Smoked and Seared Ribeye
On a gas grill!
Good morning. I assume you know what day it is — so I’m not even going to bother wishing you a happy Friday this week. That would just be a waste of words, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover today!
See, we’re right on the cusp of the summer solstice — the official-official start of summer. Yes, for all intents and purposes we kicked things off a few weeks ago on MDW, but this is the real deal. And, sadly, it’s all downhill from here, with the days getting shorter and shorter. Better make the most of this weekend!
As I’ve alluded to in the past, I’m a huge fan of the reverse-sear method of cooking beef. I’ve found, especially when you have a Traeger (or other pellet-style smoker), there’s no better way to cook meat. In fact, I’d recommend picking up one of these if for no other reason than this!
But we can’t all be so indulgent, and, for better or for worse, it’s sometimes nice to travel to places where you can’t bring a smoker1. I found myself in that situation a few weeks ago, when Family CWD was up at in New Hampshire, where we only keep a gas grill. It being my birthday, I had splurged and bought myself a 2.25lb bone-in ribeye from Pursuit Farms2. To cook it, I made a poor man’s smoker and reverse seared it on our regular old Weber gas grill.
So today, we’re gonna recreate that and recreate the smoky flavor of a pellet grill using gas. You can use this technique for pretty much any recipe I write about using a smoker. Let’s go.
About an hour before you’re ready to start cooking3, take your ribeye out, give it a dusting of salt, pepper, and your favorite BBQ seasoning4, and let it start to come to temperature. Just before you’re ready to start cooking, package up some wood chips5 in a boat of tinfoil6, cover, and poke some holes on the top. Fire up your grill, but only turn on one side of burners7. Place your wood chips over the direct flames, and once they just start to smoke, throw your meat on the other side of the grates and cover.,
This next part is a little tricky, but you’ll want to get the interior temp of your grill to stay between 225(F) and 275(F), with the sweet spot around 250(F). You’ll need to fiddle around with your specific grill8, but for the one I used, it was one burner on, set to about medium-low heat9. Every thirty minutes or so, check the internal temp of your meat until it hits right about 120(F)10. This should take somewhere around 60-90 minutes, but will really depend on your grill and how thick your steak is. Once it’s at temp, remove the steak from the grill, tent with tinfoil, and set aside.11
Let your steak rest for at least 10 minutes, or even up to 30. When you’re ready to eat, heat up some butter in a cast iron pan (or turn your grill up to hot if you want to be “healthy” by not cooking in fats12), and once your butter is bubbling13, sear each side of the steak until you get a lovely Maillard Reaction and you’ve achieved a lovely crust. Take off the heat, and either slice and serve to your guests, or eat the whole thing caveman style.
And that’s it, baby! This method certainly isn’t as “fool-proof” of cooking on a pellet smoker — nor as simple as ripping your beef over a hot grill until it’s charred on the outside and blue on the inside — but I’ve found it does a pretty solid approximation of smoking without the requisite investment in a dedicated device. You can also do the exact same thing in the oven, but you won’t get any smoky flavor — or do it in a sous-vide and really dial in your desired temp. It’s all deadly, folks — you’re cooking a steak.
I’d recommend serving this with some vegetables, a nice mushroom sauce14, or classically with a baked potato. However you do it, enjoy it!
I’ll leave you here to enjoy the weekend. As always, please drop any questions, comments, smoker recommendations, or purveyors of fine meats in the comments. If you’re so inclined, you can also share this newsletter with a friend.
Whatever you do — have a great weekend!
PS — here’s some reader feedback15 on last week’s recipe: “Outstanding! I am eating the sauce with a spoon!”
I’ve ordered meat from Eric at Pursuit Farms on a number of occasions and I can say with absolute certainty you will not find a better company to source your premium meat.
And about 2-3 hours before you’re ready to eat.
Normally I’d suggest only S&P on a steak, but given we’re not truly smoking this, the BBQ seasoning adds a little extra flavor.
You can find these at most hardware stores, or even Walmart — or order online for a more “premium” product.
This is called setting up a direct and indirect cooking zone.
And this will depend on the weather, too.
You’ll want to watch your temp for the first 30 minutes or so, and adjust to stay within the range, but once you have it dialed in, you can relax
This will be for a medium-rare steak — the temp will rise as it rests, and again when you sear it. If you like it more well-done steak, adjust this accordingly. I took mine out a little earlier because I was getting some wildly varying readings with the thermometer I was using.
You can turn off the grill now, too — unless you want to sear over the flames as opposed to in a pan.
I read an interview recently with a chef who cooks in tallow — but rather than calling it “beef fat,” he calls it “beef butter” — which somehow people think sounds healthier.
If you’re a glutton, instead of butter, you can use rendered wagyu fat and have the most decadent steak you can imagine.
We’ll cook this one in a newsletter at some point.