How to Cook Steak on Pellet Grill: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Discover the mouthwatering process of cooking a perfect steak on a pellet grill, transforming your culinary experience into an unforgettable delight.

There’s nothing quite like the mouth-watering aroma of a juicy steak sizzling on a grill. And while traditional charcoal and gas grills are popular choices for cooking steak, have you ever considered using a pellet grill? Pellet grills offer an easy and convenient way to cook your favorite cuts of meat, including steak.

In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to cook steak on a pellet grill that will leave you with perfectly cooked, tender and flavorful meat every time. So grab your apron and let’s get grilling!

Choosing the Right Steak

how to cook steak on pellet grill easy step by step guide

Choosing the right steak is crucial to achieving a perfectly grilled meal. When it comes to selecting a cut of meat, there are several factors you should consider.

First and foremost, choose a high-quality steak from your local butcher or grocery store that has good marbling throughout the meat. Marbling refers to the small white flecks of fat within the muscle fibers that melt during cooking and add flavor and tenderness.

The most popular cuts for grilling include ribeye, sirloin, filet mignon, T-bone or porterhouse steaks. Each cut has its unique characteristics in terms of texture and flavor profile.

Ribeye is known for its rich beefy taste with generous marbling throughout which makes it juicy when cooked correctly. Sirloin is leaner than ribeye but still flavorful if seasoned well before grilling.

Filet Mignon offers tender bites with less fat content compared to other cuts making it an excellent choice for those who prefer leaner meats. T-bone steaks have both strip loin on one side while tenderloin on another giving you two different textures in one piece Porterhouse Steaks are similar to T-Bones but larger in size offering more servings per piece.

When choosing your steak thickness keep in mind thicker pieces will take longer time cooking while thinner ones cook faster so adjust accordingly based on how much time you have available.

Ideal Steak Thickness for Pellet Grilling

While you can certainly cook steaks of any thickness on a pellet grill, there are some ideal ranges that will help ensure even cooking and optimal flavor.

For most cuts of steak, we recommend choosing pieces that are at least 1 inch thick. This allows for proper searing and caramelization on the outside while still maintaining a juicy interior.

Thicker cuts (such as ribeye or porterhouse) can be up to 2 inches thick or more.

Thinner steaks (less than 1 inch) tend to cook too quickly and may not develop the desired crusty exterior before becoming overcooked inside. However, if you do choose thinner cuts such as flank or skirt steak for example – they require less time in direct heat so they’re perfect candidates for quick-sear methods like reverse searing.

Types of Pellet Grills

Vertical pellet grills look like a traditional smoker with the firebox at the bottom and racks for food above. These are great for smoking large cuts of meat or cooking multiple items at once.

Horizontal pellet grills, on the other hand, resemble a standard grill with a hopper on one side that feeds pellets into the firebox. They offer more versatility in terms of cooking styles as they can be used for both low-and-slow smoking as well as high-temperature searing.

Both types of pellet grills come in various sizes and price points to fit any budget or backyard space. When choosing which type is right for you, consider what kind of cooking you plan to do most often and how much space you have available.

Preparing Your Pellet Grill

First, ensure that the grill is clean and free of any debris from previous use. You can do this by using a wire brush or scraper to remove any leftover ash or food particles.

Next, fill the hopper with high-quality wood pellets of your choice. The type of pellets you choose will affect the flavor profile of your steak, so consider experimenting with different flavors until you find one that suits your taste buds.

Once filled with pellets, turn on the pellet grill and set it to preheat for about 10-15 minutes before placing in any meat. This allows time for the temperature inside to stabilize at around 225°F – 250°F (107°C -121°C), which is ideal for cooking most steaks.

While waiting for preheating process complete its cycle; take some time cleaning up other tools such as tongs and spatulas that will be used during grilling.

Prepping Your Grill Grates for Steak

This step ensures that your meat doesn’t stick to the surface and cooks evenly. The first thing you need to do is clean the grates thoroughly using a wire brush or scraper tool.

Remove any debris or leftover food particles from previous cooking sessions.

Once cleaned, apply some oil onto the grate surface using a paper towel or brush. You can use any high-heat oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, etc., but avoid olive oils as they have low smoke points and may leave an unpleasant taste on your steak.

After applying the coat of cooking spray/oil over all surfaces of each grate with care not to miss spots in between bars if applicable (you don’t want anything sticking!), preheat them for 10-15 minutes at around 450°F before placing steaks on top.

Prepping Your Steak for Grilling

The first step is to remove your steak from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will help ensure that your meat cooks evenly throughout.

Next, pat your steak dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture on its surface. This will help create a nice sear when you place it on the grill.

If desired, now is also an excellent time to season your steak with salt and pepper or other preferred spices or marinades. Be sure not to over-season as this can overpower the natural flavor of the meat.

Lightly brush both sides of your prepared steaks with olive oil or another high-heat oil like avocado oil before placing them onto preheated grill grates.

Steak Seasoning Options

While some people prefer a simple salt and pepper rub, others like to experiment with different flavors. Here are some popular seasoning options for pellet-grilled steaks:

1. Classic Salt and Pepper: This is a classic combination that enhances the natural flavor of the meat.

2. Garlic Butter: A garlic butter rub adds richness and depth to your steak.

3. Montreal Steak Seasoning: This blend typically includes garlic, onion powder, black pepper, paprika flakes or chili powder for an added kick.

4. Coffee Rub: A coffee-based dry rub can add smokiness while also tenderizing the meat due to its acidity level.

5.Chipotle Lime Rub : The spicy chipotle combined with tangy lime juice creates an explosion of flavors in every bite.

Best Seasonings for Pellet Grilled Steaks

Not all seasonings are created equal when it comes to pellet grilling. Some seasonings may burn or become bitter on the grill, while others may complement the smoky flavor of a pellet grill perfectly.

One of the best seasoning options for pellet-grilled steaks is a simple blend of salt and pepper. This classic combination allows you to taste the natural flavors of your meat without overpowering them with other spices.

If you’re looking for something more adventurous than salt and pepper, consider trying out some herb-based blends like rosemary-thyme-garlic or oregano-basil-parsley mixtures that can add depth and complexity to your steak’s flavor profile.

Another popular option is using dry rubs that contain paprika or chili powder which can give an extra kick in terms of heat as well as adding color contrast against seared crusts on grilled meats such as beef cuts like ribeye steaks!

Seasoning Your Steak: Tips and Techniques

When it comes to seasoning, there are a variety of options available that can help you achieve your desired flavor profile. Some popular choices include salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder or even a pre-made steak rub.

One important tip when seasoning your steak is to avoid over-seasoning. While adding too much seasoning may seem like a good idea at first glance, it can actually overpower the natural flavors of the meat and leave you with an unbalanced taste.

Another technique for achieving optimal flavor when seasoning your steak on a pellet grill is to use marinades or brines before cooking. These solutions infuse additional moisture into the meat while also imparting unique flavors that complement its natural taste.

Pellet Selection and Flavor

Pellets come in a variety of wood types, each with its unique taste profile that can enhance or detract from your steak’s overall flavor.

Some popular pellet flavors for grilling steaks include hickory, mesquite, oak, cherry and applewood. Hickory is known for its strong smoky flavor that pairs well with beef cuts like ribeye or brisket.

Mesquite has an intense smoky taste that works well with bold-flavored meats like sirloin or flank steak.

Oak pellets offer a more subtle smoke flavor than hickory but still provide enough depth to complement most beef cuts’ natural flavors. Cherry wood provides sweet undertones perfect for pairing with leaner meat options such as filet mignon or strip steaks.

Applewood offers mild sweetness and fruity notes ideal for lighter flavored meats such as pork chops but also works great when paired up against tenderloins.

Heating the Pellet Grill

This ensures that the grill is at the right temperature for cooking and will help prevent any unevenly cooked steaks. To begin heating up your pellet grill, turn it on and set the temperature to high or 450°F (232°C).

Allow the grill to preheat for about 10-15 minutes with its lid closed.

During this time, make sure that all of your pellets are loaded into the hopper so they can be fed into the firepot as needed. You should also check that there is no debris or ash buildup in either of these areas as this can affect how well they function.

Once you’ve allowed enough time for preheating, open up your lid and give everything a quick visual inspection before placing down any steaks onto its grates.

Monitoring Grill Temperature

Pellet grills are designed to maintain a consistent temperature, but it’s still essential to keep an eye on things and make adjustments as needed.

Invest in a good quality meat thermometer that can be inserted into your steak without causing too much damage. This will allow you to monitor the internal temperature of your meat and ensure that it reaches your desired level of doneness.

It’s also crucial to keep an eye on the grill’s overall temperature throughout the cooking process. Most pellet grills come with built-in digital thermometers, but if yours doesn’t have one, consider investing in an external thermometer or probe system.

Remember that opening and closing the lid frequently can cause fluctuations in heat levels inside your grill, so try not to peek too often! Instead, rely on regular checks using either built-in or external thermometers for accurate readings.

Grilling Time Guidelines

How long should you cook your steak on a pellet grill? The answer depends on several factors, including the thickness of the cut and how well done you like your meat.

As a general rule of thumb, for medium-rare steaks that are one inch thick or less, grill each side for about 4-5 minutes. For medium doneness increase this time by 1-2 minutes per side.

If using thicker cuts (over an inch), add another minute or two per side depending on desired doneness.

It’s important not to overcook your steak as it can become tough and dry if left too long on the grill. To ensure accuracy in cooking times use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat without touching bone; aim for internal temperatures between 130°F -140°F degrees Fahrenheit (54°C -60°C)for rare/medium-rare steaks while those who prefer their beef cooked more thoroughly should aim at higher temperatures ranging from 145°F –160 °F(63°C–71 °C).

Flipping the Steak

Flipping too frequently can cause your steak to cook unevenly, while not flipping enough can result in an undercooked or overcooked piece of meat.

As a general rule of thumb, you should only flip your steak once during cooking. This allows each side of the meat to develop a nice sear and crust before being flipped over.

To determine when it’s time for that first flip, keep an eye out for juices starting to pool on top of the meat. Once this happens, use tongs or a spatula (never pierce with fork)  to carefully lift up one edge of the steak and check if there are any grill marks forming underneath.

If so then go ahead with flipping otherwise wait another minute or two until they appear.

Remember: patience is key! Resist any temptation you may have had at this point in time as moving around steaks too much will prevent them from developing those beautiful charred lines we all love so much!

Cooking Steak to Desired Doneness

The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your steak and how well-done you prefer it. Here are some general guidelines for pellet grilling steaks:

  • Rare: Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F.
  • Medium-rare: Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F.
  • Medium: Cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  • Medium-well: Cook for about seven minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reads around160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Well-done steaks can be cooked up to ten minutes each sides.

Remember that these are just guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules. It’s important to use a meat thermometer so that you can check if your steak has reached its desired level of doneness without having to cut into it and lose all those delicious juices.

Understanding the Reverse Sear Method

This technique involves cooking your steak at a low temperature first, then finishing it off with high heat to create that perfect crust.

To use this method, start by setting your pellet grill to 225°F and placing your seasoned steaks on the grates. Cook them until they reach an internal temperature of about 10-15 degrees below your desired doneness level (use a meat thermometer to check).

Once they’ve reached this point, remove them from the grill and let them rest while you increase the heat in your pellet grill.

Next, crank up that heat! Set it as high as possible (around 500°F) and give it time to preheat fully. Then place those rested steaks back onto those hot grates for just one or two minutes per side until you achieve that beautiful seared crust we all love.

The reverse sear method allows for more even cooking throughout each cut of meat while still achieving that coveted crispy exterior texture without overcooking or drying out any part of it.

How to Reverse Sear Steaks On a Pellet Grill

This technique involves cooking the steak low and slow until it reaches an internal temperature of around 10-15 degrees below your desired doneness. Then, you crank up the heat and sear both sides of the steak for about one minute per side to create that delicious crust.

To reverse sear steaks on a pellet grill, start by preheating your grill to 225°F using indirect heat. Place your seasoned steaks directly onto the grates or use a cast iron skillet if preferred.

Once they reach an internal temperature of around 115°F (for medium-rare), remove them from direct heat and let them rest while increasing the temperature of your pellet grill to high (around 450-500°F).

When ready, place each steak back onto direct heat for approximately one minute per side or until they develop that perfect charred crust we all love.

Resting the Steak

Resting allows the juices in the meat to redistribute evenly throughout, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak.

To rest your pellet-grilled steak, remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board or plate. Tent loosely with foil or another piece of parchment paper for about 5-10 minutes depending on its thickness.

This will allow time for the internal temperature of your meat to rise by several degrees while also allowing those delicious juices that have been pushed towards center during cooking process settle back into every part of each slice.

Resist any temptation you may have at this point – do not cut into that juicy goodness just yet! Cutting too soon can cause all those precious juices inside each slice escape onto your cutting board instead of staying where they belong: inside every bite you take!

Slicing and Serving

Before you start cutting into that juicy piece of meat, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Firstly, let the steak rest for at least five minutes after removing it from the grill. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and ensures that every bite is as tender and flavorful as possible.

When slicing your steak, use a sharp knife with a long blade. Cut against the grain of the meat for maximum tenderness – this means cutting perpendicular to any visible lines or fibers in the muscle tissue.

Consider serving your pellet-grilled steaks with some classic sides like roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes. And don’t forget about sauces! A simple chimichurri sauce made with fresh herbs can add an extra burst of flavor that perfectly complements grilled meats.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One of the biggest mistakes people make when cooking steak on a pellet grill is not properly preheating the grill. This can result in uneven cooking and tough meat.

Another mistake to avoid is over-seasoning your steak. While seasoning adds flavor, too much seasoning can overpower the natural taste of the meat and leave you with an unpleasant aftertaste.

It’s also important to monitor your grill temperature throughout the cooking process as fluctuations in temperature can affect how well-done or rare your steak turns out.

Lastly, don’t forget about resting time! Resting allows juices to redistribute within the meat for maximum tenderness and flavor. Skipping this step could lead to dry or tough steaks.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly cooked steaks every time on your pellet grill!


What temperature do you cook steak on a pellet grill?

You should cook steak on a pellet grill at a temperature of 500 degrees F.

How long do you cook steaks on a pellet grill?

Cook steaks on a pellet grill for 3-4 minutes per side for rare, 5 minutes for medium-rare, 6-8 minutes for medium, and 7-10 minutes for well-done.

How do you grill the perfect steak on a pellet grill?

To grill the perfect steak on a pellet grill, place the steaks on the grill grates, cook with the lid closed until the desired internal temperature (120℉ for rare, 130℉ for medium-rare, 140℉ for medium, 145°F for medium-well, or 155℉ for well done) is reached, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

How long to cook steak on pellet grill at 225?

To cook a steak on a pellet grill at 225°F for medium-rare, it will take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 130-135°F.

What are the best pellet grill steak recipes for different cuts of meat?

The best pellet grill steak recipes for different cuts of meat include reverse-seared ribeye, smoked porterhouse, and marinated flank steak.

Should you use any specific wood pellets for enhancing the flavor of grilled steak?

For enhancing the flavor of grilled steak, it is recommended to use specific wood pellets such as oak, hickory, or mesquite.

What are some tips for maintaining the perfect sear and moisture when cooking a steak on a pellet grill?

To maintain the perfect sear and moisture when cooking a steak on a pellet grill, preheat the grill to high heat, sear the steak for 1-2 minutes on each side, and finish cooking at a lower temperature, using a meat thermometer for desired doneness.