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posted October 14, 2019

Smoked Steak: The Ultimate Guide

Smoked steak is an incredibly delicious way to prepare steak. The steak comes off the grill juicy and full of flavor. You don’t need to get fancy with seasonings, as the smoke does most of the work for you.

Sliced Smoked Steak in a pile on a wood cutting board, text overlay reads, "How to: Smoke Steak."

Can You Smoke a Steak?

Of course you can! In fact, I think you’ll find that smoking a steak gives it a unique, delicious flavor that you can’t get by cooking it on the grill. Plus, depending on the flavor of pellets you use, you can infuse it will all sorts of tasty flavor.

And did you know smoking a steak is easy peasy? That’s right. It’s one of the most basic ways to prepare a steak. Simply season with salt and pepper and smoke for ALL the flavor that your steak will need. You don’t need any fancy rubs or sauces; the smoked steak will taste incredible without any frills.

steak cooked to medium temperature, sliced open to show the inside of the steak.

Smoked Steak

We’re highlighting smoke as a flavor ingredient in this recipe. That’s right. Smoke is an ingredient! You should be able to taste the beef and the smoke, and the basic seasoning is there to bring it all together and help the beef taste even better.

Because you are using smoke as a distinct flavor, you can play around with the type of wood you use in this recipe to give your meat a unique and specific flavor. You can also try out different wood with different cuts of meat to find the combo that speaks to your soul.

For those of you wanting a rather mild smoked flavor with the most vibrant color use cherry wood with your steak. This steak will taste great and look incredible.

Want a simple, mild smoke flavor? Go with alder, pecan, or maple.

Feeling like you want a bold smoky flavor in your steak? Use mesquite, hickory, or oak wood. This wood will add amazing flavor to the steak.

three different cuts of steak on a wood cutting board.

Best Steak for Smoking

You can utilize this cooking method for pretty much any type of steak, but I highly recommend using a quality piece of beef that is at least 1 1/2 inches thick. My favorite cuts to smoke are rib eyes, strip steaks, and tenderloins. You can also use this method on a thick cut like a top sirloin (London broil) that is great sliced thin after cooking.  If you use a cut that is too thin (like a skirt, flank, thin cut sirloin, etc) the steak will cook through too quickly on the smoker without giving you that great slow smoked flavor.

Following these instructions, you can smoke the most amazing rib eyes, tenderloins, and strip steaks of your life! Since this method is based on temperature and not time, you can smoke steaks as thick as you like! Just be sure to plan ahead so you’ve got plenty of time to let that slow smoke roll and infuse your meat with that tasty smoke flavor.

Three different cuts of steak grilled and placed on a wooden cutting board.

How to Smoke a Steak

Smoking a steak isn’t much more difficult than grilling a steak. You just need a little extra time, a smoker, and a cast iron skillet for the final sear, and you’re good to go.

  1. Fire up the smoker. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. Play around with the wood you use to smoke this steak. Each one will bring a different flavor element to the steak.
  2. Season the steaks. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel then season on all sides with cracked black pepper and kosher salt (definitely go with kosher salt on this one, friends. It’ll have the best flavor).
  3. Get smoky! Place your steak on the grates of your smoker, close the lid, and smoke the meat until the steaks reach your desired internal temperature (115 degrees for rare, 125 for medium rare, 135 for medium, 145 for medium well and 155 for well).
  4. Preheat a cast iron skillet. Remove the steaks from the grill and preheat a 12″ cast iron skillet over high heat (you can do this on a grill or in your kitchen). Once your skillet is preheated, lightly coat the bottom of the skillet with a high heat oil (avocado oil is a great option).
  5. Sear the steaks. Place the steaks in the preheated skillet and sear them for approximately 2 minutes per side. Continue to cook the steaks until they reach the final desired doneness (125 degrees for rare, 135 degrees for medium rare, 145 degrees for medium, 155 degrees for medium well, and 165 degrees for well done).
  6. Rest then serve. Pull your steaks from the skillet and rest them for 10 minutes. Serve with an additional sprinkle of salt, if desired.

Steaks on the grill grate, as a hand is putting the meat thermometer showing 115 degrees farenheit on the digital thermometer read.

How Long to Smoke Steaks

It takes approximately 1 hour to smoke steaks. Cook time varies greatly when smoking steaks depending on the cut and thickness of the steak you are cooking, the consistency of the temperature of your smoker, and how done you prefer to cook your steak. Adjust cook time as needed to get your steak cooked the way you like it.

I recommend using a meat thermometer (the ThermoWorks Mk4 or ThermoPop are both great options) and keep an eye on temperature as you go. Remove the steak when it hits your preferred doneness, and you won’t have to worry about your steak becoming overcooked.

Three smoked steaks next to each other on the wood cutting board.

More Steak Recipes

In case you want to get back to basics and stick some steaks on the grill, I have a handful of delicious steak recipes to satisfy your palate:

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri
Reverse Seared Tomahawk Steak
New York Strip Steak

Smoked Steak Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own smoked steak at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

Slices of smoked steak cooked to medium rare in a pile.

Smoked Steak

Susie Bulloch (
Smoked steak is an incredibly delicious way to prepare steak. The steak comes off the grill juicy and full of flavor. You don't need to get fancy with seasonings, as the smoke does most of the work for you.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 1 hour
Resting Time : 10 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings : 4
Calories : 470kcal


  • 4 1 1/2 inch steaks ((New York strip, tenderloin, and rib eye are all great options))
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • fresh cracked pepper (to taste)


  • Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F with your wood of choice.
  • Use a paper towel to pat you steaks dry on all sides. Season on all sides with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Place your steaks on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke until the internal temperature of your steak reaches 115 degrees F (for rare steak), 125 (medium rare), 135 (medium), 145 (medium well), or 155 degrees F (well done).
  • Remove the steaks from the grill and set them aside while you preheat a 12" cast iron skillet over high heat.
  • Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with a high heat oil (like avocado oil). Place the steaks in the pan and sear for approximately 2 minutes per side. Cook until the internal temperature of your steak reaches your desired doneness: 125 degrees F (rare), 135 (medium rare), 145 (medium), 155 degrees (medium well), or 165 degrees F (well done).
  • Remove your steaks from the skillet and allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with an additional sprinkle of salt, if desired.


Calories: 470kcal | Protein: 45g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 606mg | Vitamin A: 34IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 4mg
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