Hardwood grilled steaks


This weekend, I had a duh moment when it occurred to me that I wanted to try grilling on my Weber Smoky Mountain. I knew that I wanted to make steaks, which I wasn’t interested in smoking, but I wanted that hint of hardwood regardless. My glee was hardly contained when I figured out that I could make that happen with nearly no modification to my WSM.

  • Remove the bottom rack and the water pan.
  • Bend out your brackets for the water pan slightly.
  • Move charcoal grate up to the water pan brackets.


Just that simple, folks.

So, for the evening’s meat, we bought some NY Strip from the local supermarket. Sadly, not quite as thick as I may have liked, but not too bad. I rubbed them down with my version of this rub, which has become my favorite rub for beef thusfar.


From there, I lit a half chimney or so of charcoal, and once they were nice and hot, I added a half dozen chunks of hickory into the charcoal.

Remove the lid for a while, and I found that i could get the chunks to catch flame. I liked this, as I was able to use the flame to sear the steaks. This picture is obviously from after I moved them, but you get the idea…


I like my steak medium at the most. So, we didn’t leave them on for very long. Probably 8-10 minutes. But we still had a delicious combination of spice, smoke, and meat.

Beef Rub
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Basic rub for beef.
  • 2 tablespoons kosher or coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Combine all spices.
  2. If I'm using this rub on brisket, I usually use 2 or 3 times the amount of cayenne. But, on a steak, two teaspoons of cayenne was a bit much for my wife. I, on the other hand, thought it was delicious!

My steaks will never touch the gas grill again.