This smoked ribeye is mouth-watering with a rich, smoky flavor that will satisfy even the most discerning palate. The meat is tender and juicy, and the seasoning is just right, making it an irresistible option for any meat lover.
It’s been too hot to cook inside, so I put on the smoker and served this sizzling ribeye with Air Fryer Baked Potatoes and Panzanella Salad without breaking a sweat. If you feel like turning on this stove, this Boiled Broccoli is great alongside this steak.
I chose ribeye because it’s a tender cut of meat that’s perfect to smoke over low heat, resulting in juicy and flavorful meat.
The best smoked steaks are typically made with thick cuts with a lot of fat. The fat melts during cooking, leaving behind supple, mouth-watering meat. Ribeye is one of the best cuts of beef to use if you want to get the ideal fat content.
Ribeye is already so flavorful. It feels like a waste to smother it in a bunch of seasoning. So I kept it simple.
If you want to use your favorite spice rub for this smoked ribeye, go for it!
What is a ribeye?
Ribeye steak is a high-quality cut of meat from the beef rib primal cut. It’s tender because it’s a muscle that the cow does not exercise much.
Ribeye and prime rib are cut from the same part of the cow, but prime rib has the bone in and is cooked like a roast, while ribeye is boneless and cooked like other cuts of meat.
Smoking a ribeye
Smoking a ribeye adds a unique flavor to an already delicious cut of meat.
To smoke a ribeye, start with dry brining the steak with salt for at least 40 minutes at room temperature. If you can’t rub on the seasoning at least 40 minutes before cooking, put on the seasoning immediately before cooking.
You can also put on the seasoning up to 24 hours in advance. If doing that, refrigerate it uncovered.
If you let it brine for less than 40 minutes, the juices will be lost, making it more difficult to properly sear the meat. If you refrigerated it, remember to let it sit at room temp for 1 hour before cooking.
Once the meat is ready, smoke it at 225 °F (107 °C) until you get an internal reading of 110 °F (43 °C). That should take between 20 to 50 minutes. It really depends on how thick your meat is.
Then increase the smoker temperature to 475 °F (246 °C) and tent the ribeye in foil.
Once the smoker comes up to temperature, put the tented ribeye back into the smoker until you get an internal temperature of 130 °F (55 °C).
Then let it rest for 5 minutes so the juices don’t run out when you cut into it.
How long does it take to smoke a ribeye?
Ideally, you won’t cook your ribeye past medium rare. But you can cook ribeye to medium/medium well if you must. 😉
It’s crucial to cook by temperature rather than going by minutes. Here are the internal temperatures you’re going for.
- Rare — 125 °F (52 °C)
- Medium-rare — 135 °F (57 °C)
- Medium — 145 °F (63 °C)
- Medium-well — 155 °F (68 °C)
- Well — 160 °F (71 °C)
Remove the ribeye 5 minutes before reaching the desired temperature, as it will continue to cook while it rests.
Why use a smoker?
Smoking is a technique of cooking meat by burning wood in an enclosed space over low heat. This allows the meat to cook slowly and absorb the flavors of the wood smoke.
Smoking a ribeye has three advantages. First, it breaks down collagen in the meat, making it more tender. Second, it adds flavor to the meat through the smoke. Third, the melting fat combines with the tenderized meat to create juicy, melt-in-your-mouth amazing bites.
If you don’t have a smoker, try this Air Fryer Ribeye!
What type of wood to use
Oak, hickory, mesquite, apple, pecan, cherry, peach or pear wood are recommended for smoking ribeye, but if you try something else, I’d love to hear how it goes.
Cool side dishes
That’s it! I hope you’ll enjoy this smoked ribeye recipe! If you make it, please comment below. I’d love to hear how it turned out. Thanks! 🙂
Smoked Ribeye Recipe
- 2 ribeye steaks about 1.5" and 12oz each (or as close as you can get), boneless
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt divided
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Black pepper
- If you can’t rub on the seasoning at least 40 minutes before cooking, put on the seasoning immediately before cooking. You can also put on the seasoning up to 24 hours in advance. If doing that, refrigerate it uncovered.
- Prepare your smoker for indirect cooking according to smoker instructions, using oak, hickory, apple, pecan, cherry, peach or pear wood. Set it to 225 °F (107 °C).
- Rub a teaspoon of salt on each steak, rubbing both the top and bottom.
- Pat dry with a paper towel, brush on olive oil, and sprinkle on the remaining teaspoon of salt (so ½ tsp per steak), and also pepper the steak.
- Place on the prepared smoker and smoke for 20-50 minutes or until the internal temp is 110 °F (43 °C). It’s important to cook to temperature and not time. The time varies so widely based on a number of factors.
- Remove the steaks from the smoker and tent with foil. Place the grill grates on the smoker and increase the temperature to 475 °F (246 °C). This will likely take around 10 minutes. So your steaks will be tented for about 10 minutes.
- Once it’s come to temperature, place the steaks on the grill grates and cook another 4-10 minutes per side or until it reaches 130 °F (54 °C).
- Remove the steaks from the smoker and let them rest for 10 minutes before slicing (this is so all the juice doesn’t run out when slicing). After the rest, the internal temperature (for medium-rare) should now be 135 °F (57 °C).
- Serve! If you have any left over, let cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.