How to smoke a steak like a pro | Get the juicy tender ribeye everybody wants

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  April 30, 2022

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Smoking steak is great for imparting flavor to a truly delicious piece of meat.

If you’re wondering how to smoke steak, you’ve come to the right place.

How To Smoke A Steak Like A Pro

In this article, I will cover how to smoke a steak like the pros. So, next time you’ve got a nice steak, you know exactly how to make the most of it!

Let’s get started. 

Is it safe to smoke a steak?

Of course it is safe to smoke a steak! There are many steaks that are suitable for smoking.

How you like your steak will determine how long you smoke the steak, and you will need to bear in mind the type of steak that you’re cooking also.

However, it has to be said that there are some steaks that are better for smoking than others.

What are the best steaks to smoke?

There are a variety of steaks suitable for smoking at home.

When choosing a steak, it’s important to mention that the best steaks for smoking are thick cuts with a generous amount of fat. 

So, why is it good to choose a piece of steak with a decent amount of fat?

This comes down to the fact that the fat will begin to render in the smoker, not only basting the meat as it cooks but also providing you with meat that’s both tender and packed full of flavor.

This is one of the main reasons that smoked ribeye is such a popular choice!

Other cuts of steak that are good for the smoking process include sirloin, T-bone, and Porterhouse steak.

Which steak you choose is largely up to you and your personal preference.

However, for the purpose of this recipe, I’m going to tell you how to smoke a ribeye steak (which is different from a prime rib).

How to smoke a ribeye steak like a pro: step-by-step

Let me explain the necessary steps for smoking a ribeye steak to perfection.

Step 1 – Season the steaks

First things first, seasoning! You will need to season your ribeye steaks with salt generously, on both sides.

You will need to let the steaks sit at room temperature for 45 minutes, as this is what is known as dry brining (or curing).

Step 2 – Prepare the smoker

You will need to add fuel to your smoker according to the manufacturer and should preheat it to 225°F.

This will help maintain the heat throughout the entire smoking process.

These are the best woods for smoking ribeye!

Step 3 – Combine the spices for the steak rub

Next, you will need to make a simple steak rub. Combine garlic powder, tarragon, thyme, and black pepper in a bowl.

Generously rub both sides of the steaks until they are equally covered in the spice mix.

If it’s easier, know there are many good ready-made spice rubs for smoking on the market

Step 4 – Place your steaks in the smoker

Season your smoker rack.

Once you have everything prepared and your smoker has come to temperature, it’s time to place your steaks on the smoker rack.

Allow the steaks to smoke for around 45 minutes, depending on the doneness you desire. 

For a medium-rare steak, for instance, you will want to remove the steaks from the grill once they reach 125°F.

Alternatively, if you want a medium steak, you will need to remove them once they reach 135°F.

Make sure to have a good quality instant-read thermometer ready to monitor the internal temperatures of your steaks.

Or even better, because you won’t have to open the lid of your smoker each time to measure, get a wireless Bluetooth leave-in thermometer.

Step 5 – Allow the steaks to rest

Remove the steaks from the smoker once they have reached your desired doneness.

You will need to allow the steaks to rest for 5-10 minutes in aluminum foil.

Step 6 – Serve the steaks

Once the steaks have been allowed to rest, there’s nothing left to do but to serve.

Dig in and enjoy!

Check out the top 8 best BBQ sauces to serve with your perfectly smoked steak

Meaty Mike here has some more great tips for smoking the perfect ribeye steak:

Can you reverse sear smoked steak?

The answer to this question is yes, you absolutely can reverse sear a smoked steak.

This cooking method allows you to achieve the smoky flavor from a smoker, as well as the gorgeous crispiness of a pan-seared steak! It’s a win-win situation.

How do you reverse sear a smoked steak?

How Do You Reverse Sear A Smoked Steak?

To begin, you will need to follow the steps to smoke a steak as stated above.

Bear in mind that the amount of time you leave your steak in the smoker might differ if you plan to reverse sear your steaks.

That being said, if you want your steak on the rarer side, make sure that you account for this.

Step 1 – Preheat grill

Once you have smoked your steak, preheat your grill to high heat.

Step 2 – Sear your steak

Once the grill is nice and hot, it’s time to sear your steak! 

Place the steaks onto the grill and sear for 1 to 2 minutes, or until there is a nice golden crust.

Once you’ve achieved this on one side, flip your steaks over and repeat on the other side.

Step 3 – Allow the steak to rest

Next, you will need to allow your steak to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Step 4 – Season with salt and serve

Finish your steaks with another sprinkling of salt and you’re good to go!

What you’ll be left with is delicious, smoky steak that packs a punch! Delicious.

Tips when smoking steak

There are many tips to bear in mind when smoking steak. Some of the most important tips include but are not limited to:

Cooking times will likely vary depending on your smoker

Something important to note is that the cooking time for your smoked steak is likely to vary between smokers.

As a result, you should refer to your smoker’s instructions for a more accurate guess of how long to smoke your steaks for.

In addition to this, you will want to take the cut of steak into account, too, as thinner steaks will obviously take less time to cook than thicker steaks.

Never skip the resting period

It’s essential that you give the steak the respect it deserves by allowing it to rest after smoking/searing your piece of meat.

This is essential for the steak to retain its flavor.

If you cut into the steak too quickly, all of those delicious juices will run out onto the plate and it will be a waste.

Have patience and give your steak the resting time that it needs for the best results! I promise it will be worth it in the end.

In summary 

Smoking steaks at home is easy once you know how to.

Despite the fact it can be an overwhelming process as a beginner, once you gain more experience in smoking steak, you will become more confident.

I hope this article has given you a better understanding of how to smoke steak!

For more cooking inspiration, check out the full list of the best cuts of meat for smoking

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.