The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Smoked Steak

Every steak lover understands that smoking meat is more than just a cooking process. It's an adventure of slowly infusing the steak with the rich flavors of smoke over low heat and transforming that simple cut of steak into a mouth-watering dish. However, there's one common mistake nearly everyone makes and it's not about the cut of meat, the type of wood, or even the seasoning. It's about patience, or more accurately, the lack of it.

Impatience is a problem because it disrupts the steady environment that smoking requires. The urge to check on your steak, to open the lid and peek at how it's doing, is understandable. You're excited, you're hungry, and you want to make sure everything's going perfectly. However, every time you open that smoker, you're not just taking a look; you're letting out heat and smoke — the two essential components of smoking. This not only extends the cooking time but also risks an uneven cook and a less flavorful steak.

The key to overcoming this mistake is trust and preparation. Trust your smoker, your setup, and recognize the smoking process which is a low and slow operation, therefore, takes time. More to that, use a wired probe thermometer with an external display to monitor the steak's internal temperature without having to open the smoker too often. Prepare yourself for the wait by planning on what to do during this time, like preparing your sides or simply relaxing with friends.

Exercise patience even after the steak is cooked

Patience with smoking steak doesn't end when the cooking does. Once off the smoker, the importance of letting your steak rest cannot be overstated. Resting allows the juices within the steak, which have been driven towards the edges by the heat, to redistribute throughout the interior parts of the meat. Cutting into a steak too soon after cooking will result in those flavorful juices running out onto the plate, leaving the meat drier and less flavorful.

The rest period gives the fibers within the meat time to relax and reabsorb the juices, ensuring that each bite is as juicy and delicious as possible. It can be as short as 10 minutes or take as long as 30 minutes depending on the cut and size of the meat.

To rest a steak properly, remove it from the heat and place it on a warm plate or cutting board, loosely tenting it with foil to keep it warm without trapping too much steam. This simple act of patience further enhances the smoking process's efforts, culminating in a steak that's not only flavored and cooked to perfection but also juicy and tender. So, give your steak the time it needs to truly shine, and you'll be rewarded with a dining experience that's worth the wait.