Seared and Smoked Top Sirloin Steaks

I cooked these smoked top sirloin steak a while back– dry brined and seasoned with my Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) and they were, without a doubt, hands down, the best steak I've had be it broiled, grilled, or smoked.

This write-up is going to give you all the juicy, beefy, delicious details about how I did it so you can replicate this in your own backyard.

Prepare to be blown away when you taste it!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Dry Brine Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: 130°F (54°C)
  • Recommended Wood: Oak
What You’ll Need
  • 6 thick cut top sirloin steaks or equivalent
  • Coarse ground kosher salt
  • Heavy pan or skillet (iron skillet works great)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Jeff's Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)
  • Basting sauce (recipe below)
IMG 0492 1000x715Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

About Top Sirloin Steak

Top sirloin is lean, tender and a good beefy flavor that works well in the smoker. I found these at Costco (where I purchase some of the meat that I cook) but if you have trouble finding it, you can also purchase tri-tip and cut it into thick steaks that are 1.5 to 2 inches thick.

I think almost any decent steak would fare well with this same treatment.

IMG 1633

This steak has a fat cap on one side which can be easily trimmed off if you prefer.

Step 1: Dry Brine the Steaks

If there's one thing that can do more for a steak than anything else, it would have to be dry brining. I have really gotten into this over the last few years due to how effective it is in bringing out the natural flavors of meat.

Dry brining, for those who aren't familiar, is simply sprinkling salt on a piece of meat. The salt naturally draws moisture to the surface where it mixes together and creates a slurry. The slurry is then drawn back deep into the meat. It's almost magical!

Maybe I'm easily impressed but it surprises me every time I use this method.. the flavor that it brings out of the meat.

To dry brine a steak like these top sirloin steaks, just lay them flat in a pan and sprinkle coarse ground kosher salt on the top of them. I don't measure but you can compare the following image to your own for proper salt coverage.

The professionals recommend ½ teaspoon per pound of meat for what it's worth.

IMG 1637

All of them are salted and then the pan of steaks is placed in the fridge for at least 2 hours but I recommend overnight or 8 hours for the full treatment.

IMG 1634

Note: There is NO need to rinse the steaks after dry brining.

Step 2: Pan Sear

Many of us have been reverse searing steaks and other meats for years. It's a great way to do it but it's certainly not the only way to do things and this is where I encourage you to get out of your box and try something a little different =)

Reverse searing: A method by which steaks and other meats are smoked/cooked first and then seared just before serving.

For these top sirloin steaks, we are going to pan sear the steaks after dry brining them and before adding any seasoning to the outside. The idea is to add some color and to bring out some of that great flavor that only happens when steaks are seared over a hot flame or in a hot pan.

Note: This pan searing is best done outdoors if possible but indoors is fine if that's your only option.

Place a heavy skillet on the burner over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil and let it get hot before moving forward. You can also do this on a very hot griddle.

Meanwhile, use a paper towel to dry the steaks. We want them as dry as possible so they will brown with as little steam as possible.

When the grease is hot enough (I usually toss some water droplets into the grease and if they sizzle real good, I know it's ready), it's time to do some searing.

If you're inside using the range, turn on the fan in the hood over the oven and open the doors and windows because there might be some smoke.

Place one or more of the steaks into the pan for about 30-45 seconds. Lift them up periodically to check the color.

IMG 1695

When they look good, flip them over.

IMG 1696

I like to use my tongs to sear the sides as well just for uniformity of color and flavor throughout.

The temperature in the center of the steaks after searing was around 87°F.

I set the steaks aside and let them cool off before proceeding.

Step 3: “Texas Style” them Bad Boys

My Texas style rub recipe (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) is excellent on beef and if you haven't tried it.. well.. you should definitely try it out.

Sprinkle the Texas style rub directly on the steaks or you can do what I did and pour some of the rub out on a flat area and lay the steak in the rub.

IMG 1714

IMG 1715

Roll the edges in the rub as well to get nice coverage. Use plenty.

The top sirloin steaks are seared, seasoned and ready for the smoker!

I have placed them on a Weber grill pan so I can easily transport them out to the smoker and even leave them on it to smoke.

IMG 1716

Step 4: Set up the Smoker

Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225°F (107°C) with indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

I recommend letting any smoker preheat for 30-60 minutes before using it as this allows all of the metal to heat up and that helps to maintain heat and to recover faster when you open the door or lid.

I used the Camp Chef Woodwind for these awesome steaks but any smoker will work great as long as it can maintain the temperature adequately.

Once the smoker is preheated and ready to go, it's time to smoke!

Step 5: Smoke the Top Sirloin Steaks

Place the Weber grill pan of top sirloin steaks on the grate or you can place the steaks directly onto the grate.  Close down the lid or door but don't go far.. they only take about an hour or less.

Oak wood is really good with these steaks but any good smoking wood will work just fine. I recommend keeping a light smoke going for the entire time they are cooking.

How long they take really depends on their temperature going in which is highly affected by the amount of time they sat on the cabinet during the last dry brining stage, how hot they got during the searing process, meat thickness and, of course, how well your smoker maintains temperature and how many times you open the lid/door to peek.

Use a remote meat thermometer like the Thermoworks “Smoke” if you have it so you can monitor the temperature of the steaks without having to open the lid.

Otherwise use a fast-reading handheld thermometer to quickly check a couple of them and then shut down the lid.

Step 6: Basting

I mixed up a concoction to baste the steaks and it worked really well. It consisted of the following:

Stir to combine and continue stirring as you use it as the oil will try to separate from the other liquids.

Use a spoon for best results and so you do not disturb the rub.. a couple of TBS per steak is sufficient.

A basting brush will also work in a pinch.

IMG 1731

Baste as quickly as possible and close the lid/door.

Step 7: Finish Cooking

When the temperature of the steaks reach about 130°F (54°C), they are a perfect medium rare and can be removed from the smoker.

If the steaks cook unevenly, I remove them individually with tongs as they get done rather than wait on all of them.

Step 8: Rest for a While

It's always a great idea to let steaks rest for 10 minutes before cutting into them to let the juices calm down and even out.

One of mine got done before the others and it only rested for 3 minutes.. I just had to have a bite!

Step 9: Serve

You can serve these as whole steaks or slice them up ahead of time.. however you like to do it at your house.

These babies got sliced up ¼ inch thick and boy were they beautiful!

IMG 1839

I probably ate an entire steak before bringing them in.. irresistibly good!

Lovely edge to edge medium rare, perfectly seasoned all the way through due to the dry brining process and deliciously seasoned on the outside due to my Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).. you just can't get no better than this!

Order Jeff’s Rubs and Barbecue Sauce TODAY!
Jeff's Rubs and Sauce

✅ My rubs and sauce will be the best thing you’ve ever tasted and it’s a great way to support what we do!

SHOP NOW

You can also order the formulas for my rubs and sauce and make these yourself at home. Grab those HERE and download immediately.

Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books

smoking-meat-book-coverSmoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-coverSmoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

Purchase at Amazon

Get Almost Anything at Amazon

If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to do something helpful, then..

The next time you decide to order something at Amazon.com, use THIS LINK to get there and we’ll get a small commission off of what you purchase.

Thank you in advance for using our special link: https://www.smoking-meat.com/amazon


Printable Recipe

IMG 1819 1000x667
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Seared and Smoked Top Sirloin Steaks

Dry brined and seasoned with my Texas style rub these fast seared, slow smoked top sirloin steaks are without a doubt, the best steak I've had in a long time!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Dry Brine8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 6 Sirloin steaks or equivalent (¾ inch thick or greater is best)
  • 4 tsp Coarse kosher salt
  • Heavy pan or skillet (iron skillet works best)
  • 2 TBS Vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Jeff's Texas style rub recipe

Basting Sauce

  • ½ cup Soy sauce (low-sodium)
  • ½ cup Worcestershire
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 2 TBS Texas style rub

Instructions

  • Sprinkle coarse kosher salt onto top sirloin steaks and place into the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. No need to rinse after brining.
  • Dry steaks well with paper towel then sear on all sides in heavy skillet over high heat with just a couple of TBS of vegetable oil.
  • Let the steaks cool for a few minutes then coat with Jeff's Texas style rub on all sides.
  • Setup smoker for cooking at 225°F (107°C) with indirect heat.
  • When the smoker is ready, place the steaks on the grate and let them smoke cook with oak or whatever smoking wood you have available.
  • At about 30 minutes in, baste the steaks with the basting sauce. Stir the ingredients constantly as you use it to keep them from separating.
  • When the steaks reach 130°F (54°C) as measured with a meat thermometer, remove them from the smoker and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  • They can be sliced into ¼ inch slices or served as whole steaks.

14 Comments

  1. Patrick L. March 21, 2022 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I tried this one and followed it to the “T”, and it was AMAZING! I used my Oklahoma Joe's Pellet grill, and they turned out perfect. I used New York strip steaks that were 1.5 inches thick. I used the dry brining overnight, then seared the steaks in a cast iron skillet on my Oklahoma Joe's pellet grill set to the sear mode, then let them cool before applying the Texas Style Rub that I bought from Jeff. Once cooled, I applied the rub and let them sit until the grill came back down to 225 degrees. I smoked the steaks until one was at 130F for me, and the other was 125F for my wife. Let them rest for 15-20 minutes, and they were the best steaks I have ever cooked, by far! The Texas Style Rub has a pepper forward flavor that my wife and I both loved!

  2. Leolani R Furlong March 6, 2022 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    OK, I made “Seared and Smoked Top Sirloin Steaks” for dinner tonight (Sunday). When they were done, we sliced into the steaks and they looked EXACTLY like the picture on your website. But how will they taste? My husband, who is an avid steak eater, had his first bite and it blew his socks off !! Then I tried my steak, absolutely tender, restaurant quality, in fact it was BETTER than eating at a restaurant!! I only had cherry wood for smoking but it complemented the steaks very well. I had our butcher cut the steaks 1 1/2 inches thick and it turned out a perfect medium rare, just how we like it. The only thing that I will change in the future is to use less cayenne in the Texas Rub to suit our taste, otherwise, “OUR HATS ARE OFF TO YOU” Jeff. This recipe is a “keeper”! Your Texas style rub and the basting sauce was an excellent compliment to these steaks. Thanks so much!
    Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii…. Bill and Lani

  3. Mark A Collette February 19, 2022 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Jeff,

    I know I am late to the party on this article, but could you tell any difference between searing the steaks first and then smoking vs. smoking and then searing?

    Thanks,

    Mark Collette
    Eastover, NC

    • Jeff Phillips February 21, 2022 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Not a big difference in flavor however by searing them first, I was able to then smoke them to the perfect temperature and get a perfect medium rare. If you sear them last, you would remove them early and let the sear bring them on up to medium rare. It does a pretty good job but you may end up under cooking or over cooking depending on how long it takes to sear them. I definitely prefer searing them first.

      Another option is to smoke them to a perfect medium rare then let them rest for 15-20 minutes wrapped in foil. Once they are cooled down a little, you can sear them without worrying about over cooking them.

  4. John Shotsky February 19, 2022 at 9:16 am - Reply

    I've been dry brining for so long I've forgotten when I first started. At least 30 years now. I now have a new twist – add the salt then sous vide at 125 for several hours, then drop the bag into ice water to cool it. Then, you can sear and smoke as described. What's different is that it is more tender. That sous vide bath gives it time to break down the tough bits. You can also sear after smoking instead – it all works.
    Dry brining works on pork and poultry too.

  5. Eric May 24, 2020 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I’m planning on making this tomorrow. Do you ever flip the steaks while smoking?

    • Jeff Phillips May 24, 2020 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      I don't flip them as long as they are on some sort of grate so both sides can get heat and smoke. However, if you decided to cook them on a sheet pan or something like that inside of the smoker, it would then make sense to flip them halfway through so both sides could get the heat and smoke.

  6. aidan cromer June 10, 2019 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Oh my. Smoked this tonight and it was fabulous. I won the neighborhood. Jeff, you made me a hero and to that I say bravo!

  7. Rick May 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    you should also sell the recipe to that dipping sauce, you had it in one of your news letter recipes, I made a batch with the meat that time and the family was nuts for that dipping sauce, my son said “It was like Canes sauce on Styrroids” now I only make it times 5 or it's gone before it makes it all the way around the table.

  8. Mike June 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I've been reading your newsletter for a while now, and it's great. Got your recipes, and they're great, too. Thanks. I've been contemplating purchasing the Camp Chef Woodwind Smoker and decided today to go for it, based on your recommendation. To my surprise, the price jumped $100 since a week ago. Do you know if their prices go up and down based on the time of year or holiday we're close to? (Just had fathers' day.)

  9. Gerry May 29, 2018 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Love your post! I am going to try these delicious smoked steaks this weekend on my brand new smoker! Got to test it out somehow, right? Yum!

  10. Jason December 1, 2017 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    This looks delicious. Going to try it tomorrow. I do have some picky family members though that like their steaks medium well. Should I just smoke their steaks a bit longer? If so what would you recommend?

    • Popeye January 27, 2018 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      My wife also likes her steaks closer to medium well. I'm thinking I'll need to use 2 temp sensors to monitor them, but my concern is how much earlier I would need to put her steak in as I like mine closer to rare.

  11. Dan Grisham October 22, 2017 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I did this one yesterday. Turned out great. Thanks for sharing.

Leave A Comment

Recipe Rating