Saturday night we celebrated (early) our son’s 25th birthday, and I cooked some filet mignon steaks as well as ribeyes. According to my wife, these were the best filets I’ve ever cooked for her, and that is her favorite steak, so this was a home run. (For the record, I think everyone who opted for the filet mignon liked them!) Here are some notes and tips from the cook. One of the key tools I used was a Meater+ thermometer. ($100 and worth every penny!)

Birthday Steak Night” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

Since these were all pretty thick steaks, I chose to primarily cook them INDIRECT on my RecTeq RT-700 Bull pellet smoker. I bought the steaks at our local Costco, which has an excellent meat market, and chose the CHOICE (rather than PRIME) steaks because the prices were lower, and the quality still looked good. I didn’t have any toothpicks, so I used some metal skewers to attach bacon around the filets. I set the RecTeq smoker temperature to 400 degrees, and let it fully preheat (about 30 minutes) before putting on the steaks. This photo shows the cut ribeye, which turned out medium-rare, which is just PERFECT in my book.

Birthday Steak Night” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

To prep the ribeyes for the grill, I sprayed on some Pam Olive oil on both sides, and seasoned generously with Cattleman’s Grill Original Cowboy Coffee Steak Seasoning. I’ve been using this for a few months now, an its DARN tasty. According to their website, it contains “a blend of raw cane sugar, Kosher salt, coffee and paprika.” Ideally I would have liked to let the seasoned steaks “setup” overnight in the fridge, but I didn’t buy my steaks early enough. Results were still good. I like using a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet when I prepare and season my meats these days, since it lets air circulate on all sides and less rub is lost.

Birthday Steak Night” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

To prepare the filet mignons, I wrapped each in one or two pieces of thin bacon, depending on the size of the filet. I again sprayed on some Pam Olive Oil, but this time sprinkled both sides with Killer Hogs BBQ A.P. seasoning, which is their “all purpose seasoning.” This is mainly salt and pepper, with some garlic and a few other things thrown in. Again an overnight setup in the fridge would have been preferable, but I had to settle for about 30 minutes this time.

Birthday Steak Night” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

About 20 minutes before putting the steaks on the smoker, I put some Brussel Sprouts on the grill in my large cast iron skillet. Normally I buy fresh brussels, cut them in half, add 2 table spoons of olive oil and a healthy dose of Traeger rub, and cook about 45 minutes with a quick stir halfway through the cook with a spatula. We’ve apparently got some supply chain disruptions going on right now, however, because our local Target was completely out of fresh Brussel Sprouts on Saturday afternoon. So, I decided to try frozen ones and see how they turned out… and I was NOT impressed. They were edible, but not fantastic. I won’t make that mistake again.

Birthday Steak Night” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

You can see my Meater + probe thermometer stuck into one of the thickest filets in the above photo, in the lower right corner of the steaks beside the cast iron skillet. This is an AMAZING tool for grilling and smoking meats. You use the accompanying iOS app / iPhone app to choose the type of meat you are grilling or smoking, and the desired “doneness” for the final cooked result. The probe connects via Bluetooth to the wooden charger and storage box, which connects to your house WiFi. You’re then able to monitor the cook remotely, and the app warns you when it’s time to remove the meat from the heat.

Meater+ Thermometer” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

In the case of these birthday steaks, the magic temperature was 122 degrees. If removed at that temperature, a filet mignon steak should continue to cook and increase in internal temperature for a few minutes after removing it from the grill. Ideally, this means the internal temperature will hit exactly 130 degrees.

Birthday Steak Night” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

I removed all the steaks from the pellet smoker when the internal temperature in the largest filet hit 122 degrees, and then “tented” the filets under some aluminum foil in the kitchen. I then put the ribeyes over charcoal on my Kamado Kettle grill for about 2 minutes per side, to add a REVERSE SEAR. All turned out DELICIOUS!

@cookwithwes Filet Mignon steaks 🥩 on the smoker, reverse sear 🔥 ribeyes over charcoal #steak #cookwithfire #bbqtiktok #bbqtiktokscene #recteq #backyardbbq #bbqlife ♬ DARKSIDE – Neoni

The only two things I would have done differently with this cook would be:

  1. Season the meats the day before so they could “set up” overnight in the fridge.
  2. Find FRESH Brussel Sprouts to roast!

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