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Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks

5 from 7 votes

Imagine the best part of a ribeye roast smoked to perfection – that’s what these Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks are all about! The cut of steak no one wants you to know about, ribeye cap steaks are meaty, juicy, fatty, and oh-so-crazy good!

smoked ribeye cap steaks on a cutting board with broccolini

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Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks are, hands down, my new favorite steak. They’re big and beefy with plenty of marbling and fat to make them juicy and flavorful. And, they’re easy to smoke because they’re thin. Season them just how you like them, or keep it simple with salt and pepper. Then, let your Traeger or other pellet smoker work its magic and turn these steaks into a phenomenal meal!

What you’ll love about Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks


  • A kiss of smoke gives these tender and juicy steaks mind-blowing flavor!
  • This is an easy smoker recipe.
  • These steaks smoke fairly quickly, so you can eat in no time!

What Are Ribeye Cap Steaks?

Cap steaks, also known as ribeye cap steaks, are cut from the fatty cap from a ribeye. You know that juicy and fatty strip of meat that runs along the top of a ribeye roast? That’s the cap. Butchers will cut it off the ribeye (and sell the ribeye roast as cap off), then slice that cap into strips and tie it into rounds. That’s a ribeye cap steak.

Sometimes you’ll see these in your grocery store, but more often than not, you’ll have to go to a butcher to ask for them. It’s well worth the extra hassle because they’re so crazy good! Are ribeye cap steaks that good? Heck yes. Imagine the tenderness of a filet mignon but the meaty juiciness of a ribeye, and put those together into every bite!

smoked ribeye cap steaks on a cutting board

How Do You Cook A Ribeye Cap Steak?

The traditional way to cook a ribeye cap steak is over high heat to melt all that luscious fat. However, because I smoke everything (if you can eat it, I’ll smoke it) I popped these steaks onto the smoker and fell in love. Smoking a ribeye cap steak infuses it with smoke flavor and gives the fat a chance to render and melt into the meat creating mouthwatering goodness that I’m at a loss of words to describe.

Hungry? Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients

  • Ribeye cap steaks – About a 6-8 ounce steak per person.
  • Salt
  • Pepper

You’ll Also Need

  • Traeger pellet grill/smoker – Or another electric smoker.
  • Pellets – I love hickory pellets for this smoker recipe.
  • Digital meat thermometer Always cook to temp, not time!

How to Make The Best Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks

This ribeye cap steak recipe couldn’t be any easier! For a complete list of instructions and ingredients, please scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of this page.

  1. Preheat your Traeger smoker (or another pellet smoker) to 180-F.
  2. Season the cap steaks really well with salt and pepper.
  3. Smoke the steaks at 180-F for 30 minutes to give them a good dose of smoke.
  4. Increase the heat to 225-F and continue to smoke the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 125-F for medium rare. Use a reliable digital meat thermometer.
  5. Top the steaks with garlic butter (optional) and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recommended

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Let the steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before smoking to reduce the smoking time.
  • Don’t overpower these steaks with fancy rubs. Salt, pepper, and maybe a bit of garlic is all they need to let the amazing flavor shine.
  • Always smoke to temp, not time. Rest these steaks when they hit 125-F for medium rare. Use a digital meat thermometer to get an accurate temp.

Make It A Meal

Wondering what to serve with Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks? There are plenty of tasty sides to pair with this smoked steak recipe, but some of my favorites include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why put butter on top of steaks?

The best steakhouses and chefs pretty much always add a pat of butter to a grilled or smoked steak. Why? Because butter adds mouthfeel, texture, and unctuousness to a steak. The melting butter adds a bit more salty flavor, and as it melts, it combines with the steak juices to create a bit of a sauce that’s perfect for mopping up with bread or potatoes.

How long does it take to smoke ribeye cap steaks?

That’s going to depend on how big the steaks are, how hot your smoker is, and how cold the steaks are when you put them on the smoker. Room temperature 8-ounce steaks at 225-F take about an hour for medium-rare. But always cook to temp (125-F then rest) and not time!

What does cook to temp not time mean?

Cooking to temp and not time simply means that you should smoke the meat as long as it takes to reach a certain internal temperature. Because all smokers are different (and some are notoriously terrible at holding a consistent or reliable temperature), no recipe can tell you exactly how long it will take to smoke something. Have a good digital meat thermometer and smoke the meat as long as it takes to reach the suggested temperature.

smoked ribeye cap steaks on a cutting board
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5 from 7 votes

Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks

Meaty, fatty, juicy, and so tender, Smoked Ribeye Cap Steaks are the perfect steak and a kiss of smoke makes these mouthwateringly delicious! An easy smoker recipe, these steaks are terrific with all your favorite sides!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cap steak, pellet smoker, ribeye steak, smoked, smoked beef, smoked ribeye cap steaks, smoked steaks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 525kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ribeye cap steaks 4 steaks, about 8 oz each
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic butter optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your Traeger smoker (or another pellet smoker) to 180-F.
  • Season the cap steaks really well on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Smoke the steaks at 180-F for 30 minutes to give them a good dose of smoke.
  • Increase the heat to 225-F and continue to smoke the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 125-F for medium rare. About 45 minutes.
  • Top the steaks with garlic butter (optional) and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1steak | Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 745mg | Potassium: 624mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 4mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn