Steak on a Pellet Grill – Juicy, smokey, and insanely delicious, this is a recipe any steak lover will adore. The low and slow cooking method, along with the dry brining, make for a steak that is mouthwateringly good every time. 🤤
Now, I love a grilled steak, but there’s something about a steak smoked on a Traeger pellet grill that you just can’t beat. Whenever I feel like making something special for dinner, pellet-grilled steak is usually on the menu.
Smoking steak may seem way more complex than just grilling it, but it really isn’t hard at all. It just takes a little longer. Armed with a few basic tips and techniques, you’ll be smoking steaks like a pro in no time! 🙌
The Best Way to Cook Pellet Grilled Steak
If there’s one key to making the best-ever pellet grill steak, it’s to reverse sear. That means searing the meat at the end of the cooking period instead of the beginning. Starting the steaks out low and slow means they can absorb more smokey deliciousness. Then you sear them to lock in all that juicy goodness.
And here’s a pro tip: Since smokers take a while to heat up, you’ll remove your steaks from the grill when you reach the desired doneness. Then, allow the smoker to reach a much higher heat, and only then, return them to the smoker to sear. These are the secrets to a juicy steak with a balanced smokey flavor and a delectable seared crust on the outside. 🤫
- Steaks – Ribeye, strip loin, or tenderloin are my go-to steaks for this recipe. You could use other cuts, but adjust the cooking time if necessary.
- Seasonings – A dry brine with just kosher salt is the first step. After all, the smoking process infuses a lot of flavor. But you can add other seasonings if you’d like. I’ve included a tasty steak seasoning with smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, ground mustard, cumin, and a few red pepper flakes.
How to Make Pellet Grilled Steak
Prep the Steaks
- Season – Pat both sides of the steaks with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place them on a baking sheet topped with a cookie rack. Season steak with salt, ensuring it’s evenly distributed all over it. (Photo 1)
- Marinate – Place the salted steaks on top of the cookie rack, which allows air circulation and helps the steaks dry out further in the refrigerator. Place the baking sheet with the steaks in the fridge uncovered and let them dry brine for at least 2-3 hours, or for best results, let it season overnight.
- Dry Rub – In a small bowl, mix smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, black pepper, ground mustard, ground cumin, and red pepper flakes. Rub the dry spice mixture on both sides of the ribeye steaks, making sure every inch is covered. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to absorb the flavors, if time permits. (Photo 2)
Pellet Grill the Steak
- Smoke – Place the steak directly on the preheated smoker grill grates and smoke for 75-90 minutes. The internal temperature of the steak reaches 110-115°F. Remove the steak from the smoker and set aside. (Photo 3)
- Sear – Increase the temperature to medium-high (450°F-500°F). (Alternatively, you can skip this step and let it smoke until it registers your desired temperature.) Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side until it develops good grill marks and reaches your desired doneness.
- Rest – Remove the steaks from the smoker and cover them with foil to keep them warm while they rest for 10 -15 minutes.
- Serve – Slice it against the grain and serve with your favorite sides, or use it for tacos. 🌮
- Personalize the seasonings! Add or remove any of my suggested steak rub ingredients to fit your taste preferences. You can even use your favorite store-bought dry rub.
- Marinate the steak. Create a marinade with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh herbs (like rosemary, thyme, and parsley), a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Marinate the steak for a couple of hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator before smoking as directed.
- Chimichurri steak. Prepare a chimichurri sauce by blending fresh parsley and cilantro, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt. Season the steak with salt and pepper, and grill it to your desired level of doneness. Then, serve your tasty steak with a generous spoonful of chimichurri sauce over the top.
Tips and Tricks
- If cooking for a crowd, the ideal temperature is 125-135°F (50-58℃).
- Don’t skip the resting step. That allows all the juicy goodness inside the steak to redistribute throughout the meat. 😋
- You know your smoker! If it has hot spots, take advantage of them when searing the steaks.
- Monitor the temperature closely with an instant-read meat thermometer. Remove the steak from the oven as soon as it’s heated through, being cautious not to cook it further.
This delicacy is best served right away since reheating can dry out your steak. That said, reheating is tricky, but you can do it.
Here’s how: Keep in mind the goal is to reheat it gently without overcooking. Preheat an oven to a low temperature, around 250°F (120℃). Unwrap the smoked steak and place it on a wire rack over a baking sheet to maintain the crust. Reheat the steak in the oven until it reaches your desired internal temperature.
If you do that, you can make the steak 2-3 days in advance, refrigerate it in an airtight container, and reheat it when ready.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve these steaks hot, as soon as they’ve finished resting, with all your favorite sides. Or slice them up and toss them in a tortilla. They really do make the most delicious tacos!
Store leftover steak in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat as per the instructions in the previous section or repurpose cold. One idea is to place slices atop fresh greens and some veggies for a tasty smoked steak salad. 🥗
Yes, you can smoke steak on a gas or charcoal grill using indirect heat and wood chips. However, your pellet grill delivers more precise temperature control and consistent smoke.
To prevent excessive smokiness, avoid using strong-flavored woods and maintain proper airflow in your smoker. Also, always use high-quality wood pellets.
While it’s possible to smoke frozen steaks, it’s generally better to thaw them first. Smoking frozen steaks may result in uneven cooking and affect the texture.
What Goes With Pellet Grilled Steak
All the classic steak sides! Grilled potato wedges or smoked baked potato and some kind of veggie. Smoked corn on the cob and smoked asparagus are my favorites since the smoker is already fired up and raring to go. 😁
More Top-Notch Beef Recipes to Try
- Grilled Flat Iron Steak
- Juicy Beef Brisket Burgers
- Smoked Beef Tenderloin
- Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket
- Brisket Sliders
Give this smoked steak a go and see if it isn’t just as good (or maybe even better) than the grilled variety! And if you try it and love it, sound off in the comment section below. I always love hearing from y’all.
Pellet Grilled Steak
- 2-4 steak (ribeye, striploin, or tenderloin)
- salt and pepper (see notes)
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- ½ teaspoon thyme, dried
- ½ teaspoon rosemary, dried
- ½ teaspoon mustard, dried
- ½ teaspoon cumin, dried
- ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pat both sides of the steak with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place on a baking sheet top with a cookie rack.
- Season steak with salt. Make sure the salt is evenly distributed all over the steak.
- Place the seasoned steaks on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This allows air circulation and helps the steaks dry out further in the refrigerator.
- Place the baking sheet with the steaks in the fridge, uncovered, and let them dry brine for at least 2-3 hours (for best results, let it season overnight).
- When ready to cook, remove the steaks from the refrigerator, season with pepper and steak seasoning if desired, and let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Proceed with grilling or smoking the steak.
- In a small bowl, mix the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, black pepper, ground mustard, ground cumin, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.
- Rub the spice mixture onto both sides of the steaks, covering every inch with the spice mixture. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to absorb the flavors, if time permits.
- Prepare the pellet grill smoker according to the manufacturer's instructions, and preheat to 225-250°F (107-120℃).
- Place the steak directly on smoker grates and smoke for 75-90 minutes, or until the steak's internal temperature reaches 110-115°F (43-46℃). Remove the steak from the smoker and set aside. Increase the temperature to medium-high (450-500°F/232-260℃). Alternatively, skip this step and let it smoke until it reaches the desired temperature.
- Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side or until it develops good grill marks and sears on the outside. Or desired doneness has been reached.
- Let it rest for 10-15 minutes for the juices to redistribute throughout the steak. Slice against the grain and serve with your favorite sides (or use for tacos).
- If cooking for a crowd, the best temperature is 125-135°F (50-58℃).
- Remove from the smoker, and cover with foil to keep it warm.