Mastering the Art of Grilling Steak on a Pellet Grill

Grilling the perfect steak is an art form that can be mastered by anyone with the help of a Traeger or pellet grill. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice, this guide will show you how to achieve steakhouse-quality results right in your backyard. The combination of temperature control and the use of hardwood pellets in these grills infuses the meat with a rich and smoky flavor that is irresistibly delicious.

The Advantages of Pellet Grills for Steak

Cooking steak on a pellet grill, especially a Traeger, takes the grilling experience to a whole new level. Here’s why:

  • Precise heat distribution: The digital controllers on Traeger grills allow you to maintain a steady temperature, ensuring even cooking throughout the steak.
  • Wood-fired flavor: By smoking the meat over hardwood pellets, you infuse it with a unique and delectable smokiness that cannot be replicated with other cooking methods.
  • Convenience and versatility: Traeger grills are incredibly versatile and can handle practically every cut of steak. From slow-cooking tougher cuts to achieving a perfect sear on tender cuts, the Traeger method consistently delivers mouthwatering results.

Essential Ingredients

To cook steak on a Traeger or pellet grill, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Steak: You can choose any cut of steak that suits your preferences. Opt for a lean and tender cut or go for a well-marbled and flavorful option. Whether it’s ribeye, tri tip, New York strip, filet mignon, sirloin, porterhouse, hanger, flank, or skirt steak, a Traeger grill will cook it to perfection.
  • Dry rub: Prepare a flavor-rich dry rub using a combination of Kosher salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, and brown sugar. Feel free to experiment with different spice blends to customize the flavor profile of your steak.
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The Grilling Process

  1. Begin by whisking the dry rub ingredients together in a bowl to make the seasoning.
  2. Generously coat both sides of the steaks with the dry rub.
  3. Place the steaks on the preheated grill grates of your Traeger or pellet grill.
  4. Close the lid and cook the steaks until they develop a beautiful crust on the outside and reach your desired internal temperature.
  5. Once cooked, allow the steaks to rest before slicing and serving.

Achieving the Perfect Steak Temperature

Use the following temperature guide, along with a meat thermometer, to cook your steak to perfection:

  • Rare: 120°F to 125°F (3 to 4 minutes per side)
  • Medium-rare: 130°F to 135°F (4 to 5 minutes per side)
  • Medium: 140°F to 145°F (5 to 6 minutes per side)
  • Medium-well: 150°F to 155°F (6 to 7 minutes per side)
  • Well done: 155°F (7 to 8 minutes per side)

Tips and Tricks for Grilling Success

  • Allow the steaks to come to room temperature by taking them out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. This step helps ensure a nice sear on the surface and even cooking throughout.
  • Choose high-quality wood pellets with flavors like oak, hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, pecan, or maple to enhance the smoky flavor of your steak.
  • Always let the cooked steaks rest before serving to allow the juices to redistribute back into the meat and ensure optimal tenderness.

Customizing Your Grilled Steak

While a Traeger steak already boasts a rich, hardwood-smoked flavor, you can further customize it by experimenting with different dry rubs. Try variations like Tri Tip Dry Rub, Brisket Dry Rub, Prime Rib Rub, Smoked Chicken Wing Rub, Cajun Seasoning, Blackened Seasoning, or Montreal Steak Seasoning. For added flair, pair your steak with a serving sauce like Compound Butter, BBQ Sauce, Peri Peri Sauce, Creamy Mushroom Sauce, Chimichurri, Red Wine Sauce, Bordelaise Sauce, or Bearnaise Sauce.

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FAQs and Serving Suggestions

If you’re curious about additional information or have questions, refer to the FAQs section. To make your grilled steak part of a complete meal, consider serving it with delicious side dishes like Traeger Asparagus, Grilled Peppers, Grilled Broccolini, Mashed Potatoes, Crispy Fries, Grilled Potato Salad, or Corn on the Cob. For more inspiration, explore our extensive collection of over 50 delicious side dishes to complement your steak.

Storing and Wine Pairings

To save leftovers, store the cooked steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, warm the steak in the microwave or lightly oil or butter a skillet and heat it over medium-low heat.

For a truly indulgent experience, pair your Traeger steak with a bold and smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, or Shiraz. These wines beautifully complement the meaty and smoky flavors of grilled steak. To explore more wine pairing options, head over to “The 5 Best Wines to Pair with Steak.”

Discover More Pellet Grill Recipes

If you’re hungry for more delicious recipes, explore our collection of pellet grill recipes. From Corned Beef Brisket and Smoked Tri Tip to Traeger Chicken Breasts, Smoked Pork Belly, Beef Short Ribs, and Smoked Burgers, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

Share Your Masterpiece

If you try cooking steak on a Traeger or pellet grill using this guide, don’t forget to give it a starred review. We’d love to see your finished dish, so share a picture on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging us @platingsandpairings. For more mouthwatering recipes, follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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