While devouring a gourmet steak that is crispy on the outside and juicy inside, you might wonder if there is anything better than this quintessential BBQ item.
Well, the good news is that there definitely is something better: smoked beef steak made from prime cuts in your pellet grill. The best just got better. You can now create your own gastronomic magnum opus with the best steak recipe. Become the best grill chef in your neighborhood and social circle with this culinary masterpiece.
No matter where your grilling expertise stands, you too can prepare the best steak you’ve ever had by following the step-by-step instructions in this blog. Rest assured, everything has been explained in the simplest terms so that you can smoke the most delectable steak ever.
For this recipe, you need to start with cold marinated meat and low pellet grill temperature. This way, you can permeate the steak with maximum smoke for a nice, authentic smoke flavor. You must ensure that the meat remains moist. Olive oil is used for this purpose. Keeping the meat moist will allow the steak to absorb high amounts of smoke.
If you are using bigger cuts of meat, then you should keep it in the smoker for a longer time period to ensure that it builds up just the right smoke flavor.
Finally, you will give the steak a crispy texture by searing it. You will use the reverse sear technique for this purpose. This technique will leave the interior pink and tender, while the outside will become dark and crispy
As far as meat selection goes, go with fattier cuts of meat since they develop the best flavor in the pellet grill. One of the best choices for this purpose is the ribeye cut. If you want, you can select other cuts. Just make sure that they have plenty of marbling – there should be streaks of fat all throughout the meat.
It is important that you use a pellet grill for this recipe. If you are using a traditional gas grill or some other type, you will not be able to get the rich smokey flavor that distinguishes this recipe from the rest. A charcoal grill is just too hard to use, as maintaining a steady temperature requires plenty of skill and full attention throughout the duration of the cooking session.
Make sure to prepare the meat correctly and marinate it for the best results. Fortunately, there is a very good recipe for marination that can bring out the flavor and goodness of the smoked steak.
Marinade for the Best Steak Recipe
Here are the ingredients that you need for the perfect marinade.
- 1/3 cup of soy sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds of ribeye beef or any other fatty cut
Use a medium-sized bowl for mixing ground black pepper, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil.
Keep the meat in a glass dish. Pour the marinade mixture into the glass dish. Turn the meat to ensure that it is completely coated with the marinade mixture.
Cover the glass dish and place it inside the refrigerator. Allow the meat to rest for at least 6 hours for it to soak up the marinade blend.
How to Pellet Grill the Best Beef Steak
It is better that you thaw the meat a few hours prior to smoking it. This will ensure that the meat is at room temperature, which is what you want to start with.
Ignite your pellet smoker so that it approaches the desired temperature. You should set the thermostat to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a rather mild temperature, which ensures a high level of smoke.
Wait until the pellet grill reaches the target temperature. When it achieves this temperature, keep the steak on the grilling grates.
It is a good idea to use a temperature probe. You won’t have to open the pellet grill repeatedly to monitor the smoking progress. Opening the lid disrupts not only temperature stability, but also the smoke level. Heat and smoke escape each time you open the lid. It is best to avoid this so that the final quality of the steak is consistent.
One of the best temperature probes is the Habor 022 meat thermometer.
There are several factors that make this a great meat probe. It gives you a temperature reading within 4 to 6 seconds, so it is quick in registering the temperature. The length of the probe is 4.7 inches. With such a long length, your hands will be much safer against burns. It can read temperatures up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit and is, therefore, perfect for pellet grills. Its accuracy is +/- 2 degrees due to which it has good precision.
The best place for inserting the probe is the center of the steak. Place the probe in the middle of the thinnest steak of all. This will ensure that no steak piece is left undercooked or burnt.
After you have put the steak pieces inside the pellet grill, you should wait for around 90 minutes. This is the approximate time that the steak pieces will take to reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit. When the pieces reach this temperature, then you can pull them off the grill. The steaks are now ready for quick searing.
After taking the steaks out, fire up the grill to its maximum temperature to make it ready for quick searing. Do this by setting the thermostat to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. When the smoker reaches this maximum temperature, you can put the steaks back inside the grill.
Make sure that you sear both sides of the steak very well. You can leave the lid open so that you don’t end up burning the steaks on either side. This will also prevent the inside from being heated too much. You should be careful to ensure that the inside is not heated excessively; otherwise, it will lose the highly rare deep pink hue.
Follow the temperature shown on the probe. Pull out the steaks when the probe reading on the thinnest and smallest piece reads 120 degrees. When you allow the steak pieces to rest, the temperature will continue to stabilize until it shows 125 degrees.
You will get a lovely-looking moist, wet and pinkish interior at this temperature. The insides will be left very rare. Fans of rare steaks will love the pink hue and the juicy tenderness. The secret to a dark and crispy outer layer and a lovely pink interior is to flip the steaks as required to avoid overheating. If overheated, the steak will become too dry.
If you or your guests like your steaks medium rare, then you can go for slightly higher temperatures. But remember that with higher temperatures, there will be less tenderness, flavor and juiciness. The beautiful pink interior will also vanish. For medium rare steak, the maximum temperature probe reading is 135 degrees.
When you are done, take the steaks out from the pellet grill and put a layer of margarine or butter on them for an even richer flavor and moistness. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving them.
As you can see, making scrumptious steaks is not as difficult as smoking other barbecue items like briskets and ribs – these processes are more involved and have several fine points.
Besides the smoking method itself, you need to be aware of other key issues for smoking premium gourmet steak.
What Are the Best Cuts for a Really Good Steak?
Getting yourself high quality cuts is certainly as critical as the cooking method itself. In fact, if you don’t have good cuts of meat to begin with, how are you going to get premium BBQ?
Although choosing the right cut is a science in itself and deserves a separate discussion, the following are the best and almost fool-proof choices for making great steaks.
Ribeye – this may very well be the best cut of all. The secret behind its rich yet subtle flavor is the marbling. Streaks of fat that criss-cross the meat are responsible for tenderness and juiciness. Therefore, for the best tasting steak, you should always look for cuts with the whitest striations. The more marbled it is, the better the taste will be.
Ribeye steak smoked just right is going to melt in your mouth and bathe your grateful tastebuds in buttery flavor. With the added pellet smoke flavor, it is hard to imagine a better taste.
Strip Steak – this one is the staple of steakhouses. It has less fat as compared to the ribeye. Consequently, it is not as tender as the ribeye.
Tenderloin – this is another wonderful cut that is also called filet mignon. As the name suggests, it very tender. Tenderloin is well-marbled due to which it has a very buttery texture. The taste is very subtle.
T-Bone – this piece is a combination of the tenderloin and strip.
How Thick Should the Steak Be?
It really depends on how rare you want the interior to be. If you fancy a wet, moist and pink interior, then you should use thick slabs of meat.
If you are a rare steak connoisseur, then you should smoke 2-inch thick meat slabs for your steak. With this thickness, you will be able to create a tender, juicy and succulent interior that is truly rare.
Of course, if very rare meat is not what you want, then you can select thinner slabs of meat.
The Simplest Steak Recipe for Knockout Taste
If you are seeking the simplest steak recipe that is good enough to serve in front of your guests, then you are in luck. You can make great tasting steak using nothing more than kosher salt and pepper. This is a true and tried recipe that is deeply admired by BBQ lovers.
You can prepare the meat cuts by dry brining them. Simply put, you have to cover the exterior of the meat cuts with kosher salt and let them rest for a few hours.
The legendary celebrity chef, Judy Rodgers , who personified simplicity in cooking popularized this steak cooking method. This is much better than submerging the steak in 10 percent brine solution, which happens to be wasteful and unnecessary.
For each pound of meat, you need only half a teaspoon of kosher salt. You should refrigerate the meat cuts for at least two hours before allowing them to thaw for another two hours. Thawing ensures that the cuts are at uniform room temperature. This is the ideal starting point for smoking steak over the course of several hours.
When you take your salted cuts of the refrigerator, there is no need to rinse any excess salt away. The really cool thing about this method is that the meat sucks in the salt during the time that it rests.
Although this process is easy, it causes several complex reactions in the background to develop a great taste in the meat. As you would know, salt in itself is a very good flavor enhancer. In addition to its flavor-enhancing capability, it performs another very important function during dry brining.
Most folks learned in school that salt is made up of ions. Since these ions carry an electric charge, they are able to attack protein in the meat. This reaction unravels the protein. The process is known as denaturing. In this form, the meat becomes better at retaining water, which is just what you want. In other words, the meat is now better at retaining moisture. Your steak will now have a succulent and delectable texture.
When you dry brine meat and allow it to rest, the salt first draws out the water from the meat, exterior making it dry. The drawn-out water dissolves the salt. So you now have a thin layer of brine on the meat. Then the meat gradually absorbs this salt solution back inside. When that happens, the denaturing process, as described above, takes place.
The salt denaturing process changes the consistency of the meat and its color. The meat is now naturally tenderized without any addition of artificial chemicals.
Although roasts and thicker cuts need to rest for longer, steaks that measure around an inch thick need to rest for 4 hours for the salt to penetrate deep and work its magic.
Don’t forget to apply pepper to your steak for a spicy and fiery flavor. After you take out the steak from the refrigerator for thawing, you can sprinkle pepper as per your taste. You should also apply a layer of vegetable oil to seal in the moisture. You should rub the pepper and oil into the meat so that the pepper sticks firmly to the meat surface.
What Are the Best Side Dishes for Smoked Steak Recipes?
Although there are innumerable good options, you simply cannot go wrong with crispy salt and vinegar potatoes. This side dish is so fulfilling and tasty that it makes for a healthy snack on its own.
In this simple side dish, you basically have to boil spuds in a mixture of vinegar and salt. Once they’ve absorbed the tangy and salty essence, you need to dry them off to bake them to a crisp in the oven. You are basically getting salt and vinegar chips that few will dislike. The best thing is that these potatoes are not fried like unhealthy crisps (that are loaded in health-destroying trans fats), yet they have all the zesty flavor.
Here are the ingredients.
- Chives for garnish
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Enough water to cover the potatoes
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 lbs fingerling potatoes cut into halves
Boil potatoes in a pot, along with the salt and vinegar. Put in enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil for around half an hour. The potatoes should be tender enough so that a fork can pierce through with the slightest force.
Now drain your potatoes. Dry them using a clean cloth. Preheat your parchment paper-lined oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat potatoes in olive oil and then bake them for 25 minutes. Broil the potatoes until the exterior is crispy.
Once they are ready, you can sprinkle chives and further salt to taste. Serve this side with the steak for a memorable meal that your guests won’t forget. Don’t be surprised if your guests say that it is the best steak they’ve ever had in their lives.
The smoking process entails extra work, but it is definitely worth the effort. Smoking steak in a pellet grill imparts a delightful taste and fantastic aroma to the good old fashioned BBQ staple. Smoking is an evolution that will soon become standard to steak grilling.
Enjoy the delicious fruits of your grilling labor with relish. The gourmet-class meal will taste even better when the compliments start pouring in. The power to delight your guests with the best steak recipe ever is now all yours.