How to Smoke Steak: A Beginner’s Guide to Achieving Perfectly Smoked Steak Every Time

Smoking steak is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your meat. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, smoking steak is an easy and delicious way to cook your steak. There are many different ways to smoke steak, but the basic steps are the same.

How to Smoke Steak: A Beginner’s Guide to Achieving Perfectly Smoked Steak Every Time

First, choose your cut of steak. Some of the best cuts for smoking include ribeye, flank steak, strip steak, flat iron steak, and filet mignon. Next, prepare your smoker by making sure it is clean and has enough fuel. Then, season your steak with your favorite rub or marinade. Finally, place your steak in the smoker and let it cook until it reaches your desired level of doneness. With a little practice and patience, you can create a perfectly smoked steak every time.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

When it comes to smoking steak, choosing the right cut of meat is crucial. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the perfect steak for smoking:


The thickness of the steak is important because it affects how long it will take to smoke and how evenly it will cook. Generally, you want to choose a steak that is at least 1 inch thick. Some good options include ribeye, top sirloin, New York strip, porterhouse, tenderloins, and T-bone.


Marbling refers to the amount of fat that is dispersed throughout the meat. The more marbling a steak has, the more flavorful and tender it will be. Look for steaks with visible streaks of fat running through the meat.


Steaks are graded based on their quality and tenderness. The three most common grades are Prime, Choice, and Select. Prime is the highest quality, followed by Choice and Select. While Prime steaks are the most expensive, they are also the most flavorful and tender.

Bone-In vs. Boneless

Bone-in steaks tend to have more flavor and are often more tender than their boneless counterparts. However, they can be more difficult to cook evenly. If you’re new to smoking steak, you may want to start with boneless cuts.


Finally, consider your budget when selecting a steak. While Prime cuts are the most flavorful and tender, they can be quite expensive. If you’re on a budget, look for Choice or Select cuts instead.

By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect steak for smoking and ensure that your final product is flavorful, tender, and delicious.

Preparing the Steak

Before smoking your steak, it is important to properly prepare it to ensure that it is flavorful and tender. This section will cover the three main ways to prepare your steak – seasoning, marinating, and preheating the smoker or grill.

Seasoning the Steak

Seasoning your steak is an important step in the preparation process. It helps to bring out the natural flavors of the meat and can also add some additional flavor. The most common seasoning for steak is kosher salt and black pepper. You can also use a dry rub or a combination of spices to add some extra flavor.

When seasoning your steak, make sure to apply the seasoning evenly on both sides of the steak. You can also use fresh cracked pepper for a more intense flavor.

Marinating the Steak

Marinating your steak can help to tenderize the meat and add some additional flavor. You can use a store-bought marinade or make your own using your favorite ingredients.

When marinating your steak, make sure to cover it completely with the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. For a more intense flavor, you can marinate the steak overnight.

Preheating the Smoker or Grill

Preheating your smoker or grill is an important step to ensure that your steak cooks evenly and is not undercooked or overcooked. If you are using a pellet smoker, preheat it to 225-250°F. If you are using a grill, preheat it to high heat.

If you are using a grill, make sure to oil the grill grates or use a cast-iron pan to prevent the steak from sticking. You can also use a high heat oil like avocado oil or vegetable oil.

In summary, properly preparing your steak before smoking it is essential to ensure that it is flavorful and tender. You can season it with kosher salt and black pepper or use a dry rub or combination of spices. Marinating the steak can also add some additional flavor and tenderize the meat. Preheating your smoker or grill is important to ensure that the steak cooks evenly and is not undercooked or overcooked.

Smoking the Steak

Smoking a steak is a great way to add a unique and delicious flavor to your meat. Here are some tips to help you smoke your steak to perfection.

Choosing the Right Wood

Choosing the right wood is essential for getting the perfect flavor in your smoked steak. Different types of wood impart different flavors. For a mild smoke flavor, use alder, pecan, or maple. For a bolder smoky flavor, use mesquite, hickory, or oak wood. Cherry and apple woods can also add a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to your steak.

Getting the Right Temperature

To smoke your steak, you’ll need a smoker or grill that can maintain a consistent temperature. The ideal temperature for smoking steak is between 225-250°F. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the steak. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should be 130°F, for medium, it should be 140°F, and for medium-well, it should be 150°F.

Searing the Steak

After smoking, it’s important to sear the steak to create a crispy crust on the outside. Searing also helps to lock in the juices and flavors. Heat up a cast-iron skillet or grill over high heat and add a little oil. Sear the steak for 1-2 minutes on each side until it’s nicely browned.

Resting the Steak

Resting the steak is crucial for allowing the juices to redistribute and settle. Let the steak rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing into it. This resting time will ensure that your steak is juicy and tender.

In addition to the smoked steak, consider serving it with some delicious side dishes like roasted vegetables or a fresh salad. With these tips, you’ll be able to create a perfectly smoked steak with a delicious smoky flavor.

Serving the Perfect Smoked Steak

Choosing the Right Sauce

Choosing the right sauce for your smoked steak can make all the difference. While some prefer to enjoy the natural flavors of the meat, others like to add a little extra flavor with a sauce. Here are some tips for choosing the right sauce for your smoked steak:

  • BBQ sauce: A classic option, BBQ sauce pairs well with the smoky flavor of the steak. Choose a sauce that complements the flavors of the meat, rather than overpowering it.
  • Chimichurri sauce: This tangy, herby sauce is a great option for those who want to add some freshness to their steak. It’s made with parsley, garlic, vinegar, and oil, and can be served either as a marinade or as a topping.
  • Bearnaise sauce: This rich, buttery sauce is a great option for those who want to add some decadence to their steak. It’s made with egg yolks, butter, and herbs like tarragon and shallots.

Tips for Perfectly Smoked Steaks

To serve the perfect smoked steak, it’s important to get the smoking process just right. Here are some tips to help you smoke your steak to perfection:

  • Choose the right cut of meat: For the best results, choose a cut of meat that is thick and well-marbled, such as filet mignon or ribeye.
  • Use the right wood: Different types of wood can add different flavors to your steak. For a bold, smoky flavor, try using mesquite or hickory. For a milder flavor, try using alder or maple.
  • Get the temperature right: To ensure that your steak is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 135°F.
  • Let it rest: After smoking your steak, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

Overall, serving the perfect smoked steak requires attention to detail and a little bit of know-how. By choosing the right sauce and following these tips, you can serve a delicious and impressive meal that is sure to impress your guests.

Scroll to Top