Ribeye is one of my favorite cuts of steak. All I need is a little salt and pepper and then high heat will cook this up very nicely. That is all I need. But what do I want? I want the most flavorful steak I can get. When I have the time, I am going to make a Traeger ribeye. Just smoke the ribeye on my Traeger Pellet Grill Smoker and then reverse sear it for the perfect crust.
Steak night is always a treat in our house. With a family of 8, it is impossible for our food budget to cook each person their own steak. We normally cook up 2 or 3 and share. This way we still get that great flavor and type of meat just in smaller portions.
Ingredients for Traeger Smoked Ribeye Steak
Ribeye Steak - Ribeye steaks are a cut of meat that comes from the front section of the ribs. You can get ribeye steaks with or without the bone. They have great fat marbling that leads to a juicy, flavorful steak. They tend to be on the large side and look pretty impressive. You want to select one with at least a 1.5-inch thickness.
Since I am smoking this steak and then searing it, I decided to go with some traditional smoking flavors.
Yellow Mustard - This acts as a glue to help hold the seasoning to the steak.
Spice Dry Rub - I have a mix of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and brown sugar. Sometimes, I will also add garlic powder to this blend as well. Mix them together in a small bowl to have them ready to rub into the steak.
Traeger Ribeye Instructions
Step One: Rub mustard all over the steak. Then sprinkle rib eye with dry rub and rub it in being sure to cover all sides thoroughly.
Step Two: Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Once the smoker is preheated, place your seasoned steak directly onto the grate in your Traeger Grill. Close the lid and turn on the Super Smoke feature. I like the way it adds to the smoky flavor.
Smoke the steak for about an hour or until the internal temperature is 10 degrees away from your desired final temperature. I am looking for my steak to be medium-rare, which means I will smoke the steak until it reaches 120°F internal temp.
Step Three: Once you are done smoking the ribeye, finish it with a good sear for a final step. This will help create a nice outer crust for your tender steak. If you don't want to reverse sear it to finish, you can just let it come up to your desired doneness temperature on the smoker.
I reverse seared over my charcoal grill. I started the charcoal after the steak was in the smoker for about 20 minutes. The key is to have your searing method hot and ready when it is time to sear. Once the steak is done, let it rest for about 5 minutes and serve.
Tips for Smoking a Ribeye
There is a fine balance to cooking a steak on a smoker. You want to balance the amount of heat the meat gets so as not to overcook it, but you also want to extend the time that you are able to keep it in the smoker to develop that nice smoky flavor. Here are a few tips to help smoke a steak easily to have a perfect steak each time.
Tip 1: Get a thick-cut steak. If your grocer or butcher doesn't have thick steaks prepared. Ask them to slice you a fresh one. I recommend at least 1.5 inches or thicker. The larger the piece of meat, the better it will be for smoking. If the steak is huge, you can serve it sliced, you don't need to throw a massive steak down onto each of your guests' plates.
Tip 2: Play around with your smoker to ensure you are able to hold a 200°F - 225°F temperature in your smoker. For pellet grills and electric smokers, you can just set the temp, but for a charcoal smoker, you will need to play with your vents and lower the airflow to keep the temperature that low.
Tip 3: Monitor the internal temperature the entire time so that it cooks to perfection. While it is in the smoker, use a temperature probe meat thermometer to give you a constant reading on the steak. When you are reverse searing, be ready with an instant-read thermometer to regularly gauge the internal temperature so that you do not overcook it. I like my beef steaks medium-rare. That will be about 130°F for the final internal temperature.
Tip 4: Have a plan to reverse sear. My favorite part of a steak is a well-seared, almost charred, outer crust. You cannot achieve this in a smoker. The Traeger can get up to 500°F, but it is still an indirect heat. I like cooking this at this temperature and it is a great feature of the Traeger, but it is tough to quickly get a thick sear with that heat.
My favorite two ways are either in a preheated hot cast iron skillet or over direct heat from a gas or charcoal grill.
The key here is to monitor that internal temp so you don't overcook your steak. However you plan to reverse sear, you need to be ready and have the time down. However way you plan to sear it, get it ready early. Make sure it is HOT!
Sweet Rub - Add some brown sugar to the rub or rub-down the steak with molasses instead of mustard.
Spicy Rub - If you want to add some heat try chipotle pepper or cayenne powder in the rub on your Traeger ribeye.
Herb Butter - A great steak topping is a Garlic Herb Butter. Go easy on the flavors in the rub, or just use salt and pepper, and then top the finished steak with a generous pat of garlic butter.
Sauce - Any time you go into a nice steak house they will offer a variety of cooking methods and toppings for a steak. Try a blue cheese sauce, balsamic glaze, or port wine reduction.
How to serve a Smoked Ribeye Steak
Love this recipe? Make sure to also try the recipe for Traeger smoked ribeye with coffee dry rub here.
- 1 ribeye steak about 1.25 lbs. Cut to at least 1.5 inches thick
- 1 tbs yellow mustard
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1 tbs black pepper
- 1 tbs smoked paprika
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- Coat the steak with yellow mustard. Combine dry ingredients for spice rub and rub it all over the steak covering all sides.
- Place the steak into your preheated Traeger Smoker and smoke at 225°F for about an hour or until your desired doneness.
- If you plan to reverse sear, remove the steak from the smoker when the internal temperature is about 10 degrees away from your desired final temperature.
- To reverse sear, finish the steak in a preheated hot cast iron pan or over a hot grill cooking for 2 minutes on each side or until you reach your desired doneness.
- Allow the steak to rest for five minutes then serve.