The best way to smoke a thick New York Strip Steak is by reverse searing it. Smoke it at 225°F until the internal temp is 115°F (around 30 minutes), then crank the grill to ripping hot temperatures of 500°F or more to sear it. You'll need a nice thick strip steak for this. 1 1/2" to 2" is ideal
I love steak. Give me a thick, beefy cut strip steak, perfectly cooked, and I'm a happy man. I've tinkered with rubs, cooking techniques, and doneness levels until I landed on my ideal steak recipe. I'm sharing my ultimate smoked New York strip steak recipe with you!
Got your favorite steak rub ready? And a beefy slab of NY Strip Steak ready to go? Perfect. Let's smoke some steak!
Smoked New York Strip Steak Recipe
Let's dive right in with my go-to recipe. Keep reading - after the recipe, I'm dropping some critical tips for grilling the perfect steak.
Serves: 2 to 3
Total time: 2 hours to dry brine and 45 minutes to cook
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total cooking time: About an hour
Recommended wood: Hickory or oak wood chunks or chips
2 New York Strip Steaks 1 1/2" to 2" in thickness
Kosher salt. Use 1/2 teaspoon per pound. Use 1/4 teaspoon per pound if using table salt.
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp of vegetable oil to oil cooking grates (you can use any cooking oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil)
Prep the steaks. Trim any external fat from the perimeter of the strip steaks.
Dry brine. Sprinkle the salt all over the surface of the steak. You can add the pepper now or right before the meat hits the smoker - it doesn't matter when. I usually add pepper when I apply the dry brine to steaks, so I don't forget later. Place the steaks in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Preheat your smoker to 225°F. If you're using a pellet grill, set it to 225°F and pick your desired pellet wood variety. For a propane grill or charcoal grill set up for indirect grilling. For a Kamado, get your heat deflector in place. Add wood chips or chunks to the coals. Oil your cooking grate with a paper towel that is soaked in cooking oil.
Cook the New York Strips. Put the New York Strip Steaks on the grill over indirect heat. Let them go for 15 minutes, then flip the steaks. They'll absorb the smoky goodness from the smoker at this stage.
Cook the steaks for around 30 minutes. Once the internal temperature of the smoked NY strip steaks reads 110°F, pull the steaks from your smoker.
Finish cooking the steaks. How you finish will depend on your grill and setup. Get your grill or smoker as hot as you can - 700°F or more is ideal. You'll finish the steaks over direct heat.
On a charcoal grill: Open the vents all the way. Pile the coals in one area with a grill shovel. I like to add a 1/2 chimney of blazing hot coals to the grill to shorten my wait time. This will require you to start the chimney 15 minutes or so before you're ready to sear the New York Strip Steaks.
On a pellet grill: Pellet grills don't typically get really hot and can only cook via indirect heat. You can crank the grill to its highest temperature and finish the New York strips on an oiled cast iron skillet. Better yet, you can finish them on your stove in an oiled cast iron skillet (my preference). Crank the stove to high heat and preheat the skillet.
On a kamado: Remove the heat deflector and open the vents. I like to add a 1/2 chimney of hot coals to speed things up. You'll need to start the chimney 15 minutes before it's time to sear the steaks.
On a gas grill: Crank the burners to high. If you've got a sear burner, use it. Gas grills don't get as hot as charcoal or kamados. You can remove the cooking grate and hold the steak right next to the flame using tongs if desired.
Sear the smoked New York strip steak. Put the NY strip steak on the grill grate or in the cast iron skillet. Flip the NY strip steaks frequently, and monitor the internal temperature like a hawk. The smoked New York strip steaks will cook quickly at such hot temps. You're looking to develop a nice crust - the exterior of the steaks will finish with a rich mahogany color. Keep checking the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Pull the steaks at your desired doneness. For medium rare, remove the meat when the internal temp is 125°F. The steak will continue to rise in internal temp by around 5°F to 130°F after it’s removed from heat.
The smoked steaks can finish cooking in as little as 1 minute. You can always throw an undercooked steak back on the grill. You can't uncook it. Err on the side of undercooking.
Note: The USDA recommends cooking steak to 145°F. Most steakhouses and steak fanatics think medium-rare steak tastes superior. A restaurant menu will have an asterisk warning you about the risks of eating undercooked meat.
Serve. No need to rest - get that NY strip steak on a plate and serve your guests an amazing steak! Slice it against the grain for a wonderfully tender texture.
Steak Doneness Guide
Here are the doneness temperatures for smoked New York strip steak (and all steak, including filet mignon, beef tenderloin, ribeye, t-bone steak, and more).
I like strip steak cooked to medium rare, and I remove it from the grill at 125°F. The steak will rise by another 5°F after it’s pulled from the grill due to carryover cooking. This 5°F rise applies to all finish temperatures.
Rare: 120°F. Bright red center. Slippery texture.
Medium-rare: 130°F. Pink-red center. The texture is much firmer than rare. This is what I cook my steaks to and what the large majority of the BBQ community considers the "best" doneness temperature. If you're smoking your first NY strip steak, this is my recommended finish temp.
Medium: 140°F. Pink center. Firm texture. Chewier and dryer than medium-rare steak.
Medium-well: 150°F. A bit of pink in the center, but mostly gray. The meat has lost significant moisture at this temp and will taste quite dry. It will also be chewy.
Well done: 160°F. Completely gray. Very dry and chewy. Significant moisture loss. Not how I would cook such an expensive cut of meat, but it's a free country.
Other Ways to Prepare Smoked New York Strip Steaks
Part of the fun of cooking is mixing things up! Here are alternate smoked steak recipes. Just follow the cooking directions above using the reverse sear method.
Use Your Favorite Steak Seasoning or Steak Rub
While I think steak shines with just salt and pepper, if you've got a favorite steak seasoning, put it to use on your New York strip steaks. Use 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of NY strip steak. Avoid any rubs with sugar, as the crust of the steak will burn when you sear it over high heat.
Simple rubs with Kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder are my favorites. Apply them 2 hours before cooking. Don't add the additional brining salt. The rub will act as a dry brine.
Serve with a Compound Butter
Compound butter is a fancy way of saying butter mixed with other ingredients. A couple of tablespoons of compound butter per steak may not be Cardiologist recommended, but it will definitely amp up the flavor of those smoked New York Strip steaks.
To make compound butter, plan on two tablespoons per steak. Let the butter come to room temperature. It'll be easier to work with. Then, mix in whatever aromatic or flavoring ingredients you want. The sky is the limit here, but some of my favorites with smoked NY strip steaks include:
Shredded parmesan cheese. Other hard cheeses work, too.
Fresh herbs, such as rosemary or oregano
Once I make the butter, I like to keep it room temp so it melts quickly on the hot smoked New York strip steak. Place the butter on top of the steak immediately after it's done cooking. Serve.
Other Names for New York Strip Steak
Names for cuts of meat vary by region. New York strip steak is also sold as New York strip, Kansas City strip, and top sirloin.
Where New York Strip Steak is Cut From?
NY strip steaks come from the longissimus dorsi muscle on the cow. It's located in the short loin primal, just behind the ribs. It's the same muscle that makes up most of a ribeye steak.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it! A comprehensive guide to smoked New York strip steak. Smoking steaks may seem daunting, but it's easy! Unlike some other smoked meats (looking at you, brisket and pulled pork), you can have your steaks from fridge to table in about an hour.
Smoke the New York strips at 225°F for 30 minutes until they're 115°F on the inside. Sear them over a ripping hot grill or stove until the internal temp hits your doneness. Serve them immediately. (Take the smoked NY strip steaks to the next level by adding a decadent compound butter.) Feast!
By John Smits
John bought his first home in 2012 and bought his first grill shortly afterward: the ubiquitous Weber kettle grill.
He’s been hooked since the first time he fired up some coals. Now, after over a decade spent making countless delicious meals, John is a passionate advocate for live-fire cooking.
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