When you have some quality meat, you need to make sure you are cooking it right because along with lumber and gas, meats are not cheap right now. I started with some sirloin steak from a meat pack I recently ordered from our local meat market. Here is how to smoke sirloin steaks on the Traeger and it is so simple!
The night before or a few hours before, I dry brine the meat. Dry brining is done by adding a decent amount of kosher salt to the meat and setting it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This will benefit you hugely with moisture.
When you are ready to cook, preheat the Traeger to 225˚ and I used some Hickory pellets, but with steaks, it is your preference. While the smoker preheats I grab the steaks and rub gently with some olive oil then add my favorite rub. This Suckle Busters 1836 Beef Rub is my favorite for steaks and burgers. It is a black pepper, Texas rub.
It will take about an hour to get your steaks up to the right temp. In this recipe I reverse sear. Reverse sear means you give the steaks some high heat AFTER smoking/grilling them. Because we reverse sear, you will want to pull your steaks off of the smoker 10 degrees below your final cook temp desire. I included your final temp suggestions below:
- Rare 125˚
- Medium Rare 135˚
- Medium 145˚-what I cooked to
- Medium Well 150˚
- Well Done 160˚
Once my steaks got to 135˚ on the smoker (I was aiming for 145 after sear), I took them off and had my sear set-up ready. You will want to have a few things ready to go. I have my cast iron pan (the good ‘ole Lodge pan), a good high heat oil such as Avocado Oil, a large sheet of tin foil set beside the stove, a thermometer and tongs.
Heat the oil in the cast iron until hot. Sear each side of the steak for about 1-2 minutes. I sear one side for 1 minute, flip, insert thermometer and sear second side until it gets that extra 10˚ to finish. Remember, I took the meat off of the smoker at 135˚ and then seared to 145˚ to get a medium steak. I prefer mine more of a medium rare, but this was for the kids and the pink terrifies them -lol!
Once you reach that perfect temperature, you do the last and most important step – rest the meat! This is why you had that sheet of foil ready. As you remove the 1 or 2 steaks you can sear at a time, set in the foil, cover and then I unwrap to add the next few steaks until all of my steaks are seared, in the foil and resting. I fold up the foil tight and let it sit 10+ minutes.
Why is resting your meat so important? Look below – those juices up top only exist because of the rest. Meat needs to rest so the juices can redistribute, otherwise it will just flow away, leaving you with a brown, overcooked piece of meat.
Slice against the grain and enjoy! Low and slow is best, this was an average night dinner so I used 225˚ temp, but you can set your Traeger to 180-190˚ and plan on about 90 minutes or longer on the smoker.
My son chose tater tots and fruit for sides, but perhaps that means nothing to you. I am showing you the true finished dinner, anyhow! FYI – the leftover steaks make great fajitas on night 2!