Unless you’ve been under a meat hating rock your entire life, you’ve probably heard at least one friend family member or celebrity TV chef wax poetic about the tastiness that is a ribeye steak. Bone-in ribeye, Texas rib-eye, rib steak or prime rib roast, are all terms used to describe this juiciest and most flavorful cuts of beef. But how do you cook a ribeye stick and, while we’re at it, just what is a rib steak to begin with? Well buckle up and settle in, because we at Steak University are about to take you on an educational and tasty journey into the mysterious world of ribeye beef.
What Exactly is a Ribeye Steak?
Foundations are important in any quality education and steak knowledge is no different. Knowing just what makes a ribeye, well, itself, will help you understand how to manipulate the cut into a gourmet meal at your next cookout. As the name may suggest, the ribeye is a cut from the upper rib portion of the cow. While the steak has many names that butchers and restaurants may use interchangeably, ribeye, rib steak and rib roast all refer to the same cut of beef. A ribeye steak typically refers to the cut once the bone has been sliced away. Rib steak usually means the bone has been left in. For a rib roast, or prime rib roast, several ribs have been left together to form a larger portion of meet that is generally slow cooked in the oven rather than grilled, due to its size.
What Makes a Bone in Ribeye Steak So Flavorful?
As it turns out, the steak’s original location on the cow has much to do with its tenderness and flavor. The less activity a given muscle has, the more fat and less tough the particular cut of beef. The upper rib portion of the cow that makes up the ribeye steak or bone in ribeye sees very little in the way of movement or exercise. Thus, the ribeye is some of the most well marbled and tender cuts of beef.
This doesn’t mean that all ribeye’s are created equal. Your grade and quality of beef still plays a large role in determining how tender and flavorful your steak will be. Look for USDA Grade Prime beef, such as offered by the Chicago Steak Company, to ensure the best, most consistent cuts and corresponding flavor.
How to Cook Ribeye Steaks?
Whether grilling your steak on the BBQ outdoors, or in a pan on the stovetop, some common principles apply to cooking a ribeye steak. A bone in ribeye tends to be more tender and well marbled than other cuts. This lends to a shorter cooking time. If you’re looking for how long to grill a ribeye steak, we recommend no more than 3 minutes per side for perfect rare to medium rare steak action. Any more well done and, while still perfectly edible, you rapidly lose much of the flavor that comes from the excess moisture and fat in the ribeye cut.
You should always allow your bone in ribeye steaks to come to room temperature before grilling and don’t forget to rest your beef for several minutes before serving. This will ensure the juices stay inside of the meat instead of on the plate or pan. Ribeye’s need little in the way of sauce or marinade, but if you’re so inclined, roasted garlic or sautéed mushrooms go particularly well with this fattier cut of beef.
Final Thoughts on Ribeye
While a ribeye certainly isn’t the leanest or most calorie conscious cut of beef, what it lacks in waistline sensitivity it makes up for in flavor. There are no wrong ways to cook a ribeye as long as you stick to the standard internal temperature ideals the fat will melt away regardless of cooking method. Finally, always start with the best quality beef for the utmost in steak eating experience. You may pay a little more for higher USDA graded beef but you will certainly reap the rewards in flavor. Now fire up the grill, or heat up your pan, and share your newfound knowledge as you throw a couple of ribeye’s on the fire for dinner tonight.