Smoked Steak Temperature Guide and Recipe

Smoked steak on grill
Smoke your steak at 225°F for around 45 minutes to 1 hour or until it reaches your desired degree of doneness. Remove the steak from the heat at 5°F before the target internal temperature. A meat thermometer is the best way to check the internal temperature and ensure a perfectly smoked steak.

How to Smoke a Steak

Smoking the perfect steak doesn’t have to be intimidating. All you need is a cast iron skillet, a smoker, and time. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to smoke a steak to perfection: 

Preheat the smoker to 225°F. Choose the right wood chips for smoking steak. Each option brings out a different flavor. For strong smoke, choose mesquite. For milder smoke, pick fruitwoods such as applewood, cherrywood, or pecan.

Season your steak. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and then season the steak with kosher salt and black pepper for the best flavor. 

Get smoking. Put the steak on the grill grates, close the lid, and smoke the steak until the target internal temperature is reached.


Preheat your cast iron skillet. Take the meat off the hot grill and fire up a cast iron skillet over moderately high heat. Once you preheat the cast iron skillet, coat the skillet with oil that can handle higher temperatures (such as avocado).

Sear the meat. Next, it is time to do a reverse sear for the perfect caramelized crust. Place the meat in the preheated cast iron skillet and sear each side. Searing will bring the internal temperature up to within 5°F of the temperature of your desired doneness.


Rest the meat and serve: Remove the meat from the skillet and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Keep in mind that the temperature will rise by as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit while resting. Serve with an extra dash of salt (if desired) and your favorite side dishes!


  • Looking at the color of the meat is not the best way of determining doneness. Make sure you have a reliable meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  • The smoking time will vary depending on the smoker you use.
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Smoked tomahawk steak and sides

Smoked Steak with Reverse Sear Recipe

  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


Looking for a killer smoked steak recipe? Look no further. This smoked steak recipe will leave the beef tender with a mouthwatering smoky flavor. This recipe works best with thicker cuts of steak such as ribeye, beef tenderloin, and Tomahawk.


  • 2 inch thick steaks ((ribeye, beef tenderloin, Tomahawk))
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Avocado Oil


  1. Preheat the smoker to 225°F. Load the smoker with your favorite type of wood (hickory and mesquite are both great options). 
  2. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel. Season the meat on all sides with black pepper and kosher salt. 
  3. Place the steak on the grill grates, close the lid, and continue to smoke the meat until the target internal temperature is reached: 115°F for rare, 125°F for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, 145°F for medium-well, or 155°F for well-done.  
  4. Take the meat off the pellet grill as you preheat a cast iron skillet over moderately high heat. 
  5. Coat the base of the skillet with avocado oil. Place the steak in the pan and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Continue smoking meat until the desired temperature is reached: 125°F for rare, 135°F for medium-rare, 145°F for medium, 155°F for medium-well, or 165°F for well-done. 
  6. Remove the steak from the cast iron skillet and let it rest for about ten minutes.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 470

What is the Best Temperature for Smoking a Steak?

The best temperature for smoking steak is between 225°F to 250°F. This will allow the meat to cook over a long period to tenderize the meat and absorb that wonderful smoke flavor.

What Type of Steak is Best for Smoking?

Steak and smoke were made for each other. The best steaks for smoking on a pellet smoker are those that are thicker (at least an inch and a half).

Some cuts will take longer to smoke than others because of the thickness of the cut, fat content, and whether they are bone-in or boneless.

Some great steaks for smoking include:

  • Beef Tenderloin
  • T-Bone
  • Filet Mignon (cut from the tenderloin)
  • Ribeye
  • Porterhouse
  • Top Sirloin
  • New York Strip
  • Tomahawk
  • Tri-tip

How Long Do You Smoke a Steak at 225?

It takes between 45 minutes and one hour to smoke a steak to a medium-rare level of doneness.

How Long Do You Smoke a Steak at 250?

Smoking a steak at 250 degrees F should take about one hour to reach a medium-rare degree of doneness.

Keep in mind the cooking times will vary based on the cut of meat more than the smoker’s temperature. Thick cuts will take longer.

Safe Smoked Steak Temperature

Steak should be smoked to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F for safety, per the USDA.

Where and How to Check Steak Temperature

Knowing when it’s time to remove the steak from the grill is important if you want to serve a delicious and satisfying meal. 

To take the internal temperature of a steak, insert an instant-read thermometer or meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, without coming into contact with any bones. To get the most accurate temperature reading, make sure to get close to the middle so you can avoid bones and fat. 

To know exactly when a steak is smoked to your liking, check the internal temperature of the meat.

Desired DonenessInternal Temperature
Rare120°F – 130°F
Medium-rare130°F -135°F
Medium135°F – 145°F
Medium-well145°F – 155°F
Well-done155°F – 165°F

Letting steak rest for about 10 minutes before serving will result in juicier meat, but carryover cooking will increase the internal temperature of the steak by an extra 5 degrees Fahrenheit.  


At heart, Patrick is a passionate cook, adventurous eater, recipe writer, and bargain hunter. He aims to provide creative ideas on how to how to cook amazing food with everyday ingredients in a hassle-free manner.When not writing or standing over a grill, Patrick enjoys traveling and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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