At a party or get-together, all you need is a perfectly roasted or grilled steak that is juicy and tender.
The finger-licking good steak served with well-seasoned sides can never go wrong.
However, if you have recently gotten acquainted with the pellet grill, then learning a few technicalities is advisable beforehand.
Undoubtedly, pellet grill cookers have made it quick and hassle-free to prepare juicy and delicious steaks.
Still, cooking steaks on a pellet grill is different from cooking steaks in any other way in terms of how you cook them and how long it takes.
Find out how below.
How to Cook Your Steak With Desired Doneness
Meat’s doneness holds prime significance when cooking a steak.
You must be aware of the steak’s desired doneness before putting the meat in the pellet grill, as the cooking process for each level is different.
There are six levels of steak’s doneness: blue-rare, rare, medium-rare, medium-well, and well-done.
The main difference between all six levels of meat’s doneness is the extent of cooking.
You can measure this level by checking the steak’s internal temperature during cooking.
Most people are particular about their desired steak’s doneness, and everyone has their preferences. Yet, most chefs prefer steak to be rare to medium-rare.
Blue-Rare or Rare-Blood
The rare level of steak doneness refers to slight searing from the outside and an entirely red color on the inside. Rare blood steak is perfect for anyone who loves to enjoy the meat’s natural raw taste.
Cooking a perfect blue-rare steak requires careful searing from the outside while keeping the inside raw.
Steak cooked with rare doneness is 75% medium-red with a hint of pink on the inside and a lightly seared exterior.
Rare steak has an internal temperature of around 120 degrees F. Leaner meat, containing low fat, is the best option for cooking rare steak on the pellet grill.
Chef Gordon Ramsay prefers cooking rare going to medium-rare doneness (1).
At medium-rare level, the steak’s internal temperature is about 135F.
This steak retains the meat’s natural moisture and fat content and has a mouth-watering taste and texture.
Research published in the Journal of Animal Science studied consumer satisfaction with the steak’s doneness and cooking method (2).
The researchers studied steak consumers from Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco in this study. They asked the consumers to rate the steaks based on flavor intensity, flavor desirability, juiciness, tenderness, and overall acceptance.
Most people gave the highest ratings in all categories to the steaks cooked to the rare to the medium-rare degree of doneness.
The internal temperature of the medium-done steak is about 140 degrees F.
At this level of doneness, the steak is no longer raw and red on the inside. Hence, you need to cook the meat from both sides to achieve this texture and internal temperature.
Medium-done steak is comparatively less juicy and stiffer than the previous levels of doneness.
Research conducted by Australian researchers to study the consumer’s acceptability regarding the status of steak’s degree of doneness in restaurants revealed that most people ordered medium-done steaks (3).
Medium-well steak has an internal temperature of around 150 degrees F.
Most of the meat’s fat and moisture gets roasted at this temperature, leaving behind a thin layer of fat and a slightly tough texture.
Well-done steak has no natural moisture of the fat left as it gets well-cooked on the pellet grill.
The internal temperature of this steak is about 160 degrees F. Many chefs believe that well-done steak has the least appealing flavor, color, texture, and juiciness among all levels of doneness.
But, if you prefer well-cooked meat with little to no moisture, then you need to adjust its cooking time accordingly.
Steak’s doneness affects its juiciness, thickness, texture, color, and taste.
All these features depend on how long and at what temperature you cook steaks on the pellet grill.
Steak’s Cooking Time Based on the Pellet Grill’s Temperature
Temperature setting is one of the critical factors for determining the time required to cook a steak on the pellet grill.
Typically, it would be best if you preheated the pellet grill before putting the meat inside.
Preheating the pellet grill maintains its inner temperature at a certain hotness. Thus, when you place the meat in the pellet grill to cook, the temperature will not rise from zero to the required temperature; instead, it will start cooking at this temperature.
Preheating the pellet grill saves time and helps you equally cook the tender and juicy steak from both sides.
The steak’s cooking time varies with the temperature.
As a general rule, the higher the temperature of the pellet grill, the less time it will take to cook the steak.
Cooking Time with Pellet Grill’s Temperature at 500F
If you are in a rush and wish to cook the steak on the pellet grill within a few minutes, then go with a temperature of up to 500 degrees F.
You will need to cook each side of the meat for about two to three minutes at this temperature.
Depending upon the desired level of steak’s doneness, you can increase or decrease the cooking time.
Cooking Time with Pellet Grill’s Temperature at 400F
If you are cooking the steak on the pellet grill at 400F temperature, it will take around three and a half to six minutes, based on your desired steak’s doneness.
Generally, cook each side of the meat for about three and a half minutes to prepare medium-rare steak at 400F.
If you wish to cook medium-done steak, cook the meat for about four and a half minutes on both sides. And if you want to cook medium-well doneness of the steak, give it about five and a half minutes on both sides at 400F.
Lastly, if you prefer eating well-done steak, you must cook the meat for about six minutes on both sides.
Cooking Time with Pellet’s Grills Temperature at 350F
If you like slow cooking and want to cook the steak on the pellet grill at 350F, then the steak will need a little extra time to be ready.
You will have to cook the meat for about four to five minutes on each side at 350F to prepare medium-rare steak.
If you wish medium-done, medium-well, or well-done, increase the cooking time by half a minute for each level up of the doneness.
Different Methods to Cook Steaks on the Pellet Grill
There are two main methods of cooking steaks on the pellet grill: traditional sear and reverse sear. Both ways get the job done perfectly.
But if you like your steak to have a smoky flavor, go with the reverse sear. Also, if you prefer the natural meaty flavor and aroma of the steak, cook the steak on the pellet grill using the traditional searing method.
Another significant difference between the two cooking methods is the time required to prepare steaks. The traditional searing method is quick, whereas reverse searing takes a bit longer.
Nevertheless, the flavors, appearance, and juiciness of the steaks prepared through reverse searing make it worth every second of the wait.
Here we have explained both cooking techniques in detail. Learn which way you prefer and get cooking.
Reverse sear is the most favorite and widely popular steak cooking method worldwide.
- First, generously season the meat with salt and ground black pepper. Then preheat the pellet grill to around 225 degrees F.
- If your pellet grill allows you to control the smoke settings, turn it on at a high level. In this process, the meat cooks nicely and slowly on the wood pellets of the grill. During this time, the meat gets infused with the wood-burning’s smoky flavors, enhancing the steak’s deliciousness.
- After barbequing the meat on the wood pellets, you will cook the meat on the preheated pellet grill. First, remove the barbequed meat from the grill’s grates and let it rest on the cutting board or a plate. Then increase the grill’s temperature, ideally at around 400 degrees F. Now place the steak back in the preheated pellet grill.
- Cook each side for about four to five minutes. This step will take about eight to ten minutes. Then remove the steak from the grill, insert the thermometer, and check the internal temperature. Keep or halt cooking based on the desired degree of steak’s doneness based on the steak’s internal temperature.
- There you go; delicious, juiciest, smoked reverse-seared steak is ready to ravish. The most enticing thing about reverse-seared steak is that it allows you to enjoy the seared texture’s deliciousness and the smoky flavor of the wood pellet’s burning.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, revealed that slow cooking and consistent heating during the reverse-searing process increase the flavors, the amino acid content of the meat, and the texture of the steak (4).
Traditional sear is best suited for anyone in a rush but wishes to present the juiciest steak at the dining table.
This conventional or standard steak cooking method is quick, easy, and simple.
- The first thing to do is preheat the pellet grill to around 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, season the meat with a generous amount of salt, ground black pepper, and herbs (optional).
- Then place this seasoned meat in the preheated grill and cook each side for about five to six minutes or a total of ten to twelve minutes.
- Control the urge to peek at the pellet grill occasionally, as it may disrupt the grill’s internal temperature.
- Open the grill only when it is time to flip the meat to the other side. Then check the steak’s internal temperature using the meat thermometer.
- If the temperature is up to the desired level of doneness, take the steak out of the grill, cut it into thin slices, garnish it with herbs, and enjoy.
Time Required to Cook Pork Steak
Pork steaks have a similar texture and flavor as beef steaks but are light on the budget.
These steaks take a little extra time to cook than the beef steaks. If you cook at around 350 degrees F, the pork meat will take about twelve to fifteen minutes to reach a medium-rare doneness level.
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- Cooking Frozen Chicken on the Grill
- How Long Should You Boil Carrots
- How Long to Cook Pizza Rolls in Microwave
So, you recently got your hands on a pellet grill and now wish to satisfy your meat cravings by cooking yourself a juicy, savory, delicious steak.
Cooking steak on the pellet grill differs from cooking it in the air fryer, grill pan, or stove. Indeed, a pellet grill is an excellent cooker to make a perfectly cooked steak per your desired doneness.
However, you must follow a few key points before cooking steaks on a pellet grill.
- Pre-decide the degree of doneness of the steak, as each level of doneness requires different cooking temperatures.
- Preheating the pellet grill is essential for even and quick cooking of the steak on the pellet grill.
- Reverse-searing is the best method to prepare the juiciest steaks with a smoky flavor.
- The traditional searing method is the best option for cooking steaks if you wish for a quick fix.
- Typically, the ideal temperature to cook medium-rare to medium-done steak on the pellet grill is around 350F to 375F.
- Increase the grill temperature if you wish to cook the steak quickly. However, it is advisable to cook the steaks at medium heat.
- It generally takes about ten to twelve minutes (based on the desired degree of doneness) to cook steak on the pellet grill.