Well-seasoned, seared, and smoky, this Pellet Grill Steak will melt in your mouth. With a tender juicy center, it is irresistible. Learn how to grill a steak to perfection on your pellet grill today.
When I was looking into purchasing a pellet grill, there were several videos and reviews that I watched to finally land on the one that I thought would work best for me. Outside of the practical features like how much grilling space do you have and how well built the grill is, I had to think about a few other aspects.
One criticism that kept coming up was the failure of many pellet grills to only sear your steak but also fail to put nice grill lines on your food. The main challenge was that there is less direct heat. However, the grill gets up to 500°F, I couldn't imagine not being able to get a sear or nice grill lines. Cooking a steak on the pellet grill had to be done and I wanted to see it for myself.
There is more to food than just looks. If you ask me, the taste is everything, however, having a nice-looking meal and being able to nail a presentation makes any chef feel better about what they are achieving. Many of us use our eyes to determine if we want to try something or not, so I had to be able to cook a flavorful, good-looking steak on my new Traeger pellet grill.
How to Season Kansas City Steak
Anything more than salt and pepper on a steak makes me a little skeptical. Before you season the steak, pat the steak with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from it. We don't want to steam the steak and it will be harder to get a clean sear if there is any moisture.
Once the steak is dry, sprinkle the steak with some coarse kosher salt and rub it into the meat on both sides and the edges. Then apply freshly cracked pepper to both sides. If you do want to apply any other seasoning or fresh herbs, you could apply that now. When I use a nice cut of meat, I really want the steak to be the hero of the flavor profile, not an overload of other seasonings.
How to Make Pellet Grill Steak
Step One: The biggest key to cooking a steak on the pellet grill is to preheat the grill. Crank it up to the high temperature that you can. My grill gets up to a scorching 500°F. It may take up to 15 minutes for your grill to achieve its high temperature. It is important to make sure that your grill is pretty clean before you do this. If there is a pan that catches drips, maybe clean that out and brush off the grill grates first. The last thing we want is to start a grease fire or make a steak that absorbs the flavor of burning off old grease.
Step Two: While your grill is preheating, take that time to season your steak. Once your steak is properly seasoned, place it on the grill and insert the meat thermometer probe so that you can have a constant read on the internal temperature. This is very important if you want to cook the perfect steak. When you cook steak on high heat, 60 seconds too long can turn your desired medium rare steak into a medium or even medium well steak. So use the thermometer to keep an eye on your internal temperature. I flip my steak over halfway through cooking.
Step Three: Once your steak is cooked to your desired temperature. For me, it was medium rare at 125°F. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for two minutes. Then you can serve it whole to your guest or if you are serving family style or on top of a salad, slice and serve immediately.
How do you know when to flip a steak?
I actually determine that by the internal temperature. If the internal temperature of the meat is 50 degrees when I put it on the grill, and I want to cook it to 125 degrees. I need to raise the internal temperature by 75 degrees, so that means halfway would be when the meat has come up 37 degrees or reached an internal temperature of 87 degrees. It has come halfway up to the desired temperature. I hope that helps.
Tips & Variations
There are several variations that you could explore when cooking steaks on a wood pellet grill. The first variant would be what types of wood pellets are you using? Pecan, hickory, cherry, there are so many choices out there.
If you have more time and want to get real fancy. You can sous vide the steak to your desired doneness and then do a reverse sear on the pellet grill. It is called a reverse sear because you do it at the end of the cooking process to get the look and outer texture you want. It ensures an evenly cooked steak every time but it does take longer.
You can pick any type of steak you enjoy. This was a Kansas City strip, but you could do NY strips, filets, or my favorite, big juicy ribeye steaks. The choice is yours.
How to Cut a Steak
If your steak has a bone, the first step is to cut the bone out of the steak. This Kansas City cut had a bone down the one side, it is a quick and easy slice to remove the bone. A porterhouse or t-bone steak is a little more complicated, but once the bone is out, the rest is the same.
When slicing a steak, cut it against the grain so that you can showcase the juicy center.
What should I serve with Pellet Grill Steak?
If you want to do surf and turf, add a smoked lobster tail to the plate. I also love a hearty potato with my steak. That can be Smoked Cheesy Potatoes, mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, smoked cauliflower or pesto cauliflower, or a nice fresh salad. Whatever you serve, you always want to make sure that the sides are done before you cook your steaks. There is nothing worse than serving a cold steak to your guests.
- 14 oz strip steak
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat your pellet grill to 500°F
- Season steak with salt and pepper. Be sure to season both sides of the steak
- Place the meat thermometer into the steak before placing it on the grill.
- Place steak on the hot grill and cook until your desired doneness. I cook until 125°F internal temperature for medium rare, this is about 4 minutes on each side. Let rest for at least 2 minutes before slicing and serving.