If you’re a steak lover, a beer lover, and an onion ring fan looking for the best Steak Sandwich ever, join me at the grill for a mouthwatering recipe that won’t disappoint. If your taste buds are craving a satisfying explosion of flavors, keep scrolling to learn the absolute best way to turn these classic ingredients into next-level grilled sandwiches. 

My epic grilled steak sandwich recipe features the unbeatable combination of juicy Tri-Tip steak strips, creamy beer cheese sauce, and crispy onion rings with a flavorful kick from some spicy horseradish mayonnaise.  

two halves of a bbq steak sandwich on a cutting board next to a grill

Topped with your favorite BBQ sauce and piled between your favorite crusty bread, trust me, this is truly one of the most delicious steak sandwiches you’ll ever make on the grill! 

two seasoned tri tips on a grill

Why you’ll love Steak Sandwiches

Whenever a smoked and grilled steak sandwich is on the menu, whether for a weekend lunch or Friday night dinner with friends, you know it’s going to be a good, satisfying meal. 

My steak sandwich is not the typical bell peppers, green peppers, and sweet caramelized onions kind you’ll find at Italian festivals. Maybe it’s closer to a Philly Cheesesteak in concept, but the meat is far more flavorful. That’s thanks to the best part: my Cherry Chipotle Ale Seasoning rub and a little time in the smoker. This killer seasoning blend – that, yes, pours from a beer can – adds all the tang and acidity the steak needs for caramelizing. 

The cut of beef is everything when it comes to nailing this recipe! For the richest, most flavorful and tender slices of meat, I suggest using lean but marbled Tri-Tip steak. My second choice would be NY strip steaks followed by a boneless ribeye steak. If all you have to work with is flank steak or skirt steak, make sure to marinate the meat before smoking it. 

For more recipes with Tri-Tip, check out my Chimichurri Marinated Tri-Tip With Grilled Fries, Grilled Tri-Tip with Charred Corn Salsa, Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip, and Garlic Parmesan Rotisserie Tri-Tip.

The kind of bread you pair with this steak and cheese sandwich can make or break the recipe. So choose wisely. For the best bread, patronize a local bakery that makes artisanal French baguettes. If you want to go another route, toasted ciabatta rolls would be equally amazing.

The tri tips grilling over the orange coals.


Steak Ingredients

  • Tri-Tip Steaks – This cut of beef is a triangular-shaped, boneless steak that’s relatively lean but still has a good amount of marbling to deliver unbelievable tenderness in each bite. 
  • Cherry Chipotle Ale Seasoning – My unique spice blend offers a perfect balance of sweet, smoky, and savory flavors, making it a must-have seasoning for all your grilling, bbq recipes, and marinades. 
  • Canola Oil – This light cooking oil has a neutral flavor that helps the deep flavor from the Cherry Chipotle Ale Seasoning shine through. 
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – My all-time favorite cheese for the best beer cheese sauce ever. 
  • Swiss Cheese – The mild, nutty sweetness of the Swiss cheese complements the sharpness of the cheddar perfectly. 

Beer Cheese Sauce Ingredients

  • Unbleached All-Purpose Flour – A cup of your favorite flour blended with the milk and butter helps build a roux for thickening the beer cheese sauce (think Mac & Cheese sauce). 
  • Whole Milk – Full-fat milk also helps thicken the beer cheese, so I don’t recommend replacing it with non-fat. 
  • Light Beer – Controversies aside, your favorite light beer can add just the right amount of hoppy flavor to the creamy sauce, making it extra tasty when spooned over your steak sandwich. 
  • Butter – Maybe it’s just my imagination but grassfed butter always tastes better in my cheese sauces – grass-eating cows also make the butter more nutritious. 
  • Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard is such a versatile ingredient, adding the perfect amount of well-spiced tangineess to the beer cheese. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce – What would we do without this dark, thin liquid that lives forever inside our fridges? Its sweet, sour, salty, and umami notes are unbeatable in so many of my favorite BBQ and grilling recipes. 
  • Garlic Powder – I keep copious amounts of this tasty seasoning in my kitchen at all times to make all my recipes pop with flavor. 
  • Cayenne Powder – Cayenne is a dark red chili pepper that knows how to bring the heat, so season the cheese sauce according to your liking. 

Other Steak Sandwich Ingredients

  • Large Bread Loaf – From your supermarket bakery or local artisanal bakery, snag a fat and fluffy loaf of French, Italian, or sourdough bread to build the best sandwiches. 
  • Horseradish Mayonnaise – Making this next-level mayo at home is simple. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper to taste. 
  • Frozen Onion Rings – Quick and easy to pick up from your local supermarket; simply heat the oven to 425°F and bake the pre-prepared onion rings for 15-18 minutes. 
  • Favorite BBQ Sauce – You can make my famous Guinesss BBQ sauce in advance or use another favorite such as Franklin’s Barbecue Sauce, equally famous in Austin, Texas. 

This long list of ingredients adds up to simply one of the best steak sandwiches that I promise will sweep you off your feet. 

If you love biting into a steak sandwich as much as I do, you may want to try Mushroom Swiss Steak Sandwich, Steak and Cheese Sliders, Chimichurri Steak Sandwich, or the California Steak Sandwich. And, if you can’t get enough of the killer Beer Cheese sauce, try Beer Cheese Smash Burgers.

overhead of two seared steaks on a grill

How to make a Steak Sandwich

The Steak

Start by preheating your grill for two-zone indirect cooking at a medium-low heat of around 250ºF. Slather each steak with canola oil. Then rub in the seasoning blend, thoroughly and generously to get all the fruity, smoky flavor infused into the meat. 

Next, add the seasoned steaks onto the cooler side of the grill so that we can reverse sear them. Let them smoke for about 1.5-2 hours. Towards the end of their cooking time, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. They should be 125ºF. Pull the cooked steaks off the grill and let them rest for about 15 minutes. 

The Cheese Sauce

While the steaks rest, let’s make our rich and cheesy beer sauce, again using the grill. With a cast-iron skillet directly over the charcoal grill, add in butter, flour, garlic powder, and the cayenne powder. Allow the butter to melt and mix for a couple of minutes to combine.

Next, stir in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce, combine, before adding in the shredded cheeses. Let the cheeses melt on low. Make sure you stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

When the smooth and creamy sauce is ready, set it aside. Cut your loaf of bread horizontally into a top half and bottom half. Add them onto the grill to toast for a few while you finish up the steak.

Final Touches

To finish the steak, kick up the grill’s heat to 400ºF. Then give it a quick sear and perfectly crispy crust. High heat is the key, so don’t rush the process and allow the grill to come to temp! 

Add the steaks back onto the grill and let them cook for about a minute and a half per side. Once a crust forms, pull the steak off of the grill and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. 

While the meat is resting, get your onion rings baked and ready from the oven. 

When the onion rings are done, return to your well-rested steak and slice it into thin strips.

Important Note

Remember to slice steak against the grain. Shortening the muscle fibers creates a more tender bite for your killer sandwich.

Now, let’s get these juicy, cheesy, mouth-wateringly delicious sandwiches pulled together and ready to eat. Grab the now-toasted crusty bread and slather one piece with a layer of horseradish mayonnaise. Top it off with a generous helping of sliced steak, then pour the beer cheese sauce over the top. 

Finish the Steak Sandwich off with some of the crunchy onion rings. Also add a drizzle of your favorite BBQ sauce and the top bun of your toasted bread.

Now eat up!

cooked steak being sliced on a cutting board

Pro Tip: Why Resting the Meat Matters

Remember, for the juiciest, perfectly cooked Tri-Tip steak, resting the meat is essential. It allows the juices to distribute throughout the meat evenly. It also gives the proteins in the meat a chance to relax. This makes the texture more tender and more likely to melt in your mouth. 

How to Store Steak Sandwich Leftovers & Reheat

Store any leftover steak in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. When you’re ready to reheat, set the oven to 350 and heat on a baking pan for about 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can heat in a large skillet over medium heat. 

What to Serve With a Steak Sandwich

When it comes to serving up a steak sandwich with a rich and creamy cheese sauce and a side of onion rings in the sandwich, it doesn’t need much else for a full and complete meal. However, it could be paired with a big, green salad. Some grilled corn on the cob slathered in butter and sprinkled with more Cherry Chipotle Ale Seasoning would also be a perfect side.

assembling the meal on a cutting board

Recipe FAQs

Can I make the steak sandwiches ahead of time? 

You can definitely cook the steak ahead of time. Simply reheat the slices in some aluminum foil on the grill with a spritzing of ale. You could do this while the onion rings bake in the oven. The cheese sauce can be stored in the fridge and reheated in a cast iron pan. 

Can I use Pepper Jack Cheese instead of Cheddar and Swiss? 

Although sharp cheddar, Swiss cheese, and light beer are a match made in gastronomy heaven, if you love pepper jack cheese feel free to use it as a full replacement for the two cheeses. 

two halves of the sandwich held over a cutting board

Get The Cookbooks!

Flavor X Fire & FOOD X Fire

By Derek Wolf

All the major tastes—salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami—are explored in depth, along with an investigation of other components you should consider when it comes to flavor, such as aroma, heat, and texture.

Needing more spice in your life? My spice line can help with that. Check them out here.

two halves of a bbq steak sandwich on a cutting board next to a grill

BBQ Steak Sandwich

This BBQ Steak Sandwich is layered with horseradish mayo, cherry chipotle smoked steak, beer cheese sauce, and onion rings.
Author:Derek Wolf
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people



Beer Cheese:

  • 1.5 cups Sharp Cheddar shredded
  • 1.5 cups Swiss Cheese shredded
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • cup Light Beer
  • 2.5 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Cayenne Powder


  • 1 Large Bread Loaf
  • 2.5 tbsp Horseradish Mayonnaise
  • Favorite Onion Rings
  • Favorite BBQ Sauce


  • Preheat your grill for a two-zone indirect cooking method at medium low heat (about 250F).
  • Lather your tri-tip steaks with oil and generously season with my Cherry Chipotle Ale seasoning or your favorite BBQ seasoning.
  • Place the steaks on the cooler side of the grill and smoke until 125F internal (about 1.5-2 hours).
  • Once the steaks are done, pull them off and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • As the steaks rest, add a cast iron skillet directly over the low heat from the grill.
  • Add your butter, flour, garlic powder and cayenne powder to the skillet to melt and mix for 1-2 minutes.
  • Once mixed, slowly add your milk and beer in batches to fully integrate them and let the mixture thicken.
  • Once mixed, add your mustard and worcestershire sauce then stir.
  • Finally, add your shredded cheese and keep stirring until fully integrated and smooth. Once the sauce is done, pull it off and keep warm.
  • Right after finishing the sauce, slice your bread into two and make sure to toast.
  • Next, kick up the heat in the grill to 400F for direct grilling.
  • Sear off your rested tri-tip on both sides for 1.5 minutes per side to develop a crust. Pull the steaks off and slice very thinly against the grain.
  • Finally, start building your sandwich with a layer of Horseradish Mayonnaise on bottom, topped with a heaping amount of sliced steak, pouring of the Beer Cheese, some onion rings and a drizzle of your favorite BBQ Sauce.
  • Slice it up, serve and enjoy!


Calories: 1410kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 91g | Saturated Fat: 47g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 1052mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 1468IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 800mg | Iron: 7mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating