The MAK 2 Star General pellet grill has a trick up its sleeve when it comes to reverse searing large steaks. The built-in side smoker runs at a lower temperature than the main grill, which allows you to bring large cuts of meat up to temperature. This unique feature is not found on many grills and is a convenient way to increase the internal temperature of large steaks while preheating the grill or cooking other items.
We found a beautiful, extra thick 3 lb. bone-in ribeye steak that we are going to reverse sear on our MAK 2 Star pellet grill. Grilling large ribeye steaks can be tough to cook properly. The goal is to get a good crust on the outside while maintaining the proper doneness on the inside. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. This is why the reverse sear method has become so popular. This steak was purchased to feed three people.
- 3 lb Bone-in Ribeye
- Seasoned with SuckleBusters 1836 Beef Seasoning
- MAK 2 Star Pellet Grill
- Reverse Sear Method
- Used side smoker to bring internal temperature up
- MAK 2 Star set to “Grill” for the sear
- FlameZone covers off
- MAK Grills Searing Grates
- Lumber Jack wood pellets
Trimmed Off Hard Fat and Seasoned the Steak
I started by trimming off the white, hard fat that doesn’t render on the steak. It can be tough to trim fat off a steak and throw it in the trash, especially since you paid for that weight. It needs to be done if you want every piece of your steak to be edible. There should be nothing left on your plate.
We seasoned this large steak with SuckleBusters 1836 Beef Seasoning. This has become our go-to beef seasoning because the blend of spices with the large salt and cracked pepper makes for some remarkable flavor. It could change in the future, but as of now, this is our favorite beef seasoning.
MAK 2 Star Side Smoker for Reverse Searing
This is where things get interesting. The MAK 2 Star pellet grill has a side smoker built-in on the right side. You would never know it’s there. There are two vents that pull heat and smoke from the main chamber through the side smoker. The side smoker has two additional vents on the outside that release the heat and smoke. It is a great use of space that gives the MAK 2 Star some great versatility.
The side smoker is under the right side shelf, and it can hold lots of food. It is much larger than it looks in photos online. We have used this side smoker to cook snow crab, keep food warm, smoke cheese, and reverse sear steaks. It includes a drip pan underneath to catch everything that falls through the grate. If anything, the side smoker is just a great place to put food as it comes off the grill.
If you are grilling burgers or chicken on the main grill, you can use the side smoker on the MAK 2 Star to bring larger steaks up to temperature before putting them on the main grill for the sear. This slows down the process a bit, which allows the internal temperature to catch up with the outside. You can use the side smoker while the grill is preheating up to temperature or while cooking other foods. It provides unmatched versatility not found in many other grills.
3 lb. Bone-in Ribeye in Side Smoker
We were not cooking any other foods on this day, so we placed the 3 lb bone-in ribeye steak in the side smoker while heating the main grill up to high temperature… “Grill” mode. We had the steak in the side smoker for about thirty minutes or so, allowing the smoke to layer the steak with flavor as the rolling heat brought the internal temperature up to around 120 or so. Our final target internal temperature for this steak was around 140 or so, which would put us in the medium range for doneness.
Final Sear on MAK Grills Searing Grates
By the time the MAK 2 Star pellet grill got up to “Grill” temperature, we were running about 590F on the readout on the pellet boss controller using premium wood pellets. This is pretty darn hot for a pellet grill, much less any grill. When you open the lid on the MAK 2 Star, the heat coming off the grill is very hot and can be intimidating. It’s best to take your time, so you don’t make any mistakes and burn yourself. Try using good barbecue tongs that allow you to keep a safe distance from the cooker. Cooking at high temperatures on any grill can be tricky.
The sear on the 3 lb. bone-in ribeye did not take long since the MAK Grills searing grates were running so hot. I did not have a laser temp gauge to check the actual grate temp, but I would not be surprised if it was close to 700 degrees. The large ribeye started to build a crust immediately while pulling up on the bone. The fat sizzled and smoked as it released juices down on the FlameZone. It was a great cook and even a greater steak to eat. Three people cut off the final steak. The smokey flavor from the wood pellets alongside the 1836 SuckleBusters beef seasoning made for a carnivorous dinner we were sure never to forget.