I’ve previously produced my main article on the best methods for how to cook steaks on a pellet grill/smoker. This article is going to be more specific about cooking steaks on a Weber pellet grill/smoker and their recommended methods. We’ll discuss searing and reverse searing (smoking then searing). We’ll also discuss why you might not want to follow Weber’s methods to get the best sear possible on your steaks (safely). Right, let’s get into this!
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Table of Contents
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- Cooking Time Searing: Typically 3 to 5 minutes
- Cooking Time Reverse Sear: Typically 30 to 60 minutes
- Weber Temp: Reverse sear (225 F), Searing (600 F)
- Steak Internal Temp When Done: 130 to 135 F (we’ll discuss this)
- Best Pellets For Steaks: Mesquite, Hickory, Oak, Pecan
I’m no BBQ expert, my expertise is how pellet grills/smokers work and the range of makes/models on the market. When it comes to how to cook on a pellet grill/smoker, I’ll be referring to the professionals.
Below we’re going to look at two methods of cooking steaks on a Weber SmokeFire. First, straight searing with direct heat, and then we’ll look at reverse searing steaks.
There are other methods to cook steaks. However, I’ll explain why reverse searing (smoking then searing) your steaks is the best approach for pellet grill/smoker owners.
Searing/Grilling Steaks On A Weber SmokeFire
All models (EX4 & EX6) of the Weber SmokeFire and whichever version you own they all have a maximum temperature setting of 600 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for properly searing steaks.
Part of the reason Weber SmokeFire pellet grills are able to do this is that the cooking grates are directly exposed to heat from the pellet fire below (no solid grease tray/heat deflector).
However, this design has also created some potential issues, which we’ll discuss below. First off, I’ve included a rather cheesy video from Weber on searing/grilling steaks.
In the video above, the quality of the steak itself is of utmost importance (we’ll discuss that below). There is also some good advice on steak prep/seasoning.
Don’t be alarmed by the temperatures mentioned in the video for cooking the steak and setting the temperature of the pellet grill. The video is from Weber Australia, and they use degrees Celsius.
In the video, you’ll see some nicely cooked medium-rare steaks. What you’ll also see are flames reaching the cooking grate as the steaks cook, and its this aspect of grilling steaks I wish to highlight.
When grilling/searing on a Weber SmokeFire, I strongly encourage you to scrap down and remove any build-up of grease in the base of your SmokeFire.
Otherwise, when grilling/searing, you are potentially risking a grease fire which can not only be pretty scary, but you would also potentially ruin your steaks.
Reverse Searing Steaks On A Weber
While purely grilling/searing your steaks can produce an excellent end result, its not really taking advantage of the full capabilities of your Weber SmokeFire.
After all, if you just wanted to grill, you would have purchased a Weber gas grill, but you didn’t. You purchased a pellet grill which is also a smoker, so let’s get some smoke flavor in your steaks.
Granted, reverse searing your steaks (smoking then grilling) is going to take longer than purely grilling them, a lot longer. Therefore, you may want to do this on the weekend instead of a weeknight.
I’ve included a video below from Keegan of Seared & Smoked. Just note he owned a SmokeFire Gen 1, which did have various issues with hopper hulling/bridging, as he discusses in the video.
In the video, Keegan has some steaks up to 2 inches in thickness which he smokes at 200 degrees until their internal temperature is around 100 degrees. He then sears them up to an internal temp of around 130 degrees.
If you are not sure how ‘done’ you actually want to cook your steak, I would personally always encourage you to cook them to medium-rare (130 F), and I’ll explain why below.
Anyway, what Keegan doesn’t mention in the video is that if you are looking to boost smoke flavor into your steaks, the Weber SmokeFire does have a smoke setting (SmokeBoost).
SmokeBoost will operate between 160 and 200 degrees and can be set for durations of 15 minutes up to 2 hours. Just note while in use, the temperature inside the cooking chamber will fluctuate more than normal.
This is by design. After all, to produce more smoke, the pellet grill is deliberately burning the pellets less efficiently, so you get more smoke, but you get wider temperate swings in turn.
1: Purchase The Best Steaks You Can Afford
To cook the perfect steak on your Weber SmokeFire, you would have to start with the perfect steak. However, whether you can afford the ‘perfect steak’ is the question.
While some steaks are unquestionably going to produce a better flavor than others, you can only afford what you can afford. What I want to discuss is how to know what you’re actually buying.
Beef steaks are graded based on the USDA grading system of Select, Choice, and Prime, with Prime steaks being the higher quality steaks, but based on what?
Well, they are judged on the extent of fat marbling within the steak, as more marbling has the potential to produce a better-tasting steak (once cooked properly, of course).
If you have never heard of Wagyu beef, its a breed of cattle originally from Japan that is now found around the world. For instance, Snake River Farms have their own Wagyu cattle in the US Northwest.
Wagyu beef has some best fat marbling you’ll find on a beef steak, better than USDA Prime-graded steak, but they are also more expensive. That’s why Wagyu, for me, its my ‘treat meat’.
While I would encourage you to try Wagyu steaks, I’m not implying these should be the only steaks you purchase. I’m encouraging you to purchase steaks with as much fat marbling as you can afford.
Say you typically only purchase USDA Select steaks. When possible, try and step up to Choice Steaks to get a better flavor to make the most of the time your spending cooking your steaks.
2: Preparing Your Steaks For The Traeger & Seasoning
So you’ve got your steak. Before you slap it on the Weber, you need to do a bit of prep work first. Maybe trimming off excessive perimeter fat from around the steak, for instance.
You’ll also want to season your steaks. Personally, with a high-quality steak (Prime/Wagyu), I’m happy to keep it basic with some sea salt and freshly crushed black pepper.
However, if you are dealing with a cheaper steak (Select/Choice) and also if its a thin-cut steak, you may want to experiment with some beef rubs to add some additional flavor.
What I would ask you to keep in mind though when adding a rub to your steak, is that you are not dealing with a large beef brisket, so go lightly while applying the rub.
Also, ideally, if you have the time and you are going to be reverse searing your steaks, after prepping your steaks, place them back into the fridge.
The reason is when smoking meat, you get better smoke absorption/penetration into cold meat. But if you are just searing/grilling your steaks, don’t worry about it.
I discuss this topic more in my article on how to choose the best pellets for smoking meat. Talking of pellets, let’s now address that topic.
3. The Best Weber Pellets For Cooking Steaks
Beef and steaks can work well with any flavor of pellets, to be honest, depending on personal preference. Do you prefer a bold smoke flavor or a lighter/sweeter smoke flavor?
However, if you are looking for a stronger/bolder smoke flavor in your beef steaks, then you could opt you the Mesquite pellets that Weber also sells.
Then again, why limit yourself to Weber’s pellets? Just because you own a Weber SmokeFire, it doesn’t mean you can only use Weber’s pellets.
I’ve discussed this topic more in my article on how to choose the best pellets, as in many cases, you get a better deal ($ per lb) on pellets by considering other brands.
You can learn more by checking out my article on the best value pellets currently on the market, which I spent many, many hours producing. Enjoy 🙂
4. Steak Internal Temperature Monitoring
As shown in the Weber video above on grilling/searing steaks, you can monitor the internal temperature of your steak via the grills meat probe and the Weber app, and I would encourage you to do so.
Personally, I prefer a medium-rare steak, and many people actually do for good reason. With a rare steak, there hasn’t been sufficient heat to render the marbled fat within the steak.
As a result, rare steaks lack flavor. With a medium-rare steak, the fat has started to render, so you get great flavor. However, its also not dried out, which can be the case with cooking past medium-rare.
For a medium-rare steak, you are looking for an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees. However, note that while resting the steak (important), the temperature will continue to rise by maybe 5 degrees.
Therefore, taking the steak off the heat when the internal temperature is between 125 and 130 degrees will result in the perfect medium-rare steak after resting.
While I do encourage you to use the Weber SmokeFire meat probe during the cook, I also advise a secondary thermometer. As I state in my Weber error codes article, probes can fail.
Having an instant-read thermometer in your back pocket while at the grill is really an invaluable tool to double-check check the cook is going as expected.
Final Thoughts About Cooking Steaks On A Weber…
So first, when it comes to grilling/searing steaks, by owning a Weber SmokeFire, you have one of the most capable pellet grills on the market, especially for their price point.
However, SmokeFire pellet grills, due to their design, are more at risk of grease fires than other pellet grills with a full-width grease tray. Therefore, please clean your Weber regularly and thoroughly.
I would always encourage you to reverse sear your steaks if you have the time. From smoking to searing the steaks, it generally takes around an hour.
You can use the SmokeBoost function on your Weber pellet grill if you are looking to achieve the maximum smoke flavor possible, along with choosing the right pellets for your flavor choice.
That’s it! I hope you found the above interesting/useful. I you would like more advice on cooking with a pellet grill, I’m building up a collection of articles. Enjoy 🙂
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