How to smoke steak – A beginners guide

I was fortunate enough to go to a barbecue at a friend’s house during the summer and have barbecued smoked steak. It was amazing. Only recently had I the time to catch up with him to find out how he did it. Smoking meat is primarily an American thing but it is slowly gaining ground over here.

The inspiration apparently came from a Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast where Jimmy Doherty made a smoker and made it look easy. You can use a standard barbecue to smoke meat, but why do that when you can build one specifically for the purpose?

If you have a smoker already, there are a few things you should know before smoking steak.

  1. Marinate your steak first to give it amazing flavour. Thinner steak cuts only need an hour or two. Thicker cuts can be marinated longer depending on the type and your taste.
  2. Allow the steak to rest at room temperature for at least an hour before putting it into the smoker. This allows the meat to relax a bit and absorb the flavours better.
  3. Use a water pan if your smoker has one to help keep the steak moist. The steak should keep most of its juices intact if you handle with care and don’t use a fork to move it but any extra moisture is always welcome!
  4. Smoking time depends on the temperature and thickness of the steak. The thicker the steak the longer the smoke. The higher the temperature, the shorter the smoke. Ideal is around 100C.

Typically, smoking a steak to medium will take around 45 minutes at 100C. You can leave it in for longer or for less time, it depends entirely on your taste. If you have a meat thermometer, a temperature of 50-52C will be rare and around 62C will give you medium.

Once smoked, allow the steak to rest as you normally would for 5–10 minutes before serving.

Smoking steak takes time and patience but more than repays that effort with amazing flavour, juicy meat and an amazingly succulent experience. If we could put a smoker in the restaurant we would but it is simply not practical. I may be biased but I think our steaks are amazing as they are anyway!

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