Having heard the cries of several devoted followers about their struggles to cook steak on a Traeger, we have come to the rescue! Below we present to you Traeger's Tips for the Perfect Steak. Some say a Traeger'ed steak just can't compare to a steak cooked over charcoal or even (shudder) propane. We say, FALSE! A steak off of your Traeger, when well executed, will flavor the socks off of any other steak out there. So if you are a skeptic, give us your best shot and follow the tips below to the most delicious steaks of your life.
Tip 1: Meat Freshness. When cooking a steak, freshness is top priority. Don't pick up steaks on Monday and grill them up on Friday. That is 5 whole days of fridge time and meat is very susceptible to accumulating odors and flavors floating around in your refrigerator. Buy your steaks early on the same day you plan to cook them.
Tip 2: Marbling. Look for steaks that are well marbled with fat. Those thin streams of fat will dissolve in the heat of your grill and moisten the meat from the inside while cooking.
Tip 3: Preparation. Before grilling, be sure to allow your steaks 4-6 hours to come to room temperature. Having your steaks start out at a slightly warmer temperature means more even cooking. You won't end up with the outside of your steak fully charred and the inside still mooing (figuratively speaking, of course).
Tip 4: Season. How you season your meat matters. Whether you use a rub like Traeger's Beef Shake or simple salt and pepper, the key is in the application. Apply liberally, and always just a little more than you think you will need. Instead of just shaking the seasoning on and then slapping your steaks on the grill (which shakes off most of the flavor anyway), pour your rub directly into the palm of your hand and massage it into the meat.
Tip 5: Smoke. After your fire up your grill, leave it on smoke and give your steaks 25-30 minutes (at least 15 minutes) to really take on some delicious flavor. This is what makes a Traeger steak incomparable to any other steak out there.
Tip 6: Preheat. When you have given your steaks enough time in the smoke, remove them from the grill. Crank your temperature up to High and let your grill preheat for 10-15 minutes. You want your grill to be running at the highest possible temperature. If you really like grill lines, invest in a cast iron grill grate (like the one we featured here). Return the steaks to the hot grill and cook to desired doneness. (We also wrote a post about how to tell when your steak is done)
Tip 7: Finishing Touches. There is much to be said about the accoutrements that accompany steaks these days. Some sprinkle with blue cheese, others dip in steak sauce, and still there are those that remain beef purists and won't allow anything but a fork to touch their steak. For a finishing touch to please all palates, we recommend melting a pat of butter over the steak immediately after grilling. Without taking anything away from the steak, the melted butter adds a richness to each bite that will make your steaks the talk of the town.