If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy steak, Smoked Ribeye Steaks should be at the top of your list! They’re rich and tender, enhanced with hints of rosemary and garlic, and reverse-seared for a luscious crust everyone will love! Serve them alongside classic side dishes, like mashed potatoes, for an unforgettable meal.Jump to Recipe
Why you’ll love this recipe
- The perfect reverse sear: Achieving a restaurant-worthy sear is no longer a dream! With this method, you can achieve the perfect crust and tender interior every time.
- Straightforward: Using a smoker doesn’t take much more effort than a grill or stovetop skillet, but it infuses the steak with a distinct smoky flavor that you’ll absolutely die for.
- Rich & aromatic flavors: The butter, garlic, and rosemary not only impart additional flavor but create a luscious sauce that’s perfect for drizzling.
Smoked ribeye steaks
Whenever I have the chance to fire up my smoker, I always take it! And this smoked ribeye steak recipe is one of my absolute favorite meals to prepare in it. The result is rich, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
But the best part? I’m able to make it any time I want. And now you can too! Ribeye is a top-choice cut, and with the addition of a smoker, it infuses deep smoky notes, a buttery texture, and a rich beef flavor.
Dry brining the ribeye helps the juices reabsorb and relax the fibers, creating steak that is unbelievably juicy and flavorful. Plus, I’ve found that adding a hint of rosemary and garlic elevates the flavors that much more. Pair yours with creamy mashed potatoes, grilled zucchini and squash, or a fresh green salad for a flavor-intense meal.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Ribeye steak: Known for its marbling and flavor, ribeye is a great candidate for smoking to enhance the flavors even further. Look for steaks that are about 1 ½ inches thick.
- Flaky sea salt: Enhances the steak’s natural flavors and helps tenderize it.
- Unsalted butter: Adds a creamy richness. For a dairy-free option, try olive oil.
- Rosemary: Offers a fragrant aroma with earthy undertones that complement the ribeye incredibly well. Thyme will also work as a substitute.
- Garlic: Provides a zesty and ultra-savory touch. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can omit the garlic.
How to make smoked ribeye steak
- Prep the steak: 60 minutes before smoking, salt the ribeye steaks on both sides. This helps draw out the meat juices, then infuses them and flavor back into the ribeye.
- Set up the smoker: Preheat your smoker to 220-225F and add pallets or wood chips. I prefer cherry, oak, or hickory, but you can also use pecan or mesquite. Place a thermometer in the middle of the steak.
- Smoke the ribeyes: Once your smoker is at temperature, place the ribeyes in and smoke them until they reach an internal temperature of 110-115F. Remove and tent the steak with foil to let the juices redistribute.
- Sear the steak: Heat your grill to 400F and place a cast-iron pan on top to heat up with the grill. Add a touch of oil, then sear the ribeye for a few minutes on both sides to achieve a mouthwatering crust.
- Add seasonings: Add the butter, rosemary sprigs, and garlic to the steak for extra flavor. Then, pull the steak off the heat when it reaches your desired temperature of doneness.
Smoked ribeye temperatures
Depending on how you or your dinner guests like to serve smoked ribeye steak, you’ll want to keep the following internal temperatures in mind:
- Rare: 120-125F
- Medium rare: 130-135F
- Medium: 145F
- Medium well: 150F
- Well done: 160F
Once you’ve achieved the perfect smoke on your ribeye steak, you can’t go wrong with some of these classic side dishes:
- Caramelized onion mashed potatoes
- Creamy mashed potatoes
- Crispy smashed potatoes
- Purple cauliflower mash
- Herb pesto green bean salad
- Radicchio salad
Frequently asked questions
You can definitely use a bone-in ribeye, also known as a cowboy steak, for smoking. It often imparts a deeper flavor and retains moisture better. Just remember, the meat close to the bone will cook differently than the rest, so bone-in cuts usually require slightly longer cooking times. Adjust accordingly and always monitor the steak’s internal temperature.
A bitter taste usually indicates creosote buildup. Ensure you maintain thin blue smoke instead of thick white smoke, which can lead to bitter flavors.
The pink ring, or “smoke ring,” is a natural occurrence when nitric oxide and carbon monoxide from the smoke interact with the meat. It’s a sign of effective smoking and is safe to eat.
Storage & reheating
If you have any leftover smoked ribeye steaks, follow these simple storage tips:
- Fridge: Once completely cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Freezer: You can freeze leftover steaks by vacuum-sealing or wrapping them in plastic wrap followed by foil. The steaks should last for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Thaw the steaks in the fridge overnight, then gently reheat them in an oven at 275-300F. You can then re-sear them in a hot skillet until warmed.
- Southwest: Rub the ribeye with a blend of chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a touch of cayenne for a smoky, spicy flavor.
- Mushroom-topped: Serve your smoked ribeye with a side of sautéed mushrooms in garlic and butter.
- Cheesy crust: Near the end of the cooking process, sprinkle the steak with crumbled blue cheese and allow it to melt slightly.
- Use a dry brine: Don’t forget to salt your steak at least an hour ahead of time to enhance its moisture and flavor.
- Avoid overseasoning: The beauty of ribeye lies in its natural flavor. Keep the seasonings simple to let the steak shine.
- Bring to room temperature: Before smoking, let the ribeye sit out for about 30 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Use a meat thermometer: For consistent doneness every time, always rely on a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature rather than just timing.
- Blue smoke: Aim for thin blue smoke rather than thick white smoke for a better flavor.
- Rest the meat: This allows the juices to redistribute and results in a tender, juicy steak.
Looking for more steak recipes?
If you enjoyed this smoked ribeye steak recipe, dip into some more of my favorites like these:
- How To Cook Ribeye Steak In The Oven
- Steak and Shrimp Kabobs
- Grilled Steak Kabobs
- Oven Cooked New York Strip Steak
- Greek Steak Salad with Tarragon Dressing
Perfect Smoked Ribeye Steaks
- 60 minutes before smoking, salt the ribeye steaks on both sides.
- Preheat your smoker to 220-225°F using your favorite pallets or wood chips, I like to use cherry, oak, or hickory. Place the thermometer in the middle of the steak.
- Once your smoker is at temperature, place ribeyes in the smoker. Cook steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 110-115°F, remove from the smoker. About 25-30 minutes. Remove and tent the steak on a plate or cutting board with foil until ready to sear it.
- Heat your grill to 400°F, add a cast iron pan on top and let it heat up with the grill. Once it comes to heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil, when it shimmers and just starts to smoke. Place the ribeye pan and sear for 2-3 minutes, it will be nicely seared, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add a teaspoon of butter, the sprigs of rosemary and 2 cloves of garlic to the steak after you flip it for extra flavor. Using a spoon, drizzle any of the melted butter back on the steak. Pull the steak off the heat when it reaches your desired temperature of doneness- it will cook pretty fast. Pull off at 120°F for rare, and 130° for medium rare. (See notes)
- Pull the steaks off the smoker before it is done cooking because you will reverse sear to finish cooking and get a nice crust. If you don’t want a nice crust then simply continue cooking steak until it reaches your desired temperature, but just be warned it will probably be grey in color.
- Pull the steak off the grill/pan 5°F before your ideal temp- it will continue to rise in temp by 5° after it is removed from heat.
- Hold your steak on its side for a minute in the pan or on the grill to help render any fat that still needs to be broken down.