Deliciously tender New York strip steak smoked low and slow on your backyard grill or smoker. This easy BBQ steak recipe takes less than an hour before it’s seared over high heat for the perfect finish.
Smoked New York strip steak might not be the first choice that comes to mind when you think of smoking meats. You might think of ribs, brisket, and sticky burnt ends, but smoking is a perfect way to cook a steak and introduces so much more flavor. We’re pretty certain once you give this version of New York strip loin a go, you won’t want it any other way.
Meat lovers will know that a New York strip steak is usually cooked hot and fast, but slowly smoking the steak gives you perfectly tender meat imbued with a delicate smokey flavor you wouldn’t otherwise get. And while we say it’s a slower cook than a quick flash in the pan, it’s still much faster than most traditional smoked meats and will be on the table within an hour.
From getting the perfect cook to choosing the best wood, discover how to smoke a New York strip steak at home today.
What is New York Strip Steak?
If you’ve never tried this cut of meat, you’re in for a treat and it’s certainly a steak you’ll want to acquaint yourself with because it’s both delicious and tender.
The strip steak is tucked away at the back of the beef, between the ribs and the thigh. Its location means it doesn’t get overly worked, keeping the meat soft. The cut has a great marbling of fat too, so it’s packed full of flavor. It’s somewhere between a rib eye and a fillet mignon, the fat gives it richness, and that combined with being an underused muscle gives it a buttery softness. There’s a reason this steak is a favorite amongst in-the-know beef connoisseurs.
In the US, New York’s Delmonico’s Restaurant is known as the spot that brought this juicy cut of steak to the forefront in the 1800s with its famous Delmonico Steak. Because of the restaurant’s location, this newly popular cut became known as a New York strip steak. In Southern Hemisphere countries like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand the cut is known as Porterhouse (slightly confusing as this is a different cut entirely in the US!) and in France as contre-filet.
How to Smoke New York Strip Steak
- Fire Up: Get your smoker set up ready for your steaks and preheat it to 180°F (82°C) with your chosen wood
- Season: Liberally season the steaks with salt and pepper just before you’re ready to smoke
- Smoke: Place the steaks in the smoker, close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F (49°C)
- Sear: Pan-sear the steaks to create a nice outer crust and remove them from the pan when the internal temperature reaches 130°F (54°C)
- Rest: Tent your steaks in aluminum foil and leave them to rest for 10 minutes to keep the meat juicy, and then serve
Best Wood for Smoking New York Strip Steak
Being a darker, often stronger flavored meat, beef is well complemented by heavier-tasting woods. Pecan, hickory, oak or mesquite are all great – experiment and test a few to find your ideal flavor. You can even mix them up to get your own unique blend. If you prefer a milder flavor, try something like cherrywood.
Times & Temperatures
Smoked New York strip steak only needs 50 minutes in the smoker, so much less than a traditional smoke. We then like to use a reverse sear method with this steak to ensure a nice crust on the outside with that delicate smokiness within. So these are ready in just a little over an hour.
We love this cut cooked to a perfect medium rare at 130°F (54°C). To achieve this, we smoke the steak until it reaches 120°F (49°C) and then finish it off in the pan to get a great outer sear, removing it when the internal temperature reaches 130°F. This will give you a delicious medium-rare smoked steak. If you prefer your steak a little more cooked, pan-sear until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C) for medium and 155°F (68°C) for medium well.
To check the internal temperature of a steak, we recommend using a digital meat thermometer. Don’t go by time or ‘feel’.
- Be sure to season your steaks well with salt and pepper to impart plenty of flavor. But only season them just before you’re about to cook, you don’t want the salt to suck out all the meat’s juiciness.
- Steaks should always be rested for 10 minutes before serving. This gives the meat a chance to retain its delicious juices, rather than them ending up on your plate with your meat drying out.