Sitting down to eat a juicy and flavorful steak is a pleasure that’s hard to beat. When cooking steaks, you have tons of options, and they all give you different results. If you’re a person that simply plops your steak on the grill, then you’re missing on the complex taste and texture that smoking can give your meat.
What Supplies Do You Need To Smoke Steak?
- Boneless steak
- Seasonings or marinade
- Grill or smoker
- Metal tray filled with water
- Flavored wood chips
Step One: Choose A Good Cut Of Meat
One of the most important parts of cooking a steak is getting a juicy and tasty piece; there’s only so much that seasoning and cooking can do for a cut of meat. Seasoning a steak is important, but you only use seasonings to accent the complex taste of the meat. For smoking, you need to use a boneless cut; something like a boneless rib-eye is perfect.
Getting meat from the grocery store is fine, but if you want to experience a really great cut, you are going to have to visit a butcher. Try to find a piece that is about one inch thick. Make sure that it is as fresh as possible; look for a steak that has a bright red color.
Always check a piece of steak’s marbling before you buy it. Lots of people fear fat, so they look for steaks that have no fat running through them; this is a mistake. The marbling that runs through a steak gives it most of its flavor, and it makes the steak tender and juicy. Look for small streaks of fat that run through your piece of meat.
Step Two: Bring Your Steak To Room Temperature
It’s important for your steak to not be cold before you smoke it. Smokers don’t reach a high temperature, and if your meat is cold or frozen, it won’t cook correctly. Make sure to only leave your meat out for an hour or so; you don’t want to leave it out long enough for bacteria to grow on it.
If you are marinading, make sure to leave your steak it in the fridge during the process. A good marinade is highly acidic, and that tenderizes the meat. Some people wait until their steaks are sitting outside to put them in the marinade. You don’t need to do this; it works fine in the fridge, and you can leave it in the marinade for longer. Good cuts of meat don’t necessarily need marinade, but if you’re looking for a unique flavor, then give it a try.
If you aren’t marinating, sprinkle your steak with generous amounts of salt and pepper.
Step Three: Smoke Your Steak
Using a smoker isn’t that hard; you just need to remember that your steak is isn’t being cooked by a flame. Put charcoal into your smoker and light it; wait until it is covered with gray ash. Once your charcoal is nice and hot, separate it into two piles. Place your pan of water between the two piles of charcoal, and take your steaks and place them on the grate over your smoke source.
Keep your charcoal nice and hot by adding to it every hour or so; if you want more flavoring, then add in your soaked flavored wood chips. Apple, cherry, maple and pecan all give it a unique and delicious flavoring.
You can do the same thing with your grill. Setup your smoking equipment below the grate, and put the steaks over the pan of water. Always keep your lid closed, but make sure to open the vents on the side.
Step Four: Keep A Constant Temperature
When you smoke steaks, you need to check the temperature of both your steaks and the smoker. You want the temperature to be a constant 225 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an oven safe food thermometer that you can leave in the smoker. If your grill or smoker already has a thermometer built-in, you can just use that to estimate your heat levels. Smoke your steaks until they reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit; this usually takes about an hour or two.
Don’t forget that smoked meat looks different when it comes out of the smoker; it might have a different color tint to it. If you want some grill marks and coloring, use your grill to sear your steak for a minute or two on each side.
Smoking your steak brings out its deep and rich flavor, and it tenderizes your meat unlike any other cooking method. If you’re looking to try something new, give smoking a try; it’s a longer process than grilling, but you don’t have to keep your eye on your meat for the whole time that it’s cooking. It’s actually quite easy to smoke your meat to delicious perfection.