Smoked rib eyes are pretty much the only way I do rib eyes these days. But how you sear them makes a whole world of difference.
Cold Grate Searing over lump coal is a new method I’ve been really into. And it gets an amazing crust throughout your steak. It really compliments the smokey flavor!
It takes a little time. But you can taste the love put into these steaks!
Dry Brine Your Steaks
If you want your steaks to become juicy and flavorful, you need to try dry brining. To dry brine, simply add a coating of kosher salt on your rib eyes – or whichever cut you prefer.
Put it on a rack in a sheet pan and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator anywhere from 4 hours up to 48 hours, but I find the sweet spot about 18-24 hours.
When you dry brine beef, it needs to be AT LEAST 4 hours. The salt will first extract moisture out of the steak.
But after about 4 hours, it will re-absorb the moisture along with the salt allowing your steaks to be juicier and more flavorful throughout the cut of meat.
You’ll notice a deeper redder color in your beef and the marbling will really come through. I used Prime cut rib eyes, which were already great looking, but the marbling afterwards was just amazing!
Smoked Rib Eyes Before Cold Grate Searing
This is where I love having something easy to get set up like my Traeger. Smoking steaks gets a lovely smokey flavor into your meat, as well as a beautiful color on the outside of the steak.
If you were doing this with a stick burner, I wouldn’t recommend going through the trouble, and would recommend reverse searing on a Weber Kettle with a Slow N Sear*.
The smoke time will differ, but you’re looking at somewhere around 45 minutes @ 255 F. You want to cook the steak until its about 15 degrees cooler than your target temperature
What Is Cold Grate Searing
Cold grate searing is an awesome method I’ve learned about that allows your whole steak to get seared, rather than just on the grates.
This is easier to accomplish on a kettle style charcoal grill like a weber kettle.
Here’s what you do. Get your coals ready then pile them in a 2 zone grill zone. I use the Slow n’ Sear, but you can pile them in on the side.
I also use lump coal like FOGO*, which burns hotter and faster, which is perfect for getting the high temperature you need for a good sear.
TIP: start preparing your charcoal when your steaks are about 10 degrees cooler than when you’re about to take them off. For example, if your aiming for 110 F, take them off at 100 F.
To Cold grate sear smoked rib eyes, wait until its time to grill the steaks then put your grate on the grill. This will present the crates from heating up.
Place your steak over the coals on the grate and cook for 60 seconds. With your tongs, rotate the grate 90 degrees, then flip the steak back over the coals. Cook for another 60 seconds.
Repeat this process until you’ve seared your rib eyes a total of 2 minutes per side.
You’ll notice that you wont have any specific grill marks on your steak. And that’s exactly what you want.
What you will notice is the entire steak will be a beautiful mahogany brown, with a nice crust all around.
You know what? This would also be a great method for Tri-Tip
After letting them rest for about 5 minutes, take a cut into your cold grate seared rib eyes and let that smoky flavor sink in.
I’m so obsessed with the cold grate searing method, and the smoking the steaks in the Traeger before searing them just takes it to a whole over level!
And you know whats insane? As picky as my son is, He LOVES this smoked rib eye recipe.
As long as I cook it to medium. He’ll learn soon enough..
Cold Grate Seared Smoked Rib Eye Steaks
- Wood Pellet Smoker
- Charcoal Grill
- Hickory Wood Pellets
- Lump Coal
- 2 lbs rib eye steak
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
TO DRY BRINE
- Coat steaks liberally with kosher salt on both sides. Place your steaks on a sheet pan with a wire rack
- Place in a refrigerator uncovered for about 24 hours (4 hours at the absolute minimum)
- Preheat your smoker, then set smoking temp to 225 F. An hour before smoking, remove your steaks and allow them to come back up to room temperature.
- Place in your smoker, and stick with temperature probes.
- Smoke until internal temperature is 110 for Medium rare, 120 for Medium
TO COLD GRATE SEAR
- Prepare your coals in a chimeny when your meat is around 100F. Place in a two zone grill zone in your charcoal grill. Leave your grate off the grill until ready to sear.
- Before searing, You can add a little coat of olive oil to your steaks, then season each side with more salt and fresh cracked pepper (maybe a little garlic powder if you're feeling fancy), pat seasoning into steak.
- To sear, immediately before searing, place the grate in your grill. Then your steaks over direct heat. Sear for 60 seconds. Rotate grates with tongs 90 degrees to expose cooler area of grates over direct heat. Flip steaks and place back over direct heat. Repeat this process 2 more times so that each side of the steak has been seared a total of 2 minutes per side.
- Let steaks rest for about 5 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!