smoke? Sign me up! Here’s what you do. Don’t sear your T-bone steak to finish.
Instead, sear it for a good 1 to 2 minutes then BAKE IT. But…bake it with the goat cheese butter. How’s that for a T-bone!
Set your oven to 400 degrees and bake your steak for a good 4 to 7 minutes.
Remember, that if you’re looking, you’re not cooking! So trust the process and leave your steaks alone for at least 30 minutes before checking on them.
Smoked T Bone Steak Side Recipes
Looking for a recipe far from the conventional Kosher salt- pepper spice? We’ve got two!
- Smoked T-bone with Jalapeno Cheese Grits (check it out here!)
- Smoked T-bone steak with Habanero and Blue Cheese (check it out here!)
Questions about Smoked T-Bone Steak
How to Buy the Best Meat for My Steak?
The first rule of tenderloin cuts: DON’T BUY A THIN, FLIMSY CUT.
Thin tenderloin cuts result in the insides getting overcooked! Want the best cut? Two things:
- Buy a THICK CUT (at least 1.5 inches)
- Make sure it has good marbling – the white beautiful fat that brings you down to your knees
How Long Does It Take to Smoke Steak at 225 Degrees?
Regardless of the recipe, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour. This also depends on your preferred degree of the desired doneness.
Pro Tip: If your cut is 1.5 lbs, then an hour of smoking is required. BUT! If it’s thinner than that, take note it will heat a lot faster.
What Temp Should Steak Be Smoked At?
If you’re looking to smoke a tender and juicy steak, you should smoke it at 225ºF for 45-60 minutes. The doneness of your steak depends on your personal preferences, but most restaurants cook steak at medium-rare.
- Medium Rare – 135 degrees F
- Medium – 145 degrees F
- Medium well – 150 degrees F
- Well Done – 160 degrees F
What Is the Difference Between Smoked and Baked T-Bone Steaks?
Smoking vs baking T-Bone Steaks comes down to personal preferences. If you like having a smoky or charcoal-like flavor on your steak, then smoking your t-bone steak is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a quick and easy steak that gives a great sear but relies more on the seasonings to get that flavor, then baking your steak will work!
Either way, you decide, cooking steak comes down to making sure the internal temperature of your steak is perfect. Nail that, and you’ll have yourself a great-tasting steak!
Is it a T-Bone or Porterhouse?
Knowing whether your T-Bone steak is actually a Porterhouse Steak (or vise versa) might be more difficult than you think. The simplest way to know the difference (based on Wikipedia) is that “the tenderloin of a porterhouse must be at least 1.25 inches (32 mm) wide at its widest, while that of a T-bone must be at least 0.5 inches (13 mm) wide.”
So really, if you’re staring at a T-Bone Steak that has a large tenderloin side, you might actually be looking at a Porterhouse Steak. Either way, they are equally delicious!
Wrapping it up!
A well-smoked T-Bone Steak is what steak dreams are made of! So much so, that it’s on our list of The Best Meats to Smoke! Along with the T-bone, you should also try Smoked New York Strip, Smoked Ribeye, and of course (if you can find it) Smoked Picanha! And, if you only have so many steaks to go around, but a lot of people to feed, try Smoked Hot Dogs or Smoked Hamburgers! Both are 10x better than just cooking on a regular gas grill!