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Smoked Ribeye Steak

Smoky, meaty, juicy and gobsmacking delicious! Today I’m making Smoked Ribeye Steak on our Pit Barrel Cooker Company Smoker using charcoal briquets and hickory chips.

smoked ribeye steak on cutting board

Why Are Smoked Ribeyes the Best?

While Ribeye Steak on the grill is terrific, smoking a steak gives it flavor that seriously can not be beat!

Ribeyes have loads of flavor due to the higher fat content and marbeling. Adding that deeply penetrated, undeniable smoky flavor makes it the best steak for smoking in my opinion. Hands down.

Plus, it’s easy!

If you are a beginner, then this recipe is the one for you. You can not go wrong.

Here’s What You’ll Need

preparing steak
steaks and seasoning
  • Ribeye Steaks – Choose 1″ – 1 1/2″ thick steak for best results. Thinner steaks cook faster and you have less control with a thinner steak.
  • Seasoning of your choice – I use salt, pepper, garlic powder and A-1
  • Smoker
  • Thermometer – Once you start smoking, you’ll want to be sure to have the best thermometer possible so that your meat cooks to the perfect level. I recommend the Thermopen.

Basic Process for Smoking a Steak

  1. Heat up the smoker and add the chips/chunks.
  2. Season the steaks
  3. Smoke to desired internal temp (see chart below).

Internal Temp for Ribeyes

Before you start smoking your steak, you need to know what level of doneness you are going for!

Around here, we like a rare or medium rare ribeye.

For the best ribeye, try to avoid overcooking. External color is not a reliable measure of the internal temp of the meat. It is best to determine this using a meat thermometer.

I recommend and endorse Thermoworks thermometers (not what’s pictured in the video for this page) as I feel they are the most reliable.

When smoking, because the color can go more red than brown, always use an internal thermometer to know you have arrived at the correct doneness.

Temp Chart:

RARE – 120-130

MD. RARE – 130-135

MEDIUM – 135-145

MD. WELL – 145-155

WELL – 155 AND UP

inside of a smoked ribeye steak

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Ribeye?

That will depend upon how thick your steak is and how done you want it to be. Assuming a 1″ thick steak and a 300ish smoking temp, you can expect a 20 +/- smoking time.

What’s the Best Cut of Beef for Smoking?

If you are a beginner with using a smoker, then please, do a ribeye first. Because of the marbled fat, you’ll find this an easy and quick piece of meat to smoke. It stays juicy and is more forgiving than lean cuts of meat. No need to marinate.

What Seasonings Should I Use for Smoked Steak?

You can use a seasoning blend that you find at the grocery or you can make your own with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. This combined with a sauce or an herbed butter makes a perfect steak.

Do I Need to Use a Marinade on a Ribeye Steak?

No, you really don’t need one. Ribeyes are very flavorful and juicy due to their natural state and you do not need to marinate this cut of meat.

What Temp Should I Smoke My Steak?

Every smoker is different and some have less control than others. For example, My Pit Barrel Smoker is hard to control to less than 300 and left to its own devices, it will stay at about 350. This will give you enough smoke to flavor the meat.

Do I Need to Turn a Steak When I Smoke It?

You do not need to flip a steak when you are smoking it and I recommend not flipping it or even removing the lid if you can avoid it. The heat circulates in the cooking drum (kind of like an oven) and therefore you do not need to flip it over.

What Kind of Charcoal Do I Use?

Plain Kingsford brand (preferred) charcoal. Do not use the self lighting type. Sams club has about the best deal for two large bags at a time.

What Kind of Smoking Chips Do I Use?

Use the smoking chunks rather than the chips for the best smoke. Hickory, Cherry, Mesquite are all favorites here. You can find them at the grocery store with the grilling charcoal.

two raw steaks on cutting board with spices

Smoking Steak vs. Grilling Steak

Every time we smoke a ribeye steak, Mr. Loaves and Dishes says, “Why didn’t we start doing this years ago” (he never recalls how many times I mentioned that I wanted a smoker in past years).

Grilling gives your steak gives you…

  • A flavor you know and love.
  • Grill marks
  • The potential for a sear.

Smoking gives your steak…

  • The grill flavor you know and love PLUS..
  • Delicious flavorful smoke
  • Perfectly done meat
  • Less time spent flipping and tending to steak.
  • No flame ups/burning.
  • A More controlled and even cooking process.
smoked ribeye steak on table

How Can I Get a Sear On My Steak?

You’ll want to do a Reverse Sear on steak.

If you really want a hard sear on your steak, then as your steak nears final temp, do one of the following:

  1. heat up a cast iron skillet on high on the stove top. Remove the steaks from the grill and place onto the very hot skillet. Allow to sear for 2 minutes per side.
  2. Heat a propane grill to high, remove the steaks from the smoker when they reach the correct temp and place onto the grill for 2 minutes per side.

What Kind of Smoker Do I Use?

The Smoker I use comes from the Pit Barrel Cooker Company. It’s a heavy duty, quality product that I’ve been using for a while now.

There are a variety of smokers out on the market, and you’ll need one that is right for you.

There are electric smokers, pellet smokers and others. Mine is a charcoal smoker and that is the flavor that I personally prefer. Plus, it’s easy to use.

You can learn more about the type of smoker I use here at the Pit Barrel Cooker Company. Just so you know, I believe in them so much that I’m now an affiliate for them, so if you decide to purchase through this link, I do get a commission but that doesn’t change your price at all. Thank you!

PIT BARREL COOKER COMPANY

label on pit barrel cooker

Tips and Tricks

  • Ribeyes require very little seasoning other than salt and pepper but you’ll be super happy if you brush the top with melted butter, or add a dollop of flavored butter to the top of your steak when it comes off the cooker.
  • Use a chimney started to light the briquets, it is so much easier than trying to light them any other way.
  • Use a good instant read thermometer to measure the internal temp of your steaks. This will ensure that they are cooked to the doneness you prefer.

The Steak

  • Choose a steak that is 1″-1 1/2″ thick so that you will have more control over the cooking process. Thicker steaks cook slower and they do not go from underdone to scorched too fast.
  • When choosing your steak, look for one in which the fat is marbled throughout the meat. This will be the most flavorful cut.
  • Ribeyes can be bone in or boneless. That is to say that a large bone in ribeye is called a tomahawk ribeye and is often a huge cut.
  • For example, to achieve a tasty sear on your steak, if you prefer, heat your gas grill up to a very hot temp as your steaks are almost complete on the smoker. Grill them at this high temp for 1-2 minutes on each side for a fantastic sear. You can achieve the same thing on the stove top with a cast iron skillet. This is called a reverse sear. Honestly, we find this isn’t necessary for delicious steaks from the smoker.
glistening steak on cutting board with grill marks
Leftover steak that’s as good as fresh cooked!

Pro Tips

For Tremendous Flavor

  1. melt 2 Tbs of real unsalted butter
  2. Add 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp chopped thyme and 1 tsp chopped chive and paint this on top of the ribeye as soon as it comes off of the smoker.
  3. Then give a good sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

To Make a Special Dish

Warm your dinner plates as the steaks smoke so that your dinner will retain its heat.

You can do so by placing oven safe dishes in the oven on the lowest temp or if you have sturdy ceramic plates, set on the stop of the smoker for the last few minutes.

Use the Remaining Charcoal

We certainly LOVE to use the remaining heat in the smoker by putting bacon on to smoke after we take the steaks off.

Most importantly, You literally can’t over do the bacon on the smoker and once it cools, just place in a resealable plastic bag to use on sandwiches, salads and with breakfast for the rest of the week!

Check out the video below to see how.

What Goes With Smoked Ribeye Steak?

Anything you normally enjoy with your steak will go great with a smoked ribeye. As a result, we LOVE creamed mushrooms, sweet potato fries and a big green salad with ours! Yum!

If You Enjoyed This Recipe for Smoked Ribeye Steak You Might Also Enjoy…

Watch Me Smoke a Ribeye

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smoked ribeye steak on cutting board

Smoked Ribeye Steak

Smoky, meaty, juicy and gobsmacking delicious! Today I'm making Smoked Ribeye Steak on our Pit Barrel Cooker Company Smoker using charcoal briquets and hickory chips.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: smoked ribeye steak
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
rest: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ribeye steak
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbs A1 Steak Sauce

Instructions

  • Put the charcoal and smoking chips on to start on your smoker and while that is starting, prepare the steaks.
  • On a clean cutting board, lay the steaks out. Sprinkle both sides evenly with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and A1 Steak Sauce. Using a fork, poke the steak repeatedly to tenderize.
  • When the charcoal is ready, insert a thermometer into the center of the meat (and into the drum of the smoker if you have a second prong for ambient temp). Smoke the meat at about 270-310 degrees until an internal temp according to the chart below. Remove from the smoker to a plate and tent aluminum foil over the top and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Notes

  • Ribeyes require very little seasoning other than salt and pepper but you’ll be super happy if you brush the top with melted butter, or add a dollop of flavored butter to the top of your steak when it comes off the cooker.
  • Use a chimney starter to light the briquets, it is so much easier than trying to light them any other way.
  • Use a good instant read thermometer to measure the internal temp of your steaks. This will ensure that they are cooked to the doneness you prefer.
  • Choose a steak that is 1″-1 1/2″ thick so that you will have more control over the cooking process. Thicker steaks cook slower and they do not go from underdone to scorched too fast. 
  • When choosing your steak, look for one in which the fat is marbled throughout the meat. This will be the most flavorful cut.
  • Ribeyes can be bone in or boneless. That is to say that a large bone in ribeye is called a tomahawk ribeye and is often a huge cut.
  • For example, to achieve a tasty sear on your steak, if you prefer, heat your gas grill up to a very hot temp as your steaks are almost complete on the smoker. Grill them at this high temp for 1-2 minutes on each side for a fantastic sear. You can achieve the same thing on the stove top with a cast iron skillet. This is called a reverse sear. Honestly, we find this isn’t necessary  for delicious steaks from the smoker.
TEMP CHART:
Rare: 120-130
Medium Rare: 130-135
Medium: 135-145
Medium Well: 145-155
Well: 155 and up
PRO TIPS:
  • Use the heat left on your smoker to cook bacon. Then save the bacon in a zip lock bag in the fridge to use for sandwiches, salads, potatoes and more during the coming week. 
  • Warm your dinner plates on top of the smoker while the steaks finish cooking. This will keep your dinner warm for a good while. It’s a super nice touch! 
  • For added flavor, while the steaks are cooking, melt 2 Tbs of butter (you can flavor it with garlic, thyme and other flavors) and brush it over the top of the steak when you remove it from the smoker.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Smoked Ribeye Steak
Amount Per Serving (8 oz)
Calories 490 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 14g70%
Cholesterol 138mg46%
Sodium 947mg39%
Potassium 670mg19%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 46g92%
Vitamin A 81IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Wendi J Spraker

Monday 1st of March 2021

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