How Long to Smoke Steak at 400°F?

Are you switching up the cooking method and putting away the cast iron skillet?

Smoking a delicious steak brings out a natural smoky flavor.

Only some smokers go up to 400°F but if you have decided that is the temperature you want to smoke at I have you covered.

Below you see exactly how long to cook your steak at 400°F!


How Long to Smoke Steak at 400°F?

Below are the approximate times for smoking steak with each type of doneness.

A rare steak smoked at 400°F will take 30 minutes – 40 minutes

A medium steak smoked at 400°F will take 45 minutes – 60 minutes

A well-done steak smoked at 400°F will take 65 minutes – 75 minutes

Remember you need a meat probe to accurately know the internal steak temp.

Example of Smoking a Medium-Rare Steak at 400°F

A medium-rare steak will take approximately 45 minutes – 60 minutes at 400°F

How Is Smoking at 400°F Different From Grilling Steak?

To smoke a steak at 400°F is very similar to traditional grilling with direct heat.

The main differences are;

– The type of fuel used to cook steak. (wood chips or pellets)

– A strong golden brown direct sear or grill/sear marks on the surface of the steak.

– A big difference in timings to achieve the desired steak doneness.

Accurately Monitoring the Cooking Time at 400°F

We now know the average cooking time at 400°F but what else should be factored in?

Understand the Type of Steak You Are Smoking

I want to go a little deeper than just the term ‘steak’

Below are the most popular American steaks and some things you need to think about when smoking them.

Sirloin Steak

The rump or sirloin is taken from the rear of the animal.

This type of meat contains dense proteins and a thick fat cap.

Be aware of the cap rendering when smoking at 400°F.

The high temperature will cook the meat and burn the fat.

Make sure you trim down the entire steak to 1/2 an inch.

Ribeye Steak

A ribeye steak contains lots of inter and intermuscular fat!

Like the sirloin, pay attention to the level of fat on these types of steak.

You don’t want to have to wait until a thicker fat cap renders while the meat burns.

Fillet Steak

A fillet steak has little to no fat and is perfect for smoking at 400°F.

At this temperature, the natural flavor will be seared and give you juicy steaks!


Know The Exact Weight & Thickness Of The Steak

The thickness and overall weight of your steak will affect the time it takes to smoke.

Ultimately a meat probe will be used to determine when the meat is ready to eat.

The above timings were based on an average 1-inch steak weighing 2 pounds.

Check and adjust if you are smoking a thicker steak.

The Grade of Meat Will Affect Smoking Time

The grade of your steak will make an impact on the overall cook time.

It is common for prime and Waguy grades to contain more intermuscular fat.

This fat is easier to render no matter the temperature you are smoking it at.

The outer fat cap and silver skin are found on the cheaper grade beef.

This is more stubborn and takes longer to render.

What Internal Cooking Temperature Does the Meat Need to Be?

Below are the exact internal temperatures for each level of doneness.

Remember that monitoring these temps is the best and only way to know if your steak is done.

Internal Temperature Gradients for Doneness

Rare – 125°F on a meat thermomoeter.

Medium – 135°F on a meat thermometer.

Well-done – 155°F on a meat thermometer

Accurately Monitoring the Internal Temperature With a Meat Probe

Arguably the most important tool in all your cook time!

Have calibrated temperature probes to accurately monitor the internal temperature.


Resting the Steak & Carryover Cooking

Rest the smoked steak when it reaches 10°F below the internal temp.

All cuts of meat need to rest for at least 10 minutes covered in aluminum foil.

This ensures the meat juices are absorbed back into the proteins.

Resulting in tasty and tender meat.

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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