Delicious smoked T-bone steak cooked low and slow over hickory wood. This barbecue spin on the steakhouse classic is rich and buttery, but with the juicy and smoky flavors you’d expect from your backyard smoker or grill.
T-Bone steak is a spectacular cut of beef that’s taken to a whole new level when barbecue smoked. The flavor of the smoke permeates the already tasty meat and adds another dimension to it. If you’re looking for a show-stopping dish, give this smoked T-Bone steak a go today!
T-Bone is an unusual steak in that it combines two different cuts in one – this is exactly what makes us love it so much. On one side of the T-shaped bone, you’ll find the juicy and flavorful sirloin (or striploin) and on the other, the tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture of a filet mignon. You don’t have to choose between the two – you can enjoy both!
After smoking our T-bone, we give it a quick sear to give it a caramelized crust. Better known as the Maillard reaction, this caramelization occurs when high heat creates a reaction in the meat surface’s amino acids and sugars. The final result is a crispy layer on the steak that tastes outrageously good!
From getting just the right flavor from the smoking wood to ensuring a perfect cook, discover how to smoke T-Bone steak today.
What is a T-Bone Steak?
The T-bone is cross-cut from the short loin of a cow, giving its unusual shape and T-shaped bone. With both a filet mignon and sirloin divided on either side of the bone, it’s a delicious option and, as you can imagine, a fairly large cut. If it’s a big steak that you’re after, a T-Bone will hit the spot – but it’s not for the faint of heart!
T-Bones make an excellent choice for those who want a flavorful beef cut that is softer and more tender than typical BBQ steaks. The T-Bone offers the best of both worlds: With the sirloin’s outer fat and marbling you get a delicious steak, and with the underworked muscle of the filet mignon, you’re gifted with the softest cut of meat. Smoking also adds an extra level of flavor to the lower-fat filet mignon – a welcome change for a cut that’s usually chosen for texture.
Smoking is a great way to ensure that both the filet mignon and the sirloin cook evenly, giving you just the right doneness that you’re after.
How to Smoke T-Bone Steak
- Begin by setting up your smoker and preheating it to a temperature of 225°F (107°C)
- Season the steaks well on both sides with salt and pepper or your favorite rub
- Place the steaks in the smoker and cook for 40-50 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 10 degrees below your desired doneness (120°F/49°C for medium-rare)
- Sear the steaks in a skillet set over high to create a good crust on the outside and baste with butter. Cook until the steaks reach the desired final temperature (130°F/54°C for medium-rare)
- Top with a little extra butter, cover in foil, and rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to keep the meat juicy
Best Wood for Smoking T-Bone Steak
The choice of wood will come down to a personal preference on flavor but we have a few suggestions that work well for this cut.
- Oak: A favorite for the BBQ and a great choice to mix with other woods. The taste is subtle but apparent so it’s great for beginners who are keen not to overwhelm with flavor.
- Hickory: A smoking classic for a reason, hickory wood will give the meat a sweet and savory flavor. It’s worth experimenting with and potentially blending with another wood as too much hickory can make food taste bitter.
- Pecan: Pecan lends a beautiful sweetness to meat that’s smoked with it and gives a lovely nutty flavor. It can actually become too sweet sometimes so blending it with another wood like oak can help to balance the sweetness.
Times & Temperatures
Smoking a T-Bone certainly takes a little longer than flash-frying in a skillet but the extra time and the flavor it gives the meat is definitely worth it.
With smoked T-Bone we use the reverse sear method so it’s cooked in two parts. The first cook is in the smoker and should take between 40 and 50, depending on the final cook you want on your steak. Once the temperature reaches 10 degrees below the desired doneness, the steak is removed from the smoker and finished in a hot skillet with butter to create a delicious crust.
These are the temperatures you need to work to depending on the doneness you prefer for your steak.
- Rare: Smoke to 110°F (43°C) and sear to 120°F (49°C)
- Medium-Rare: Smoke to 120°F (49°C) and sear to 130°F (54°C)
- Medium: Smoke to 130°F (54°C) and sear to 140F (60°C)
- Medium-Well: Smoke to 140°F (60°C) and sear to 150°F (66°C)
- Well Done: Smoke to 150°F (66°C) and sear to 160°F (71°C)
To check the internal temperature we recommend using an internal meat thermometer.
- As with any steak, it’s important that the T-Bones are well seasoned to bring out all the natural flavors of the beef. We prefer just to use salt and pepper on ours and let the smoke do its work but you can use your favourite dry rub too. Make sure the steaks are seasoned all over.
- Make sure the steaks are at room temperature before placing them in the smoker to ensure an even cook. Remove them from the fridge at least an hour before cooking.
- Rest the steaks for ten minutes after the pan sear to make sure the juices are reabsorbed into your steak and not left on the cutting board