Are you tired of cooking steaks on a traditional grill, only to end up with a tough and overcooked piece of meat? If so, it’s time to switch to a pellet grill. Pellet grills use wood pellets as fuel and offer a more controlled and consistent cooking experience, resulting in juicy and flavorful steaks every time. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to cook a steak on a pellet grill.
Selecting the Right Steak
Before you start cooking, it’s essential to choose the right steak. Look for a steak that is at least one inch thick, with marbling throughout the meat. Marbling is the visible fat within the muscle, which will melt during cooking and add flavor and tenderness to the steak.
When selecting the cut of steak, consider what you’re looking for in terms of tenderness, flavor, and cost. Here are some popular cuts of steak:
Ribeye is known for its rich, beefy flavor and tender texture. It’s a popular cut for grilling and is typically more expensive than other cuts.
New York Strip
New York Strip is a leaner cut of steak with a bold, beefy flavor. It’s also more affordable than ribeye, making it a popular choice for grilling.
Filet Mignon is the most tender cut of steak, with a mild, buttery flavor. It’s a more expensive cut of meat and is typically smaller in size.
Once you’ve chosen your steak, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure that the steak cooks evenly.
Preparing the Steak
Now that you’ve selected the perfect steak, it’s time to prepare it for the grill. Start by thawing the steak if it’s frozen, either by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight or placing it in a sealed plastic bag and submerging it in cold water. Avoid thawing the steak at room temperature, as this can increase the risk of bacterial growth.
Once the steak is thawed, pat it dry with a paper towel and season it generously with salt and pepper. You can also add additional seasonings, such as garlic powder or smoked paprika, for extra flavor. Be sure to coat both sides of the steak evenly, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the seasonings to penetrate the meat.
Bringing the steak to room temperature is another crucial step in the preparation process. This will allow the steak to cook more evenly, as the meat will not be cold in the middle. Simply leave the steak on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour before grilling.
Setting up the Pellet Grill
Before you start grilling, you’ll need to set up your pellet grill. First, preheat the grill to 450°F for at least 15 minutes. This will ensure that the grill is hot enough to sear the steak and lock in the juices.
Next, set the temperature to your desired level. For a medium-rare steak, set the grill to 130°F to 135°F. For a medium steak, set the grill to 135°F to 145°F. Keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise even after the steak is removed from the grill, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Choosing the right pellet flavor is also essential for getting the best flavor out of your steak. Hickory and mesquite pellets are popular choices for grilling steaks, as they add a smoky and robust flavor to the meat. However, you can also experiment with other flavors, such as apple or cherry, for a more unique taste. Just be sure to use high-quality pellets, as low-quality pellets can produce an unpleasant taste and aroma.